• AdQuick’s O’Connor: “The momentum the medium was seeing prior to the virus is going to be accelerated coming out of it.”

    Today’s podcast guest is AdQuick co-founder Matt O’Connor.  AdQuick was founded almost four years ago to automate out of home ad buying.  Matt talks about the impact of coronavirus on automated selling and what the industry and advertisers need to do now to be prepared when quarantines clear.

    Matt, explain what AdQuick does and how it benefits an out of home company.

    Matt O’Connor, CEO and Co-Founder, Adquick

    AdQuick’s mission is to make it easy to buy out of home advertising.  We focused initially on the buyers…where we wanted to give them better, faster, cheaper and more attributable experience in the out of home space…We have hundreds of clients varying from local businesses up to 20 state national buys…agencies to in house media buyers…On the inventory side we’ve grown our integrations from the larger companies – Lamar, Clear Channel, OUTFRONT – all the way down to really local operators with 1-2 billboards in a market.

    What are some misconceptions out of home companies have about AdQuick?

    (1) One is that it’s difficult to on-board.  So most companies think it’s a really big decision.  And we have built in a lot of reverse compatability where you can onboard using our media owner tools…but also you can continue to use your own existing system and still work and see the benefits of the platform.

    (2)  Some operators are concerned that they’ll lose control over pricing or visibility data and with AdQuick we put the power in the hands of the media owner so they’ll control which locations they want to propose and at what price.

    (3) That we’re digital billboards only.  But in fact 80% of our customers are buying static…We’re agnostic as to media type, static versus digital….Given the breadth of inventory that is static – it’s above 90% still – it’s kind of constrains the optimization of any campaign when you’re looking at 10% of locations.

    What impact has coronavirus had on automated buying?

    It’s definitely a gut punch.  Advertisers are sitting on the sidelines waiting.  You can’t imagine someone who is launching a new product or a new message or a brand revamp in this climate.  With out of home…people aren’t out and about…so it’s definitely a curve ball and a gut punch but I think there’s a lot of opportunity and that the momentum that the medium was seeing prior to the virus is going to be accelerated coming out of it…I don’t think there’s any stopping that trend.

    You closed a $6 million funding round in February.

    Yes.  Grateful for that.

    What campaigns are you running now on your boards?

    Just today we worked with Ro, the telehealth company that…is offering COVID testing and screening and putting out PSA’s in 7 major markets…This was only planned within 72 hours in a national campaign.

    What’s the process for boarding an out of home company at Adquick?

    The onboarding is pretty simple.  We take inventory information from what would be a simple grid, with lat/long’s, impressions, descriptions, photos.  And we digitize that and we create a customized portal for any media owner.  We have about a 100 predominately regional and local operators but the software scales to any size company.  It can happen as quickly as 24-48 hours.  There’s a bunch of other power tools like an onsite widget to allow you to showcase your inventory, there’s contracting, invoicing…the investment we took on earlier is going to allow us to take on the risk of non-payment.

    Who should out of home clients call if they want to have their boards added to AdQuick’s system.

    They can email vendors@adquick.com or if they want to see a little more they can go to adquick.com/sell.

    If the experience of China and South Korea is any guide we’ll be back at work in 45 days.  What should out of home companies and advertisers be doing now to prepare.

    Getting on-boarded to AdQuick is one of the best things that they can do.  We are driving a lot of new national business to all types of markets across the country…On the advertiser side…it’s going to force the hand of flexible marketers.  The days of booking and planning campaigns 9-12 months out are gone…Plans made in the summer of 2019 for summer of 2020 aren’t going to be the same…Having a game plan and a mechanism to be nimble and flexible is vital…That’s one of the things that AdQuick helps a buyer do.  You can plan and execute a national campaign in as little as a few days.  They need to have their marketing plan laid out and be ready to execute on a more short-term horizon…It’s a crazy time but I do think that the industry – and AdQuick in particular – is well positioned to come out the other end…

    You’ve got a great widget on your website called How much does a billboard cost.

    That was after answering the question probably hundreds of times from talking to customers, that was the first question we got…So we wanted to make that a tool which was easy for anyone to see…When people see the cost they are actually pleasantly surprised…It’s a search engine for OOH costs around the country.

     


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