Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Photo of CEO Paul Pellman.

Photo of CEO Paul Pellman.

While the science behind Austin’s Adometry might be complex, the company’s goals are simple: To help marketing executives answer the questions, “How’s my marketing doing?” and “What should I do different?”

Sales executives have Financial executives have Oracle Financials. But marketing officers have never had a single, digital dashboard to help them assess their business efforts. Enter Adometry.

Adometry specializes in “channel attribution” and helps more than 60 clients—including Citigroup, eBay, KIA, Levi’s and Mitsubishi—determine which marketing tactics lead which customers to the point of sale.

Chief Marketing Officer Casey Carey explained: “We capture all of what we call ‘marketing event data,’ and that is information we can get about which ads, which e-mails, which search terms you were exposed to and the actions or non-actions that were associated with those exposures. … So whether it’s a credit card application, or a purchase in store, or a scheduled test drive for a car, we marry that up with conversion data and associated cost data and answer the question, ‘How’s my marketing doing?’ To put it in context, we’re processing about 20 billion marketing events per month right now for our customers.”

All this data gives Adometry insight into what their clients should do differently. For example, one client, a big box hobby and craft retailer, recently learned it should shift money in its marketing budget to different channels to increase sales without having to make big, new investments.

The client “didn’t believe in display advertising,” Carey said. “They were spending a whole lot of money on paid search. They did not believe that display was a good place for their money. Most of their advertising is Sunday circulars in the newspapers. They were investing quite a bit of money online in paid search. We brought the point of sale transactions in, ran our model, and came back and said: ‘Did you look at your digital marketing and how it’s driving sales at the point of sale?.’ Your search performance is awful; it’s not helping at all. It is money wasted. That was a major insight for them. But even more interestingly, of both the conversions that occurred at point of sale that we could attribute to digital media, 68 percent of them were influenced by a display ad. That basically said they were way underinvested in display, and there’s a huge opportunity to reconsider that. They actually took two weeks and stopped their free-standing inserts in Sunday papers and moved that money into display.”

A satisfied Adometry customer in the agency category is Dallas-based Adaptive Audience, a media trading company that seeks to fill the void between advertising technology and digital marketing strategy.

Much of Adaptive Audience’s work is aimed at retailers, and President Brandon Bethea said Adometry has been a “game-changer” for his company. Adometry data helps them track the specific channel mix that best targets certain client customers for both on- and offline sales. “We’re tagging everything at such a granular level that I’m actually able to see: Is it that (market) segment? Which channel did they reach? And within that channel, which targeting tactic? What key word search or what targeting type in display, or what publisher in display … That helps us optimize the total media budget so we can allocate more of our budget to those tactics that are working,” he said. “This simply wouldn’t be possible without Adometry.”

Senior management team in place

Adometry has passed the early startup stage and transitioned from a founder-led model to leadership from a well-rounded senior management team. Investor Austin Ventures says the company now has the technology as well as the leadership to aggressively move forward.

Austin Ventures General Partner Tom Ball said: “I think for the first time, at the end of 2013, we kind of had all the pieces in place with respect to the management team … We’ve always had the vision for what the product needs to be. The product is in a really solid place right now. We feel it’s a great time for them to be aggressive and step on the gas here and continue. They’re already the leader in this space. We want to make sure they increase their lead on the competition. … Sometimes, when things are so technical, it’s actually quite hard to sell, because you’re selling science. And these guys have figured out how to make it simpler. … We have the full senior team now.”

Relatively new senior team hires include Carey, Vice President of Sales Paul Dodd, and Vice President of Client Services Nikhil Kumar.

Austin Ventures has been with Adometry since the beginning. The firm provided $500,000 in seed money to Adometry, back when it was called Click Forensics. Overall, Austin Ventures has invested about $10 million in Adometry.

Click Forensics was founded in 2007 in San Antonio with a series A funding from Austin Ventures and Shasta Ventures and receive series B funding from Sierra Ventures in 2008, for a total of around $21 million. It focused on reducing the click fraud that burned up dollars spent on Google Adwords campaigns. As Google began tackling click fraud in 2011, Click Forensics bought then-Washington-based Adometry to launch its suite of online marketing analytics.


“We kind of have two businesses: our Click Forensics business and our marketing analytics business, which more that doubled last year,” Carey said. “We’ll continue to see strong retention and maintaining of our Click Forensics business and expect to see triple growth on our marketing analytics business.”

Adometry closed an $8 million round of funding in 2013, again from Austin Ventures, Shasta Ventures and Sierra Ventures, and added 100 employees. In September the company moved to larger quarters in the Lakewood Center Building II on Capital of Texas Highway.

The current total employee count is about 135. More growth is expected this year, although there are no plans at the moment to seek additional funding. That could change as the year evolves, Carey said.

If Adometry did want to raise more this year, Ball feels confident they wouldn’t have any trouble: “The good news is you already have three solid venture capital firms behind it. You’ve got a bunch of other later-stage venture investors who constantly call us about this company. It’s kind of the prototypical Austin company of software as a service with a team that we’ve worked with before that has figured out a really hard problem, and now it’s really scaling. If they needed more money, I’m sure we would be there; I’m sure a lot of people from the outside would fight very hard to invest.”

Market dominance, not profitability, is the company’s current priority. With the exception of Boston’s Visual IQ, there aren’t a lot of competitors to Adometry at the moment, but it won’t be this way for long.

“Like any successful company in a market, it’s going to get crowded over the next couple of years,” Carey said. “Once you have this kind of growth and success, other people start to poke their heads up and take interest. We’re super excited to be a leader and be successful. We’ll work hard to keep driving that and keep new competition at bay.”

Google has recently stepped up is analytics game, offering similar services to Google Analytics premium customers, which Carey sees as calling attention to the entire industry.

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in Silicon Hills News’ print magazine which debuted at SXSW Interactive