Verve’s Executive Team Rebuild Continues, Kevin Arrix Named CRO

October 6, 2015 — GeoMarketing Digital advertising veteran Kevin Arrix is taking on the chief revenue officer role at Verve Mobile, filling a large hole at the mobile ad platform as CEO Nada Stirratt continues to reposition the company in way that balances “data-driven” programmatic ad sales with traditional, brand-friendly models.

While Arrix arrives at Verve from SFX Entertainment, where he was EVP of worldwide brand partnerships, he previous worked closely with Stirratt at Viacom’s MTV Networks. At the time, Stirratt was digital ad sales head at MTVN and among the leadership posts Arrix had during his nine-year tenure at the company was EVP of digital ad sales, where he was in charge of sales, operations, marketing, and product development for a variety of Viacom brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and Spike.

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Verve Names Kevin Arrix Chief Revenue Officer

Appointment fuels company growth and international expansion following record-breaking third quarter

NEW YORK, NY – October 6, 2015 –  Verve, the leader in location-based mobile advertising, today announced the appointment ofKevin Arrix to the position of chief revenue officer, effective immediately. Reporting to Verve’s chief executive officer, Nada Stirratt, Arrix will be responsible for maximizing revenue and expanding Verve’s position in U.S. markets as well as overseas.

Arrix joins Verve from SFX Entertainment, where he was executive vice president of worldwide brand partnerships. In this role, he served as chief revenue officer for Viggle, a mobile-based entertainment rewards platform.  As revenue lead for SFX, Arrix oversaw global sales and business development and was responsible for the strategic direction and execution of SFX live events, media and content creation, as well as licensing.

“I worked with Kevin at Viacom. He knows how to build and scale successful, strategic sales organizations,” said Stirratt.  “I am confident his leadership will even further accelerate our revenue growth as we lead advertisers and their agencies into more sophisticated, data-driven mobile marketing.”

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Advertisers Only Want to Buy Viewable Mobile Ads, But Sellers Are Waiting For Standards

August 20, 2015 — The Wall Street Journal Over the past few months, a growing number of ad buyers have started insisting on purchasing only mobile ads that people can actually see, say media sales executives.

The insistence when it comes to mobile ads follows an industrywide push over the past year or so aimed at ensuring that marketers only pay for viewable ads on desktops.

Problem is, the advertising industry’s leading measurement authority, the Media Rating Council, which audits research firms ranging from Nielsen to Rentrak, has yet to accredit any third-party technology firms to track mobile ad viewability. (Over a dozen companies have been accredited for desktop ads.) Many ad buyers and sellers say that the mobile data available today from companies such as Moat and Integral Ad Science is far from perfect.

But with mobile accounting for 50% or more of traffic to some major websites, advertisers don’t want to wait for mobile viewabilty to get sorted out. They want to run mobile ads now, and they only want to pay for ones that people have a chance to see. There’s a lot of money at stake, with mobile ad spending expected to exceed $28 billion in the U.S. this year, according to eMarketer. The concern is that money may be wasted on mobile in one of two ways.

On the one hand, advertisers don’t want to pay for mobile ads that people never have a chance to see, either because people scroll past them before they are fully in view on a given screen, or because these ads technically fail to render for whatever reason.

On the flip side, media companies are concerned that the mobile ads they are delivering that actually are viewable aren’t being given credit because the tracking technology is flawed or because the way the technology is being implemented doesn’t count mobile ad campaigns accurately.

Ad buyers’ insistence on purchasing only viewable ads before standards and tracking technology have been established is causing big headaches for media companies. Those companies say that because vendors haven’t been accredited to track mobile ads and because tracking mobile ad viewabiliy is inherently different on mobile devices versus desktop computers, they are faced with all sorts of discrepancies–and potential lost revenue–when tracking the performance of ad campaigns.

“It’s a struggle,” said Monica Ho, head of marketing at the mobile ad firm xAd. Her team frequently runs mobile ad campaigns, only to hear from a third party that 50% of the ads they believe are being delivered are deemed non-viewable. “That’s significant. But we are being told that if we don’t use some sort of mobile viewability guarantee we won’t be on campaigns.”

Back in May, the MRC issued interim guidance on measuring mobile ads for viewability. Essentially, the MRC’s message for the ad market was this: we are working toward establishing metrics to track mobile ad viewability. At this point, no vendors are accredited to do so. In the meantime, you should count ads in mobile browsers as viewable the same way you count desktop display ads: if and only if at least 50% of the ad is visible for at least one second (two seconds for video ads).

However, in that guidance, the MRC also introduced a new metric that is unique to ads that appear in mobile applications. It said that ads that are “loaded” in apps, but may be visible for too short a time or have too little of the ad on screen to be considered  “viewable” to consumers, should not be counted as viewable in ad buys.

Needless to say, it’s complicated.

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Verve Adds Execs To Oversee Ad Operations And Creative Services

August 10, 2015 — GeoMarketing Four months into her tenure as Verve Mobile’s CEO, Nada Stirratt has added two senior management executives designed to enhance the company’s approach to campaign performance and how its mobile ad units actually look to consumers.

Most recently at entertainment rewards app platform Viggle, Anna Hougart is joining Verve as VP of revenue operations.  In addition, Walter Geer has left G/O Digital rich media provider PointRoll to become Verve’s VP and creative director. Both Hougart and Geer are former colleagues of Stirratt’s during her role as digital ad sales head at Viacom’s MTV Networks.

These two hires follow June’s addition of department store marketing vet Julie Bernard CMO. In the days after Stirratt was named to succeed Tom MacIssac as CEO, she had emphasized the need to redouble the work Verve had been doing over the past year of reshaping its identity from that of an insertion order-focused mobile ad network to a more programmatic and dynamically creative geo-targeting ad platform.

In her previous post, Hougart was responsible for all sales ops related to Viggle Audience Networks.

Among Geer’s accomplishments, he’s been cited for “applying biometric research to the development of creative executions and minimizing risk by understanding how consumer emotions and demographics impact brand engagement. He holds a total of six U.S Patents for digital ad formats and has served in various product strategy roles at Google and MySpace, in addition to his time at Viacom.

“Anna’s operational expertise and Walter’s award-winning creative precision make them essential additions to our leadership team,” said Stirratt in astatement. “We are delighted to welcome Anna and Walter as we continue to offer leading-edge mobile ad delivery and creative execution at the forefront of our industry.”


Verve Mobile Expands Leadership Team to Scale Sales Operations and Creative Development

NEW YORK, NY – August 10, 2015Verve Mobile, the leader in location-based mobile advertising, today announced two key senior management appointments to its leadership team: Anna Hougart will serve as vice president of revenue operations and Walter Geer joins the company as vice president and creative director. Both Hougart and Geer will be based in Verve’s headquarters in New York City. [Read more…]