Verve CEO Stirratt’s First Priority: Sharpen Location Ad Message
Virtual Help Wanted ad: Prospective candidate must be able to engagingly explain the importance of verified location data being joined to a smartphone’s device ID.
As digital ad vet Nada Stirratt settles into her first week as CEO of location ad platform Verve Mobile, the first challenge she wants to address is the often muddled perception of the company’s strengths in a very crowded space.
For the past year, Verve has focused on lining up partnerships with companies such as beacon platform Gimbal and local TV broadcasters, as well as on solidifying its role as a programmatic point of connection for both buyers and sellers by crafting geo-targetable audience segments.
Verve has gotten a good share of attention from brands, agencies, publishers, and other platform companies for its range of location analytics and ad serving products. But as the space matures rapidly, being able to demonstrate a clearer distinction on products, analytics, and marketing alliances versus its competitors is considered key.
GeoMarketing: What are your initial goals as you take on this new role? What do you think are the main opportunities and challenges for Verve?
Nada Stirratt: My first goal is to focus on marketing and I am in the process of recruiting for a CMO. Verve has unique and proprietary capabilities in our platform and we need to make these better known to a much broader swatch of the marketing mix. What we have built is so compelling across so many categories — retail, automotive, CPG — but also applicable to many other industries.
We have a superior product and the unique capability to combine our mobile media reach, precise next-generation targeting capabilities like beacons, Passbook and in-store loyalty app integrations. These not only reach and drive consumers into stores but also continue to communicate with the consumer in the store and drive them to the register.
A challenge for us is how to break through the noise around location marketing. It’s a really hot concept right now. But the combination of the premium reach with the precision we offer is unique to Verve — real-time, verified location data that’s tied to a device ID. Driving that message into the marketplace is one goal I have right now.
How has your background at AOL, MTV/Viacom, and most recently, Acxiom, influenced your thoughts as you come into the company?
My previous roles have prepared me well for leading Verve into its next phase of growth. I learned a great deal about performance marketing and attribution at Advertising.com.
I had the luxury of participating in the growth of branded digital marketing as it evolved from desktop to mobile (or “pages to places,” as we like to say) while at AOL and MTV.
And lastly, I learned a lot about the ethical, privacy-compliant, use of accurate first-party data during my time at Acxiom. The combination of these experiences provides a sold vantage point that will serve me well as we expand Verve globally.
The idea of turning “big data” into “smart data” (i.e., something actionable) for marketers, agencies, and brands has been an issue for the online ad industry for a while. Does adding geo-data to the mix complicate or simplify things for marketers and agencies?
There are infinite types of geo-data, but when Verve talks about geo-data we’re talking about real-time, high-fidelity location targeting. We are the only one who can do this.
As for the role geo-data plays, it’s about creating the smallest segments, for precise, real-time, real-world customer engagement, and being able to find millions of these consumers for the scale needed to impact a campaign. One advantage of our 10 years of experience is the depth and accuracy of our location data sciences to manage scale and precision in real-time across thousands of concurrent campaigns.