Q&A with Gil Eyal, Founder at HYPR & Managing Partner at Starfund

Media 7 | February 24, 2021

Gil Eyal, Founder at HYPR & Managing Partner at Starfund, has revolutionized the way many of the world’s biggest agencies and brands are running influencer marketing by focusing on the same data, analytics, and audience demographic information relevant to traditional digital marketing. He was recently selected at #30 on the list of the most influential people in Influencer Marketing.

Gil is an accomplished public speaker and has delivered keynotes at notable influencer marketing conferences, including Influencer Marketing Days in New York and Influencer Marketing Hub in London. He was selected as the 2017 recipient of the Digiday Top Boss Award in the technology industry, as one of 10 Israelis impacting the New York Tech Scene, as well as one of 40 must-follow digital media influencers. Gil is also a two-time winner of the MarCom Awards for Excellence in Marketing and Communications.

If you don’t have a clear understanding of who your audience is and which messaging resonates with them, you will never be truly successful.



MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you choose this career path?
GIL EYAL:
I think many of us have a moment that inspires us in a way that changes our direction. For me, it was sometime around the year 2005 when I came across a book titled, “Buzzmarketing” by Mark Hughes, where he detailed a variety of marketing campaigns that leveraged the concept of getting a conversation going around a subject. At the time I was working in a job that bored me to death as an attorney and thought I would be doing it for the rest of my career.

I couldn’t get that book out of my head. Mind you there was no Facebook and there were no viral online channels you could leverage to market. This was old-school marketing and it required a level of creativity and sophistication that fascinated me. 4 years later, I was done with law and studying for my MBA at the Kellogg School of Management where reality hit hard.

No one had any interest in hiring a former attorney for marketing jobs even if they did get their MBA from a respected program. I was probably the last in my class to find an internship after my first year and I was determined to figure out things before I came back for the second. I spent the summer in two places. The first was Austin, Texas, where I worked for Dell. It was a wonderful experience, but the second half of the summer really got me going. I worked for Playdom, at the time, the largest game developer on MySpace and the fourth biggest on Facebook. I learned how meaningful leveraging creative marketing channels and methods (while paying attention to the fundamentals) were to get the company to hundreds of millions of users. More importantly, I got a front seat to a $750M exit and realized I will be in tech for the rest of my life because nothing could compete with the excitement of building something so amazing that someone is willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for it. I came back for my second year but I wasn’t interviewing. I was all set to figure things out in the startup world and started working with founders who needed help with marketing. Though it was early, I recognized the opportunity, that visibility and credibility generated by celebrities would provide these companies and quickly carved myself a niche.

Within 3 years, I had done over 200 deals with celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Lance Armstrong, Serena Williams, Kevin Hart, Zendaya, Lil Wayne, and more. In 2013 I decided to build technology around identifying the influential people online and that led to the birth of HYPR.

M7: What tools do you use for influencer marketing? How do you find influencers in a specific niche?
GE:
I sold HYPR to Julius in April 2020. We combined our platforms to build an amazing tool that helps sift through millions of influencers based on their audience characteristics, demographics, and topics where they are influential. The tool makes discovery easy.


I don’t believe in hiring influencers just because of their audience size. When I work with celebrities or influencers, it's primarily for the credibility they can generate for the product I want to promote.



M7: What are the most promising channels for campaign management and why?
GE:
I think influencer marketing is struggling to make things less manual and the solutions in the market today are limited. I think how you choose to activate influencers really varies based on the type of brand you represent. Certain brands need to vet each post and ensure they work with influencers who are perfectly on-brand. Others just need reach and conversions. The result is that one solution doesn’t fit all. The first type needs vetting tools, content approval, and time management tools while the other needs automation and performance tracking. My guess is that you won’t see one winner in the space – different solutions will prove to be the best for different customers.

M7: How do you define content personalization? Which technologies are garnering the maximum mileage in this sector?
GE:
As privacy awareness is gaining more attention due to explicit violations of privacy rights by some of the largest players in the space, content personalization is becoming more challenging. Requiring users to opt-in is not as simple as it was in the early days of the internet where you just hid code in another program and assumed people won’t read your terms of service. The new regulations are a positive move in my opinion but in the short run, they definitely reduce the quality of user experience.

Companies like Target have been so focused on the personalization of marketing content that they sometimes forget it can be really creepy or even harmful. In Target’s case, there was a story of a father who found out his daughter was pregnant because Target sent her emails targeted at moms-to-be. I invested in a company called itsmydata which helps consumers protect their privacy when online stores don’t.

