Ad Tech: $400m from Apple? Deal! FlashTalking Doing 15-40b Impressions/month

John Nardone

In Episode #840, Nathan interviews John Nardone. He’s the CEO of Flashtalking, a first generation adtech pioneer. He served as the founding board member of the Internet Advertising Bureau. He’s known for his groundbreaking work at Pepsi, Modern Media and Marketing Management Analytics and received the Adtech Industry Achievement Award in 2012. As CEO at [x+1], he helped transform that business into a top-rated data management platform or DMP. Rocket Fuel acquired the company for $230M in 2014.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Getting Naked
  • What CEO do you follow? – Steve Jobs
  • Favorite online tool? — Amazon and eBay
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I might have started having kids a little bit sooner”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:52 – Nathan introduces John to the show
  • 02:40 – Flashtalking was a partner of [x+1], currently known as Rocket Fuel
  • 02:45 – Days after the acquisition, John got an offer to work with Flashtalking
  • 03:23 – John decided to give-in to the offer and saw Flashtalking as an opportunity to stay in adtech
  • 03:39 – John joined Flashtalking in 2015
  • 03:53 – Flashtalking had been around since 2000 and it was bootstrapped by the founders
  • 04:25 – Flashtalking came to the US in 2010
  • 05:36 – John joined the company, mainly because of his vision and excitement for innovation and marketing
  • 06:43 – John has bought a part of the company
  • 07:03 – Flashtalking uses real-time data to personalize the communication with each consumer
    • 07:10 – A simple example is retargeting
    • 08:04 – Retargeting can happen on multiple devices
  • 08:27 – One of Flashtalking’s clients is Walmart
  • 08:56 – Flashtalking analyzes the customer’s behavior on a website
    • 09:54 – Smartphone and current devices have changed the way we consume digital marketing
    • 10:50 – Location data is included with the data that Flashtalking gathers
    • 11:13 – Flashtalking makes the decision for what kinds of ads to show to the customers
  • 11:30 – Flashtalking charges per CPM
    • 12:05 – There are discounts for those with bigger volumes
  • 13:01 – Flashtalking is not currently using AI technology
  • 14:10 – Flashtalking currently has 40 clients that account for 80% of the revenue
    • 14:26 – Flashtalking focuses on their big, global clients
  • 15:20 – Average volume of impressions is 15B to 40B a month depending on the season
  • 17:00 – Flashtalking focuses on helping their clients improve and get the experience that will drive their success metrics
  • 17:50 – Team size is 280 globally
  • 17:56 – Flashtalking hasn’t raised any capital aside from the buyout and it has been profitable since Day 1
  • 19:10 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Your vision will lead you to the companies that will help you grow, and eventually change the world.
  2. Technology has significantly affected how we consume advertising.
  3. There are specific markets where AI technology can be used well.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives