MarTech Interview with Chris Roebuck, CEO and Founder, Clicktivated

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MarTech Interview with Chris Roebuck, CEO and Founder, Clicktivated

“It is essential to create robust knowledge bases that drive operational efficiencies, scalability and growth that can be automated through AI.”

Tell us about your role and journey into Marketing Technology. What inspired you to be part of Clicktivated? 

Marketing has been a part of my DNA for years. After college, where I received my degree in Advertising, I started my professional career working for an agency in Detroit. After a few years of identifying countless opportunities for improvement within the marking space, I left the agency to tread my own path. A few years into my journey as an entrepreneur, I identified what I believed (and still do today) to be the largest opportunity in marketing: a way to directly connect consumers to products and information inside of videos, AKA shoppable video. The vision of being able to see something and click to buy as you watch video online came from my own personal frustration of never being able to figure out that product I just saw was!  With video rapidly expanding, being able to monetize inside the video (instead of around and before) represents the largest growth opportunity digital video has ever experienced.

How does Clicktivated fit into a modern marketing technology stack? 

Clicktivated fits into the modern marketing stack by incorporating a seamless way for individuals to engage with video. With the power of Snapchat and Instagram stories, today’s consumer has been trained to interact with the pure form of video. Offerings of Clicktivated range from shoppable experiences to learn more about your next travel destination. They provide users a quick and easy way which is redefining the digital platform.

How does your Video technology benefit marketing teams? What are the core technologies driving your product roadmap?  

We have created a way for brands and marketers to more effectively communicate with their consumers ((or clients) through videos. Marketers are constantly looking for more effective ways to engage their audience and create a more immersive experience. Clicktivated is not only helping them create more engagement, but a way to monetize their content and the products within it. The core technologies driving our product roadmap are AI and ML as we develop towards fully automated product recognition.

What is the current state of On-demand Interactive videos? How much of this state has evolved with the maturity of Customer Experience and Automation technologies?

We are just entering the infancy of interactive and shoppable Video Transformation. It has taken the market years, to finally get to this point, but with the continual evolution of consumer expectations, brands are finally understanding the importance of creating seamless access to information and products in their video strategies. Technology has been a major factor in this evolution, but consumer behaviors are what drives change.

How do you identify the biggest advantages and challenges in Digital Commerce? What role does Clicktivated play in overcoming these challenges?

The biggest advantage of digital commerce is ease of access 24/7. The biggest challenge overall is a confusing maze of products. Shopping online is not much of an experience and can be argued is more tedious than it is enjoyable.  Think about all the pages of products you typically have to scroll through, before you find something you wanted to buy, even if you find anything! Clicktivated creates a true experience that allows the consumer to act at the moment of inspiration as they watch. Helping brands tell a better story while offering a more personalized experience tailored to each viewers likes. See it. Click it. Buy it.

What are your go-to strategies to support rapid growth, lessons learned through periods of massive shift and transition?

Our main go to is our team and the people that support Clicktivated. In the moments of rapid growth, you are going to experience quite a few unexpected challenges and bumps in the road along the way. It is vital to be able to lean on our team to get through those times and come out to the other side in a better position. As a leader, I have learned these lessons first hand in the past as I tried to take on too much rather than rely on my team. This is why it is pivotal to surround yourself with amazing people on your team. People that are not only capable but trustworthy ‘doers’ that will take on and solve any challenge they face.

Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?


What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Video-based Content Curation technology for 2019-2020?

Video’s today are receiving up to 20 billion views a day with the number only continuing to grow over the next few years. It is important to realize that the publishers and networks are beginning to run out of ways to market themselves and brands are beginning to shift towards interactive video marketing because they are actually able to see their customers interacting with their products. Over the past year, we were able to partner with different brands in the retail industry, tourism and hospitality all looking to redefine their current market with interactive video. The next few years are going to be crazy, but they are going to be incredibly impactful when it comes to video.

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

Although they have not been viewed as a startup for a few years now, Pinterest is a company, we monitor and keep up with in the news. From a new product standpoint, they have been non-existent however, they are finding ways to incorporate shoppable content within their platform which we find is a way to stay relevant in the ever-changing world of Digital Marketing.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?

Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning are two of the most common methods and trends that are being discussed in tech today. Being a company that uses AI and is bullish on the long term future, it is important that we try to understand all of the current benefits and shortcomings as much as possible. This will help us as a company do a better job preparing for whatever is around the corner.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

For us, it is all about the end goal of creating and growing a successful company. Inspiration is all about simplicity when it comes to tech. For us, it is the backbone around how we communicate internally and how easily we are able to access, share and collaborate on information for everyone on the team.

One word that best describes how you work.


What apps/software/tools cannot you live without?

Google Calendar and Slack.

What is your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

Learning how to do a better job delegating the ‘non-essential’ projects more effectively.

What are you currently reading? 

Radical Candor.

What is the best advice you ever received?

Don’t be afraid to fail quickly.  Success is never easy, it is how you learn from your failures that ultimately creates success.

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

Being able to relate everyone virtually one way or the other.

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

Jennifer Hyman, CEO, Co-Founder of Rent the Runway.

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

Chris Roebuck is the CEO of Clicktivated. Chris Roebuck is a thought leader, influencer, and a risk taker, and provides the vision and energy that has inspired the creation of Clicktivated.

clicktivated logo

Clicktivated is an IP-protected interactive video platform that enables viewers the ability to interact with individual products/items in video. Our clean UX creates new monetization opportunities for marketers and a first of its kind set of data points for content distributors to better understand their audience. See it. Click it. Get it. It’s that simple.

Clicktivated works with brands and agencies of all sizes to help create sales opportunities and a more effective way to engage their consumers.

[mnky_heading title=”MarTech Interview Series” link=”|||”]

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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