Personalized video marketing, when it is direct to the consumer and includes a specific call to action, is changing how brands such as Kraft, General Mills and HBO reach and connect to shoppers and viewers.

By leveraging massive amounts of data, AdGreetz is creating personalized video content for those brands that aligns a consumer’s shopping preferences with their lifestyle behavior — and other metrics — so these companies can sharpshoot their marketing efforts. As the tech company’s name implies, the content also greets the viewer by name.

Eric Frankel, chief executive officer and founder of AdGreetz, also lists Dell, Toyota and LG as clients using the cloud-based platform. Now Frankel has his sights set on the fashion apparel, luxury and beauty segments.

Here, the former Warner Bros. executive discusses why personalization is critical and how consumers are “activated” by video clips as well as how companies can unlock billions of dollars in unsold goods locked up in online shopping carts.

WWD: What were some of the lessons learned while you were at Warner Bros. and how is it informing what you’re doing now?

Eric Frankel: A company can never be content with “business as usual,” but rather must regularly examine all aspects of its business to determine what changes to make to ensure long-term health and growth.

When we introduced video-on-demand at Warner Bros. to cable and satellite operators, it took nearly a decade to garner acceptance. It is now utilized by 65 percent of TV viewing households.

At Warner Bros., I also learned that marketing executives had no idea what actually activated consumers — TV spots? radio? outdoor ads? point of purchase? print ads? — and in turn, spent a great deal of time, money and energy deploying a wide variety of advertising tactics and keeping their fingers crossed that they worked.

WWD: Why is personalization — in ads, and marketing in general — important?

E. F.: Every consumer is a unique individual. With the advent of brand, social, third-party, user-generated and geo/browser data, brands, for the first time ever, have the ability to converse with customers on a one-to-one basis with compelling and entertaining personalized video. The result: Instead of customers being turned off by ads, they actually watch them, enjoy them, frequently watch them again, share with their friends and are activated by the call-to-action.

WWD: Do you think companies and brands are using data the right way? Why or why not?

E.F.: It’s rather early in the life cycle of brands collecting, organizing and using data. Like all new technologies or tactics, there are a small number of companies who excel early on, with the majority taking longer to acquire and master the necessary skill set and allocate the proper resources to be successful.

I’m extremely optimistic that brands will commit more time, energy and manpower to properly utilize data to deploy “smart” hyper-relevant messaging and ads that delight, engage and activate (rather than annoy).

WWD: What do you mean when you say that advertising should “activate” a consumer? How does that work with AdGreetz?

E. F.: For 6,000 years, advertising has been about “awareness” — “there’s a big sale this weekend,” or “our airline now flies to London four times daily,” or “our new movie opens this weekend,” etc. With 95-plus percent of all consumers being online and/or having smart devices in their pocket, brands can now ask consumers to “start shopping the big sale now,” or to “book your plane ticket,” or to “click to purchase your movie ticket,” or “set up your test drive now.” If you don’t convert consumers when you have their attention, it’s getting more and more difficult to do so later.

AdGreetz empowers brands to converse with — past, current and potential — customers on an individual level with billions of hyper-relevant, “smart,” data-driven, personalized video messages, deployed on 15 digital and traditional “channels” — that engage and activate 50-500 percent better than static print or one-size-fits-all commercials.

WWD: What do you estimate to be the dollar amount that is locked up in online shopping carts at retail? And how can it be freed?

E. F.: Industry experts put the estimate at $4 trillion. About 72 percent of customers put merchandise in their “shopping cart” and don’t check out.

We strongly believe, and industry experts agree, that somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of abandoned shopping cart potential sales can be recaptured. Current industry practices include letterlike e-mails or print-ad like Facebook/online retargeting ads.

We saw an opportunity to increase conversion with the industry’s first personalized video abandoned shopping cart messages/ads — via email, Facebook and online.

Six months ago, AdGreetz started collaborating with one of Europe’s top-10 e-commerce sites and have since garnered a 67 percent greater conversion rate for abandoned shopping carts through the deployment of “smart,” hyper-relevant, personalized video abandoned shopping carts. We now have 10 other significant brands in our queue.