5 professionals from 5 very different disciplines create the products and technologies that help our users to promote their businesses and get discovered, with marketing, SEO and advertising tools
Wix is known as a platform enabling anyone to open an online business and use a wide array of tools to make it successful. But how do our users let the world know about their business? How do they market their products? How do they rank higher in search results? Well, this is exactly where our Promote group comes in.
Guy Kori, Wix Promote’s Head of R&D, has been with us for the last 7 years. He started out as a Developer at Promote, after about 2 years he became a team lead and after 3.5 more years was promoted to his current role.
Leading Promote’s R&D team is Guy’s first managerial role. Being located in Tel Aviv, one of the biggest challenges was managing a team of engineers located in Lithuania. “It wasn’t easy, but since my managers believed in me, I believed in myself. I found out that people respect you when you’re transparent and clear about things. Another important insight I got from this role is that you have to always be focused on users and their needs since our products are there to serve them. When you work as a developer you sometimes put too much focus on code writing instead of on assisting people with their daily lives”.
Can you tell us a bit about the different teams within Promote?
“Promote is in charge of a few domains that are all a part of the marketing ecosystem. Our SEO team helps our users appear higher in search engines’ search results. They do it through many recommendations that we provide them, like optimizing their title, their content or the way they describe different sections on their site. They are also in charge of infrastructure issues.
“Another domain is Email Marketing. We’re in charge of the mechanism that makes sure that when I send out an email - or many many emails - they’ll all reach their destination and won’t be labeled as spam. We also provide our business owners with statistics regarding the efficiency of the emails sent, how many customers actually clicked on the links they got and if they purchased anything.
“Paid Ads is another domain we’re active in. Our tool simplifies the way our users advertise on Facebook and helps optimize the ads on Facebook’s side on our side. That means that if we see that a certain ad is more impactful in Spain for example, we will target the Spanish market harder.
"Our mobile team builds all of our products on the Wix Owner App.
It means that if you want to create your marketing activities on the go - they're in charge of that.
“Yet another domain is Connect. It’s all about integration with social networks such as Facebook, Tik-Tok, YouTube etc. so that our users will be able to share whatever they want on any social media platforms without needing to integrate with their different APIs, a process that if done manually can be quite time consuming. Through Connect, we do it for our users. It also enables them to choose any product or service that they’re selling, put icons or text or anything they want on top of it and share it on Facebook."
What challenges you in your role?
“One challenge is to make all these different ideas come to life on the tech level and to make them integrate seamlessly with each other and with other services. We also provide our tools to other verticals at Wix and we need to build them in a smart and scalable way.
“Our products are pretty different from each other but they are all meant to help our users tell the world about their sites. Our developers are involved with every product from the very beginning and they take ownership of what they do end-to-end: they’re responsible for the technical design, for the database, for the frontend and for the backend sides. Everything. They need to understand what our product is meant to do. When the developer deeply understands what they’re doing, the product comes out much much better. That’s why we’re always looking for people who genuinely care about what they are doing and are interested in the business side of things.
“Our target is always to make businesses succeed and watching people use our products and really being more successful because of them, really makes me feel good.”
"Only after speaking with users, you can understand how certain tools work or how they can help them. Feedback helps us improve and create the best possible products"
Always staying on top of what our users want and need is extremely important - enough to assign Meital Harel to be the person in charge of directly speaking with them at Promote. She’s been with Wix for 11 years and for years did various marketing related roles, since “back then we all did everything”.
She joined Promote 3 and half years ago. “Initially I was in charge of setting up all sorts of collaborations with users in order to see what they want and if they’re happy with what we provide them, but before I went on maternity leave I spoke with my managers and asked them to be the person in charge of our relationship with our users - not just before or after we launch a product, but all the time.”
Why did you want this job?
“For me, working at a company such as Wix and not speaking with the person who ends up using our products is incomprehensible. Why did I want this job? Because it’s interesting and cool! Over the years I spoke with hundreds of our users. On the phone, on chat and on Zoom - you name it”.
Why is it so important to directly speak with users?
