Interview with Zohar Dayan, Co-Founder and CEO, Wibbitz

Interview with Zohar Dayan, Co-Founder and CEO, Wibbitz
Zohar Dayan

“Every content creator understands that video is the most efficient way to connect with their audiences, and is actively seeking out tools like Wibbitz that make video more accessible than ever.”

Tell us about your role at Wibbitz and how you got here. What made you launch a Video Creation platform?

I’m the CEO and Co-founder of Wibbitz. I’ve always believed in the power of storytelling – it’s essentially what connects us as humans. And over the past decade, with the popularization of smartphones and other mobile devices, the way that people consume stories has become increasingly visual. If an image can convey thousands of words, video can tell a thousand stories in just a few seconds. Of course, video requires a lot of resources, manpower, and knowledge, which limits many storytellers’ potential to share their stories through this medium. Which made me think – what if there was a tool that could take care of the heavy-lifting, and automate the mechanical and repetitive work of video production? I wanted to develop a tool that all storytellers, with or without video skills, can use to create video stories easily and beautifully.

What’s the most fascinating aspect of leading a video technology company in a tech-heavy ecosystem?

I remember when we just started the company, we had to convince people to use video. Now, pretty much every content creator understands that video is the most efficient way to connect with their audiences, and is actively seeking out tools like Wibbitz that make video more accessible than ever. As the public’s attitude towards video has evolved, our technology and our platform’s capabilities have grown and improved significantly to meet video’s growing demand, and to support every new need and challenge as it’s introduced. We’re always working closely with our users to make our platform smarter and easier to use every day. So it’s been a fascinating and exciting journey to become a driving force behind this industry shift, and to evolve along with our growing user base of leading storytellers.

Do you think video tools are scalable beyond a certain point for B2B marketers and influencers?

Yes, I definitely agree that video tools are scalable as long as they’re intuitive and easy to use. The reason that video has a very high barrier to entry is because not everyone has the budget for expensive video equipment, and most of the video editing software available on the market have too many functionalities that are overwhelming for people who don’t have video experience to even start with. I believe that powerful, beautiful storytelling should be easy, and it should be accessible for everyone.

How has the American tech industry around videos evolved since the time you first began here?

I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say that the industry has evolved to be video-centric in all aspects – Google and social media platforms are all prioritizing video content; OTT platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video have permanently transformed consumers’ viewing habits; AR, VR, and live video make video fun and interactive to watch; IoT devices are gradually expanding their interactivity from audio to visual. We’re also witnessing an uptick in the usage of AI and machine learning technologies to simplify the video creation, analysis, and distribution process. Video is what people want to spend time with, and it’s the best way to connect storytellers with their audiences – and now much of the tech industry is responding to this increasing demand.

What is the ‘State of Video Marketing and Sharing’ technology in 2018?

We actually just conducted a survey among over 1000 marketers across various industries in the US to understand video’s place in their content marketing strategies. We found that most marketers allocate the majority of their video budget to distribution (an average of 50K), leaving an average of $15K for creation. And many marketers still feel that they’re spending too much on creation, and not enough on distribution. I think that’s because there is currently such a crowded market in the world of video distribution and ad tech, which means that there’s so much to choose from, but also so much to keep up with in order to reach audiences with video in the best way possible –  whether that’s through programmatic video ads, interactive video players, new video revenue streams. But on the creation side, many marketers are spending thousands of dollars on a single video due to either a lack of skill set in-house and/or a lack of efficient creation tools. In the future, marketers will need to implement creation tools into their tech stack in order to scale up their video efforts in a sustainable way.

What does your ‘Ideal Customer’ Profile look like? Which new geographies are you currently targeting?

Our platform is currently used by over 400 of the world’s best storytellers all over the world – from publishers like Reuters, NBCUniversal, Bloomberg, and The Weather Channel, to marketers at SimilarWeb, TripAdvisor, and The Vitamin Shoppe. We just opened new offices in Paris and the UK to expand our presence in Europe, and plan to continue expanding our reach in North and South America, Asia, Australia… and maybe even Antarctica! Video is at a high demand for each and every type of storyteller in all parts of the world, and we’re always improving our technology and expanding our platform’s capability to suit all kinds of video creation needs.

How do you leverage AI/ML and Data Science at Wibbitz to scale your marketing efforts?

