InterviewsThe Mail: An Interview with Tapstone CEO, Jonathan David

Here’s the full interview between Jonathan David of Tapstone and Murray Newlands of The Mail:

Tapstone is a brand new ad-tech company that seamlessly blends together a demand side platform, a data management platform, and a media agency to provide a complete end-to-end solution that combines proprietary data, technology, and personalized expertise to maximize return on ad spend, at scale.

To get to know the company better, we recently sat down with Jonathan David from Tapstone to take an in-depth look at their services, the goals of the company, and what they have planned for the future.

Tell us about yourself, your background, and how Tapstone helps clients and brands.

At this point, I would consider myself to be a serial entrepreneur. I’ve always been fascinated with business and started my first company when I was 18. It was a cellular phone store and business-to-business sales operation. With a partner, I raised the capital to start the company, and after seven years of consistent revenue and profit growth, we were able to sell the company.

I learned a great deal about the way consumers interacted with technology, and wanted to stay and work within the tech space. After a year or so of consulting on tech startup projects and starting a mobile marketing company, an investor in one of the startups reached out to ask me to work at his new ad tech company.

It was there I really learned about the digital media landscape. Under his mentorship and my inquisitive nature, I become an expert in display, social and mobile marketing. It discovered how important it is to leverage advertising technologies to maximize return on ad spend for our advertisers. I started Tapstone with this basis in mind, leveraging the aggregation of years of experience in consumer interaction data, 10’s of millions of dollars in media spend, and the expertise of our media buying and sales teams to create the most efficient and optimized online media strategy I’m aware of.

Tapstone provides marketers the opportunity to leverage proprietary consumer intelligence data and a suite of optimization tools to identify the most opportune spot media buys for our clients and their results-driven digital media campaigns. Using a perfect mixture of artificial intelligence managed by human experts, clients are able to capitalize on Tapstone’s original media blend to increase scale and ROI.

What types of brands do you like working with? Any particular verticals or industries you’re strong in or looking to tap into?

We work with many types of brands and have expertise in most major verticals including insurance, consumer lifestyle products, travel, finance, health/beauty, and more. Where I think we are the strongest is working with brands that are focused on maximizing their return on media spend and driving a specific and measurable response of some kind. It’s the brands that have a basic understanding of consumer advertising, but want supplemental targeting intelligence and optimization methodology for existing digital campaigns. We always start by testing media to minimize the up-front cost until we can identify the creative assets, targeting options, and conversion funnel combinations that are the most effective.

We’re always interested in testing new campaigns in different verticals, as long as we’re confident the client will be able to effectively maximize on the impressions and traffic we’re delivering on their behalf.

How did the Tapstone brand start? What was the inspiration behind the logo and tagline “The Perfect Blend?”

It was a unique opportunity for me to start Tapstone. My mentor, and the president of the company I had been working for decided to exit the media space. So with his blessing, I was able to start Tapstone with some of the same strategies as a new set of technological and data driven enhancements to service our current and future clients.

“The Perfect Blend” is really the cornerstone of the way we work. Tapstone provides a complete solution that leverages the use of proprietary data, technology and personalized expertise, creating the Perfect Blend.

We’ve created a model for excellence with this blend, which effectively taps into our client’s key target audiences. Our unique offering yields desired results and measurable value for clients and partners alike.

Tell us more about the team at Tapstone and their experience in the industry.

Every member of our media, sales, technology and operations team each bring with them a great deal of expertise and experience, and each of them is instrumental in Tapstone’s success. The head of our media team has years of digital media buying experience, having been directly exposed to $100’s of millions in media spend throughout his career. He was able to bring in a buying methodology and process that has allowed us to partner with major publishers, and provided a framework of targeting combinations and optimizations that have become a major force in the value we provide for our clients.

Additionally, on the media side, we have experts in social media, mobile and video. Their previous work experiences range from tech start-ups to Fortune 500 media companies and from advertising agencies to household brands.

Our technology director has spent years developing his project management and coding skills, having been involved in, and managed large-scale projects at companies ranging from ecommerce start-ups to Microsoft and Disney. This diversified experience makes him a great fit for managing the development of our “Performance Engagement Platform” (PEP) which is an optimization automation platform rooted in the identification of media opportunities best suited for a client’s offerings.

Our sales and account management team is comprised of people driven to provide the best results and service for our clients and are always enthusiastic about discussing how we can help brands achieve some of their digital media buying goals.

Who would be your ideal client or brand to work with at Tapstone?

We enjoy working with clients that want to partner with us. I would say our “ideal client” is a brand that understands the importance of having a diversified digital media strategy. I think the marketer who has a strong brand and is looking to do more than just grow their online presence really hits our “sweet spot.” It’s the marketer who wants to understand the performance of their online media spending and works collaboratively with us as we optimize the execution of their media campaigns for that perfect blend.

In your experience, where do most brands “miss the mark” when it comes to online advertising?

To be totally honest, I don’t think there is only one right way to buy media online. I believe it’s important for advertisers to have a diversified digital media buying approach, and that’s what Tapstone provides. At the end of the day, most media buys require the advertiser to decide between almost an infinite combination of targeting options; everything from demographic, psychographic, behavioral, ad unit size, ad placement, specific publisher placement, frequency cap and many more. We have a strategy for deciding what combinations to use, how to optimize based on those combinations, and the media pricing at which to purchase that we believe is very unique and has been proven more effective than most methodologies across 100’s of campaigns.

Since Tapstone is a relatively new brand, is it difficult achieving a balance between work and personal time in its early stages? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you’re not working or in the office?

Although “Tapstone” is a new brand, many of our team members have been working together in some capacity for years. Since the inception of Tapstone we instated some policies that create a synergistic workflow and culture. The culture of the office supports good banter, communication and, above all, a fun lively work place. At the end of the day, we all really enjoy working together.

In my spare time…well lately there hasn’t been a great deal of that, but I love playing ice hockey. If I’m not playing hockey I like to frequent new restaurants with my girlfriend and friends in and around LA. I’m a huge foodie, so it’s really fun to try new places and experience new cuisines.

What can we expect in the future for Tapstone? Where can people learn more about Tapstone and the services you provide?

I have always thought that if you’re working in the tech space, it’s good to be a little disruptive. I’d like to bring awareness to the way marketers are buying online media and perhaps open their eyes to the idea that the current status quo may not be ideal. I feel there’s a lot of wasted advertising dollars that can be better spent by utilizing a methodology that measures and rewards media performance in a way that is more straightforward than most current methods.

We’re in the process of developing a proprietary web portal that will provide clients with new means of visualizing the data associated with their digital media campaigns. We’re very excited about the launch of this new offering. Also, our platform will be constantly measuring aspects of every campaign we run, and automating a lot of the optimization and budget allocation associated with these campaigns. The developments following will reflect the ongoing changes we see in the digital media landscape. There is never a dull moment.

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