What if Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum spoke to you by name, and then her co-lead singer Charles Kelley and guitarist Dave Haywood chimed in on the conversation? At first you'd probably be taken back by the personal email ad, but it would lead you to click the link they shared. Perhaps you'd immediately share the personal Facebook ad with your friends, and then make the purchase they recommended. It would definitely call for a Favorite and RT on Twitter, and then you'd visit the website they suggested.
Los-Angeles based StarGreetz is hoping you do all of the above. "We always realized that the future was in personalized, customized video content," says CEO Eric Frankel, who in 2010 founded the leading personalization video platform.
Originally, StarGreetz was a personal greeting service with celebrities dishing out personalized video eCards, ringtones, ringback tones, voice messages, and birthday greetings. "About two years ago we realized that we had built the world's best, most flexible, and dynamic video personalization platform," Frankel says.
Seeing this, Frankel and his two co-founders switched reels, deciding to "rent" the cloud-based SaaS platform to brands to empower them to "converse" with current and potential customers.
Since then, Frankel's two co-founders have left the startup to pursue other interests, but StarGreetz is on the fast track helping brands build stronger customer relationships, and increase engagement, activation, and revenue. "We are about disrupting a $508 billion, broken advertising industry," he says, pointing to declining TV ratings, increasing DVR penetration, a lack of relationship between brands and consumers, declining newspaper and magazine circulation, and "more noise and clutter than ever before making it next to impossible for brands to engage and activate consumers."
The proprietary platform, with five patents pending, empowers brands to deliver "best-in-class" ads via email, Facebook, Twitter, websites, point of purchase, print, peer-to-peer, outdoor, robocalling, display, and premium video.
"Consumers watch and enjoy because they're personalized, robust and relevant, utilizing brand, social, geo/browser, and user-generated data to make them such," Frankel says. "They are not one-size-fits all, nor are they 'static' print like most ads that consumers reject."
As far as the creative goes, whether brands utilize a celebrity, an animated character, an unknown actor, graphics, voiceover, or simply re-purpose an existing commercial with personalized information, that's the brand's decision. "It's our platform that allows the brand to create tens of thousands, millions, or even billions of unique, compelling video messages," says Frankel, who wanted to try his hand as an entrepreneur after working at Warner Bros. for 28 years as President of Domestic Television Distribution.
Frankel's business background definitely gives StarGreetz the edge to providing customers with guides to writing, shooting, editing, and deploying video productions. If it's simple repurposing of an existing spot(s), StarGreetz offers services, many of which the platform does when programmed.
Here's How It Works:
- Brands decide what message(s) they want to deploy/"test" (e.g. on sale, thank you, left in shopping cart, we know you like this product, thought you'd like this other product, etc.).
- Brands choose which channels to deploy personalized video messages (i.e., Facebook, email, peer-to-peer, smart phones via POP, print, outdoor, etc.).
- Brands decide if they have existing content to "repurpose" and deploy in a personalized manner, or if they need to produce new content.
- Brands choose who will handle the production of repurposing the existing content or production of new content.
- Close simple, affordable, three-month test paperwork.
- Integrate and test.
Once Frankel secures Series B funding, he plans to launch, BizGreetz, the version of the platform for small- to medium-sized businesses. In the meantime, he is looking for a significant partner to collaborate with on StarGreetz's sales effort-signing and deploying campaigns for 50 new clients this year.
Social Startups, an exclusive column for Social Media Today by Shay Moser, covers a wide variety of social startups-from apps that make sense of opinions to platforms that help publish and gather your best content. Tell us what profiles you'd like to read about on Social Media Today's Social Startups column or share your social startup story. Contact Shay via Twitter at: @ShayMoser