The result is that personalization is going to take a backseat until brands can really figure it out. Technologies that can get people to willingly opt into data sharing and content optimization will come out victorious here but I’m still not sure I have seen the proper solution.


As privacy awareness is gaining more attention due to explicit violations of privacy rights by some of the largest players in the space, content personalization is becoming more challenging.



M7: What do you believe are the top three product marketing challenges in the post COVID-19 era?
GE: 1. A change in consumer behavior. If I’m not going out, do I really need to dress nicely? Do I need to smell good? Should I be spending a lot of money on new shoes? Which products are gone for good and which are just taking a hiatus until we are all vaccinated?

2. With people spending even more time online, are marketers even more confined to the programmatic marketing channels that companies like Facebook and Google provide? If so, how do you deal with the price increases as these companies optimize their process to make sure they can squeeze as much money as possible out of marketers?

3. As companies like Hulu and Netflix demonstrate that people are willing to pay for content, often pay in order not to see your ads, how do you gain their attention? Can you afford to remain uncreative with your marketing attempts?

M7: In the era of Fake News and Malvertising, how do you stay on top of your business model?
GE:
I don’t believe in hiring influencers just because of their audience size. When I work with celebrities or influencers, it's primarily for the credibility they can generate for the product I want to promote. When Michael Jordan wore his first Nike shoes, the message was broader than just reaching all of the people who were interested in him. It was about the fact that these shoes were so good that he would wear them in a professional game against the best athletes in the world and he would come out on top. I want to work with influencers and celebrities that convey an authentic and believable story of why this product is superior.

M7: What is your marketing mantra to stand out in an overly saturated MarTech space?
GE:
Traditional fundamentals still apply. It doesn’t matter what kind of marketing you are doing, if you don’t have a clear understanding of who your audience is, how to reach them and which messaging resonates with them, you will never be truly successful. Influencers are just another channel but they need to be able to do more than just reach an audience. They need to be able to believably convey a message that will resonate with an audience. When you see an influencer marketing campaign fail, it’s almost always because the influencers do not do that, and not because they’re being fraudulent or have a weak following.

ABOUT HYPR

HYPR is an influencer marketing platform focused on leveraging data to automate smart decision making and identify micro-influencers and activate them at scale. HYPR was sold to Julius in April 2020.

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AtScale Announces Data Science and Enterprise AI Capabilities Within Semantic Layer Platform

AtScale | September 29, 2022

AtScale, the leading provider of semantic layer solutions for modern business intelligence and data science teams, today announced at the Semantic Layer Summit an expanded set of product capabilities for organizations working to accelerate the deployment and adoption of enterprise artificial intelligence (AI). These new capabilities leverage AtScale’s unique position within the data stack with support for common cloud data warehouse and lakehouse platforms including Google BigQuery, Microsoft Azure Synapse, Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, and Databricks. Organizations across every industry are racing to realize the true potential of their data science and enterprise AI investments. IDC predicts spending on AI/ML solutions will grow 19.6% with over $500B spent in 2023. Despite this investment, Gartner reports that only 54% of AI models built will make it into production, with organizations struggling to generate business outcomes that justify investment to operationalize models. This disconnect creates an enormous opportunity for solutions that can simplify and accelerate the path to business impact for AI/ML initiatives. The AtScale Enterprise semantic layer platform now incorporates two new capabilities available to all customers leveraging AtScale AI-Link: Semantic Predictions - Predictions generated by deployed AI/ML models can be written back to cloud data platforms through AtScale. These model-generated predictive statistics inherit semantic model intelligence, including dimensional consistency and discoverability. Predictions are immediately available for exploration by business users using common BI tools (AtScale supports connectivity to Looker, PowerBI, Tableau, and Excel) and can be incorporated into augmented analytics resources for a wider range of business users. Semantic predictions accelerate the business outcomes of AI investments by making it easier and more timely to work with, share, and use AI-generated predictions. Managed Features - AtScale creates a hub of centrally governed metrics and dimensional hierarchies that can be used to create a set of managed features for AI/ML models. Managed features can be sourced from the existing library of models maintained by data stewards or by individual work groups. Furthermore, new features created by AutoML or AI platforms can also become managed features. AtScale managed features inherit semantic context, making them more discoverable and easier to work with, consistently, at any stage in ML model development. Managed features can now be served directly from AtScale, or through a feature store like FEAST, to train models in AutoML or other AI platforms. “Despite rising investments, greater adoption of AI/ML within the modern enterprise is still hindered by complexity. “The need for AI is huge, exploration is on the rise, but many businesses are still not able to use the predictive insights AI models can generate. Here at AtScale we can leverage our unique position in the data stack to streamline and simplify how the business can consume and use AI immediately, generating faster time to value from their enterprise AI investments.” Gaurav Rao, Executive Vice President and General Manager of AI/ML at AtScale About AtScale AtScale enables smarter decision-making by accelerating the flow of data-driven insights. The company’s semantic layer platform simplifies, accelerates, and extends business intelligence and data science capabilities for enterprise customers across all industries. With AtScale, customers are empowered to democratize data, implement self-service BI and build a more agile analytics infrastructure for better, more impactful decision making.

