1. Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and what brings you to where you are today?
From an early age, I was passionate about seeking the interfaces between creativity and science, which I believe are the two defining factors of humanity. Raised in a family of artists and musicians, I saw the pain points, but also the opportunities of how technology could shape an exciting ecosystem to foster and develop creativity around the world. Ultimately, the combination of my two passions and drive to act on this opportunity led to my early entrepreneurial ventures and today, OCUS.
2. Why did you start OCUS and what is the company’s mission?
In addition to the opportunity for technology to shape an ecosystem for creatives, I recognized that brands and businesses were lacking an efficient method to create, manage and optimize impactful visuals at speed and scale. Piecing together this opportunity and market gap, Julien Jacob, our founding team and I created OCUS. Our purpose, which remains core to our mission today, is to drive online performance for businesses around the world while creating a thriving environment for creative workers.
3. How essential is imagery for brand development and customer engagement in today’s connected and digitalised world?
In short, businesses cannot be online without imagery. With up to 4 billion new images published on the internet every single day, consumers are inundated with content that drives their daily decision-making. Always-on qualitative images are no longer nice to have, but simply a staple to remaining competitive in today’s digitalized world. Brands need to create signals in an ocean of noise. Highly performant and personalized visual content does just that, boosting traffic, conversion, consumer engagement, and loyalty.
4. You had the opportunity to scale fast across several geographies. What are your key takeaways from your successful internationalisation?
OCUS has learned many lessons on our journey to globalization of which we use to continue to grow upon each day. To name a few:
- Build a global and multi-diverse team early on that mirrors the footprint you seek to have in the future.
- Don’t dive blindly. Gather market insights and make early assessments of the difficulties you may face such as culture, operational, product, or client behavioral differences. If possible, scale from your domestic market first and target partnerships with global clients that you can grow with.
- Agility is key to being able to pivot in such unprecedented times and ever-changing markets. Define your precise look of success and the clear triggers to exit; bias of engagement is your enemy.
5. How can hospitality companies and residential real estate benefit from the OCUS platform?
Imagery is crucial now more than ever before for both real estate and hospitality. During the pandemic, buyers were purchasing homes without physically visiting properties and relied solely on what they saw on their screens. High-quality content including photos, virtual tours, and videos is now a basic expectation. As for hospitality, the stakes have also been raised. A travel decision, similar to that of buying a home, is an impactful and highly emotional purchase. The ability for brands to communicate and reach these emotions is essential.