SteelHouse originally started off as a dynamic-creative Retargeting and Audience Buying platform, that could help eCommerce companies and brands scale their performance buys. Can you share more on how the company has evolved over the years and where it stands today?
SteelHouse continues to innovate around Retargeting and Audience Segmentation. With the launch of the SteelHouse Advertising Suite we now offer an all-in-one digital marketing solution. The SteelHouse Advertising Suite is a cloud-based advertising platform that gives brands, agencies, and direct marketers complete control over their acquisition, retention, and branding campaigns.
SteelHouse has taken a different approach to the advertising market by pioneering a software-based platform; the SteelHouse Advertising Suite provides a fully integrated, cross-device advertising solution for social, mobile, and display advertising. The suite includes audience segmentation, campaign management, a creative ad builder, and reporting tools – all under one roof. This replaces the complexity marketers face in trying to assemble separate DMP, DSP, and reporting solutions through multiple vendors, which often results in inconsistent reporting and weaker performance.
Being one of the fastest growing (if not the fasting growing) company in digital advertising, how was SteelHouse able to increase revenues by 3x in 2015?
We have reinvested our funding into our technology and our team. We have a commitment to customer service and recently announced that SteelHouse’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) ranked us ahead of every other digital marketing platform.
What are your thoughts on some new categories like programmatic creative – both offerings by Flite and PaperG. Do you think that these capabilities belong as features within an advertising suite like SteelHouse, or should be standalone platforms that integrate across the adtech chain?
It’s exciting that the industry is moving in a more creative-focused direction – it’s the key to keeping digital ads relevant for our audience (and away from ad-blockers). We recently launched the SteelHouse Creative Suite that operates as both – a standalone and feature.
There are so many companies that take margin from a marketer in the adtech ecosystem: From their agency, to the DSP they use, to the data partner, ad exchange, SSP, and finally – the publisher, whom will probably take less than $0.50 on the dollar to what was spent by the advertisers. Do you think that this is sustainable, and how do you see the market evolving over the years to come?
It’s not sustainable because ultimately advertisers are never sure what they are actually spending on media. The margin isn’t a problem – businesses have a right to stay profitable – but the fact is that margin is hidden and marketers are never sure what they’re actually spending. It makes it hard to measure a campaign’s performance – without knowing how much you actually bid, you have no way of knowing the true ROAS for your campaigns. If the market calls for more transparency in the bidding process, it will go a long way in fixing this.
How do you think the rise of ad block usage by consumers will affect the market? Do you think there will be a specific effect on media that is purchased programmatically?
We can already see the effects of ad blocking with more and more advertisers demanding 100% viewability for their ads. Unfortunately, about 1% of all digital inventory is rated over 90%, making it costly when compared to lower rated inventory. This also makes it nearly impossible for advertisers to reach a significant number of customers when running high viewability campaigns. The solution is for marketers to create a better user experience – people block ads because it interferes with content they are interested in. If you make your ad interesting, you remove the desire to have it blocked. We recently created an infographic that relates to this topic.
There has been a lot of talk about cross-device linking, and the ability to target the exact same user with the same message regardless of platform. Do you think there will be a ubiquitous, democratized cross-device identity layer in the future? Who are some companies you think are innovating on this front?
With 90% of people moving between devices there’s definitely a demand in the market for better cross-device attribution. Although a common, widely used identity layer would satisfy that need, companies with the right technology can still reasonably track users from device to device. There are a few networks with massive audiences which could lead the charge (Facebook, Google) but I do not think there will be a single ID in the near future since it will take time for the big players to work together. So, in the meantime, it is up to platforms such as SteelHouse to partner with various companies and use their own data to create proprietary solutions that will bridge the gap.
Lastly, what is your take on the future of programmatic audience buying for eCommerce companies?
As the technology, analytics, and creative evolve, the programmatic world will become a smoother experience for all involved – both for businesses and consumers. But the key to all of this is industry innovation – we can’t stop developing new ways of engaging audiences or we’ll be seen more as a nuisance to consumers than a source of useful content. If you want to innovate, you need to run efficiently which means being fully aware of your performance and spend, and that means more transparency in the programmatic buying process.
SteelHouse, the fastest growing company in advertising, provides software solutions for brands, agencies, and direct marketers. The SteelHouse Advertising Suite provides premium brands worldwide with the ultimate personalized brand-customer experience, while the SteelHouse Creative Suite lets anyone create beautiful ads using creative inspired by the content around them.
SteelHouse Wins: ad:tech Innovation Award, Top 10 Global Internet Technology (TiE50), Next Generation Internet Leader (Launch: Silicon Valley), Under the Radar’s Judge’s and Audience Choice Winner, Product of the Year (Stevies), Lead 411 Hottest Companies of Southern California, Los Angeles Business Journal’s Top Places to Work in LA.