MarTech Interview with David George, CEO at Pixability

MarTech Interview with David George, CEO at Pixability
MarTech Interview with David George, CEO, Pixability

“AI allows us to continually improve the performance we can drive for marketers and break new ground in areas such as dynamic budget allocation within and across video platforms.”

Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to start at Pixability?

Inspired by my father’s career, I studied International Business and was then fortunate to start my career in Boston, where I was surrounded by many innovative technology companies. I combined my interests in Business and Technology early on and took an International Business role at a company called FTP Software. I then continued with a series of earlier stage emerging technology companies including NetGenesis, Maven Networks, and KickApps, all focused on data, analytics, video, and social. I  was recruited by Facebook to help build out a new Mobile Advertising business (Audience Network) in their AdTech division and moved my family to Menlo Park.

During my time at Facebook, the Founder/CEO of Pixability, Bettina Hein and VP of Platform Partnerships, Theresa Go, both of whom I knew from Boston, reached out to connect during a visit to Facebook. At the time they were in the midst of the Facebook badging process as the company was expanding its capabilities from just YouTube to other Video platforms. I stayed close to the company and was asked to join the Board of Directors in December of 2017. I was thoroughly impressed by their ability to identify the largest emerging business opportunity in Video MarTech/AdTech and to innovate as trusted partners of Google/Facebook; by their team; and the value they were bringing to global brands as a relatively small company. In March of 2018, I was fortunate to join full-time as CEO.

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

Our Video Advertising platform, PixabilityONE, allows marketers to find their targeted audiences within and across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and other CTV (connected TV) platforms. With the platform, brands and their agencies can efficiently execute Video campaigns against brand-suitable content and deliver an unrivaled performance which we make it easy to report against. Now, for the first time, the most valuable Video platforms with the largest reach can be accessed via one unified platform, offering brands both a competitive advantage and cost efficiencies.

How is Video Advertising Technology ecosystem different than when you first started here?

It’s only been just over a year but a lot has changed, or more accurately, it’s evolved exponentially. YouTube is bigger and has Connected TV targeting capabilities now; Facebook Video has grown considerably in importance to marketers, especially as it relates to Stories and Instream; Amazon is now the undisputed third horseman in the race, and CTV has exploded in terms of inventory and marketer investment.

How big is your Product Development team? How does your Sales and Marketing teams contribute to Product development?

Our Product Development Team, including Data Science, is more than 25% of the company. Our Sales, Customer Success, and Product teams work very closely to ensure we’re providing technology solutions that maximize value for our customers and stay ahead of emerging trends – so we can continue to be a trusted partner that enables brands to push the envelope in support of their Video Advertising and Marketing objectives.

Which businesses are fastest to the adoption of Video AdTech platforms? How does it impact Branding and Marketing operations for B2B and B2C customers?

Traditional TV advertisers are all-in on digital video, especially now with CTV. Brand marketers understand that video works to reach a large audience and to tell a story, both on a big screen and on a more personal device. We have also seen an increase in business from performance marketers who are leveraging Video Advertising more and taking advantage of the new formats being offered by the Video platforms to deliver full-funnel Marketing solutions like TruView for Action on YouTube.

Apart from Content and Social Media branding, how can Companies better leverage Pixability for business?

The crux of what we do is based on how we use available data to drive optimal performance within and across the platforms we support. We also provide data as an “Insights” offering to marketers who want to better understand how certain verticals are taking advantage of video in order to inform their own strategies. Our current Insights product leverages a combination of data, technology, and people. We’ll also be offering a new standalone software solution that marketers can use 24/7 to inform their own Video Marketing strategy. Stay tuned!

Tell us more about your Product roadmap for Video Marketing? Do you offer Live Streaming solutions?

What I can share is that we will continue to invest heavily in three core areas: 1. Cross-platform planning and reporting, because it’s a difficult challenge and of high value to brands and their agencies. 2. Creative decisioning, which makes it easier for marketers to create ad content that performs the best in specific contexts and 3. Connected TV, as we’re uniquely positioned to help marketers tap into this new opportunity as a result of our long history in the premium video.

What is the relation between Influencing and Brand Loyalty using Video?

