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Introducing Run — the New York ad tech startup offering mobile analytics, tracking and ad buying tools

Cre­atives and oth­er pros who hold media jobs in mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies don’t need any lec­tures on the cru­cial role of ad-buy­ing tools and ana­lyt­ics in this com­plex mar­ket; which is why they might like to know a lit­tle more about New York-based start­up Run, which sup­plies both on a unique­ly mobile-spe­cif­ic basis.

Mobile first, not mobile only

Found­ed in July 2010, the com­pa­ny secured its first out­side invest­ment last month: the prince­ly sum of $1.5 mil­lion, cour­tesy of Ver­i­zon Ven­tures (the strate­gic invest­ment wing of Ver­i­zon). In the space of two short years, it’s estab­lished itself as a force to be reck­oned with when it comes to mobile-focused pro­gram­mat­ic adver­tis­ing tech­nol­o­gy. And that’s large­ly because, unlike many of its com­peti­tors, it doesn’t apply tra­di­tion­al, desk-top designed demand-side plat­forms (DSPs) to mobile and nei­ther does it swing com­plete­ly in the oth­er direc­tion and focus exclu­sive­ly on mobile.

Dan Schwartz, the startup’s co-founder and Chief Oper­at­ing Offi­cer, says that, instead, Run is an exam­ple of “the first crop of ad-tech 2.0 com­pa­nies.” It adopts a “mobile-first” approach when it comes to ad buy­ing but it con­tin­ues to run cam­paigns on oth­er devices. This is smart mobile adver­tis­ing, not desk­top with a mobile tweak.

His col­league, CEO and fel­low founder Seth Hittman, exudes con­fi­dence about his prod­uct. Run’s pro­gram­mat­ic ad buy­ing opens big oppor­tu­ni­ties for mobile adver­tis­ing. As he puts it, “It’s no secret that there’s a whole lot of unsold inven­to­ry.”

The advent of cook­ie-less track­ing

Schwartz sought invest­ment two years down the line large­ly because Run had a good prod­uct which yield­ed rev­enue ear­ly on (and for the first 20 months of its exis­tence, he and Hittman refrained from pay­ing them­selves a cent). In that time, the com­pa­ny has changed its approach from an exclu­sive focus on ad buy­ing to one that now includes track­ing and ana­lyt­ics, too. With all three tech­nolo­gies avail­able to adver­tis­ers, Hittman says that Run can “con­nect all those dots” for them.

Any­one with any expe­ri­ence of media jobs in mobile adver­tis­ing knows that the task of track­ing users is vast­ly more com­plex than it is with desk-bound devices, where you can just drop a cook­ie. But Run can track with­out cook­ies and, by work­ing with the Inter­net Adver­tis­ing Bureau, is con­tribut­ing to the cre­ation of indus­try-wide stan­dards for cook­ie-less track­ing.

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