On Video Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role at ViralGains and how you got here
I am the CEO and Chairman of ViralGains. Dan Levin, President and Co-Founder of ViralGains and I shared a common vision of building a world where brands and consumers can build authentic connections through the power of video storytelling.
MTS: Given how quickly video marketing strategies have been accepted, how do you see this market evolving over the next few years?
There will be a sea change in thinking focused on the power of video to deliver true engagement. Today’s metrics of frequency and reach will fade, and be replaced by far more sophisticated metrics around genuine engagement and movement toward purchase.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
Artificial intelligence for predicting engagement will replace crude ad networks and price-based buying of ad inventory. Old models and companies will fail, replaced by better accountability and better results.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge for startups to integrate a video marketing and distribution platform into their stack?
The biggest challenge is being clear about what you are trying to accomplish. Muddled thinking leads to muddled technology implementation and subpar results. If you have clear goals for your marketing programs, which move the needle strategically, then the next two biggest challenges are data quality and creative quality.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
Anyone who is focused on engagement rather than reach is focused on the right things. One of my favorites is Moat, which was just bought by Oracle. They really understand the need for different metrics for evaluating video.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success?)
We just completed story.tech—our first in-person, custom event in Boston. At the outset, we hoped to attract 50 attendees from major Boston brands and agencies, with the combined goal of generating brand awareness in our community, as well as driving meaningful conversations for our sales team.
Through a combination of strategically segmented email campaigns, social promotion and precise, geofenced audience targeting that enabled us to invite only the highest-quality individuals, we were able to register more than 150 people — the majority of whom were in a position to directly influence digital ad budgets. Not only that, but as a result of the conversations we had throughout the evening, we were able to close a significant amount of both new and returning business. It was an unquestionable success, and we hope to repeat the digital campaign to support future events across the country.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?
I’ve been involved in AI my entire career … even taught the subject at Harvard for eight years. The key to thriving in an AI-centric world is to focus on racing forward alongside machines; to focus on areas where the combination of human creativity and machine pattern recognition are greater than the sum of the parts. I like to think of this as human+machine learning, which is far more powerful than machine learning alone.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Waze, which harnesses the power of the crowd to get me around traffic. Airbnb, which lets me experience new places like a native. Uber, which takes me everywhere on the road. Amazon, which is pretty much the only place I buy things. Insight Squared, which helps manage our growth with a data-centered strategic view of the business. Keynote, which provides tools for real storytelling. And of course, ViralGains, which is ushering in a world of deeply felt and authentic connections between advertisers and consumers.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Practicing love and respect in the workplace by not accepting substandard work, pushing it back until it’s done at 110 percent with pride and excellence.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I read and consume online video voraciously. A recent thought-provoking favorite – Scott Galloway on How Amazon is Dismantling Retail
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do what you love and the rest will follow.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I genuinely care about people– their lives, their stories, and what motivates them to achieve their personal visions of themselves.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read.
MTS: Thank you Tod! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
CEO at ViralGains, the leader in consumer-driven video distribution. The biggest brands in the world use ViralGains to build the closest connections with their consumers. ViralGains empowers the voice of brands and of people, creating authentic and lasting connections.
I enjoy creating and rapidly growing great, disruptive businesses, building high-performance teams, and quickly scaling businesses into leaders.
These have included a $40M software-as-a-service leader (Peoplefluent), a public robotics company (iRobot), and a artificial intelligence / machine learning consulting firm (Foundation Technologies).
ViralGains is a video ad journey platform that enables marketers to engage people with relevant brand stories in the venues and contexts that people most favor. Using the platform to engage in a two-way conversation, brands discover exactly what people want — and how they feel — and build a unique journey that connects highly qualified prospects with relevant messages that generate awareness, motivate intent, and impact purchase decisions. ViralGains is headquartered in Boston’s Innovation District, with regional offices in New York, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. For more information, please contact us at www.viralgains.com.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.