One of the important things we do for our advertisers is, help them measure brand lift from video ad campaigns so that they’re not just looking at clicks and views, but have some quantifiable data that tells them how they’ve raised brand awareness. We also work with many brands that need even deeper metrics regarding how they’re influencing audiences, including, for example, whether they have driven visits to a store or increased purchases – all business metrics that we can now report on.

Which brands have managed to successfully transform their brand influencer campaigns using your Videos?

We worked with a major QSR brand that ran an amazing video advertising campaign where they leveraged influencers in their ads. They chose YouTube influencers that were best aligned with their target audience and already had a following and featured a different one in each ad. The campaign was very successful both driving brand lift and increasing store visits and showed you can drive leverage influencers to drive real influence among your target audience.

Could you tell about your most outstanding digital campaigns?

One of my favorite campaigns was from Frost Bank, a leading regional bank in Texas that, with their agency McGarrah Jessee, created a whole series called “Opt for Optimism” that aimed to inspire optimism through the immersive storytelling of positive stories. The series aligned well with the bank’s values of putting people first, and they were able to communicate this messaging without talking about banking specifically. The Videos in the campaign are beautifully done, and the campaign ran across all of the major platforms. We were able to optimize performance using or technology platform, PixabilityONE, resulting in success metrics that were 3X industry benchmarks in many categories. It was also a testament to the fact that Video ads do not have to be short to drive very high engagement!

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

We use Salesforce as our CRM and HubSpot for Marketing Automation and also have a combination of other great tools to help us connect with marketers at brands and ad agencies.

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

We’re working with a Video Creation platform partner to leverage the performance of a campaign to inform the next iteration of creative. This combined offering will have a profound impact on Video Advertising because it addresses the two biggest challenges (creative iteration and performance) and enables more intelligent/effective campaigns without the guesswork.

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

VidMob and Jebbit (caveat I’m an investor in both via Manifest) as they are tackling two big industry challenges, creative and data respectively. I also like what Ari is building at Beeswax as well.

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

Embrace it! Our Data Science team is focused on ensuring two critical components of our company, campaign performance, and data innovation. AI allows us to continually improve the performance we can drive for marketers and break new ground in areas such as dynamic budget allocation within and across Video platforms. We invest a lot in ensuring we’re leveraging AI throughout our platform as we see it as a competitive advantage for Pixability and ultimately our customers.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

Everyone who works at Pixability comes to work each day because they are passionate about how technology can change the way that brands reach their audience through Video Advertising. I just try to inspire them by reminding them how much we’ve already transformed our industry through the use of technology and data science.

One word that best describes how you work.

“Focused”. Our company’s mantra is “Focused and Fast”

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

Email/Slack/LinkedIn/Twitter

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

Sounds simple but I revisit my priority list every morning to ensure I’m focused on the most important things. Very few people do this and then they ask themselves ‘What did I accomplish today?’

What are you currently reading?

The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway, as I enjoyed his presentation at the last Luma event and Ballpark Mysteries with my two young boys. Like everyone, I consume most of my regular information via my phone.

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

“Treat everyone with respect” (Parent’s) and “Enjoy the passage of time” (James Taylor).

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

I’m not sure I do it better than others but I pride myself on staying curious, treating people with respect, and focusing on the most important things personally and professionally.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read

Susan Wojicki

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

David dedicated his career to scaling businesses at organizations such as Facebook, where he built out their mobile publisher solutions business; Celtra where he was COO for the leading Creative Management platform for Digital Video Advertising; KickApps, where he was EVP of Global Sales and Business Development for the Social Video Management software company; and Maven Networks, where he was VP Worldwide Sales & Alliances at Maven Networks for a pioneering Video Content Management, syndication and advertising platform (acquired by Yahoo).

pixability logo

Pixability helps marketers maximize the impact of their video advertising across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Connected TV. Our platform empowers agency and brand marketers to activate video at every stage of the consumer journey, drive campaign performance, and achieve business objectives. We provide deep audience insights, precise contextual targeting technology, video creative decisioning, automated in-flight performance optimizations, and normalized cross-domain measurement.

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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