Sramana Mitra: What year was this when you decided to start Media IQ?
Gurman Hundal: We launched in October 2010.
Sramana Mitra: What was the idea? What did you think you were going to do with Media IQ at that time?
Gurman Hundal: When you run online ads, you are actually sitting on a lot of data and learning a lot about your client’s business. Clients were just judging the effectiveness of advertising. If they invested $10,000 into a campaign, do they get an ROI of $100,000 in sales? We were confident we could always deliver results better than the rest of the market.
However, what we realized is, we wanted to be known as the company who delivers the results and that derives and unlocks the best insights from those campaigns. How can we help clients with the insights that we learned in areas outside of just digital advertising? How can we help them build bigger business by just leveraging the data that they get?
Sramana Mitra: Can you put this in the context of the market and the competitive landscape for me? When you started back in 2010, what came up when you were doing your competitive research?
Gurman Hundal: The competitors were the performance advertising networks who we used to work for. Up and coming companies at that time were RocketFuel and ComCast. Some of the legacy companies were Exponential and the like. We thought these companies were only interested in taking advertising dollars, deliver results, but there was no real insight or education they were giving back to clients.
We wanted to compete with them, first and foremost, on a results basis and then secondly and where we would be different, is give insights and educate clients about their businesses. We wanted to go and compete with the online advertising networks and we differentiated not just through performance but also through the insights.
Sramana Mitra: When you pitch this to a client, what do you tell them? How do you win deals?
Gurman Hundal: We say, “What is your biggest business challenge? If we can inspire you with the insight to overcome that business challenge, we’ll be a value to you.” Then they say, “How do you get started?” We say, “We can start working with you by running your advertising campaigns.” Then they start trusting us after we ramp their campaigns.
When we start delivering insights, they start asking us about more areas in their business. The initial pitch is we can solve some of your biggest business problems because we are brilliant at unlocking insights from all the data. We normally get started and start collecting data just by running their advertising campaigns.