What's in the cards for the adtech industry? 3 Colorado companies weigh in

Jess Ryan

In a region home to a remarkable spread of advertising and marketing agencies, it only makes sense that there’d be quite a few adtech companies here, too. As these startups, and the industry, continue to grow, we caught up with three local tech companies to learn what’s happening in the industry now, and where it’s headed in the future.

 

Denver’s Adtaxi connects brands with consumers using audience-based tools. They handle everything from native and programmatic advertising to social media and search marketing. Chris Loretto is Adtaxi’s EVP.

What do you think is the biggest issue in adtech today?

Transparency. From advertiser campaign performance and ROA (metrics that matter) to fraudulent traffic and viewability, the industry needs to improve our ecosystem.

Who are some key players in the industry?

Outside of the obvious large players like Google and Facebook, who are really driving direction, there are many exciting companies and exciting technologies out there. The Trade Desk, Teads, Integral Ad Science, OpenX, Moat all come to mind.

What industry trends does your company follow?

Programmatic and everything around application of data.

What differentiates your product from your competitors?

Adtaxi is a client-centric digital company that brings scale, precision and sophistication to digital marketing. Leveraging the belief that people matter as much as technology, we drive value for our customers with custom, performance-driven solutions. Our core is transparency and focusing on the metrics that matter.

What does the future of the industry look like?

The ability to harness the full power of AI (artificial intelligence) to inform, optimize and power all segments of the business.  

 

Lakewood’s AdAction Interactive helps advertisers and publishers display ads on digital and mobile media. Brian Fox is AdAction’s CEO.

What do you think is the biggest issue in adtech today?

Ad fraud is a rising issue that we are facing in the mobile space today. Bot traffic, incent fraud and self-clicking ads are among the top fraudulent issues that are compromising campaign data and performance. AdAction has developed a unique solution to this rising issue: our Compliance Optimization Portal actively surveys and globally monitors traffic for fraudulent activity, providing high-quality campaign control and efficiency for profitable return on ad spend.   

Who are some key players in the industry?

Mobile is a multifaceted industry that offers users apps relating to gaming, travel, news, shopping, utilities, social media and more. Here at AdAction, we work with some of the largest name brands and Fortune 100 companies in the space, including Twitter, Yelp, Hulu, Zynga, Big Fish Games, RetailMeNot, Poshmark and Uber.

What industry trends does your company follow?

Social media and social influencers are top trends in the mobile space right now. Our network offers direct access to targeted media buying in top markets worldwide on platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. The dedicated account managers at AdAction work closely with thousands of social influencers to effectively communicate with target audiences to drive app installs and achieve performance goals.

What differentiates your product from your competitors?

We offer a one-of-a-kind product to our clients that leverages our extensive knowledge and exclusive industry insight. We've developed a proprietary, data-driven technology that streamlines real-time analytics and campaign visibility into an all-inclusive reporting portal, which programmatically optimizes campaign spend to exceed KPI targets and maximize ROAS.

What does the future of the industry look like?

The future of the adtech industry is mobile. Research has shown that mobile is on a steady rise, with more users relying on their handheld devices for everyday tasks like shopping, research, watching videos and playing games. Getting in front of these users and engaging with them is where we find success and what we recommend for anyone in the adtech industry looking to enhance their marketing efforts.

 

Alex Kronman is founder and CEO of flytedesk, a Boulder-based adtech company whose platform is designed to help advertisers reach college students and other young adults in creative, efficient ways.

What do you think is the biggest issue in adtech today?

Adtech is still a bit of a blunt instrument. It’s great at reaching huge numbers of people, but not always in a meaningful way. The widespread use of adblockers is evidence that ads have gotten too intrusive – with 63 percent of college students now blocking ads online.

Who are some key players in the industry?

We definitely felt the impact, positively, of The Trade Desk’s IPO this year. Of course, SpotX is an industry-defining player in the space, and they’re just down the road.

What industry trends does your company follow?

Adtech, and advertising in general, is a trend-heavy industry since it’s so competitive and moves so quickly. We’re a bit different since we own our ecosystem end-to-end, but we keep track of the strategies agencies are employing to tell their clients’ stories, the metrics they’re using to show efficacy and where folks are falling between backlash and excitement for increased automation.

What differentiates your product from your competitors?

There are two ways to buy ads on college campuses: make thousands of phone calls to college students, or use flytedesk. We’re the only tech company in our space, and what used to take months — with layers of fees and insane error rates – we can do in minutes really efficiently.

What does the future of the industry look like?

The future of adtech is built upon an audience-first approach rather than a channel-first one — that’s the fundamental premise of flytedesk.

Today, most tools force buyers to select a channel (i.e. TV ads, display ads, etc.) and then try to root out the people they want to reach within that channel. At flytedesk, we define an audience first and then reach them where they’re most engaged.

We see the status quo fail all the time. Advertisers will try to reach college students through digital ads and TV ads – but 63 percent block ads online and 57 percent don’t have cable, so it doesn’t really work. By looking at who they are and where they’re engaged, we can reach them through the billboard they walk by on the way to breakfast, in the college newspaper they pick up after class, and in the bar they go to that night.

 

Photos via featured companies. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Have a tip or know of a company worth covering? Email us.

Your Guide to Colorado Adtech

Everything you need to know about the Colorado adtech scene. Use our guide to discover the top companies, find adtech jobs and get the latest news.

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