Q&A with Jay Wolff, SVP of Revenue and Partnerships at KERV Interactive

By Ashley Kaczmar • August 18, 2021

Jay Wolff, SVP at KERV Interactive is also an Executive Board Member and Vice President at 212NYC – New York’s leading organization for the digital advertising industry, reaching over 5,000 digital media, marketing, and advertising professionals. 212NYC’s mission is to create a forum for members to make connections, share insights and support the digital advertising community through education, programming, and philanthropy. 212NYC is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization, and membership is open to all advertising professionals in the New York area.

He is a successful problem solver and connector, working closely with partners across the entire advertising and media ecosystem: marketers, agencies, publishers, and broadcasters. His extensive industry experience includes driving significant revenue growth, team building, helping organizations reach important milestones and business outcomes. He can cultivate meaningful relationships with senior-level executives.

MEDIA 7: Can you please take us through your professional journey?

JAY WOLFF: Syracuse University was the inception of my professional journey. After four diverse professional internships during all four years of college, I graduated with a degree in marketing and a minor in psychology.  Fortunate to apply key learnings, after school, I was able to secure my first job at Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world’s top advertising agencies.  Eventually, the foundation of working at a leading agency, and the significant growth of cable television viewership led me to A&E Television Networks working in their advertising sales group. I spent 3 incredible years learning about media and evolving as an advertising professional. It was during the boom of “digital” in the mid-2000s and the surge of companies like Facebook / MySpace / YouTube where I broke into digital advertising sales joining SpiralFrog.com; the world’s first free and legal music website.  Taking the leap to a startup and thriving provided me the confidence to rise to any challenge. My path in media continued at industry startups and inside the eruption of ad tech, joining ContextWeb, operating one of the first programmatic advertising exchanges. It was here where I diversified my skill set and helped lead the company to both new revenue heights and a successful merger with Datran Media (to become PulsePoint).

Concurrently during this time, I was able to further my career by earning a certificate of Sales Management from the University of Chicago, managing teams, building strategy, and immersing myself in 212NYC, New York City’s Digital Advertising Community. Today I sit on the Board of Directors of 212. In 2014, I started as an early employee and Regional Vice President at SambaTV, helping establish the TV data company nationally and building the East Coast office from the ground up. Igniting revenue and growth, we were able to catapult the company to new heights. This was pivotal in my career and a great jumping-off point. My executive career began while I was Chief Growth Officer at Boostr (Saas), the first revenue management system for media companies, and as Chief Revenue Officer of Varick Media, a leading programmatic and performance agency. My past experiences feed my passion for leading high-caliber revenue teams, offering game-changing products and services.

M7: How does KERV’s ability to process videos benefit your clients?

JW: KERV has a patented technology that processes videos at a more granular level than any other technology in our space; utilizing that patent to power our AI and Machine Learning technology to precisely detect any objects, products, context, etc within video content. We automatically correlate that identification with commerce or other in-video interactive opportunities for brands, agencies, content owners, and technology providers. With an unmatched level of precision, our partners benefit greatly from video advertising that increases brand/ product consideration and conversion, while decreasing Consumer Acquisition Costs. Utilizing KERV, one of our CPG clients increased Amazon measured conversions by 7x over the control. Our technology truly transforms passive ad viewing into active user engagement. By utilizing KERV Interactive’s Social Commerce product, another client Darn Tough Socks was able to drive substantial lift to return on ad spend (ROAS), click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC) and website purchases compared to non-KERV’d social videos.

M7: KERV has recently partnered with IRIS.TV. What does this partnership offer new to the table?

JW: Great question. KERV plans on being the leader of all-screen contextual metadata and targeting. We are pushing to be the first technology to actually power LIVE contextual in the near future. Due to our precision and AI/ ML tech, we can process content at a deeper level and more quickly than any other technology.  KERV’s Vision technology is going to allow a level of creativity within contextual segmentation and targeting that has not previously existed. With this partnership, our leadership position in a machine‑driven, in‑video context will now be applied to online video and CTV inventory through IRIS.TV’s video data platform.

M7: What strategies and tactics have you put in place or would you like to put in place to help drive revenue?

JW: A few core strategies and tactics we’ve already put into place.

First off, delighting the customer in every way possible and exceeding customer expectations. With powerful advertising technology and results, we should be vocal about good news and impactful results on a consistent basis. We’ve instituted good news notes for our customers, and make into their inboxes often with KERV positivity.

Secondly, meaningful customer interactions and visibility are critically important, even in our virtual world. Ensuring as a revenue and partnerships team that we are in front of our target customers consistently and problem-solving with our technology is essential. We’ve internally emphasized the need for client engagement, and have come up with creative methods and ways to engage our prospects.

Third, we have recently implemented key accounts and vertical focus aligned based on customer needs and the products we offer. We have a talented group of revenue leads that are focused on 5-10 strategic accounts, and we have devised game plans to help our partners win big. In the future, I am bullish on seller innovation and thinking out of the box when it comes to driving revenue through customer engagement. Perhaps AR, VR, TikTok videos? We will continue to be at the cutting edge of tactics and strategies.

M7: What are the top challenges you see for the industry in general and KERV Interactive this year?

JW: 3rd party cookies, how will the industry truly adapt to a cookieless world? While we see most smart ad-tech companies developing solutions to attack this problem, there is much in the air, and will these be band-aids or true solves? While KERV’s cookieless touch pattern data in video solves this problem, will our partners see that as a workaround or another band-aid? Evolving Privacy Regulations, including Apple announcing privacy changes to iOS 14, both marketers and publishers will face evolving privacy regulations. Where will the ad budgets go?

It will be interesting to see how local privacy laws change the way data is captured and marketers reach a target audience. Will permission data and localized personalization in advertising be the key to above-board advertising? Market Saturation. How does KERV stand out in a marketplace full of noise and solutions? Will our partners understand the power of AI/ Machine Learning technology? Helping marketers and agencies stay ahead of the KERV will be critically important, will they be able to shift budgets away from the likes of YouTube to invest in performance?

M7: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?

JW: Every hand you shake (or virtual hand) is important, live by the motto that today’s assistant is tomorrow’s CEO. It’s important to never be too senior for a conversation, stay humble and hungry!

See the original article published here.

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