In order to stay relevant, businesses to have a steady stream of content to power their social media, email, or website. However, finding the appropriate content for the right audience, at the right time poses a specific problem that Vestorly, the cognitive content marketing platform, addresses. Built with the mindset that every marketer should be able to send out unique, individualized content to its users, this AI platform provides a selection of curated content, based on needs and audience, resulting in a tailored offering at scale.
AlleyWatch spoke with CEO and cofounder Justin Wisz about the exciting things to come for this NYC startup in the upcoming months of 2018.
Tell us about the product or service that Vestorly offers.
Vestorly is a cognitive content marketing platform leveraging artificial intelligence to curate and deliver Web content on behalf of marketers.
How is Vestorly different?
Existing marketing automation platforms have focused on distribution features but have left the challenge of finding content to the marketer. Vestorly is different because it draws on the vast inventory of the web to provide a unique curation of content based on the marketer and the marketer’s audience. For example, my collection of content will be different than yours, just like your Amazon home page is different than mine, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. By focusing on a deep-reaching content curation engine first, Vestorly is making strides towards emulation of a given marketer and true one-to-one engagement. Vestorly will eventually curate web content for a given contact, then deliver it via automated email, social media, or onto a web page.
Why is content marketing well suited to be powered by AI?
Consumer expectations have shifted to a desire for personalized, real-time, mobile, and authentic experiences. This is because of the traction of data-enabled platforms like Facebook and Google. Brands that don’t start thinking like these modern media companies are going to lose engagement to the brands that do. In order to achieve this level of personalization by using the vast inventory of content available to all, AI is a necessary force multiplier. It’s just not feasible to create, curate and personalize these necessary experiences at the human level. Adopting AI will be required in this escalation. This way, marketers can move from mundane tasks to strategic initiatives based on the data behind this automation.
What market does Vestorly target and how big is it?
We initially built Vestorly for the financial services industry. The core of our customer base is still from that industry, but we’ve also expanded into verticals such as real estate, accounting, legal, consulting, and brand marketers of all types. The reason for the expansion is simple: every marketer needs a steady cadence of authentic content on social media, email, or on their website to stay relevant with people and win back engagement from massive platforms like Facebook. Vestorly enables them with an AI-powered product to achieve this. The market for that use case is global.
What is Vestorly’s business model?
Vestorly is a SaaS business with a self-serve product that services individual users to marketers at Fortune 500 brands. Our pricing ranges from free to enterprise contracts.
What inspired the start of Vestorly?
My cofounder, Ralph Pahlmeyer, and I ran a marketing consulting business for financial services brands. We were disillusioned by the lack of data-enabled content marketing software. Why wasn’t there something that was fully automated, had unlimited real-time content, was personalized, had a learning capability, and a delightful interface? We asked the hard question: why is marketing software such a pain to use? We took a first principles approach. What if content wasn’t a problem anymore? What if all those limitations were overcome? What would that look like? Would people use it? We realized that could be a competitive advantage and a moat that grew with usage over time. So the answers to these questions became our product roadmap.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
During 2018 we’ve been building out both our enterprise and our channel sales strategy, so you will see Vestorly integrated and offered by some household names in B2B software in 2018. You will also see some enterprise wins with more Fortune 1000 brands. Financially, we aim to become cash flow positive in the near term.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
I wish someone told me to be careful not to equate the quality of a decision with the quality of the outcome. Hindsight bias is toxic. We’re subject to a lot of variance in business, and results may be uncertain even if decisions are right. We naturally only care about the result and have little patience for bad results even if the decision was the best we could do with the information we had. Consistently making the right decisions instead of trying to control the outcome is what matters in the long run.
I wish someone told me to be careful not to equate the quality of a decision with the quality of the outcome. Hindsight bias is toxic. We’re subject to a lot of variance in business, and results may be uncertain even if decisions are right.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
I have a lot of respect for David Einhorn, the founder of Greenlight Capital. I’m sure I could learn a lot from him.
Why did you launch in New York?
I love New York. I grew up around here. I’ve lived in other places, including San Francisco, but there is no place like New York. Building a technology company here with top talent is very possible while also living in a rewarding community that builds character.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Barney Greengrass, Upper West Side. Best bagel with lox in New York.