Andrew Deutschmann, 33, Director of Corporate Development
How Vidzu got its start Vidzu Media began as a two-person video department of Creative Producers Group (CPG), a company that produces corporate events and branded experiences for world-class brands. As video became a more and more prevalent part of the live event experience, we saw an opportunity to expand our production capabilities. So we rolled out Vidzu as an independent sister agency within a growing family of companies that includes CPG, UPBrand and Evntiv. Vidzu still does a ton of video work for CPG and our other sister agencies, but we’re growing our Vidzu stand-alone business more every day, and are proud to have relationships with top brands like Walmart, as well as local businesses, fast-growing startups and nonprofit organizations.
Company mission We want to raise the bar for corporate communications by creating more relevant and compelling content to actively engage stakeholders. That means helping organizations begin to view themselves as publishers in order to remain relevant in today’s digital world. Publishers have to decide what content to produce or curate, and how best to market that content to their target audiences. As more companies look to video and other forms of branded content to improve marketing, sales and communications efforts, we want to be the partner they think of first.
Behind the company name We looked at the communications ecosystem a number of years ago and literally said, “Wow, video online is going to be a zoo,” hence the name Vidzu. I admit that the genesis of the name sounds a little corny, but it has stuck because it speaks to the core reason we started this business in the first place—the undeniable growth of online video.
What sets Vidzu apart We are a unique mix of award-winning creatives and business folk who give equal attention to all three of what we consider crucial ingredients of any project: strategy, story and style. We aren’t here to develop content for content’s sake. We guide clients in defining a strategy first and foremost to ensure that the content we develop solves a problem, serves a purpose and tells a compelling story.
On Vidzu’s team We have a full-time staff of 15 (editors, producers, creatives, sales, account managers, etc.), plus a global network of freelance resources that we tap when needed. Our team is an awesome compilation of youth and experience who share a common trait—we are all energetic bootstrappers who want to be part of building something great.
Launch inspiration We saw the marketing paradigm shifting—the old way was to sell and then engage, but now brands have to engage in order to sell. Enter branded content marketing. While the concept isn’t new, it’s finally becoming a headline piece of the marketing mix. People—customers, employees, etc.—are now the stewards of brands’ messages. It’s our job to help brands produce content that draws people in by offering them something valuable and converts them to brand ambassadors who carry a company’s message forward.
Success factor Speaking for myself, it’s a grinding mentality—a tireless, constant need to improve… maybe to a fault. A passion for creating and building something that’ll stand the test of time is what ultimately drives me.
Word of advice to startups It’s true that the agony of defeat outweighs the thrill of victory, so it's important to take time to celebrate the small wins. You run into so many pitfalls that it’s easy to forget when you’re making progress. Every baby step, while not a leap, is still a step down the path of success.
Vision for the company in three, five or 10 years We plan to continue the growth and success that we’ve experienced to date. Real success for us in five years would include a new office space to house a larger workforce and expanded production facilities. Ultimately, we want to grow our brand nationally, establish satellite offices around the country and partner with leading brands, while exploring new forms and uses for branded content. We see a growing market and plan to capture a large chunk of it.
Photo credit: Attilio d’agostino