With $1.7M in New Funding, Sightly Takes Aim at Video Ad Marketing

After securing $1.7 million in new funding last month, a San Diego Internet startup is making its debut this week with technology that is intended to provide the same kind of automated personalization in online video advertising that certain software tools do with e-mail and online documents.

Sightly founder and CEO John McIntyre says the company works with ad agencies that represent consumer brands and small-to-medium businesses, helping them get videos of their products or services into targeted “micro markets,” using social media and other distribution channels. Sightly unveiled its Web-based video advertising platform at the International Franchise Association’s annual convention in New Orleans, which began Saturday and runs through Tuesday.

“Our technology enables us to identify and target different micro markets,” says John McIntyre, Sightly founder and CEO. He compares Sightly’s video technology platform to “mail merge” software that enables users to generate a series of form letters in which personalized information can be substituted and sent directly to each recipient.

In founding Sightly, McIntyre and co-founder John Zdanowski are seizing an opportunity they see for video advertising in mobile devices, based on a massive shift to mobile search. By one estimate, over 50 percent of mobile search queries are now seeking local information about local businesses, such as theaters, restaurants, and hotels. It is also a diverse market, with survey data showing that Google’s search app is used much less frequently by customers than a number of other apps, such as Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter.

Local businesses, however, have been slower to adopt to the mobile advertising market—and they are wary of claims from technology startups offering search and social media “solutions” for reaching customers. In this respect, the key challenge for Sightly is rising above the marketing noise from competitors and persuading businesses to sign up.

McIntyre says Sightly holds an edge as an official Google Partner and is currently Google’s only video platform partner. “We have a unique relationship with them where we are able to … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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