LiveIntent Hires New Prez to Make E-Mail “Next Big Thing” in Adtech

With a new president onboard, e-mail advertising technology company LiveIntent may have some aggressive growth plans in store.

On Monday, the company announced it hired Jason Kelly, who previously was CEO at Sociomantic, president at Millennial Media, and chief revenue officer at Admeld. Those companies were acquired by Dunnhumby, AOL, and Google, respectively. That track record of seeing deals done could speak to some of the action to come at New York-based LiveIntent.

The company’s software is used by publishers to pick the ads that come up when someone opens e-mails sent from the publisher.

In 2015, LiveIntent was busy raising funds and acquiring two other businesses: the AVARI recommendation engine from Germany’s RetentionGrid and Denmark-based Mojn, a data onboarding company.

Kelly will report to LiveIntent CEO Matt Keiser, who says, “Jason will help us position ourselves to continue this hyper-growth mode.” Previous company president Dave Hendricks relocated to London last year to serve as president of LiveIntent’s British operations.

With Kelly taking over some day-to-day sales and marketing at LiveIntent, Keiser says he will have more time himself to be involved in engineering and other aspects of the company.

Part of what LiveIntent will work on for 2016 includes integrating the Mojn and AVARI technology it acquired, says Keiser, to target ads and marketing more efficiently by understanding customer intent. Marriott, for example, uses LiveIntent’s platform for monetization and marketing, but until now could not track behavior on its website that relates to a person’s intention to book a room. “We had no way of mapping online behavior back to e-mail,” Keiser says, “and then be able to show that consumer the same hotel when they open an e-mail sent by Marriott.”

The technology LiveIntent acquired, he says, will let the company capture online behavior for that purpose. “Most companies are trying to take offline data and move it online,” Keiser says. “What we focus on is taking online data and map it to cookies.”

That lets marketers send targeted ads within e-mails that can come from any of the publishers who use LiveIntent. So an e-mail from The New York Times could include an offer for hotel rooms the reader looked up at the Marriott website, he says.

LiveIntent is ambitiously trying to ride a wave Keiser claims is happening in digital marketing and advertising. “This shift from targeting devices, using cookies, to the ability to target people is the largest shift in advertising and marketing since digital itself,” he says.

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