MarTech Interview with Andrew Fingerman, CEO at PhotoShelter

MarTech Interview with Andrew Fingerman, CEO, PhotoShelter

“Achieving the full benefits of Visual Content Marketing is not as simple as posting a picture of a brand’s product on Instagram with a witty caption.”

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What is PhotoShelter and how does it fit into a modern Marketing Technology stack?

Marketing is no longer the industry it was five or even 10 years ago, and brands have had to diversify their strategy as new technologies emerged. From the rise of digital to the growing popularity of social media, the visual appeal has become more important for brand marketers than ever before. However, managing all of those digital assets has become particularly challenging, and poor media management, disorganization and inefficient use of time can cost brands upwards of $1 million over a five-year period, according to research by Stacks. With PhotoShelter, marketers and photographers are able to easily organize, collaborate on and share their photos and videos.

Leveraging its own private cloud technology, PhotoShelter has the capacity to handle media at scale and provide clients with a cost-efficient solution to access, upload and store their assets from any location globally. We work with major brands and organizations including, The Associated Press, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, National Aquarium, Chick-fil-A, Special Olympics Inc., and Pandora. PhotoShelter helps more than 80,000 professional photographers and 1,000 brands manage their visual media every day.

Tell us more about Libris by PhotoShelter and how it makes publishing easy?

As a publisher, Digital Asset Management is a crucial factor for success. With stringent editorial timelines, if one asset is misplaced or one deadline missed, then it could throw the entire operation off. This is why the ability to collaborate in one centralized hub is so important for publishers. Imagine being a culinary magazine and having an amazing photo shoot, but then needing to manually share the assets with the five other parties involved in the project.

Libris, one of the two solutions that we offer, is a powerful media library that centralizes users’ assets and changes the way they communicate visually. As a leading Digital Asset Management tool, Libris houses more than 600 million assets on its platform and is used by major publishers such as The Associated Press, Politico, and PBS. On average, our customers manage over 81,000 visual assets on the Libris platform. In addition to hosting publishers’ assets, Libris also partners with major social media engagement companies, allowing users to update visuals to their social media channels in real-time. We’re empowering publishers and brands to be able to share content on the go.

Why should marketers leverage professional Visual Content for their marketing efforts? How does it compete with User-generated content at Social media and online review platforms?

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this has never been truer than in the age of social media. Visual Content is at the center of storytelling, and marketers are beginning to embrace the impact of a well-placed visual. In a recent report we conducted in collaboration with Contently, we found that 80 percent of marketers surveyed use social media to distribute visual content to engage their audiences.

However, achieving the full benefits of Visual Content Marketing is not as simple as posting a picture of a brand’s product on Instagram with a witty caption. In order to share meaningful visual stories, creative teams must have a strategy in place to streamline the production, organization, and distribution of their creative assets. When conducting Visual Content Marketing, it is important for marketers to remember the importance of ensuring authenticity and relevance in the content. Whether it’s user-generated content or traditional advertising, campaigns won’t be able to achieve the desired results without ensuring authenticity and relevance to the user.

How can businesses maximize their ROI from investing in their photography marketplace?

There is so much noise in today’s advertising ecosystem that can make it difficult for brands to reach their target audiences. Consumers are so used to being marketed to that advertisers need to go above and beyond in order to be noticed. However, that’s part of the beauty of Visual Content Marketing; visuals can be even more impactful than the written word. In just last year, there was a 13 percent spike in companies investing in full-time staff photographers and videographers to create branded content.

It’s not only about having beautiful visual assets though. You also need to be able to distribute those assets in a quick and speedy manner. For example, if you are a baseball team who just won the World Series, being able to get the photo of the winning run out as soon as possible is crucial. Through Libris, clients were able to save over 26 hours a week by streamlining workflows and easy to use features.

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

I’m constantly experimenting with new ways to drive my productivity, but there is one “hack” that has shown sustained results. I’ve banned meetings from my schedule every morning of the week, and leave 9 am to 12 pm open for personal time. I try very hard to not book a single meeting, even high priority matters that require discussion with my executive team. I do this to reserve the time to ensure I address my own most important work. When the workday morning kicks in, all CEOs will testify that the inbound flood can take your day in all kinds of unplanned directions. This approach is designed to block out that flood, cut down on the attention shifting and force me to have three hours of quiet time every day to be productive with deliverables, decisions or matters that require independent thinking.

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

It doesn’t matter what your title is. When you know what’s right, make sure you express it. When I was a young account executive at a PR firm pitching new business, the prospective client asked an important question and the senior executive gave a fluffy, generic response. As the junior expert, I quietly watched him crash and burn in slow motion but didn’t want to “make him look bad” by talking over him. We lost the business right there. It was a meaningful loss that stung.

Following this simple rule has given me credibility and has earned me respect in so many situations since then. Now as CEO, I encourage the value of speaking up across my organization. We can’t be effective if people are afraid to offer a better answer, or constructive feedback, just because they’re less tenured or less experienced. We undoubtedly see better outcomes when our staff members embrace this value.

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

Andrew Fingerman is Chief Executive Officer at PhotoShelter. PhotoShelter supports the people and brands who create and share visual stories—the people who inspire us to see the world a little differently every day. Our Digital Asset Management tools for brands help hundreds of creative teams worldwide centralize, store, and distribute their content. Our archive and workflow tools help thousands of professional photographers manage their content, do business, and collaborate professionally with their clients.

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PhotoShelter’s mission is to empower effortless visual storytelling. We offer a unified platform of technology, tools, and insights that help more than 80,000 professional photographers and 1,000 brands manage their visual media every day. PhotoShelter accomplishes this through two solutions: PhotoShelter for photographers and Libris for brands.

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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.