Hector, what exactly does SourceKnowledge bring to mrge, what will our existing publishers and advertisers benefit from?
We are a Canada-based self-serve digital advertising campaign management platform with a strong focus and robust reporting on key metrics. We help performance marketers and e-retailers drive revenue outside the walled gardens (Google, Facebook, Amazon) and publishers to better monetize their content. With our technology, we reach new shoppers that are actively looking for products—with a strong footprint in North America. Our platform is performance and CPC-based. We are truly conversion focused and tied to RoAS goals.
What exact tools do you provide?
Plugging into our platform gives advertisers access to premium domain targeted traffic from our network of direct publishers in formats such as apps and plugins, in-text ads, within deal or coupon sites as well as content review sites, and lastly to social influencers, such as promotional content creators. We provide device targeting, geotargeting, daily budget caps, pay-as-you go, and advertisers can create allow lists and block lists by sub ID. In addition advertisers can use auto-optimisations in order to discover new converting subIDs in a risk-free environment.
You were founded in 2009 - what were the important milestones along the way from founding to the present day?
Prior to the founding of SourceKnowledge, me and my team met working at a search engine and started one of the first PPC advertising platforms on the internet. My role was to recruit traffic partners to syndicate our advertising.
Before our recent growth period, SourceKnowledge had its best revenue years in 2015/2016, when we were focused on programmatic video advertising. We created a self-serve interface for ad companies to run pre-roll video ads on a CPM basis. This functioned very well until two events: YouTube being removed from ADX in 2015, which removed the ability for any RTB buyer to access this pre-roll traffic, and LiveRail, the prominent video SSP at the time, being acquired by Facebook in 2014 and then shut down in 2016.
These two events ended up being an important milestone for us. Our experience in the pre-roll space taught us that it was important to rely on our own traffic supply over the walled gardens. And in general, the CPM pricing model was difficult to justify as direct performance metrics were much harder to measure. We pivoted to focusing on retail brands and shopping-based traffic that performed well off click-based attribution models. The rise of Shopify, which made the ability to create retail sites much simpler, also fed into our model. This created a Commerce Advertising solution for retail brands looking to drive an incremental lift in their marketing spend, focused on the open web.
How do you expect the performance-driven ad tech industry to evolve, what trends are the most important, in your opinion?
Looking ahead, performance-based advertising will continue to grow as brands and agencies have an ever-expanding need to responsibly grow marketing spend coupled with an attainable return goal. Privacy concerns and the impending demise of the cookie are constricting the ability to target campaigns based on third-party data segments. Brands and agencies are going to continue to value the path to purchase and therefore invest more ad spend into the open web. As a result, publishers who produce content geared towards lower funnel activity are in a prime position to garner more competitive rates from the market. These trends will continue to loosen the grip of the walled gardens as the primary source of ad spend in the industry.
Now being part of mrge, what is your goal, and what’s your value-add to mrge?
First of all, publishers will benefit from our CPC-based payouts for better monetization. Also, our American footprint will open up advertiser opportunities within the US for mrge’s existing market partner. Last but not least, with our influencer network, we can help advertisers integrate micro-influencers into their media mix using targeted parameters.