I’m a huge fan of Acquisio, one of the absolute best SEM Platforms around! I recently posted about Acquisio’s amazing Display Advertising eBook and highly recommend checking it out. Today, I couldn’t be more excited. I’m honored to interview Marc Poirier, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Acquisio! Without further ado, let’s jump into the interview!
Ian: Marc, thank you so much for interviewing with me. As someone who’s been following Acquisio for quite some time, I’m convinced this is going to become one of the most popular and exciting posts on PPC Ian! It’s a real honor!
Marc: The honor is all mine!
Ian: For my readers who are new to Acquisio, could you please give some background on what you guys do?
Marc: Acquisio is a performance media platform. Currently we provide more than 250 agencies with a complete solution to create, manage, automate, optimize, monitor and report on all of their clients’ campaigns across all search engines, saving them up to 90% of the time they spend on reporting to clients and preparing dashboards for themselves – it means going from 2 weeks per month on reporting to 1 or 2 days at the most. The other major benefit is the variety of automation tools available in the platform that lets Acquisio users automate campaign changes and boost performance results. Tools like the Optimizer, or the incredibly flexible rule-based system, and the easy to use and very powerful campaign automation algorithms, all of these can and do help our clients significantly improve campaign results while saving loads of time.
Ian: How about yourself? Co-founding a company as successful as Acquisio is quite inspiring. How did you get started in the SEM industry? When did you decide to start Acquisio?
More Than 300 Clients Leveraging Acquisio
Marc: I started in search a very long time ago, around 1997. I provided internet marketing services as a consultant to pay for University, but search was only a small part of my job as an internet marketer. In 2001-2002 I became obsessed with building websites that ranked well in search engines, did pretty well as an affiliate marketer, and in 2003 I founded Acquisio, which at the time was a pure search agency. As the business grew, our biggest pain by far became putting proper reports together for all of our clients, on time, every single month of the year. It paralyzed the entire company for 2 weeks at a time, which left our staff with very little time to do their jobs. We looked for solutions but at the time, all that was available on the market were bid management platforms, which we dabbled with, but they did not help us at all with the specific issues we had.
At some point in 2006 I knew we had an opportunity. We raised money, sold the agency business altogether, and took that money to hire the people we needed to get the first version of Acquisio in place. Originally it was basically a platform that provided our agency clients with a solution to consolidate their clients’ data from all search engines and to automate the entire client reporting process by leveraging gorgeous white label report templates. We launched officially in February 2008 and signed our first 2 clients who are still using Acquisio today. We have been quite aggressive at building out the feature set, and today we have more than 300 clients, about 250 of them are agencies.
Ian: That’s really great stuff! What an awesome story. I’m just about the biggest fan of SEM automation around. In fact, I can’t imagine living without it! What are some of Acquisio’s most popular features? How does the Acquisio SEM platform empower search engine marketers?
The Best Reporting Solution For Agencies, Period.
Marc: The most famous feature I think is the reporting automation system, it creates reports that look better than anything our clients have ever done before, and best of all, the reports are all prepared fully automatically, every day, every week, and every month, freeing up very important time their account managers can spend more time on campaign strategy and leverage to handle even more clients. We help agencies become profitable and scalable.
The KPI tracking is unique and provides highly useful insight. With its beautiful dashboard and incredible ease of use make it is a very popular tool.
The Only Real Rule-Based Campaign Automation
Of course all the campaign automation and bid management functionality is key and a huge reason for our success. I would argue we have the only real rule-based campaign automation in the industry. I have seen many black box systems that leave no room for the expert campaign manager to express their needs and have them automated. Ours is a business rule engine which we built ourselves and lets users create extremely sophisticated business rules based on absolutely any metric, meaning they can build rules to manage their cost per page view for example, or their cost per phone call. They can even use the rule engine to set the max CPC to any formula they can come up with. And for users who are reluctant to create their own rules, we implemented some pre-built rule templates they can use to optimize their max CPCs against hundreds of common business metrics, such as margins, cost per phone call, inventory levels, ROI, cost per conversion.
We also have fantastic campaign automation algorithms that help our clients campaigns reach their goals on any given performance metric.
Ian: Those are some true time saving and revenue generating features. What types of advertisers are best suited to leverage Acquisio? How about agencies? How about direct advertisers? What spend level makes the most sense?