“When we launched our Paid Ads product we had many open questions that our data just didn’t answer. For instance, we didn’t understand why some users who had an amazing return on their ads investment started cancelling campaigns. We didn’t understand why some users don’t follow up on their campaign’s performance. Only after speaking with these users, we found out that some of them didn’t understand how certain tools work or how they can help them. Feedback like that helps us improve and create the best possible products.
“And it’s not that I just like talking with them - it immediately creates value since you get feedback from people that our products are central to their lives. Luckily, that means that our users like to talk to us and help us understand things much better and cater to their needs in order to unleash their business potential.”
Each domain within Promote has different ways of obtaining its goals, but all of them have something in common - embracing our user centric approach. Dana Jaffe is a Product Manager for Promote’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) team. She joined Wix as a part-time Business Analyst while a student, about 4 years ago. Her student position became a full-time one, and after some time she decided that she wants to be a Product Manager. “I love numbers and I still use them a lot, but dealing with a product is really interesting for me,” she says.
Dana explains that the SEO products help users grow organically through search engines. “It’s a very complex domain since ranking high on search results isn’t easy to achieve. Our goal is to help all of Wix’s different users succeed in search engines and better understand this domain. We’re a team of around 20 people - developers, writers, designers, analysts and QA.”
Can you give examples of your products?
“Sure. One of them is called ‘Get found on Google’ and it’s like a personalized checklist that’s pretty much your first SEO step that helps you get noticed on Google. Another product is called 301 redirect and it helps users deal with 404 errors that are caused by broken or bad URLs. SEO professionals know this tool very well, but ordinary users don’t, and this is where we come in and provide this tool to them while making it accessible and easy for them to understand.”
Do you speak with users a lot?
“All the time. We need to speak with all kinds of them to understand what their needs are. When you speak to a user and learn that they’re successful because of what we’ve done, it’s very rewarding.”
A different aspect of our focus on our users’ needs is Wix’s Email Marketing products, which are a lot more than just adding the capability to send emails from any business built on the Wix platform. Linas Daugirdas, a Product Manager for the team explains: “First of all, there’s the intuitive email marketing product for our users. With it, they can go and create email marketing campaigns via our product. But we also offer automations that help our users send automated emails like ‘Thank you for subscribing’ or ‘Abandoned cart’ notifications”.
What makes your team special?
“Almost all our team members are located in Vilnius, Lithuania. We are a team dedicated to the email domain and we have all the roles needed to build the product from the beginning to the launch. At the moment, we’re 19 and still growing.”
Linas joined Wix 4.5 years ago after gaining substantial product management experience at different startups and international companies. “When I started there were 7 people at the Promote team in Wix Vilnius and now we’re 19," he says. "During this time, we also proved that product management can be done in a great way from here.
“I feel that Wix is an international and multicultural company on two levels. First of all, we know that we provide services across the globe. As a Product Manager you communicate to users a lot and you soon realize that you're building a product for a variety of different types of users who are located in different regions. On another level, you can feel it in everyday activities because you can work in a team where some members are in Tel Aviv, and some in Ukraine and some in Lithuania. Maybe it's something that you need to get used to if you're getting to it from a small company that is fully located in one place, but since Wix has a really high standard for hiring people, they’re all mature professionals who know how to work from anywhere and then it’s easy to get things done right.”
Another person very focused on our users is Jenni Nadler, the UX Writing team lead at Promote. She joined us 3 years ago as a special projects writer and moved to Promote as a temporary replacement for a UX writer on a leave of absence. Today, she’s leading a team of 6 that's responsible for all of the text within Promote's marketing tools' user interfaces.
How was the shift from regular writing to UX writing?
“Really interesting. Before doing UX writing, I considered myself a long form writer. In UX writing, everything you do has to be concise. Every word counts. It was such a challenge for me at first, but that's why I loved it. I think it's super creative if you look at it through another lens. It's the creativity of taking something very complex and making it relatable while fitting it in this tiny space. Basically, my job is to make it possible for the users to accomplish things and succeed. It's not about me, it's about them.”
And now that you know how to do it, what’s challenging about it?
“I see our main challenge as writing in the Wix voice in products that are for vastly different users. How do we write for them while maintaining a consistent tone across everything that's under this one section called marketing tools? It's a very big challenge.”