The dream of digital advertising being 100% measurable and attributable is a myth. In this story, we kick around the issues with Damon Ragusa, CEO of ThinkVine.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with introducing our audience to yourself as well as to the company.
Damon Ragusa: I’m the Founder and CEO of ThinkVine. My background is in events analytics. I’ve spent a couple of decades in the analytics field primarily supporting strategic marketing objectives across B2B and B2C businesses. ThinkVine is a marketing optimization software and services company. We provide four core capabilities to our customers—software platform for planning marketing, the ability to attribute marketing to sales performance, forecasting capabilities, and advanced optimization capabilities. In a larger sense, we help companies gain more marketing-driven sales for every dollar they spend. We typically work with large B2C marketing organizations.
Sramana Mitra: Let me ask you to do a bit of an ecosystem map for us. We’re working in very crowded spaces. Lots of people are doing lots of things. Can you give us a flavor of what your ecosystem looks like, who’s doing what, and how do you compete?
Damon Ragusa: At a very high level, the ecosystem we’re working includes marketing technology as well as the advertising technology space. That includes everywhere from agencies all the way through to marketing automation platforms. Think about the big marketing clouds. Places like SAP, Oracle, and Salesforce. We occupy an area around events analytics and attribution.
We remain an independent perspective for marketing organizations to make qualified decisions in how to invest their dollars. The reason why I fix on the independent part is in this large ecosystem, there’s a lot of companies whose job is to automate or improve through better data or better analytics on how to buy media. There’s a lot of technology in ad tech space. There needs to be a layer of independence and deep analytics that evaluates how all that spend works for a company so that VPs of Marketing can make the perfect decisions on how to invest the money.
We sit inside that world between the marketer that are providing the places to promote whether that’s television all the way down to websites and digital technology. We try to remain a very comprehensive platform and look across media. Our job is to help those organizations who are buying marketing to make the best decisions.
Sramana Mitra: Who are your competitors?
Damon Ragusa: We have a lot of competitors across a couple of different areas. Competitors can be larger organizations like Nielsen. We compete with some of the big management consulting companies like Accenture. We have direct competitors in what we consider as marketing mix vendors. In the last five years, there’s a breed of companies called digital attribution vendors. There’s a whole bunch of companies coming in line because attribution is a very popular thing to talk about right now in terms of things that are trending. Our market has a lot of conversation and push around being smarter about attribution.