Sightly teams up with Project Morry to Host Impactful Career Day Workshop

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Sightly Teams Up with Project Morry to Host Impactful
Career Day Workshop

September 15, 2021

Sightly recently partnered with New York-based Project Morry to host a virtual Career Day Workshop for the organization’s students. 

The event was organized by Sightly’s United Outcomes program co-chairs, Alena Pilichowski and Chris Howard to introduce the digital media industry landscape to students. One of the program’s goals is to uplift our community by creating opportunities for under-represented groups through youth education and engagement.

Project Morry logo

Project Morry was founded in 1995 to empower youth from under-resourced communities to envision and establish a positive future for themselves.

Beginning as a summer camp, Project Morry has evolved over time and is now a robust nine- year program that has helped hundreds of young people by providing year-round academic support as well as educational tools and resources.

Participating Sightly team members spoke about their career paths, roles and opportunities in the digital media industry. Sightly’s Product Manager, Aman Raghuvanshi, demonstrated the company’s new Brand Mentality™ platform, a groundbreaking technology that gives brands a competitive advantage through the ability to instantly respond in a consistent, authentic way to the constant, rapid changes in today’s media.

“Talking to the students from Project Morry was a great experience. They quickly grasped complicated concepts, asked astute questions, and seemed to really enjoy the interaction,” said Raghuvanshi.

Eric Beriguete, College and Career Readiness Program Director at Project Morry, explained, “The Sightly team was able to connect with our students, and show them the benefits of being creative, networking, and more, all while connecting it to the ample opportunities they will have available in the future.” 

One Project Morry student added, “I really enjoyed the session. I learned a great deal about Brand Mentality™. I also had the opportunity to hear some of the Sightly team’s college to career pathway experiences.

Image courtesy of Project Morry

As part of the United Outcome program’s long term commitment to create opportunities for under-represented groups, Sightly will continue to partner with Project Morry and other like-minded organizations to educate the youth through meaningful internships and mentorships.

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Forbes: The Opportunities And Challenges Of Putting A Brand’s Mentality Into Action

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Forbes: The Opportunities And Challenges Of Putting
A Brand’s Mentality Into Action

August 23, 2021

By Greg Garunov, EVP Business Development

In my previous article, I talked about the importance of a brand knowing its mindset — its unique mentality. This article explores the opportunities and challenges of codifying and putting it into action so that brands can respond to events in real time.

When Narratives Change in an Instant

All marketers want their messages to appear alongside content that’s relevant to what their brand stands for, but with the speed of today’s news cycle, that’s easier said than done.

Here’s an example: On February 23, Tiger Woods crashed his Genesis GV80 SUV. According to the police, he was “driving in an unsafe manner.” This wasn’t Woods’ first highly public car accident.

Then, on March 10, something very interesting happened: YouTuber and car enthusiast Elliot Alvis posted a video detailing how the many safety features of the Genesis GV80 saved Tiger Woods’ life. (Elliot Alvis openly acknowledges a relationship with Genesis.)

With that single upload, the story took a sudden, viral turn, doing more to promote the SUV’s safety features than a $5 million Super Bowl spot ever could. Consumers all over the world were suddenly talking about the remarkable ways in which Genesis protects drivers and passengers from harm.

YouTube video

Now, if you’re the brand manager for, say, the Subaru Outback or the Volvo V90, this story just became incredibly important, and you probably want to insert messages about your brand’s safety features in the conversation ASAP.

Here’s the upshot: We all know that brands tend to be naturally risk-averse, but sometimes bad news stories morph into golden opportunities. Stories are multi-layered narratives that can twist and turn. Tactics you once relied on (e.g., avoiding car crash stories if you’re an auto brand) can work against you if the narrative becomes core to your brand.

A Lack of Agility Kills the Moment

For the past 20 years, behavioral targeting and programmatic ad tech were the marketer’s primary tools for message alignment, but to respond to the Tiger Woods story, Subaru or Volvo would first need to realize that the story’s twist is relevant to its brand.