An Ideal Platform For Agenices and Large Advertisers
Acquisio was designed for agencies – companies that have to manage multiple campaigns for multiple stakeholders across multiple accounts with different goals, budgets and strategies. Our advertiser clients are those larger companies who have these challenges as well. In my opinion, smaller advertisers are better off using a platform like Clickable, hiring an agency or doing things manually.
Ian: Sounds great. How about your pricing model? How does it work?
Marc: We take a small percentage of the ad spend on the media that is purchased through our platform – search, social and display. I definitely encourage all of your readers to check out our website. It’s loaded with valuable information including a page on pricing.
Ian: SEM automation is hot right now. It’s a dynamic and growing industry. What sets Acquisio ahead of the pack? What are some of the top reasons to go with Acquisio?
Marc: First off, our clients include some of the world’s largest and most recognized search agencies, as well as hundreds of smaller boutique agencies. In that specific segment, I think we win more business than all of our competitors combined, simply because of all of the work we have done to make their specific job as service providers easier.
Sample Acquisio Report (Click Image To Download Full Sample Report PDF)
So to answer your question, the most important difference is in the amount of time an agency will save using a platform that will completely automate all of their reporting for all of their clients. Imagine a typical situation where you have 6 or 7 account managers who spend the first 2 weeks of every month building reports. We cut that right down to 1 to 2 days at the most. That’s what we do for our clients. It’s very tangible. We make their business scalable, and most of all, much more profitable. Thanks to our platform, their account managers can easily double their capacity, which as far as I know is not at all the case for any other vendor out there. (Click here to download a sample Acquisio report.)
I think our competitors have mostly focused on managing bids to improve campaign performance, which I think they do quite well for the most part. We also do that very well, obviously. In fact, according to some of our clients who have used products made by the competition in the past, in many cases, the Acquisio rule system succeeded very well where others failed because it is so highly customizable and gives account managers so many more options.
Ian: I’m sold, those are some great reasons indeed! What’s in the pipeline? What are some of the next big things for Acquisio?
Cross-Chanel Tracking, Facebook, and Display Just Around The Corner
Marc: Cross-channel tracking and attribution and FB are in late Beta (I mean these things should be available to all of our clients in the coming weeks). Our display offering, which has been in the works for almost a year now, starts in January with a handful of clients. If all goes well, this should be available to all of our clients in Q1.
Ian: Those are some really exciting features. How about the industry? Where do you see the online marketing industry headed in the coming years? I couldn’t be more thrilled and am so happy I ended up in this exciting industry.
Marc: Search marketing as a discipline has transformed itself into performance marketing. As more and more channels follow search’s example and provide price discovery and biddable media, search marketers will add these weapons to their arsenal. Now we need to strive to understand the dynamics that exist between different channels and to learn how to build strategies that incorporate all media.
The Amount of Data Will Be Staggering
Also agencies and advertisers will need to start hiring data people – statisticians and mathematicians, database administrators, business analysts, people who have a knack for numbers and can make sense of the immense flow of data that is about to hit us all when we merge display, social, search, email and everything else into one platform. The amount of data available will be staggering, and so to help make sense of it all, platforms like Acquisio will be imperative for any serious agencies and advertisers managing so many online campaigns on so many different channels. Else, you will absolutely need to change your hiring practices and pick up a few less history majors and a few more PhDs in statistics.
Ian: Very cool. Marc, I’m betting a ton of PPC Ian readers are going to be interested in arranging an Acquisio demo. What’s the best way to contact you guys to learn more?
Contact Acquisio Today For A Live Demo
Marc: Of course, simply head over to our website, tell us a little about yourself, and we’ll book some time with you to answer all your questions and show you how the platform works with a live demo.
Ian: Marc it has been a true honor. What an exciting interview! I know this is going to be one of the top posts on PPC Ian. Thanks so much for everything. Any closing thoughts you’d like to leave PPC Ian readers with?
Marc: I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year filled with better data, deeper insights, improved margins and most of all, more free time to spend with your friends and families.
Ian: Thanks again Marc! PPC Ian readers, as you can tell, I’m a tremendous fan of Acquisio. It’s all about leverage: Getting more done with less, getting better results through platforms (as opposed to manual work). Leverage is where Acquisio shines! I highly recommend checking out this amazing search marketing platform today!
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Sample PDF Report In This Post © Acquisio