General Information

AdRoll is a technology company focused on helping ambitious brands, of all sizes, make a name for themselves. Founded in 2007, AdRoll’s growth platform supports more than 37,000 brands in their quest to attract, convert and retain customers. The growth platform analyzes over 1.2 billion shopper profiles to enhance messaging and targeting across top-tier publisher sites like CNN and social media channels.

In advertising, it is all about visibility. Knowing who can see what is critical. Knowing your place in the market is everything. These three statements help AdRoll stay keen on their product and work. At AdRoll we met with Aaron Bell, Co-founder and CPO, and Julie Zhou, Director of Product.

Product Innovation

Good products don’t require people to change was one of the main themes at AdRoll. It poses a problem when people and companies have to bend how they work in order to achieve visibility, so instead, it is suggested to find a solution where one doesn’t have to do as drastic of things. Here, they work to build better, more cohesive services so that their customers don’t have to change, in other words AdRoll is trying to mostly use incremental innovations.

Process Innovation

Everyone starts somewhere. When telling the story of how AdRoll came to be, co-founder Aaron Bell spoke about how he had started with an entirely separate home-grown company with his wife. It sparked the idea that backs AdRoll, and that was all it took. Confidence is key to growing, as is knowing the market. Competing with large companies requires a new level of commitment, but it can be rewarding. As AdRoll is growing quickly, last year a clear strategy for driving innovation thought customers needs was missing. Julie was brought in to Adroll to help out with defining clearer customer profiles to target the best opportunity for innovation.

Innovation Metrics

One important and relatively new metric for AdRoll comes from their sales teams. Knowing how your customers are doing, keeping tabs on what their concerns are was deemed important toward innovation. It became a system of asking, “What would you be concerned about losing?” and not “What would you like to gain?” This allows for a narrower path rather than the imagination and unsureness of the future from the customers. How can one know what they want if they haven’t experienced or seen it elsewhere?

The Cluster Advantage

Co-opetition is a common theme in Silicon Valley, used everywhere with all the companies. Partnering up with other companies has given AdRoll the ability to grow both in size and reputation. With advertising being in the “frenemy” zone, moving out of the steamroller’s way to other areas can be better off than being crushed.

Fun fact

In 2012, AdRoll was the fasted growing company in California and fastest growing advertising company in the US.

Memorable Quote

“In advertising, it’s hardcore frenemy stuff.” Aaron Bell, Co-founder and former CEO of AdRoll, on collaboration versus competition

Click HERE to visit AdRoll’s website