SundaySky Site Visit: A Look into the Future of Advertising

2014-02-20 17.26.53This past Thursday, three Villanova students and II Luscri made the trek over to New York City to visit the Internet technology startup SundaySky. We were fortunate enough to meet with President and Chief Revenue Officer Jim Dicso (COE ’90), who elaborated on the main function of the company and his role within it. SundaySky was actually started in Israel, which has the second largest startup per capita ratio. Its primary product is SmartVideo.

This unique and innovative product transforms messages into engaging and effective video experiences. In terms of advertising, SmartVideo allows companies to display personalized ads to its customers. These ads go as far as addressing the customer by name, and pointing them to products they may have looked at online. SmartVideo’s vast array of capabilities allow it to benefit customers in ways other than just advertising. It is being used in different industries to build customer loyalty, deliver bills, and onboard customers.

SundaySky is truly paving the way for the future of advertising and company-customer relations. I asked Mr. Dicso if this kind of personalized selling was where the future of advertising lies. He responded by saying without hesitation, “100 percent.” Along with discussing the success of SmartVideo, Mr. Dicso also touched on some of SundaySky’s challenges as it looked to obtain funds from investors. He spoke primarily on their difficulty in determining an accurate value proposition. A value proposition, as he explained, is how you use the product to solve a problem and how you value from its use. He disclosed that the company had modified their value proposition several different times before they got it right. They finally realized that, because their business model was built on video views, their value proposition applies only to large companies with a large collection of products. I think that any aspiring entrepreneur could have learned from Mr. Dicso’s wise words, as SundaySky did not see the true value in their product until they were forced to actively convince a third party of its worth to companies.