New York’s ‘Kargo’ has learned a thing or two about being a mobile advertising agency since 2003; and its $50 million annual revenue proves it.
An ‘existential evolution’
People with media jobs in a fledgling mobile advertising agency may struggle to comprehend how a business can be that successful AND buy out its former financial backers only five years after it launched (which is what Kargo’s founder and CEO Larry Kargman did back in 2008). It may therefore come as some comfort to know that it wasn’t plain sailing at the outset. In the early days, Kargo struggled to survive with its original focus: downloadable media like games and ringtones.
Kargman took heed of what the media companies he was working with were saying about what they really needed: in a word, that was advertising. And Kargo duly began to switch emphasis, morphing (or undergoing an “existential evolution,” as Kargman puts it) into a mobile advertising specialist concentrating its efforts on the mobile web.
Kargman told TechCrunch journalist Antonhy Ha: “We figured out that for us to exist, we would need to become really good at developing great mobile web experiences.”
Seriously smooth native ads
Alysia Borsa, Senior VP of Mobile and Chief Digital Officer at media and marketing giant Meredith, explains what makes Kargo stand out from the crowd: “Mobile has become increasingly central to our greater digital strategy and Kargo is a key partner from a strategic and revenue generation perspective.
Kargo is our primary mobile advertising partner, providing innovative mobile ad products and working extensively with our direct sales team to drive revenue. In the last 8 months in particular, Kargo has enabled new integrated ad units and ramped sales with major advertisers.”
Kargman and his team have put a lot of work into distinguishing the company’s approach to mobile advertising: it specializes in seamlessly integrated native advertising. This goes well beyond mere in-stream ad units. Kargo ads are smoothly and appealingly integrated throughout the content (take a look at some examples here).
As for the future, Kargman has his sights on the ongoing trend toward automated ad buying and selling. Kargo has already laid the foundation for this, he claims, by having its platform integrated directly onto the page. That means it’s admirably positioned to give its clients a full end-to-end solution for programmatic