Interview with Gil Becker, President and CEO, AnyClip

Gil Becker
Gil Becker

“As advertisers’ ability to target users is confined, they will have to get creative about reaching the consumer, and contextual targeting of the content they consume is the best place to do just that.”

Tell us about your journey into technology. What made you be a part of AnyClip?

Most of my career evolved around technology. I studied Mathematics, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering and I was always attracted to technology-centric companies.

I’m at AnyClip because marrying premium video content with state-of-the-art AI technology opens enormous and exciting opportunities with nearly any company that owns content and wishes to maximize its value.

What are the core tenets of your business development model? How does AnyClip add value to the digital advertising ecosystem?

We believe in both bottom-up and top-down. The bottom-up approach requires diligently selling and creating relationships with small and large customers and partners, while top-down requires spending the time and energy to form strategic partnerships with the biggest players in media and entertainment, which is a priority for me.

What are the challenges to modern-day digital advertising? Why do brands have to reconsider about their ad-tech budgets?

The move to digital and specifically programmatic advertising has given advertisers an incredible degree of user targeting, reach, and scale. Large budgets are deployed quickly and mostly, effectively but brands are extremely frustrated with the price they are paying for this – they have lost control over the context of each ad placement. They want to know — and control — exactly where each ad appears. Is their ad appearing adjacent to 100% brand-safe content, all of the time? And is the content contextually relevant? Or are the content and ad misaligned? These are some of the biggest issues facing brands today. Publishers must work in tandem with tech providers to solve this problem for Brands and Agencies.

How does AI fit into your advertising and content technology offering? What are your major differentiators in the tech-heavy ecosystem?

AnyClip’s Luminous™ video content analysis engine is perhaps the world’s fastest and most advanced AI system for video analytics. Some other players do a decent job tagging video but AnyClip is unique in its ability to not only turn video to data but also package the data for advertisers and media owners, so they can maximize and access the video. For example, we’ve built specialized AI models around Brand Safety and the IAB’s Advertising categories (which classify content by matching advertising categories), which enable safe contextual targeting of content.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?

Humans remain the beating heart driving us to an AI-centric future. So, we’ve hired some of the brightest minds in machine learning to help us stay ahead of the competition and continuously develop the most advanced video AI, video recognition, and NLP solutions.

What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in video and premium content marketing technologies?

GDPR-like regulations are already starting to make their way to the US. User privacy issues are restricting the harvesting and use of personal data for advertising purposes. And this is why contextual targeting is the next big thing. As advertisers’ ability to target users is confined, they will have to get creative about reaching the consumer, and contextual targeting of the content they consume is the best place to do just that.

What marketing and sales automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

We use Salesforce for CRM, Pardot for Marketing Automation, Looker for BI, and a host of other platforms as part of our advertising technology stack.

Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success?)

Time Out started using our powerful recommendation engine (the Luminous Recommendation Engine -LRE) recently and was able to increase its user engagement dramatically and double its revenue instantly. Using the same content in the same environment, our video player and proprietary technology made a world of difference. We see this with many other publishers, usually from day one. One of the most enjoyable things for me is when a customer’s jaw drops in disbelief when the performance metrics are first shared.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

I demo it! Whenever someone is skeptical or uninterested, all I have to do is demo our system in action and because seeing is believing, people are turned on instantly and can go from disbelief to becoming our biggest evangelists.

One word that best describes how you work.

Passion.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

My iPhone, Mac, Gmail, Twitter, Linkedin, AnyClip’s Dashboard, which I use constantly for demos, and AnyClip’s BI Tool that reflects our up to date performance.

What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

I fill one post-it note during weekly meetings with my VPs. If it doesn’t fit on the note, it’s not important enough.

What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)

I’m finally getting around to reading Peter Drucker’s “The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization.”

I use a Kindle and read during my daily commute from NJ to Manhattan.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve received so much good advice over the years. One piece of professional advice that I live by is – If you have no competitors in your market – you’re doing something wrong.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

Knowing to choose the right team next to me

Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, who faced so many existential personal and business crises and knew how to successfully navigate each one. I’ve enjoyed reading his autobiography and admire his honesty, modesty and creativity.

Thank you, Gil! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Gil Becker has served as Chief Executive Officer of AnyClip since 2015. He is an accomplished AdTech executive with 20 years of experience in high tech. Gil holds an MBA from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and a B.Sc. in Communication Systems Engineering from Ben-Gurion University.

AnyClip

AnyClip’s Luminous™ is the first video content analysis engine to automatically cut any video content to clips and then tag, analyze, categorize, and produce meaningful insights about each clip in real-time. AnyClip’s Luminous™-based solutions enable premium content owners to safely monetize their assets across channels, allow advertisers to contextually target safe, premium content, and provide publishers relevant content that perfectly matches their sites and is monetized at premium prices. AnyClip has also curated an ultra-premium content library with hundreds of thousands of clips that are enriched with metadata and available for publishers and advertisers. By leveraging ultra-premium content, real-time metadata, and deep learning technology, AnyClip is reshaping the digital video ecosystem.Headquartered in Tel Aviv, with offices in New York, AnyClip is backed by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Roman Abramovich’s Ervington Investments, former Sony America President & CEO Michael Schulhof, and Limelight Networks, and was recognized by Deloitte as one of Israel’s fastest growing technology companies in 2016 and 2017.

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.

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