Last year, we highlighted Tech 500 finalist Spongecell. It’s no surprise that the company made this year’s Tech 200 list as well. In the past year, the company has tripled in size, opened an office in Europe, and continue to expand in the US. It’s also nearly doubled its revenues: in 2009 the company brought in $1,123,000. In 2010, that number was $4,000,000. CEO Ben Kartzman attributes this growth to several factors. First, the company’s retaining clients like nobody’s business. Some of Spongecell’s clients have been with them from the start, which was a measly three years ago.
Second, the company’s core team is bringing in new employees and training them to thrive in the “client-friendly culture.” Finally, says Kartzman, “the growth and attention that the display advertising industry has garnered has helped us tremendously as well as more and more brand dollars shifting online every day.”
In other words, Spongecell is thriving because brands are learning to step up their advertising game. Not bad.
What does that new advertising frontier look like? Spongecell focuses on creating interactive and dynamic advertisements that might change based on a viewer’s behavior online. You and I probably won’t see the same ad, especially if we’re visiting different types of websites. What advertisers with Spongecell love is its reporting capabilities. Companies can find out who interacted with an ad, and how they interacted. “We’ve always been able to extract an incredible amount of data from our ad units,” explains Kartzman, “Now we’re working on making those numbers more visual and easier to learn from.”
Kartzman still attributes Spongecell’s success to its sales team, who use tools like the company’s online ad gallery and internal CRM systems to better explain and showcase its products. They’re also using speaking opportunities and networking to increase sales. “But ultimately, we’ve found that when people see our product, they get it.”
Plans for the Future
Spongecell will be developing video products soon, though Kartzman says he won’t be announcing exactly what for a few more months. He also sees more global expansion, including additional development in Europe, as well as South America, Asia and Australia.
“Over the next five years we expect to be fully integrated into mobile and really become a one-stop shop for all digital advertising needs,” says Kartzman.