Jason Kelly, Admeld’s former chief revenue officer, has been named CEO of Sociomantic Labs, the Berlin-based pioneer of real-time bidding (RTB) technologies for eCommerce advertisers. Kelly left the ad tech company Admeld, that has been acquired by Google in December last year, to lead Sociomantic Labs, that is expanding from its European base into the U.S. We recently spoke with Jason about his new role and the future of advertising technology.
The Makegood: Jason, congratulations on your new position as the CEO of Sociomantic. What inspired you to make the move from Google?
JK: Admeld (where I most recently worked prior to the Google acquisition) was one of Sociomantic’s first inventory partners early on. We could tell by how quickly they were able to integrate and iterate how they were buying media on behalf of their eCommerce advertisers that they were extremely unique in their approach and a company worth keeping an eye on.
Since those early days, Sociomantic’s performance for advertisers and overall scale/growth on a global basis has been rather staggering resulting in becoming a top buyer on both Admeld/Google in addition to other major exchanges.
There was a great article recently posted on Exchangewire that goes much deeper into the technology speaking to the how and why in more detail.
Needless to say, I was extremely intrigued.
In terms of what inspired me most about the opportunity — it was the people. The three founders and current team have managed to successfully build a truly global company rapidly approaching 100 people from 22 different nationalities successfully serving eCommerce partners across 45 markets — just in the past 3+ years without taking any external investment. Not something I have seen before in terms of execution and ability to keep your head down continually driving the business forward.
The Makegood: Sociomantic has offices in Paris, Amsterdam, Warsaw and Berlin. What will be the major challenges for the German company in the American market?
JK: In addition to these four initial markets, we also recently opened up offices in Moscow and Sao Paulo this past month with another major market set to open in October. In this regard, I would consider us to be more of a global company than being from any one particular region. While we certainly do benefit from German engineering and design as it relates to our hand-built technology back to front, we are very dependent upon the level of depth and expertise on behalf of our local MDs and teams operating within each region which is a key driver of success to overcome any potential multi-national related challenges.
The Makegood: Graphical online ads, digital video, mobile and other non-search formats will increase almost tenfold in the next few years. What is your advice for businesses to keep up with the latest technologies?
JK: You cannot drive meaningful scale without developing significant, global, simple technology. By simple, I mean technology that the market will find simple to use. Very few people reading this can build a retargeting campaign on any of the existing DSP interfaces, let alone code or tag a campaign themselves. But, anyone who has ever used a credit card can buy a search campaign on Google. That’s where the genius resides – in the simplicity.
The Makegood: How can publishers adapt to the rise of real-time data and the personalization of the web?
JK: Publishers need to make critical choices about their partners and the design of their sites in conjunction with these partners to drive as much efficiency as possible. They also have to be continually focused on developing compelling content. Over the fullness of time, the continued development of compelling content is what will keep more publishers happy, because that is what will help drive more valuable and better audiences to their pages.
The Makegood: The online advertising business is changing rapidly. What changes can marketers expect to see coming from Sociomantic?
JK: I fully expect Sociomantic to reshape the display ecosystem beyond RTB optimizing against effective cost-per-actions in addition to customer lifetime values on a longer-term basis. And by reshape I mean improve it for buyers, sellers, and consumers, creating a triangle of benefit through technology that enables more transparency and greater revenue performance, insights and analytics in real-time for both buyers and sellers, with a better, more relevant experience for consumers.
The Makegood: Thanks, Jason.