“Making the Marketer” is a discussion series where Hawke Media Founder and CEO Erik Huberman interviews other marketing executives making waves in the marketing world. Erik and guests delve into how they got their start, how they grew their businesses, and what advice they have for entrepreneurs just starting out. For our third of the series, Erik sits down with entrepreneur, Xavier Kochhar.
Who is Xavier Kochhar? Xavier is an entrepreneur and investor who founded and made successful exits at two media companies, The Video Genome Project and Structured Data Intelligence (SDI). Among his current endeavors, he’s making waves as the Head of Strategy & Business Development at WarnerMedia.
Ever since his days growing up spending time in his father’s video store, Xavier has always had a connection to media. Since his last company’s acquisition, he’s dedicated himself to helping young marketers, media entrepreneurs, and startups succeed.
After attending business school at the University of California, Berkeley, Xavier had a brief foray into investment banking, but not long after entering the field of finance decided to pivot to a career at WME helping bring brands into television and film, reigniting his passion for media.
From being thrown out of pitch meetings to being a leading voice in the intersection of the relationship between brands, data, and media, Xavier has a wealth of knowledge and experience that we tap into in this week’s “Making the Marketer”.
Here are 4 Key Takeaways from This Episode of “Making the Marketer”
On What Makes a Good Marketer…
Xavier: “Irrespective of what industry or what trade you’re interested in, it’s curiosity. I mean, I am constantly, and I have been for a very long time, fascinated and super curious as to how things work and and how people got where they got.
I actually think, even this podcast, Eric…you are bringing in senior executives and interesting people and saying, “hey”, and being curious about their journey in their path. And I think curiosity and particularly, for me, it is even to this day an insatiable curiosity…”
On Disrupting the Media Industry and Creating The Video Genome Project…
Xavier: “When I founded the video Genome Project, you know, I did not intend to found the company or start the company. I would love to tell you that there was some white space and I did some business analytics and realized that there was some upside.
The company actually came to be because I was at home and looking for a movie, a really fun movie that I love to watch called, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’. I knew I had access to the movie across all my services, but I couldn’t find it. And when I later asked all my friends in the industry the platform guys, the metadata guys, the content guys, the search guys, I said, ‘why couldn’t I find this movie?’
And they all said, ‘well you see the way search and discovery and recommendation systems work is they rely on the metadata and for a lot of times, most times, we don’t have deep and rich metadata on film and TV.’ And that’s why the search tools and that’s why the curation tools suck.
And I, exactly what you just said, ‘why? Why don’t we have it?’ And as I started asking those questions I realized that we actually do have them. The issue is not that we don’t have them, the issue is they do exist and they exist across the collective and digital ecosystems, but they just don’t exist in a centralized aggregated structured fashion.
That was the problem, not that we didn’t have it. Then I said, ‘well, why don’t we have a company that does this?’
And everyone just said, ‘I know.’
I said, ‘alright. I’m gonna create that company.'”
On Advice for Someone Getting into Marketing Media…
Xavier: “You know at our age it’s hard to have a longer-term view, but if you kind of look at your life in longer increments and you say, ‘okay, where do I want to be in ten years? And okay, so what does that mean? What does that mean for where I need to be in eight years, five years, three years.”
On What the Next Big Thing in Marketing Will Be Next Year, and in the Next Five Years…
Xavier: “This notion of direct-to-consumer, I believe, is going to permeate through almost every aspect of business and industry. We have not been able to do that historically over the last 20-30 years, primarily because of the technology.
Now the technology exists, so I believe that a trend for the next five years and out is that marketers will be able to go direct to consumer…but just because they can does not mean that they should.”
Did you enjoy these tidbits of marketing knowledge and the full episode too? Stay tuned for more of “Making the Marketer” soon! If you fill out the free consultation form below, we’ll have plenty more marketing tips to share with you.