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Interviews

Interview with President and Co-Founder, gen.video – Jessica Thorpe

” With so many companies finding their “niche” in their unique service offerings I think the opportunities for companies to partner to be more effective for the brands they work is amazing and bountiful.”

Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. (what inspired you to start a martech company)

I’m president and co-founder. More than 12 years ago, I made the leap from traditional media to digital and was bit by the entrepreneurial bug. Three years ago I was part of the founding team that launched gen.video  (http://gen.video), the first influencer marketing company focused on bridging the gap between social media and ecommerce. We help brands and agencies partner with influencers to drive awareness, traffic to retail and increase sales. We are pioneering the path, helping brands expand and evolve their social media practices from word-of-mouth to influencer marketing – focused on ecommerce results.

Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?

Advertising is known for art, but the importance of the science is increasingly the key.

That being said, our mantra is, “When amazing content inspires shoppers.” The content is the focal point of influencer marketing and it should be. However, working with the right influencers is part art, part science and the gen.video platform identifies, amplifies, monitors and tracks success across social media with the goal to increase sales and lift conversion rates on top retail sites.

The science marketing technology provides is only going to increase and will enable marketers to make smarter choices and understand the impact of their campaigns

What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?

There are many weapons in the marketing arsenal – none more exciting in the past few years than Influencer Marketing. Really interested to see the role influencers can place as Voice becomes more common place and is optimized for shopping.

What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?

CMOs need to prove out their efforts, in any form, by telling a good ROI story at the end. What’s a better ROI story than sales lift and traffic? The problem is, organizations are typically very siloed and ecommerce and communications or social media are often worlds apart. Aligning and developing a more omnichannel, multi-functional planning approach can ensure that brand building and bottom funnel activities are supporting each other.

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

I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but I send myself emails and to-do lists all the time.  Sometimes the best idea or inspiration for product innovation or to solve a client’s problem happens when you least expect it.

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

Data is king. However sometimes harnessing it for good is challenging. As a company that sits between social and e-commerce intelligence, it is very exciting to think about how artificial intelligence can help ‘connect the dots’ and optimize performance. As this progresses, marketers will benefit from smarter, more efficient spending across influencer and many other forms of media.

What is the core marketing technology capability of your firm that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?

The gen.video platform has established itself as the only do-it-all platform for influencer marketing and ecommerce video.

Our platform provides a comprehensive look at influencer marketing campaigns focusing on understanding the impact of traffic generated into retail channels. In addition, it connects the dots on attributed sales, delivers video engagement metrics and reporting on conversion lift and sales and traffic trends.

Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?

We are looking into expanding our attribution data and e-commerce analytics and anticipate a big V2 launch before end of year.

What is your take on the massive explosion of MarTech across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?

With the world of e-commerce and influencer closer than ever, there will always be competition, but with so many companies finding their “niche” in their unique service offerings I think the opportunities for companies to partner to be more effective for the brands they work is amazing and bountiful.

Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?

We’ve developed a data-driven platform enabling marketers to make smarter choices when it comes to leveraging the right influencers to create content on their social channels, while also optimizing the content to live on ecommerce and brand properties.

The gen.video platform includes integrations with Salesforce and SalesLoft, MailChimp, WordPress, Hootsuite, Slack and Airtable. In addition, through our partnership with Amazon, the gen.video platform enables brands to flood their Amazon product pages with relevant, brand-approved videos created by influencers. When influencer video is placed on product pages, there is a lift in purchase intent and conversion on average 30+ percent.

Once produced, the gen.video platform distributes video content across social media platforms, including, notably, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch; in targeted media; and to ecommerce product pages on, notably, Amazon, and other top retail sites, including Walgreens, Walmart, Target and CVS Pharmacy to name a few.

Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day.

Jessica is a Media-industry veteran with deep understanding of the evolving interactions between consumers and brands.

gen.video is the first influencer video platform connecting brands and creators to develop branded content for YouTube and eCommerce.

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