Danny Bibi is the Founder and President of AdMedia, a performance-based advertising network company that helps their clients to scale their business and their voice online. AdMedia has about 150 sites within their network that they own and operate as well as being the creator of more than 40 different traffic products, including contextual.com and intextual.com. Contextual is a product that creates text ads that compete with Google Adsense. AdMedia has also build mobile ad products that show ads based on the location of the user. AdMedia can help you create new advertising without being reliant on Facebook or even Google Ads. The company makes use of machine learning and AI to provide the best returns on advertisement to their clients.
Where did the idea for AdMedia come from?
I’ve been working in the online advertising space about 25 years, and I started AdMedia about 20 years ago. AdMedia is a bit like a conglomerate, taking all of these different pieces, sites, verticals, and digital assets and integrating them into one platform which does everything from search to video on several different channels.
At AdMedia, we really try to look at advertising from a user’s perspective. We have our own data management platform with over 200 million profiles in the U.S. with detailed information such as age, gender, location, income level, and FICO score. We can even drill down to the actual goals of the user and what they are in the market for. It helps us to make decisions about buying ads on a user. It gives us the ability to really target the user across channels and across devices.
We’ve acquired a lot of companies over the years of being in the space. For example, we have our squeaky unit which is our search widget that goes onto sites. It has highlighted buzz keywords that users are searching for in order to get them to click through, conduct a search, and purchase a product.
We have all these different value-add products that give us the ability to really target users on a search. When a user is reading content, we are able to basically crawl the content of the pages the user is on and understand what market the user is in or what placement the user is in for a product. We are looking constantly at data across the web to know what a user is doing at any given time and then we basically package it and run advertising campaigns for our clients.
We are able to outperform Google 9 times out of 10 on all of the enterprise brands that we are running. We want to grow our business and gain access to more advertisers by marketing ourselves and trying to get out there and getting more exposure.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There are fires to put out and issues to deal constantly within the workday. But I try to also make each day productive by setting aside time each day to really focus on new initiatives and things that we expect to come up a few months from now. I am looking for things that are new and innovative that we can do that no one else is doing. I try to always take some time to look at those things.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I look at things from a high level, consider what we can do on our end, and then I draft it out and put it on paper. I come up with a project plan to work on some concepts and to test whether or not it is viable. We have a whole team to work on new ideas and how to grow it and scale it once we have tested it, but a lot of it is also just trial and error until you find the right mix that is going to work. You can only plan something out so much. Of course, it’s also about execution. You actually have to do it in order for it to work.
The work is a hybrid of creativity and technical skill. It is a combination that keeps me energized. If it was all creative and concepts without execution, I think I would be bored. Putting everything together, the creative and the technical work, and seeing a tangible output is motivating.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is the unification of all digital media into one platform, which is what we have built. I think what excites me is being able to run a campaign and build custom campaigns for enterprise level advertisers and being able to outperform companies like Google and Facebook and Bing and others who have a lot more resources than we do. I love hearing that we outperformed Google.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Just staying the course and working through difficult issues is the best habit. Don’t get discouraged. Even if you are feeling down or there is an issue that’s come up, make sure you are able to mitigate risk and focus on the end goal.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would say try to branch out into other areas of technology. I often look back and think, I should have tried that or done this, but I didn’t do it in certain cases. Now I would tell myself to just go for it and try it out, even if it seemed outside of my specialty because I would like to know if I could do it.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Drum up the business and then work on the solution after. Everyone would disagree with me on that because they would say you have to have the solution and then you get the business. But I say, get the business and then build the solution.
Building a solution and then trying to find the business and then not being able to get the business puts you in a situation where you just wasted a lot of time and resources. Whereas if you have the business and you are working on the solution, then you are working the goal of getting a payment for that client. There is something there you are working towards. It’s more of the entrepreneurial bootstrap mentality that I come from. It’s the reverse of the thinking of a venture capitalist or the thinking of large companies with hierarchies.
It’s better to go after the client and then build a custom solution for them that will outperform the other companies that are your competitors.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Constantly look at your book of business and what key players you are going to need in order to take the business to the next level. Whether you are a startup, or you are an established business, it is the same. You have to continually look at where you are today and then what you need in order to continue. Even if it’s successful, what do you need to continue to make it successful. Businesses die and business changes. It is never going to be stagnant or stay the same. You have to constantly look for innovation and the key players and talent that you need. The people make the business. You have to have the right people to sustain and grow your business.
If there is a bad apple in the bunch, just get rid of them. Even if there is going to be a negative review or whatever, don’t worry about the repercussions. it is fine because at the end of the day everyone else in the business has their livelihood at stake and you need to keep things working well so that everyone else can keep their jobs and get paid. You have to look at the greater good for the folks at the company, not just one person who is basically not doing anything or is disgruntled or is not going to be able to help the company grow. It is better to remove them for the greater good of the company as a whole.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Definitely research, testing, configurations and different traffic integrations in order to find the best and most effective or efficient way to optimize inventory, traffic, and conversions for advertisers.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I’ve had was hiring the wrong people. A poor hire may cost loss, but they may not do anything to sustain or grow your business and may even make things worse. If you hire the wrong people, you are increasing your overhead, but you will not get the production that you need. I have learned that even if it’s hard to get the right person or they are more expensive and a little bit out of your budget, it is still worth it to have the right person that will help your business to grow. The same principle applies to hiring professionals such as accountants and attorneys. It is so important to have the right people.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think a great new business idea would be a virtual notary service. It sure would be convenient. With the way technology is going, we should be able to accomplish that.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My LinkedIn advertising. It helps you to target the right people. It has been a really good outlet for us to connect with people even during the pandemic. Previously we were doing a lot of trade shows each year, and now LinkedIn has been a great way to connect with professionals.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Slack helps me to be productive, particularly Slack messaging. You can set up team meetings and phone conferences. It’s easy since it is all done within one platform. It is easy to organize and navigate.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend Work Disrupted: Opportunity, Resilience, and Growth in the Accelerated Future of Work by Jeff Schwartz. This was printed in 2021 and provides a good solid overview of the current status of work opportunities and even discuss the effects of COVID-19 in the current workplace.
What is your favorite quote?
“Scars are a sign of a champion.”
- Never give up.
- Get the right people on your team.
- Drop the bad apples.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.