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ACA Group Acquires Data Specialist Ethos ESG to Offer First Data Analytics Product

ACA Group | September 26, 2022

ACA Group (ACA), the leading governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) advisor in financial services, today announced that it has acquired Ethos ESG (Ethos), a provider of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings data and software for financial advisors, asset managers, institutions, and investors. This acquisition marks ACA’s first analytics offering, which will be paired with ACA’s ESG experts to form an integrated tech and advisory offering under the ESG Advisory practice. ACA’s existing ESG Advisory practice supports with a range of programmatic needs for firms that integrate ESG into their business or investment activities. This currently includes advice and implementation support around strategy, policies/procedures, regulations and frameworks, training, and external reporting, among other areas. With Ethos, ACA’s clients will now also be able to easily analyze investments and automate several elements of ESG reporting. Founded in 2019, Ethos offers an interactive platform that allows for the evaluation of over 350,000 impact ratings including companies, stocks, and funds through a prism of 45 ESG causes such as climate change, racial justice, mental health and more. Providing full transparency into how each impact score is calculated and the ability to upload portfolios and create models, Ethos allows for GRC professionals to understand the ESG characteristics of their investments and make responsible decisions that align with their firm's values and ESG commitments. Ethos uses a proprietary set of approximately 100 underlying databases to generate its ratings. These databases provide a unique impact view of ratings, as well as provide insight into key metrics where available. The databases are fully transparent, so clients can see which underlying database source for each data point. Ethos also has capabilities developed to quickly scrape the public domain for material publicly available information to include in the ratings. These state-of-the-art capabilities allow Ethos to quickly add company coverage to help clients achieve full coverage of their investment portfolio. Ethos has invested in innovation through the recent launch of its Impact Calculator, an embeddable widget that takes a dollar amount and immediately calculates the real-world equivalent impact of investing that amount in a specific fund or other product, compared to a benchmark. Additionally, Ethos recently introduced its Carbon Neutral Certification program for mutual funds and ETFs, developed in conjunction with Change Finance. Through the certification, Ethos performs an independent analysis of a funds carbon footprint (covering Scope 1 and Scope 2 emission) and carbon credits (offsets) to verify whether the fund is carbon neutral during a specified period. “This is an exciting step in helping to grow our presence in the ESG space and is ACA Group’s first foray into analytics as a service,” said Shvetank Shah, CEO of ACA Group. “We are invigorated to be building out and launching our data capabilities, starting with Ethos ESG. Combining data with our scalable solutions will continue to empower our clients to reimagine GRC and protect and grow their business.” “We are thrilled to partner with ACA Group, as their brand and reach in the GRC space is well-known. “Not only is taking into consideration the ESG impact of your decisions right on its merits, but greater transparency into ESG issues helps firms mitigate risk and make informed choices while growing sustainably.” Luke Wilcox, Founder and CEO of Ethos ESG “This pairing will help us to leverage data in a new way to help firms of all sizes develop and monitor their ESG programs to mitigate risk, make informed choices, combat greenwashing, and grow profitably and sustainably in the process. Access to high-quality, transparent ESG data is an essential part of any ESG endeavor, and our partnership with Ethos will allow us to build and protect our clients’ ESG strategies in ways few others can,” said Dan Mistler, Head of ESG Advisory at ACA Group. About ACA Group ACA Group (ACA) is the leading governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) advisor in financial services. We empower our clients to reimagine GRC and protect and grow their business. Our innovative approach integrates advisory, managed services, distribution solutions, and analytics with our ComplianceAlpha® technology platform with the specialized expertise of former regulators and practitioners and our deep understanding of the global regulatory landscape. About Ethos ESG Founded in 2019, Ethos ESG provides data and analytics for financial advisors, asset managers, institutions, and investors. With over 350,000 impact ratings of stocks and funds across 45 causes, Ethos ESG helps firms offer robust impact reporting, monitor and address sustainability risks, and enhance quantitative research and modelling with transparent ESG data.