Sometimes bad news stories morph into golden opportunities

This begs the question: Is the brand manager even likely to see Alvis’s video until it percolates into the mainstream media? Possibly, but not probably, since the tools the brand manager uses — Google Alerts or some other keyword/regular expression monitoring tool — may not even be set to pick up stories or content related to Genesis.

Second, the competitive brand would need to notify its media execution team that this story has turned into an opportunity. Once notified, they would need to monitor and respond to the story in an automated fashion since this story twist will probably last only a couple of days. They’d likely create a set of keywords to target and then feed the revised strategy into their demand-side platform (DSP) or other platforms’ algorithms. That’s precious time lost.

And how will the media team even know who to target? In all likelihood, they’d build a proxy for consumers who are in the market for a car and are concerned with automobile safety. But is that even the right audience at that moment in time?

Many would say that the content people are consuming is a better real-time indicator of where their psyches are, and I agree with them. It’s critical to craft ad-placement decisions around consumers’ psyches because it’s the only way to really capture them in the right moments with the right message (ironically, all the promises that have been made over the years but never really came to pass).

Sometimes, content signals are just better suited to deliver on that promise than behavioral signals, as the Tiger Woods example shows. Modern content signals, when activated against strategic thought and speed, can deliver on this promise today in a significantly more effective way compared to the behavioral signals of old.

Data Science Delivers on a Brand’s Mentality

Can the industry get to the point where a marketer will know when a piece of content, somewhere in the universe, was posted that aligns with a brand’s messaging? To do this, we need to move beyond keyword detection and flag content based on a deeper level of context.

Fortunately, data science has vastly improved in its ability to read content signals. In the past, there was very little nuance to content data signals because all focus was on behavioral signs. But that’s changing. Today, data scientists have the ability to navigate content at a granular level, which makes it a much more effective tool for targeting than it was in the past.

Data science

To see how, let’s go back to the Subaru/Volvo predicament: What if the company had some kind of mechanism that told it instantly that Elliot Alvi had uploaded his video on the car that saved Tiger Woods’ life? Getting that information in real time would have tipped off the brand manager that the narrative around the accident had changed in an important way.

Getting data on content-origination points is only half the challenge. The other half is understanding a brand’s mentality — a filter that recognizes when a narrative changes to become a golden opportunity and helps execute the right message.

It’s Hard, but the Rewards Are Worth It

Getting a brand’s mentality right involves being sensitive to societal, psychological and anthropological thinking. It means translating business and marketing objectives and inputs in a way that aligns with how people actually think in the real world, not inside a marketing bubble.

At times, those inputs (story of a car crash) and outputs (we want to be part of this story) are off-kilter, and brands must learn to recognize that narratives change, quickly morphing between opportunities and challenges. This is how a brand’s mentality builds on brand suitability and brand safety, ensuring they go further and enabling them to respond in real time to fluid situations.

As you can imagine, that requires a lot of sophisticated analytics driving automation, which I’ll tackle in my next article.

 

See the original article on Forbes here.

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On a mission: Sightly’s United Outcomes joins forces with The Boyd Initiative to create mentoring and internship opportunities

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On a mission: Sightly’s United Outcomes joins forces with The Boyd Initiative to create mentoring and internship opportunities

April 27, 2021

The Boyd Initiative Logo

When the mass protests of last spring and summer drew sharp attention to the issues of social injustice and inequality in our nation, the Sightly team felt it was important to commit formally and long-term to addressing them through ways in which we could make a meaningful impact in our industry and local communities.

The result was a new company program called United Outcomes. 

The purpose of the program is to uplift our community by creating opportunities for under-represented groups through youth education and engagement. We are also doing more to strengthen our diversity and inclusivity through our recruiting and retention practices. Our desired outcome is to help dismantle systemic racism through significant and long-term commitment.

In its initial research, United Outcomes identified an opportunity with The Boyd Initiative, a New York-based organization focused on bridging the gap between Black college students and the advertising and media industry. The Boyd Initiative is led by former Google and DataXu executive, Steven Golus, who is also an advisor to Sightly.

The Initiative helps students learn the fundamentals of media and advertising, and connect with influential employees at some of the top media companies in the world. 

