Sean O’Neal on Adaptly’s Growth and Expansion

SeanONeal20141 Sean O’Neal is the president of Adaptly, a social advertising technology company that helps brands harness the unique value of each social platform to increase engagement. Prior to Adaptly, O’Neal was the global CMO at the Daily Mail Online, in addition to President at Vizu Corporation. The Makegood recently spoke to O’Neal about his new position and his goals for the company.

The Makegood: Congratulations on your new position as President at Adaptly. The company is a leader in social advertising technology. In your new role, how do you plan to expand the company’s capabilities?

Adaptly has developed enterprise technology for deploying complex advertising campaigns across platforms like Twitter and Facebook.  We have also invested in a strategic services group that helps brands develop, execute, and analyze their paid social campaigns.  One of our main areas of focus in 2014 will be delivering an integrated solution that provides the optimal mix of software, workflow tools, and strategic services for brands that seek exposure in paid social media.

The Makegood: “Social Media” is a hot buzzword these days. What made you choose a social media based company over a more traditional media based company?

Adaptly plays in a very specific area of social media, the area of paid advertising.  The evolution of social started with “owned” and “earned” media – brands built pages on Facebook, developed fans, and collected followers on Twitter.  We are now entering the next era of social, the era of “paid.”  Paid social creates the opportunity for activation across all of your social audiences – customers, fans, followers, and look-alikes – on mobile devices, and across an increasing number of social platforms.  This is where all of the innovation is happening.

The Makegood: Adaptly is looking to expand internationally. As President, what will you do to further expand and encourage Adaptly’s rapid growth?  Will you be very involved in international growth?

Yes, indeed, one of my main areas of focus this year will be planning our next phase of international expansion.  With 78 percent of Twitter’s traffic outside of the U.S. and 80 percent of Facebook’s traffic outside of the U.S., we see an opportunity to help our partners capitalize on these growing worldwide audiences.

The Makegood: Will you communicate with prospective international clients differently than domestic clients?

Adaptly already has offices in London which services our EMEA business, and we have deployed campaigns in every region globally.  The internet per se is an international platform especially for many social media plays, so how we talk to overseas clients is not fundamentally too different from here in the U.S. We have developed strong international relationships and are committed to bolstering those relationships.

The Makegood: Social media is now a part of most people’s day to day lives. Do you find it important for Adaptly to expand into more social media platforms, or will the company focus mainly on Facebook and Twitter?

Adaptly is one of a very few companies with a strategic API partnership with both Twitter and Facebook.  These two ecosystems are by far the most robust today.  However, there are a number of other social platforms which are reaching scale and developing advertising models, and our technology is being developed to help our advertising partners take advantage of these new opportunities as they become available.

The Makegood: Thank you, Sean.

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