Founder’s Chronicle: Amit Avner of Taykey
What entrepreneurial ideas and startup lessons can advertising professionals apply to creating breakthrough work?
I believe the advertising world could benefit from emulating startups’ focus on rapid iteration when testing new ideas. Technology gives advertisers the ability to rapidly test new concepts on small groups of consumers before rolling out successful ideas to mass audiences. Advertising professionals should use this to their advantage by experimenting with ideas around messaging, creative and overall strategy in an accelerated way.
Many advertising professionals find themselves interested in entrepreneurship. What advice would you give to someone with marketing skills interested in starting a new venture?
Advertising professionals interested in entrepreneurship should first focus on solving meaningful industry problems that they have encountered firsthand. As a first-time entrepreneur, you are most likely to have success raising funding or building a team if you can demonstrate that you are attacking a market in which you have highly-relevant experience.
Thought leaders in marketing regularly reinforce the idea that agencies (and other marketing-oriented organizations, too) should collaborate with startups. Do you agree? Why? How would you like agencies to collaborate with your organization?
I absolutely agree that both agencies and startups can benefit from meaningful collaboration. Agencies benefit from the exposure to smaller, more agile companies that can solve problems more quickly than large organizations. Of course, startups also benefit from the connections to big brands and from seeing the perspective of larger organizations. Taykey works closely with our agency partners throughout the process of running media on our platform. We think these collaborations are at their best when both parties are closely coordinating on strategy, creative, and the optimization of campaigns.
What is Taykey, and how did you get started in the field?
Taykey is a real-time topical advertising platform that creates brand agility and discovers that brand’s new hidden consumers. We find out what’s topical for your audience and align you with it in real-time. The core of Taykey’s technology actually started as a search engine designed to capture what topics and conversations were emerging on the web. We soon discovered that this same technology could be applied to media buying to match brands with what was most topical and emergent online.
How can individuals in the marketing/advertising industry (i.e. agencies, CMOs) use Taykey to create either more impactful end-results or enhance in-house performance?
Taykey works closely with agencies and brands to help them become more agile in their media spending. Most brands have a pretty clearly-defined and static profile of their audience. Taykey helps them extend the audience profile by discovering their hidden consumers. The end-results for our clients have been extremely positive, with brands extending their reach by over 200 percent using the Taykey platform.
What is your view of where your product currently stands in the marketplace today? Where do you see Taykey in three years?
While Taykey has been in market for little over a year, we’ve successfully partnered with an array of impressive brands across categories, nearly 40 of them to date, on over 100 topical advertising campaigns. Thus far, we have run campaigns on Facebook, Google Display Network and YouTube — Twitter is up next.
Over the next three years, I expect that Taykey will continue to expand to additional sources of inventory, allowing us to run more cross-platform campaigns that truly leverage our ability to find the most topical positioning for brands’ media.
As an entrepreneur, what impact has branding had on your venture’s success so far? How do you approach marketing? With whom do you collaborate to get your message out to your target audience?
In a crowded advertising technology space, it’s important to use your brand to clearly define who you are and what value you bring to clients and partners. At Taykey, that meant defining the space of topical advertising and putting it at the front and center of everything we do from internal product development to external PR and marketing efforts. Because Taykey’s platform gives us access to compelling data on the state of the social web, we have been able to partner with great publications like Forbes, All Things D and Mashable in sharing topical data through the form of infographics and other research.
Amit Avner , the 26-year old founder & CEO of Taykey moved from Israel to New York City in 2011 to open the US branch of Sequoia-backed Taykey Taykey, a trend-based advertising start-up. Taykey was founded in 2008. Amit is the youngest Sequoia backed CEO. Previously, Amit was the founder of bWitty / WittySearch a search technology company, and a boutique consulting agency. Amit founded bWitty at the age of 14 in Israel. In Sep 2009, Amit was chosen to be one of Israel’s Top 40 under 40 by TheMarker Magazine. Amit holds a degree in Computer Science he got while studying in high-school, and served in an elite IDF unit in network security consulting.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.