Fireside Chat with Randy Apuzzo

FIRESIDE
Randy Apuzzo

Randy Apuzzo talks about his journey in setting up The Zesty.io.

Zesty.io: My Journey and Our Team

Zesty.io is fast-forwarding the next generation of cloud-based web content management systems (WCMS) for marketers and developers of mid-market and enterprise organizations. With its 100 percent-native SaaS content management system (CMS), global brands like Sony Electronics, Rocket League, Astroglide and Hofbräuhaus are speeding, scaling and securing global distribution and website management of digital content. Founded in 2010, Zesty.io is VC-funded and headquartered in San Diego, California.

My role at Zesty.io and how I got here

I’m the Chief Technologist and Founder of Zesty.io. Back in the early 2000s, I was experimenting with content systems to make it easier for businesses to operate without using IT or developers. As time progressed, I had my hand in all the great open-source projects like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and Joomla and was a contributor to many projects. Zesty.io was my response to get the same results within a shorter time, with less maintenance and business frustration. Now we have an awesome team all working toward that goal every day, making experiences better for content creation and distribution.

You have deep technology credentials. What is your team’s history working with mid-market and enterprise customers?

We have served agencies as a development shop since 2004, and as time went on, we serviced bigger customers, all the way up to the Fortune 100. As we grew our team, we put a large emphasis on previous agency experience with mid-market/enterprise customers.

Our CEO, Gerry Widmer, has worked with brands like Qualcomm, Oakley, Asics and Yamaha. Our VP of Engineering has worked with DIRECTV, HP, and Masco. Others have worked with Miller, Coors, Coca-Cola, Time, Hachette, Viacom, CBS and the list goes on. Our team takes immense pride in delivering reliable solutions for large companies, both in the past and in the present.

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What keeps you glued to the current CMS ecosystem? How does your team build momentum for the competition and disruptions in the industry?

The Zesty.io team has been working in and out of marketing technology since the early 2000s, and the core to every great marketing campaign is content, particularly digital content, and that needs to be edited somewhere, by someone. We build momentum by working closely with our customers and their developers. They push us to innovate while giving direct feedback to iterate on our platform. The most exciting part of our job is innovating on the software that increases customer time-to-market or reduces their spend to get marketing initiatives complete.

What drives your team to succeed in meeting small-term and long-term revenue goals at Zesty.io?

Everyone at Zesty.io plays a role in sales and marketing of our brand and product! Our developers attend meet-ups to speak with other developers, prospects, and clients. We want them to grow, and when they grow, our business grows.

Customers and Partners: Marketing Strategies and Customer Acquisition Models

Who is your ideal customer, and what problems are you solving for them?

Zesty.io solves content scale and distribution problems, so ideal customers are ones that have lots of content to manage in different places. This can span from a company, like Rocket League, that manages multiple websites and distributes content from the web, to mobile, to in-game experiences. The other side of the spectrum is a company that manages hundreds of websites and needs an easy command center to do that.

What is your partnership model?

We work with digital design and/or development agencies as a platform to launch their customer content initiatives successfully. We directly support agencies with development help or serve as an extension to their development team when their resources are tight and deadlines are approaching fast.

What is your strategy to acquire and retain customers and partners?

We are targeting specific agencies that deal with multisite management and directly reach out to them offering new ways to solve existing problems that will reduce their resource needs while improving their bottom line and delivering a stronger product to their customers.

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You’ve got an impressive list of customers; what about Zesty.io caught their attention?

It’s about solving problems that have yet to be solved. We guarantee success and follow that with a continually updated platform that offers new ways to solve problems. With that, our reliability cannot be beaten, so customers continue to trust us and rely on us for new content initiatives.

How can organizations train and ensure the success of young content marketing and sales professionals?

First and foremost, young content marketing professionals need to learn to write well.

Regardless of how they end up using automation, writing will always play a key role in any young person’s role. The ability to write clear and concise thoughts along with being very inquisitive is all anyone needs to get started and build a successful career as a content marketing professional.

Technology: The Evolution of Content Management Systems for Bottom-Line Impact

You say that Zesty.io is a next-generation WCMS. What exactly does this mean?

Zesty.io is powering the old and new internet — with a big focus on the new. We take existing websites and turn them into powerful content stores that can deliver content to any device in or outside of a browser with a single publish action from a content editor. We are doing things differently; we blend open-source code around a reliable proprietary API, which gives developers and brands the best of both worlds. With Zesty.io, customers know that their content will reach far beyond their website.

How is Zesty.io pushing the boundaries of content marketing for customer acquisition and revenue generation for its customers?

Consumers trust friends as a reference when making buying decisions. When they don’t have friends to rely on, the next best bet is reading and consuming content on the web. Zesty.io gives brands the ability to author one piece of content that can then be distributed it to any device. This lets businesses reach the customers where they are, whether it’s from their mobile phones, tablets, gaming systems, desktop browser, or even from asking Alexa a question.

Tell us about the newest features of the platform. What makes it unique?

Zesty.io turns traditional websites into content distribution hubs, giving content greater reach, visibility and exposure to any digital interface. Zesty.io allows for wide content distribution through a unified, cloud-based content editing experience used by content editors or marketers. Once content is published, a signal is sent to update devices around the world. Developers connect this content to any experience the business requires through a 100 percent programmatic content API. Applications range from simple implementations like websites to complex artificial intelligence (AI) concoctions that people can interact with using Alexa or Google Home.

There are many solutions for CMS, so when would an organization choose Zesty.io over other options?

Zesty.io is built on proprietary software that enables any content configuration by any business to perpetuate through endless versions and upgrades without spending any time or resources on costly and pesky revisions and upgrades that other content management systems require.

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The Future of Web Content Management Systems for MarTech Pros

What one piece of advice do you have for martech professionals?

Decouple your content from your presentations. This means that content should be managed independently from the presentation. When this is accomplished, you and your team will be free to power multiple presentations from a single source of truth. This frees up your front-end developers to be more nimble between websites, mobile applications, and any IoT device.

Tag a person who you would like to feature in our Fireside Chat.

My partner and CEO Gerry Widmer or Gabe Galvez

Thank You, Randy,  for answering all our questions. We hope to see you again at MTS, soon.

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