|Founded||Kansas City, Missouri
|Headquarters||4600 Madison Avenue, 10th Fl.
Kansas City, Missouri 64112, USA
|Key people||Scott Lynn, Founder & Chairman
Ben Legg, CEO
Marco Ilardi, President
Raffaele Sadun, CFO
John Herbst, Chief Legal Officer
Founded in 2004, Adknowledge is a digital advertising company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. According to the company website, it’s the fourth-largest digital marketplace behind only Google, Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing—and the largest among privately held digital advertising companies. Adknowledge has designed and managed campaigns through social media sites, mobile, apps, email, video and display ads, for leading brands such as Range Rover, LG and L’Oréal. The company also works with publishers to help them monetize their sites and lists. In April 2013, leading industry publication Adotas ranked Adknowledge's email channel as the best in the industry for performance. CNBC once featured Adknowledge in an article entitled "Who's the Next Google?" The Wall Street Journal said, "Adknowledge provides performance, or cost-per-action, advertising for companies looking beyond traditional search engines such as Google and Yahoo."
Adknowledge was founded by Scott Lynn, who led the company as President and CEO until 2012 when then-COO Ben Legg (former COO for European Directories and Google Europe) became CEO. In a 2013 interview, Legg described digital marketing as the new customer research. “Online marketing is all about using consumer data to get an idea of what the consumer wants," Legg said. "You don’t even need to know exactly what they want; you just have to have an idea and then move at the speed of light to test that idea live." Adknowledge made news at 2013's ad:tech San Francisco conference with an invitation-only party on Alcatraz. The company produced a video that documented the evening. In June 2013, Adknowledge made it first-ever trip to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity where it showcased its AdParlor platform. On June 19, 2013, CEO Ben Legg was a guest on Bloomberg TV's Bloomberg West daily news show. He talked about advertising strategy on Facebook and the ways brands can carefully target ads to users. In August 2013, InsideCounsel magazine named Adknowledge's legal department as one of its 10 Most Innovative in an annual issue, joining 3M and The Hartford, among others on the list. In March 2014, CEO Legg was featured in a PerformanceIN.com profile. In it, the writer detailed Legg's background in the British Army's Royal Engineers and his time spent in various war zones.
Acquisitions and Growth
Adknowledge has grown organically and through acquisitions. This includes purchases of Super Rewards (sold in 2012), Miva, Cubics, Lookery, Media Run, Adonomics, Hydra Group, AdParlor, and SocialWeekend.
In November 2011, Adknowledge acquired Toronto-based AdParlor, a provider of social media advertising and management, which boasts more than a billion daily impressions on Facebook. In April 2012, Facebook merged the preferred developer consultant and marketing application programming interface developer programs into one program, named the Preferred Marketing Developer program, of which AdParlor was an initial member. At the time of creation, the program included 232 member companies in 35 countries. On September 20, 2012, Facebook designated AdParlor a Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer (sPMD) for Ads and Insights. Only 14 companies in the world have the sPMD status. In November 2013, Twitter named AdParlor as one of its Ads API partners, making it one of a small handful of specialists with preferred status with both Facebook and Twitter. On November 5, 2013, Adknowledge CEO Ben Legg appeared live on Bloomberg TV's Bloomberg West program two days prior to Twitter's IPO. He spoke about Twitter's ad strategy and brands' ability to attract customers through Twitter.
In April 2013, Adknowledge announced the acquisition of Social Weekend Labs (officially registered as Montipay, Inc.), a San Francisco-based startup
Adknowledge has more than 300 employees located on four continents. In addition to the corporate headquarters in Kansas City, Adknowledge has North American offices in:
Adknowledge also has overseas locations in:
In 2006, Adknowledge raised $48 million from Technology Crossover Ventures, which retains an undisclosed ownership stake. In 2011, Adknowledge raised $200 million in D&E financing to fund growth and company acquisitions.
One of the Best Places to Work
Careers website Glassdoor.com named Adknowledge as one of the best U.S. companies to work for in its 2014 Employees' Choice Awards survey. Adknowledge ranked #24 on the midsize list, which covered a total of 50 companies with between 250-999 employees, and based in the United States.
- Adknowledge website | http://www.adknowledge.com/about/company-overview
- Case Study | http://www.thebridgecorp.com/pdfs/BridgeMarketing_AdknowledgeCaseStudy.pdf
- AdParlor website | http://www.adparlor.com/
- Adknowledge website | http://www.adknowledge.com/publishers/
- Adotas article | http://www.adotas.com/2013/04/adotas-ranks-adknowledge-1-in-email-ad-performance/
- CNBC article | http://www.cnbc.com/id/35814013
- Wall Street Journal Article | http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2010/07/29/the-100m-revenue-club-adknowledge-weaves-web-of-ads/
- ad:tech London website | http://www.ad-techlondon.co.uk/speakers_detail.aspx?Id=S626
- Profile Magazine | http://profilemagazine.com/2013/adknowledge/
- AllVoices article | http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/14295726-from-partying-at-alcatraz-to-free-giants-tickets-theres-a-lot-happening-at-adtech-san-francisco-this-year
- Vimeo video | http://vimeo.com/65686892
- Bloomberg TV segment | http://www.bloomberg.com/video/the-secrets-of-internet-advertising-04nhlY1yTm6f8LxhgOqrYA.html
- PerformanceIN website | http://performancein.com/news/2014/03/03/behind-ceo-ben-legg-adknowledge/
- CrunchBase page | http://www.crunchbase.com/company/adknowledge
- Financial Times | http://blogs.ft.com/tech-blog/2009/07/brewers-midas-touch/
- TechCrunch article | http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/16/playerize-adknowledge-super-rewards/
- Venture Beat article | http://venturebeat.com/2009/03/16/adknowledge-acquires-mivas-media-division-for-116m/
- Inside Facebook | http://www.insidefacebook.com/2008/11/07/adknowledge-acquires-lookerys-ad-network/
- Reuters | http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/11/03/idUS208048+03-Nov-2008+MW20081103
- Business Journal article | http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/stories/2010/06/21/daily3.html
- Business Insider article | http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-11-01/tech/30344811_1_advertising-undisclosed-sum-tail
- TechCrunch article | http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/01/adknowledge-acquires-facebook-ad-management-platform-adparlor/
- Facebook Officially Merges Partner Programs | http://allfacebook.com/facebook-officially-merges-partner-programs_b86457
- Facebook Establishes Elite Partner List, Social network announces Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer program | http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/facebook-establishes-elite-partner-list-143882
- Facebook website | https://developers.facebook.com/preferredmarketingdevelopers/spmds/
- Facebook sPMD site | https://developers.facebook.com/preferredmarketingdevelopers/spmds/
- Mediabistro article | http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/adparlor_b51268
- Bloomberg.com | http://www.bloomberg.com/video/the-advantages-of-advertising-on-twitter-C6lowMKERG~y9HzuXouBSg.html
- TechCrunch article | http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/08/adknowledge-acquires-socialweekend-labs/
- TechCrunch article http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/01/adknowledge-acquires-facebook-ad-management-platform-adparlor/
- VentureBeat article | http://venturebeat.com/2010/06/21/adknowledge-hydra/
- Techcrunch article | http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/12/hold-the-phone-adknowledge-actually-raises-200-million-plans-acquisitions/
- Glassdoor List | http://www.glassdoor.com/Best-Medium-Sized-Companies-to-Work-For-LST_KQ0,39.htm