Diaz is a 3x serial entrepreneur. He was a co-founder of Informatica with Gaurav Dhillon. In Jivox, Diaz is working personalization into digital advertising using AI techniques including Machine Learning. A great discussion about the future of digital advertising.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to the company.
Diaz Nesamoney: I’m the Founder and CEO of Jivox. I’m a serial entrepreneur. This is my third company. I tell people this is the one thing that I know something about, so I keep doing it.
Sramana Mitra: About the company, what problems are you solving? What is the thinking behind this company?
Diaz Nesamoney: The thinking behind the company is it’s a digital marketing technology company. Marketing has been a one-size-fits-all concept traditionally because it came from TV advertising where it was one-ad-fits-all. It has been the mindset of marketers. It was about reaching as many people as possible as opposed to trying to say something relevant.
The vision was making digital marketing relevant to the individual. In other words, tailor the advertising to an individual’s need. That’s what the vision behind the company has been. Obviously, that sounds very daunting because if you have to create a customized ad for every single individual, it’s a lot of work. We said, “You could use technology to accomplish that.”
What we do is use data as a means of learning a user’s preferences, and use machine learning and other algorithms to construct or craft, in real-time and dynamically, a customized message to that individual.
Sramana Mitra: If you look at the current environment, it is a highly customized environment with Facebook leading the charge on deeply segmented campaigns. We are consumers of that technology.
Today, I was thinking that if you have the opportunity to advertise on Facebook, why would you advertise anywhere else? It’s so targeted and precise.
Diaz Nesamoney: We describe it as personalization as opposed to targeting. There’s an important difference. Let’s say you’re an auto brand. You say, “If I’m trying to sell my car, I need to target people who are likely in the market to buy a car.” That makes sense and Facebook certainly does that as do several media companies.
The problem is we’re painting everybody that’s in market the same way. We’re essentially assuming they’re all the same when in fact, they’re very different. The reason you would be looking to buy a car as opposed to someone else may be very different.
We all have different reasons for buying cars. Targeting does the first part. Who is the likely audience? Personalization does the next part. What message are they likely to engage with? What is the reason they would buy a car? Is it because there was a special deal on it? That’s the difference between what we’re doing and what Facebook is doing.
Sramana Mitra: Using your technology, where am I advertising? Am I advertising on social media or media sites?
Diaz Nesamoney: You can advertise either on display advertising like banners, videos, and mobile. We now also support social media so you can do personalization within Facebook and Instagram. On our roadmap, we have email because email can and should be personalized. Our vision is to be channel-agnostic because consumers are channel-agnostic.