We’ve naturally integrated our own AI-powered video creation platform into our marketing strategy. Our marketing team is creating 10-20 videos a month for our content offers, event promotions, PR and communication efforts, which is typically unrealistic for a company of our size to achieve in-house. And as a result, we’ve also seen a huge increase in reach, engagement, traffic and leads generated from our video efforts.

What startups  in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

Wix, Ceros, and Stash, to name a few. I keep a close eye on tech companies that are building a strong community of creators around their products – because I believe that showing empathy and forming real human connections is just as important as building a powerful technology product. In this industry, the user experience – with the tech, and the people behind it – is ultimately the make or break factor for a company’s success.

Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign/ Customer Success story at  Wibbitz?

We recently ran a multi-channel marketing campaign to announce the opening of our platform to brands and agencies. We were also in the process of redesigning our website, and planned to launch it on the same date as the announcement. Previously, we had been known as a video creation tool for publishers specifically – so our goal was to increase our brand awareness among agencies and marketing teams, establish Wibbitz as a thought leader in the video marketing space, and drive traffic to our new and improved website. Throughout the whole marketing campaign, video played a significant role across all channels. How can we prove the power of video marketing if we don’t explore it to its full potential ourselves, right?

So far, our marketer launch and website update announcement videos that we published on social media have generated a significant amount of traffic to our new website, and our website’s new video gallery page has become the most visited page with the longest time spent on our website. We’ve also been able to generate press and attract new leads through our interactive video content marketing report. Most importantly, within only a month, we have an equal ratio between the types of new customers using the platform: 50% brands and 50% publishers.

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

The true power of AI lies in how it works with humans, instead of for humans. I believe that the marriage of AI, human creativity, and empathy is what essentially will boost our productivity and quality of all kinds of work to a whole new level. As we work to improve our AI technology, we always make sure that the user experience helps inspire creative ideas, and that there’s always room for human perfection in the creation process.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

I’d say that everyone on my team has a passion for technology. We’re always looking out for tools that could improve our work. Sometimes I’d learn from my team about the newest innovations in the market. I’ve placed a heavy focus on fostering a culture of openness and innovation in every Wibbitz office. Big ideas for improving processes and working smarter are always encouraged and experimented with, regardless of department or position in the company.

One word that best describes how you work:

Persistent.

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

We’re an international team – we now have offices in New York, Tel Aviv, Paris, and the UK, So we depend on Zoom for video calls, Slack for daily communications, and Trello for staying on track, and Google’s G Suite for collaborating and staying organized. I also like to use Evernote for jotting down ideas and anything that sparks inspiration.

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

Siri reminders – Whenever I have a thought on the go I just tell Siri to remind me so I can go back to it when I have more time. She’s great!

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

I’m currently reading Creative Quest by Questlove. I always find myself coming back to it when I need inspiration for problem solving and creative thinking. It keeps my mind agile. As for news, I read Apple News and “The Information” every day.

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

Always stay curious. I think growing up with the opportunity to learn from different cultures is what drove me to start a creative business in the first place – I spent equal time in Tel Aviv and New York, and I’m always on the road whenever I get a chance. Remaining curious, learning how things work, and questioning how I can improve, is what has allowed me to innovate and think out of the box, and is also what has driven the company to grow as quickly as we have.

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

Before Wibbitz, I was both a developer and a designer. And all those years of training and practice were baked into every project and decision I have made. Any trained developer can write a code to build a product, but a creative designer will put themselves in the user’s shoes and lead the development to an end result that users don’t just enjoy using, but find inspiring. So I’d say that having all kinds of skill sets under my belt definitely forged solid ground to walk on throughout my journey of leading a disruptive business.

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

Zohar is the Co-Founder & CEO of Wibbitz, the leading automated video creation platform. Wibbitz uses advanced AI technology to automatically produce premium videos in seconds.

Wibbitz Logo
Wibbitz is an AI-powered video creation platform for storytellers. Its patented text-to-video technology and intuitive editing tools make it easy to produce original short-form video content at scale. Over 400 leading publishers and brands including Reuters, CBSi, Forbes, Bloomberg, USA Today Sports, and Time Inc. leverage Wibbitz to increase audience engagement and ad revenue across desktop, mobile, and social media. The Wibbitz platform has been awarded Best Mobile Publishing Product at the Mobile World Congress, and the Grand Prix Award by UNESCO for Worldwide Innovation. Founded in 2011, Wibbitz has offices in New York, Tel Aviv, and Paris and is backed by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, The Associated Press, The Weather Channel television network, TF1 Group, Horizon Ventures, NantMobile, lool Ventures, and Kima Ventures among others.

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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