AdReady CEO Siebrecht On Company Plans And Recent Infusion

AdReadyAdReady announced recently a new $5.3 million round of funding from current investors Madrona Venture Group, Bain Capital and Khosla Ventures. Read the release.

AdReady CEO Karl Siebrecht discussed the new funds and the company’s plans. How will the company use the $5.3 million raised in this round?

KS: This capital will be used to advance our display technology platform, with a focus on our creative toolsets, media buying platform, and optimization features.

Looks like your new round was an inside round with current investors Madrona Venture Group, Bain Capital and Khosla Ventures. Why did you decide to not include another investor in this round?

Our current investors are tightly aligned with our vision, and provide great support to the company.  We also have two additional outside directors who round out a very experienced and effective Board – Steve Singh, the CEO of SaaS company Concur Technologies, and Jason Kilar, the CEO of Hulu. This along with my desire to spend as much of my time as possible with our customers, prospects and team instead of fundraising made doing an internal round the most desirable path for all parties involved.

Since coming on in October as CEO of AdReady, and as the former President of Atlas, what has surprised you about the display advertising space in the past 7 or 8 months?

I guess what has surprised me most is the lack of sophisticated display tools in the market for advertisers and their agencies whose campaign-level budgets can’t support expensive and overhead-intensive enterprise software applications.

On the one hand, I understand this because almost all of the spending in display has historically come from very large marketers whose budgets can support lots of overhead and people costs.  On the other hand though, I know that many mid-sized advertisers share the same performance expectations as larger advertisers, and that many if not all of the best digital agencies in the world struggle to profitably serve these advertisers well.

Furthermore, there are many large advertisers who need to manage their budgets in lots of smaller chunks — what we call “micro-campaigns” – and who experience these same cost challenges.  So it is surprising that little innovation has happened for this segment, and it is the reason why I’m so excited to be part of the AdReady team now.

Given your do-it-yourself and full-service offerings which includes media buying, what model BEST describes AdReady’s current business model for display: creative optimization vendor, demand-side platform or ad network?

We’re a technology platform company for display advertising. Our platform incorporates creative toolsets for production, testing and iteration, and a media buying platform for automated, targeted access to media, all wrapped in a layer of sophisticated optimization algorithms to drive great performance.  We do not believe that you can make display effective without the tight integration of creative, media and optimization.

When it comes to key clients, what is the key target market for AdReady today? How do you expect this to evolve in the next 12-24 months?

Our sweet spot is helping agencies and advertisers manage what we call “micro-campaigns” — display campaigns focused on micro-targeted audience segments that require the same level of creative and media intelligence as a standard campaign.

Example clients who need micro-campaigns include travel companies with larger overall budgets that are split up across dozens or hundreds of different geos with multiple promotional offers, or smaller advertisers trying to reach narrowly targeted audiences with different product lines or messages.  Because these budgets at a campaign level are small, it is critical that campaign production and management costs are low.  Otherwise the working media budget gets eaten up by overhead costs.

What makes our solution unique is that it delivers the power and sophistication of multiple enterprise level software solutions in a single, highly advanced yet very flexible platform.  Whether you’re a large marketer trying to efficiently reach micro-targeted segments or a smaller marketer trying to cost-effectively go digital, AdReady enables better campaign results with lower overall costs.

Given the prevalence of marketers that have these micro-campaign related needs, I expect that we’ll continue to be focused on this segment for a long time to come.

By John Ebbert

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1 Comment

  1. Being a quasi-competitor of AdReady, I’m reluctant to say this, but Siebrecht’s articulation of “micro-campaigns” is spot on. Before founding Canned Banners, I came from the client side where marketing budgets can be quite large at the top line, but after everything has been split across teams, products, and regions, the budget for any given campaign can end up being quite small, which would often render display a non-option (developing creative and buying spot inventory was just too costly and time-consuming). But with all the automation that’s going on right now, that’s no longer true.