New Verve CEO: Mobile/Location Combo Will Continue to Increase in Importance

May 1, 2015 — Street Fight Mag In the past two years, mobile ad tech has gone from an immature testing ground to a battlefield with billions of dollars at stake. In this struggle, location data has emerged as one of the most sought after assets in the mobile media mix, fueling the growth of a handful of local-centric mobile marketing startups.

One of the earliest players, Verve Mobile, has reached a turning point in its own evolution. The company parted ways with longtime CEO Tom MacIsaac in April, introducing former Acxiom CRO Nada Stirratt as the new chief executive. Stirratt faces an advertising industry in the throes of a deep transition to programmatic buying, even though mobile media is substantially farther along than its desktop counterpart.

Street Fight caught up with Stirratt to talk about the company’s vision for the future of the industry.

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Verve Mobile Appoints Chief Business Development Officer Brad Herman to Advance Strategic Partnerships and Corporate Strategy

NEW YORK – April 27, 2015  Following the recent appointment of chief executive officer Nada Stirratt, Verve Mobile, the leader in location-based mobile advertising, today announced the appointment of Brad Herman to the newly created role of chief business development officer, effective immediately. In this key leadership role, Herman will report directly to Stirratt and will be responsible for Verve’s go-to-market strategy and accelerating strategic partnerships and business development. 

Herman joins Verve from online video advertising platform Videology. As the company’s chief media officer, Herman was responsible for all media operations, corporate development, product strategy, sales and publisher relations. He was instrumental in building the company’s demand platform and in forging a number of strategic partnerships with prominent media partners including Google and Sony.

“The complexity of serving location-based advertising on mobile devices for marketers of all levels requires continual innovation across many different constituencies,” said Nada Stirratt, chief executive officer, Verve Mobile. “Brad Herman is a proven talent in developing product partnerships and driving unique service relationships to accelerate revenue growth. Having Brad join me to focus on these efforts is a true honor and I’m extremely confident that he will quickly have a positive impact on Verve’s business.”

Prior to Videology, Herman worked for Stirratt at MTV Networks, where he was senior vice president of digital operations. Here he oversaw digital sales and campaign operations, strategy, yield optimization, business intelligence and product development. Herman was also responsible for streamlining MTV’s ad serving system and played a critical role in negotiating a $500 million partnership between Viacom and Microsoft, granting the latter the exclusive right to market Viacom’s unsold advertising inventory.

“Today, the opportunity for location-based advertising is significant and global and the seamless integration of product and corporate strategy is critical,” said Herman. “I am excited to join Verve and help accelerate the investments of such an innovative company.”

Herman holds a B.A. in economics from Duke University and is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. His rich legal expertise has generated over $3 billion across a wide variety of transactional, financial and security matters. As the senior director of corporate development at Herman was recruited by the CEO to drive the company’s liquidity strategy and ultimately led the platform’s IPO process that culminated in a $435 million sale to AOL.

He will be based in Verve’s Washington, D.C. office.

Verve CEO Stirratt’s First Priority: Sharpen Location Ad Message

April 22, 2015 — GeoMarketing As digital ad vet Nada Stirratt settles into her first week as CEO of location ad platform Verve Mobile, the first challenge she wants to address is the often muddled perception of the company’s strengths in a very crowded space.

For the past year, Verve has focused on lining up partnerships with companies such as beacon platform Gimbal and local TV broadcasters, as well as on solidifying its role as a programmatic point of connection for both buyers and sellers by crafting geo-targetable audience segments.

Verve has gotten a good share of attention from brands, agencies, publishers, and other platform companies for its range of location analytics and ad serving products. But as the space matures rapidly, being able to demonstrate a clearer distinction on products, analytics, and marketing alliances versus its competitors is considered key.

GeoMarketing: What are your initial goals as you take on this new role? What do you think are the main opportunities and challenges for Verve?

Nada Stirratt: My first goal is to focus on marketing and I am in the process of recruiting for a CMO. Verve has unique and proprietary capabilities in our platform and we need to make these better known to a much broader swatch of the marketing mix. What we have built is so compelling across so many categories — retail, automotive, CPG — but also applicable to many other industries.

We have a superior product and the unique capability to combine our mobile media reach, precise next-generation targeting capabilities like beacons, Passbook and in-store loyalty app integrations. These not only reach and drive consumers into stores but also continue to communicate with the consumer in the store and drive them to the register.

A challenge for us is how to break through the noise around location marketing. It’s a really hot concept right now. But the combination of the premium reach with the precision we offer is unique to Verve — real-time, verified location data that’s tied to a device ID. Driving that message into the marketplace is one goal I have right now.

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Former Acxiom Revenue Chief Lands CEO Role at Verve Mobile

April 21, 2015 — Ad Age Digital industry vet Nada Stirratt, most recently chief revenue officer and exec VP and Acxiom, has landed in a CEO role. Ms. Stirratt will serve as CEO of Verve Mobile, a location-based mobile ad firm. She was with Acxiom for around three years following jobs with MySpace, MTV andAOL.

During her stint with marketing-data giant Acxiom, the firm formed a partnershipwith Starcom MediaVest Group and acquired data onboarding outfit LiveRamp.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

“Verve has raised $36 million to date, and the 10-year-old company boasts partnerships with over 2,000 media partners. According to Ms. Stirratt, Verve helps companies such as Hearst, Gannett, 21st Century Fox…and NBC Universal deliver highly targeted local ads via their mobile sites and apps by marrying mobile device data with advertisers’ own data and data from individual publishers.”

Acxiom often helps clients link their proprietary customer data to mobile device and online data for ad targeting, so it’s no surprise Ms. Stirratt sees the value in Verve’s business.


Verve’s New CEO: ‘Location Is The Sweet Spot Of Mobile Advertising’

April 21, 2015 –AdExchanger Acxiom vet Nada Stirratt is looking to spread the good word about location-based advertising in her new role as CEO of Verve Mobile, announced Monday.

“The last few years have been about Angry Birds and app downloads, but now the market is finally talking about reaching consumers in particular locations,” said Stirratt, who comes to Verve after more than three years as CRO at Acxiom, where she helped guide last year’s LiveRamp acquisition.

Verve hasn’t deviated from the core hypothesis the company was founded on in 2005, said Stirratt, who takes the reins from former CEO Tom MacIsaac.

“People are going to continue to buy things at a location – more than 90% of of commerce is conducted in brick-and-mortar stores,” she said. “That’s the premise we were built on and we don’t see it changing. Verve has been evangelizing around this for the last 10 years, but it’s now that the message is really starting to resonate.”

Verve has 150 employees spread across three offices in Carlsbad, California; Bethesda, Maryland; and New York City, where it has its headquarters. Clients include Kohl’s, Nordstrom, P&G, Macy’s, Best Buy, H&M, Mercedes-Benz, AT&T, Diageo, Kraft, Hallmark, Well Fargo and Target. The company, which has raised $36.9 million since 2008 and has been profitable since the fourth quarter of 2013, is set to do more than $75 million in revenue in 2015.

Stirratt talked with AdExchanger on day one of her new post.

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