Tag Archives: Mixpo

Mixpo Refocuses on TV-ad Based Marketers

The small business market is always attractive to vendors in terms of volume, but many give up in frustration because of its fragmentation, low margins and high service needs (and churn.) Many of these vendors typically seek to move up the value chain to medium and large sized businesses. With these, they get both larger contracts and more security.

Among these vendors re Seattle-based Mixpo, the online video specialists that track video effectiveness and embed actionable information, such as click-to-call and email buttons.

The 30 person company started three-and- a-half years ago with the idea that many SMBs would use online video as a new channel for advertising. But the company is now squarely focused on working with larger companies that basically want to extend their existing TV advertising.

“There is a fundamental reason to move up-market – it is so simple to put ads together and easily customize campaigns for creative versioning,. ” says CEO Anupam Gupta. An auto manufacturer, for instance, could quickly create local versions for 2,000 dealerships. “They can promote their sale next weekend,” says Gupta.

Gupta adds that “we’ve learned that customer segmentation is really, really important. The common base is TV ads. But we (use online to) get people to engage; to do things they can’t do with TV,” such as order brochures or click to call.

Mixpo has not only focused more on larger advertisers, but it has also started working closely with agencies and marketers, in addition to media partners such as Comcast and Belo Interactive, who remain an active channel. “It is strategic for us to expand into the demand side,” says Gupta, who notes that more than half of Mixpo’s revenues now come from agencies.

In talking with agencies, Mixpo focuses on how to use video to drive awareness and create more engaged users. “You can use it all the way down to a direct response campaign,” he says. “That’s not SMB.”

Hot categories for Mixpo currently include automotive, political and entertainment. “Political is huge,” says Gupta. “They get video. There is lots of advocacy work.” On its site, Mixpo shows success stories for tea party candidates such as Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN)

Entertainment mostly consists of “tune in” advertising promotion TV shows. A number of local TV stations and cable franchises are utilizing Mixpo services for their websites. “They can change the content very rapidly based on day of the week, time of day, or whatever audience they are in front of,” he says.

Ultimately, Gupta says the most successful Mixpo campaigns are run by those that have video assets (especially TV); a time sensitive element (i.e. political campaigns); or some interactive needs with their advertising (i.e. coupons).

The transition to an agency-focused approach has also changed the competitive parameters for Mixpo. Previously, when it was focused on SMBs, it competed largely with companies such as TurnHere and Jivox – both of which still report strong results in their sectors, and have evolved their own strategies. But now Gupta feels that the company competes mostly against companies doing rich media campaigns, such as is EyeWonder and Gannett’s Pointroll. It also competes against companies engaged in dynamic ads, such as Tumri.

Jivox Launches ‘Video Engagement Scores’

Operating on the assumption that most small businesses are either too impatient or don’t have the expertise to understand usage reports, Jivox has launched “Video Engagement Scores.” The scores provide SMBs with feedback on a 0-100 basis, complete with red, yellow and green zones.

Jivox, a 40 person Bay Area company, competes with Mixpo and others to provide SMBs with online video tech and marketing solutions. Using the new scores, it also intends to provide feedback on how to do a better job engaging customers.

The scores are weighted on such features as whether consumers unmuted the sound, finished the video, or clicked to stall the video and print out a coupon. The videos are also graded on a curve against other videos in the growing Jivox Publisher Network.

President and CEO Diaz Nesamoney notes that Jivox has signed up 3,000 advertisers, with 800 of them in rotation with ads, typically getting 30,000 to 50,000 impressions apiece. Nesamoney adds that the majority of the company’s advertisers come from its own sales efforts.

Looking forward, more advertisers will be ramped up as the “white label” publisher network rolls out. Media and directory companies that have signed up to the network include Google Local, several Media News Group newspapers, The Examiner news sites in many markets, Media General’s Tampa Tribune, Local.com, some Clear Channel radio stations, some TV stations, Accuweather and Weather Bug. There are 600 local sites in all.