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Data Integration Platform Dataddo Launches First-Ever Free Plan with No Extraction Limits

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AtScale Announces Data Science and Enterprise AI Capabilities Within Semantic Layer Platform

AtScale | September 29, 2022

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ACA Group Acquires Data Specialist Ethos ESG to Offer First Data Analytics Product

ACA Group | September 26, 2022

ACA Group (ACA), the leading governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) advisor in financial services, today announced that it has acquired Ethos ESG (Ethos), a provider of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings data and software for financial advisors, asset managers, institutions, and investors. This acquisition marks ACA’s first analytics offering, which will be paired with ACA’s ESG experts to form an integrated tech and advisory offering under the ESG Advisory practice. ACA’s existing ESG Advisory practice supports with a range of programmatic needs for firms that integrate ESG into their business or investment activities. This currently includes advice and implementation support around strategy, policies/procedures, regulations and frameworks, training, and external reporting, among other areas. With Ethos, ACA’s clients will now also be able to easily analyze investments and automate several elements of ESG reporting. Founded in 2019, Ethos offers an interactive platform that allows for the evaluation of over 350,000 impact ratings including companies, stocks, and funds through a prism of 45 ESG causes such as climate change, racial justice, mental health and more. Providing full transparency into how each impact score is calculated and the ability to upload portfolios and create models, Ethos allows for GRC professionals to understand the ESG characteristics of their investments and make responsible decisions that align with their firm's values and ESG commitments. Ethos uses a proprietary set of approximately 100 underlying databases to generate its ratings. These databases provide a unique impact view of ratings, as well as provide insight into key metrics where available. The databases are fully transparent, so clients can see which underlying database source for each data point. Ethos also has capabilities developed to quickly scrape the public domain for material publicly available information to include in the ratings. These state-of-the-art capabilities allow Ethos to quickly add company coverage to help clients achieve full coverage of their investment portfolio. Ethos has invested in innovation through the recent launch of its Impact Calculator, an embeddable widget that takes a dollar amount and immediately calculates the real-world equivalent impact of investing that amount in a specific fund or other product, compared to a benchmark. Additionally, Ethos recently introduced its Carbon Neutral Certification program for mutual funds and ETFs, developed in conjunction with Change Finance. Through the certification, Ethos performs an independent analysis of a funds carbon footprint (covering Scope 1 and Scope 2 emission) and carbon credits (offsets) to verify whether the fund is carbon neutral during a specified period. “This is an exciting step in helping to grow our presence in the ESG space and is ACA Group’s first foray into analytics as a service,” said Shvetank Shah, CEO of ACA Group. “We are invigorated to be building out and launching our data capabilities, starting with Ethos ESG. Combining data with our scalable solutions will continue to empower our clients to reimagine GRC and protect and grow their business.” “We are thrilled to partner with ACA Group, as their brand and reach in the GRC space is well-known. “Not only is taking into consideration the ESG impact of your decisions right on its merits, but greater transparency into ESG issues helps firms mitigate risk and make informed choices while growing sustainably.” Luke Wilcox, Founder and CEO of Ethos ESG “This pairing will help us to leverage data in a new way to help firms of all sizes develop and monitor their ESG programs to mitigate risk, make informed choices, combat greenwashing, and grow profitably and sustainably in the process. Access to high-quality, transparent ESG data is an essential part of any ESG endeavor, and our partnership with Ethos will allow us to build and protect our clients’ ESG strategies in ways few others can,” said Dan Mistler, Head of ESG Advisory at ACA Group. About ACA Group ACA Group (ACA) is the leading governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) advisor in financial services. We empower our clients to reimagine GRC and protect and grow their business. Our innovative approach integrates advisory, managed services, distribution solutions, and analytics with our ComplianceAlpha® technology platform with the specialized expertise of former regulators and practitioners and our deep understanding of the global regulatory landscape. About Ethos ESG Founded in 2019, Ethos ESG provides data and analytics for financial advisors, asset managers, institutions, and investors. With over 350,000 impact ratings of stocks and funds across 45 causes, Ethos ESG helps firms offer robust impact reporting, monitor and address sustainability risks, and enhance quantitative research and modelling with transparent ESG data.

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Data Integration Platform Dataddo Launches First-Ever Free Plan with No Extraction Limits

Dataddo | September 28, 2022

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HYPR

HYPR is an influencer marketing platform focused on leveraging data to automate smart decision making and identify micro-influencers and activate them at scale. HYPR was sold to Julius in April 2020....

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