“The Boyd Initiative is happy to partner with the Sightly team,” says Golus. “We are aligned with Sightly’s long-term mission to increase diversity in adtech and to make the industry more inclusive. Sightly has backed this commitment by connecting with and hiring Boyd Initiative participants. We look forward to working more closely with them in the future.”

Last September, Sightly sponsored a session where several employees talked to students about the types of roles and career paths in a marketing and media technology company like ours. That led most recently to hiring our first intern through the program for our product marketing team. Narklie Gervil is a junior from Cornell University, majoring in communication and double-minoring in business and information science.

The Boyd Initiative alumni

“I chose Sightly because the Brand Mentality mindset inspires me,” Gervil explained. “I wanted to work for a company that listens to the brand’s needs and goals, and helps them grow with that intention in mind. Furthermore, I want to have an impact at any company I work for, and I feel my internship role at Sightly will be important and valued.” Narklie’s overall goal is to gain skills and insight that she can apply to future career roles.

For our part, we will continue to create mentoring and internship opportunities for students through The Boyd Initiative and other like-minded organizations in alignment with our ongoing mission to help under-represented groups through youth education and engagement.

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Brands and Agencies Achieve True Future-Forward Marketing With Sightly’s New Brand Mentality™ Platform

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Brands and Agencies Achieve True Future-Forward Marketing With Sightly’s New Brand Mentality™ Platform

March 5, 2021

First-of-Its-Kind Solution Anticipates Threats and Opportunities and Responds With Speed at Scale

Brand mentality and the future-forward marketing revolution

NEW YORK, Mar. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Sightly, a leading marketing and media technology company, today announced the launch of its Brand Mentality™ platform, which combines emotional and cultural intelligence to empower brands and agencies to anticipate threats and opportunities and respond moment-by-moment in market at speed and scale across multiple publishers and contexts.

“We’ve been dealing with brand suitability and safety for years now,” said Sightly Chief Revenue Officer and General Manager, Adam Katz. “And with everything going on in the world today, we realized that you have to establish a

mentality before you can truly deal with suitability and safety. There are too many gray areas. You have to know how you want to act in market before you can determine what is suitable and safe. Then you can move with speed to drive outcomes and respond to events that are happening in real time.”

Because each mentality is unique, one brand’s risk is often another brand’s opportunity. Brand Mentality™ is built to transcend the typical one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it responds dynamically to events and trends for each unique client, nimbly scaling responses across all appropriate digital publishers, networks and channels.

By helping a brand define its unique mentality, Sightly is able to identify emerging opportunities as well as threats from the constant barrage of news, reactions, viral events and trends—and then inject the brand’s true opinions across media and marketing channels. Massive amounts of data gathered from social, traditional and popular media provide an unparalleled depth of cultural and emotional intelligence.

“You can’t overlook the importance of speed now that virality has become a major factor,” said Marissa Price, SVP of Client Services at Sightly. “In my experience working with many brands over the years at both media agencies and solutions providers, trending topics have never gained traction as quickly as they do now. Opportunities come and go in a matter of days. With Brand Mentality™, we can help brands jump into cultural moments when it’s right, and gracefully sidestep them when it’s not.”

social listening

The accelerated pace of change has seriously compressed marketing calendars. eMarketer reported late last year that many U.S. agencies and brand marketers had cut the media planning time in half from pre-pandemic levels. One Sightly customer, a major CPG company, echoed this sentiment saying, “Brand Mentality™ has opened our eyes to the reality of media planning today. We need to prepare for all the crazy things happening in the world.”

“From the beginning, Sightly has innovated to accommodate customer needs,” said Ralph Mack, CEO. “It’s a credit to our team that we recognized the extraordinary problems affecting marketers in the past year, seized the opportunity and innovated a first-of-its-kind, next-generation platform. That’s the Sightly way. It’s a game-changing solution and our customers couldn’t be more thrilled.”

For more information on Sightly’s Brand Mentality™ platform, listen to our recent discussion on eMarketer’s popular “Behind the Numbers” podcast, Brand Mentality™ and the future-forward marketing revolution.

