Google Romania’s Dan Oros on Marketing, Technology and Startups

Dan Oros, who has been Head of Marketing at Google Romania since 2017, is first and foremost a tech enthusiast. In his role, technology plays a central role: the means to an end, and the end product itself. But it’s a belief in the impact of technology on people’s lives and human progress in general that drives his work at Google, from coordinating Romania’s marketing department to various regional projects aimed at developing the digital economy.

One of those projects is Google for Startups, which he talks about in more detail in the interview below.As part of Accel, Dan is passionate about startups and also invests in early stage tech startups Starters program since 2020 and work closely with tech founders as advisor and board member.

Before joining Google, Dan Oros was Country Manager for BlaBlaCar, Special Projects Lead for Ana Holding, and consulted at AT Kearney and IBM.

What follows is an interview about his key responsibilities as a marketing executive, how Google for Startups works, advising startups at different stages, and the culture of big tech companies.

recursive: Marketing your dream career? What do you like most about it?

Dan Oros, Head of Marketing, Google Romania: Growing up, I didn’t have a specific career plan, but I’ve always been interested in technology and how it drives progress. What I love most about marketing is that it is both a creative field and an analytical field, so I can work on a wide variety of projects, from storytelling and branding to strategy, analysis and measurement.

What are your current responsibilities as Head of Marketing at Google?

At a very high level, my role is to bring our useful products and technologies to everyone.

I focus on three main areas:

  • Advertising Marketing (B2B): Helping companies and institutions grow their businesses online through educational programs and tools;
  • Consumer Marketing (B2C): Connect users with our products (Search, YouTube, etc.) and launch new products in Romania (YouTube Premium/Music/Kids, Google Pay, Wallet, etc.);
  • Grow with Google: Support the growth of the digital and startup ecosystem with Google for Startups, Atelierul Digital, and many other programs.

Which key marketing trends are you focusing on in the next period?

I think marketing is a combination of storytelling and data-driven decision making. What I’m watching closely is how technology can help everyone tell better stories and attract more customers, and how it can provide marketers with a wealth of insights into the effectiveness of their campaigns.

How should a startup market, especially in the early stages when capital is scarce? What should they prioritize and what will happen later?

Startups should prioritize acquiring early customers and making sure they build the products and services people need. this means, At first, marketing was more about reaching those potential early adopters And discover the audience who will get the most value from your product. Communication that defines a clear value proposition and carefully crafted to reflect the benefits is key.

Once you find a product that fits your market, you should accelerate growth later with a large marketing campaign.The same as doing incredibly complex analyses like Initial datasets are often too small to provide actionable insights.

Since 2020, you will also invest in early-stage tech startups as part of the Accel Starters program. What is most important to you when evaluating a startup? How about working with founders?

I invest as a side project, at a very early stage, the most important factor is Founders and the problem they’re trying to solve. I’m looking for people who are passionate about their mission, motivated, hardworking, have a growth mindset, and are constantly learning. I also only work with ethical people who share my values.

I’m looking for startups that solve interesting challenges, and I often ask myself “if this problem is solved, does it matter?”.

Google also has a tech startup program called Google for Startups. What is the mission of the project in the local startup ecosystem?

Google for Startups connects founders with the right people, products, and best practices to help their startups grow. We support every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from founders just starting out and validating their MVP, to scaling up to meet new customers and market demands.

Over the past five years, we have been playing a major role in developing the local startup ecosystem. From supporting the biggest tech conferences, to partnering with top local accelerators, we have the opportunity to engage with hundreds of founders. We provide them with the tools, resources and expertise, and together with our partners, contribute to the accelerated development of local ecosystems.

Can you help us unravel the culture of one of the biggest tech companies? What do you like most about it?

On the topic of culture, I personally like two things about Google the most: internally, its investment in people, and externally, its helpful mentality. Google invests heavily in providing growth opportunities for its employees, which creates an amazing learning environment. We also have a strong culture of creating programs and products that help everyone. The value of helpfulness is a core part of our culture and is reflected in the way we make decisions.

Finally, how do you keep yourself up-to-date on your areas of interest and expertise?

A mix of newsletters, YouTube and Twitter.

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