This is the second in a series of profiles of the companies who are trying to automate the out of home sales process. Insider counts 9 US companies that are trying to develop websites to facilitate buying and selling out of home advertising: ADstruc, AdSemble, Adquick, DoMedia, Fliphound, Kinetic, rVue, Vistar and Xaxis Places. Today Insider talks with Matt O’Conner, co-founder of Adquick.
Headquarters: Santa Monica, California.
Product: An online platform for automating out of home inventory management and the purchase of out of home advertising. The company bills itself as the “Kayak for advertising.”
Matt, how did you get involved in the out of home advertising industry?
I first encountered the outdoor space in 2010 when I wanted to buy an ad for a start-up I was working on. The time and number of phone calls and emails it took to get inventory information really surprised me. Five years later in 2015, while working on the Instacart expansion team, we encountered similar problems in the tedious process of finding available inventory. Because of this, we ended up spending it on digital ads instead of OOH, because that channel was easier to execute and had great analytics to track performance. So, I decided to start AdQuick to help provide a solution to those issues.
Describe how your website works
- Operators: Operators can choose which flavor of engagement they’d like with AdQuick. There are no fees for anything. The main goals of our technology are to a) bring new clients to OOH companies and b) allow OOH companies to operate in a more efficient, modern way. We also streamline payment, graphic upload and creation, and have a pre-payment for receivables option to allow OOH companies to get their funds earlier than the net 30/60/90 often encountered in the industry.
- Buyers: AdQuick buyers get a modern, highly data-rich experience by booking through AdQuick. We create custom, cross supplier campaigns based on things like demographic target, points of interest, google search trends data, among other inputs. AdQuick also provides post-campaign metrics to allow marketers to quantify the impact of their OOH campaign. We share this data with our supplier partners so they can use it in future sales. We believe this is crucial for the industry and hope that this data will keep marketers growing their OOH budgets and allow suppliers to sell more by pointing to data. We aggregate a variety of metrics and associate them with the OOH campaign. For example, SMS shortcode response, geo-located awareness/attribution surveys, Google Analytics and AdWords integration, and location-based mobile ad tracking.
What markets and how many structures are involved?
We work with suppliers and buyers nationwide. We have inventory partners from California to Florida and everywhere in between. When buyers have interest in a particular market, AdQuick finds the best locations from relevant suppliers to give them options for their campaigns. Our wheelhouse is the tech startup community, who value speed of execution, efficient buying experience, and measurability that AdQuick provides. We think this mindset will become (if it isn’t already) the default approach to marketing. AdQuick want to empower suppliers to keep pace with this tech-savvy group of buyers.
What benefits does AdQuick provide to an out of home advertising company?
We have three main tech products for OOH companies:
- Inventory management solution: we heard that many operators were using excel or other services they weren’t completely satisfied with. We build a cloud-based solution that makes managing inventory and responding to RFPs much more efficient and user friendly.
- Whitelabel Marketplace: AdQuick has also built a solution to allow operators to showcase their inventory in their site with one line of code. Doing so allows them to see who is visiting their locations and how often locations are being viewed.
- AdQuick Marketplace: We have a marketplace for available inventory to which operators can add their inventory. There are a number of benefits to doing so, including: SEO for each location driven, discoverability by new clients, ability for AdQuick to package this inventory for clients looking for urgent buys. So far, we’ve booked outdoor ad campaigns for companies like H&R Block, Lyft, Instacart, Orange Theory Fitness, and OVO, rapper Drake’s brand.
There is a concern that automated buying will trigger a race to the bottom in pricing. What controls does the operator have on pricing?
Operators always have 100% control over pricing with AdQuick.
In our opinion, preventing the race to the bottom is best done through data and metrics. This is why measurement is such a critical component for our platform and the industry. In our case studies with Orange Theory Fitness and OVO music/clothing label, we quantified the value of the campaign and showed the brands they were actually getting much more value than they paid for. As we measure more and more campaigns, AdQuick hopes to prove the value of OOH to brands and arm suppliers working with us with data that helps sell future clients.
As AdQuick makes outdoor ads easier to buy and measurable, we see a lot of upside for the industry.
What are the fees or commissions when an out of home company uses AdQuick?
It’s completely free to list inventory on the platform. For campaigns above a certain size from leads generated by, AdQuick, we negotiate a margin into the campaign.
Early adopters of other AdQuick products (inventory management and whitelabel marketplace) receive those services at no cost.
What have been some successful AdQuick campaigns?
We’ve booked a variety of campaigns for clients like H&R Block, Lyft, Instacart, Orange Theory Fitness, and artists Austin Mahone and Drake. See below pictures of a few awesome campaigns, including the image recognition illustration from the OVO campaign and a picture of the artist Austin Mahone on his bench billboard.