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Will 2021 Be The Year Of YouTube CTV Advertising?

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Will 2021 Be The Year Of YouTube CTV Advertising?

February 4, 2021

eMarketer/Insider Intelligence’s Latest US YouTube Advertising Analyst Report Provides a Deep Dive and Answers

Couple watching YouTube on TV

NEW YORKFeb. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Marketers looking either to extend the reach of TV campaigns across digital video or simply leverage the pandemic-accelerated shift of digital video viewing to connected TV (CTV) screens are finding likely solutions in eMarketer/Insider Intelligence’s most recent “US YouTube Advertising 2020” report and forecast.

From now through March, Sightly, a long-time certified YouTube and Premier Google Premier Partner, and one of only 11 members of the YouTube Measurement Program, is sponsoring the report so all marketers can access the $895 report for free.

The report highlights YouTube’s position as both the most-used digital video platform in the US and the single biggest source of supply in the US for CTV advertising.

It also provides an in-depth look at the shift in YouTube viewership to CTV during 2020. This shift has major implications for outcome-focused marketers looking to extend the reach of TV campaigns or follow their digital video audiences to the so-called “first” screen. 

Key Findings and Take-Aways

  • During 2020, 95.4% of US OTT video viewers watched YouTube at least monthly, surpassing even Netflix (74.9%).
  • In 2020, more than 104 million US households– nearly 81% –had connected TV. This represents an 82% increase from 2016.
  • When people watch YouTube on CTV screens, viewing session lengths are longer compared with other devices. In Q3 2020, YouTube view time on CTV was 7.3 minutes vs. 3.6 minutes on mobile and 5.7 minutes on desktop.

The key implication of the report is the accelerated growth of YouTube viewership on CTV screens opens up an enormous opportunity for both TV and digital video advertisers via the platform and its variety of ad formats that cater to a multitude of campaign goals.

Download a free copy of eMarketer/Insider Intelligence’s “US YouTube Advertising 2020” here.

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Sightly Team Mentors NYC Youth Through Summer Bridge Marketing Challenge

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Sightly Team Mentors NYC Youth Through
Summer Bridge Marketing Challenge

August 20, 2020

Program Provides City’s Neediest Young Adults with Valuable Work Experience

New York City’s annual Summer Youth Employment Program was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, but leaders from the City, State and more than 50 nonprofits came together with Tech:NYC to create a new program to fill the gap.

tech:nyc logo

Summer Bridge is providing low-income NYC students with City and State-funded professional workplace experiences in the tech industry and beyond, and Sightly has jumped in to mentor eight students throughout August.

“Our team is guiding the students through a marketing course that teaches basics about digital video advertising through YouTube, TikTok, Live Streaming and connected TV,” said Alena Pilichowski, Sightly’s Associate Director of Product Marketing and Committee Chair of our United Outcomes diversity and social responsibility program.

“We’ve pulled together a great internal group of cross-functional experts who love teaching,” added Sightly CRO and General Manager, Adam Katz. “We want to increase our diversity as a company, and mentorship programs like this not only allow us to help develop young people with a passion for marketing, they give students an opportunity to work with us and maybe spark an interest in joining our team some day.”

Sightly Summer Bridge Program Mentors

The second part of the Summer Bridge program is where the students get to use the knowledge they’ve gained to solve four major brands’ media challenges and create marketing proposals for them under the tutelage of Sightly mentors.

Students will then present their proposals for feedback and additional insights to a panel of agency, brand and Sightly veterans.

According to Ralph Mack, CEO of Sightly, participating in Summer Bridge aligns well with the company’s new United Outcomes program, which focuses on developing internships and mentorships, as well as creating more diversity and inclusion in hiring. 

Mack explained, “We feel that providing training, mentorship and work opportunities for Black and minority youth in the marketing technology industry is something we are well-suited for and want to do regularly as a way to give of our time and expertise.”

Participating in Summer Bridge and establishing United Outcomes are deliberate initiatives to practice antiracism and spread positivity in the communities where the company works and lives. Sightly embraces its social responsibility, and its employees are all in, driving these initiatives and supporting them with their individual commitments.

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