Its roots as a digital agency have ensured that Acquisio understands how important it is to reduce the amount of time and effort agencies spend tracking and reporting results. Reporting was a thorn in its side 10 years ago when Acquisio was simply focused on helping smaller Canadian companies and agencies with their search engine programs. So when the company made the shift several years ago to work exclusively on software development, it knew it had a market in mind.
Which is why Montreal-based Acquisio now focuses exclusively on helping agency marketers better buy, track, manage, optimize and report on their clients’ search, social, and display advertising campaigns. Its solution is designed to help agencies deal with data overload and take some of the headaches out of campaign management, optimization and reporting.
“We’re focused on helping agencies deliver better results,” says Marc Poirier, co-founder and CMO of Acquisio. “We help them with bid and budget management, as well as client reporting. The goal is to automate repetitive tasks.”
In today’s digital ad environment, pay-per-click, social and display advertising are often different disciplines that are managed separately. Making sense of this can be a struggle for agencies if they don’t have the technology in place to analyze the data. Performance marketing tools such as Acquisio’s can help them gain control over campaign performance, and, perhaps more importantly, see how these channels interact with one another so they can act on that information as well.
“Agencies need good tracking so they can tell why, when and how a conversion occurs,” Poirier notes. “Because we see every ad impression a person is exposed to, when a conversion happens, we are able to go back and see all of the events that led up to the conversion. It gives marketers the tools to assign credit to all of the events that resulted in the conversion, including Facebook and display ads.”
Acquisio’s platform allows agencies to handle all tasks associated with performance advertising, from ad purchase through conversion tracking and beyond, within a single integrated platform. Although it started in search, Acquisio now tracks display, social and demand-side buys also. Poirier notes that being able to follow interactive ads in conjunction with search provides even greater insight into conversion and engagement.
“A lot of people think all that matters is the last click before the conversion occurs,” he says. “Historically that’s how display has been judged. Having the ability to see across channels, you can see, for instance, how ad impressions are generating search queries. It’s not simply about the click but the journey. A person might see an ad 50 times before searching for the brand directly.”
Unlike other solutions, Acquisio hosts its own third-party ad server and employs a single tracking functionality across channels, allowing agency marketers conversion and revenue attribution modeling and reporting capabilities. Acquisio now has more than 4,000 users and 10,000 brands under its management, according to Poirier.
Acquisio’s approach seems to be working. The company was recently named the 46th fastest growing company in the 2011 Deloitte North American Technology Fast 500 and the ninth fastest growing technology company in Canada in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50. Moreover, the company completed a $12 million round of Series B funding, and has opened its first office outside of North America in London.
This success comes from Acquisio’s focus on agency needs. “The key is having technology that works well and data you can trust and rely on,” says Poirier. “Technology is the key and if you aren’t offering performance marketing to your customers, you should know that your competitors are.”