Rob Jewell is Founder and CEO of Spruce Media, an enterprise class social software solution built from the ground up. Spruce is exclusively for Facebook Marketing – empowering brands to build and maintain relationships with their consumers. Rob has also founded Gratis, a company dedicated to finding, “creative ways to connect consumers with advertisers online.” The Makegood recently spoke with Rob about Spruce Media’s success and his future plans.
The Makegood: In just four years, Spruce Media has grown into a huge part of the Facebook ad market. Can you talk about what your original idea for Spruce was, and how it has evolved over time?
Spruce Media set out four years ago to provide software to agencies, trading desks, and large advertisers that allows them to get a higher return on their Facebook advertising spend by utilizing our robust set of ad creation, optimization, and analytics tools. The biggest change that has evolved over time are the types of advertisers that are attracted to Facebook (and the Spruce software). Four years ago we were seeing mostly direct response advertisers advertising on Facebook. Since then Facebook has launched multiple new ad products that are attracting completely new advertisers into Facebook including, Fortune 500 Brands, eCommerce, and Mobile App advertisers. This has impacted Spruce as we can now provide software to a much broader client base than when we started.
The Makegood: How exactly does Spruce media make it easier for companies to post ads on Facebook? What sets you apart from others in your field?
The Spruce software helps advertisers through all stages of the advertising buy: planning à media buying à and reporting. The software is designed to save time and improve ad performance through multi-variant ad creation, automated bid and budget controls, and robust analytics. The software also provides large agencies and trading desks the permissioning tools necessary to manage multiple clients and multiple users.
The Makegood: Why only Facebook? What are the barriers to entering other ad-buying markets and what has stopped you from branching out?
Right now the vast majority of social media advertising budgets is allocated into Facebook. We are just recently seeing some demand for Twitter so that is an area we are planning to expand into.
The Makegood: Can you tell us about Gratis? How has your time founding Spruce differed from the time spent founding Gratis? What was similar about both processes?
Gratis utilized lots of 3rd party tools and technologies to buy media for its clients across Search, Display, and Email. What I wanted to do with Spruce is focus on a single channel (Social) and develop software in house that could give us a long term defensible business.
The Makegood: How do you see Spruce developing over the coming years? What are your next steps?
We continue to see a lot of underutilized ad products within Facebook. We will continue refining our software and services to ensure that our customers are using the best combination of creative, targeting, ad types, and placements based on their advertising goals. In addition we will be expanding into newer social networks as they continue to grow their user bases and as their ad products mature.
The Makegood: Thank you, Rob