Jivox also has formed affiliations with many small sites via Commission Junction. The company raised $10.7 million in June from Opus Capital and Helion Venture Partners.

Comcast Teams with Mixpo in Push for Online Video

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV company, is set to upsell its vast body of video advertisers via a new deal with Mixpo, the Seattle-based venture backed company dedicated to making video “actionable” across multiple platforms. For Mixpo, the deal represents its first foray into cable. It already has deals with several newspapers, including The Houston Chronicle and Freedom Newspapers.

For Comcast, the deal with Mixpo extends well beyond its 90 local markets. It will also extend to Comcast broadband, and to Vehix, its third party auto site.

“Comcast ‘gets’ video. They are finding that it’s very easy to upsell existing clients from TV to online with the benefits of direct response and analytics,” says Mixpo CEO Anupam Gupta. “From a strategic perspective, they really understand that this is about creating new direct response ad units that can be monetized better.” For national advertisers, it beats being tied to 15 second pre/post roll ads, which is what they’re typically offered, he adds.

Mixpo: SMB Videos Need to be ‘Actionable’

mixpo-logo.jpgVideo production and uploads have become standard upsells for Internet Yellow Pages, local portals and sales organizations in the age of YouTube. But once a business has a video, what do they do really do with it? How do they drive actions?

That’s the question the gang at Mixpo has been trying to answer for the last year or so. Since September, it has been “live” with a range of local and vertical customers – Real Estate brokers, Travel and Tourism companies, Resorts, Condo developers and Auto Dealers.

Funded by Madrona Venture Group (Amazon, Classmates.com), with offices in Seattle and Victoria BC, Mixpo is headed by Microsoft Vet Anupam Gupta. Its goal is to end the behavior that typically has a company dropping $2,000 or more in production, and then leaving the one-time video on a lonely site, DVDs piled up in a file cabinet, undiscovered by search engines, unable to track results, unable to easily move to other platforms.

“People know all about consumer video; but video for SMBs is still very new,” says Gupta. “People are so focused on uploads of video, but who watches the whole thing? A 40 percent view rate is fairly high,” he says.

Gupta thinks the end game for small business video isn’t uploads, but getting customers to convert. Videos don’t do especially well in that department. “Maybe 12 percent of video viewers are asking for more information,” he estimates. Part of the low follow-thru is due to the lack of easy requesting information. And part of it is because small businesses have no measurable way to gauge if any of it is effective.

Mixpo is seeking to focus on both aspects for small businesses. It seeks to facilitate leads from views of the videos with built-in triggers in the company’s video player. For instance, companies can add email contact forms, embedded URLs and clickable phone numbers.

It is also concentrating on video search engine optimization. “vSEO is very different than text SEO,” says Gupta. “We’re indexing all the video, creating landing pages, and sending them to all the search engines. Every video ad is optimized for universal search. And we’re mapping where all the views are coming from.”

The company also considers the context the VideoAd is placed (on your site, in email or found via search), what the message is, and how it plays. (Here’s a Mixpo tip: set the VideoAd to autoplay without audio. It gets much higher click-thru rates without being obtrusive to the viewer).

The quality of the video is also juiced, using Adobe Flex – an extension of Flash –with higher video streaming rates, and a “playlist.” This allows businesses to easily change elements of the VideoAd, dynamically, without having to take down and re-embed the video. For instance, a Valentine’s Day promotion can be added to a florist’s VideoAd a day before Feb. 14 and taken down on the 15th. Currently, SMBs typically don’t add and delete videos to their sites because they have to pay video editors and/or their Website handlers for every change.

Gupta adds that Mixpo is primarily focused on working with marketing agencies and lead generators to resell the services to SMBs. “We are finding our solution is a perfect complement to the marketing an SMB is already doing online. They want a solution that can be easily integrated into what they are doing, repurpose existing content to the extent possible, and be 100 percent measurable.”