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Start-up: Autheos, the Netherlands, 2016

When Christina Caljé joined Autheos as a founder, the company offered a content management platform that helped firms publish video on e-commerce sites

In the face of growing competition, however, the former Goldman Sachs director was tasked by the start-up’s original founder, Pyke van Dieren, to take the firm to the next level. 

As a first step, Caljé, who made the switch from finance to start-ups in her role as COO for Dutch borrowing app Peerby, carried out detailed research into the dynamics and challenges that online stores and brands face around video. 

“We realised then that, while there was a belief in the importance of video in an e-commerce environment, there was zero transparency around the commercial impact of video, nor what should constitute a video strategy for e-commerce” Caljé says. “Even now, three years later, many brands are still asking simple questions like ‘how long should video be?’”

Caljé’s vision was to take a more personalised and targeted approach, providing brands and e-tailers with detailed behavioural analytics on the performance of video in a digital store, and using that info to optimise that content for consumers. After all, she adds, different videos work for different demographics – it helps, for example, if a landing page video on a cosmetics site reflects the demographics or ethnicity of the customer who has just clicked play.

The personal touch: Autheos provides brands and e-tailers with detailed behavioural analytics on the performance of video in a digital store

Caljé, who is of Puerto Rican and Surinamese heritage and grew up in New York’s East Village, adds that she’s passionate about inclusivity in the tech and marketing industries and about creating experiences that resonate with the consumers that brands are talking to. “As an expat and a busy mum with two young children, I can speak from experience that it feels good when my lifestyle is represented in advertising.” 

She acknowledges that others might feel this is too intrusive, and Autheos tech has features in place to exclude specific sessions or audiences, in those cases.

I can speak from experience that it feels good when my lifestyle is represented in advertising

Caljé adds that personalisation is not just about demographics and that context clearly matters to consumers. Often, videos are placed on the pages of consumer websites that just don’t make sense and Autheos sees that in their client data. As an example, she mentions a detailed seven-minute video on how to clean a coffee machine will be better at keeping a consumer’s attention on a service page than a product page.

“It’s not a surprising discovery, but countless brands make this mistake, lacking the tools and the time to tailor experiences in this way,” she adds. 

Caljé points out that, since Autheos tech handles this automatically, it can not only improve the customer experience on-site, but also bring operational efficiency to marketing teams.

To achieve this ambitious shift from content management platform to optimisation platform, Caljé’s first step was to shift Autheos’ tech infrastructure so it could measure all the different visitor behaviours on their clients’ platforms. 

“We have a proprietary video player as part of our platform,” she explains. “Implementation of this player, along with our JavaScript embed code, allows us to take measurements that feed into our data models. Those data models power the machine learning algorithms that determine which videos should be shown to what users, based on the behaviours we see and the KPIs we optimise for.”

Clients currently include digital retailers – such as Dutch firm BOL – as well as brands that sell direct to consumer including Philips, Unilever, P&G, Microsoft and L’Oréal.

Caljé sees opportunities in the future to partner with video content creators – either internal or external to the client – and with more with digital agencies. “The more video, the better,” she adds.

The firm offers a range of specialised services in this niche area of video intelligence, from one-off consultancy to a full-service SaaS technology, plus consultancy services to inform broader video strategy. Consultancy pricing is structured on a case-by-case basis, and SaaS pricing is determined by the amount of video used, transcoding costs and the value the tools create for its customers. 

Caljé emphasises that the focus for Autheos now is on expanding its footprint outside its headquarters in the Netherlands. Those efforts are yielding success, as the firm already has clients in the UK and France.

This article first appeared in the March 2020 issue of FEED magazine.