Friday 24 November 2017

Stitcherads emerges from beta to tackle Facebook commerce

Company: Stitcherads

What it does: Facebook marketing

Founders: Declan Kennedy, Conor Ryan, Peter Elgar

The most recent statistics say that two in three Irish adults have a Facebook account with over half using it every day. While publishers have long realised the social network's power in driving traffic and eyeballs, advertisers want a piece of it too. But how can a company make sure that its Facebook marketing strategy is having an impact? And how does it compare to 'traditional' online advertising strategies such as Google Adwords?

This is what Waterford-based Stitcherads, which employs 20 people in Waterford and London, has found a niche in. The company formerly known as Betapond has "pivoted" its business to focus on retail companies looking for effective advertising routes on social media.

"There are a few basic things in ad tech that have changed," said Declan Kennedy, co-founder and chief executive of Stitcherads. "One is identity-based targeting. With social media, you can target very effectively, meaning you can retarget each time. Mobile is particularly attractive to retailers, too, as the the percentage for UK mobile users of Facebook is so high now."

While social media has "changed the game" for ordinary people's web use, Facebook has been particularly prevalent, he said.

Facebook is where the world has moved to, especially on mobile," said Kennedy. "For retailers trying to expand into new business or territories, it really is one of the most underused ways to reach them. We find that our customers would get the same return from Facebook as from [Google] search campaigns. Basically, we make Facebook act like Search in terms of a return on investment."

Stitcherads started life as Betapond, which was co-founded by Conor Ryan and Peter Elgar and quickly became a Facebook 'partner' for companies seeking to commercialise social media strategies. The company grew quickly, landing customers such as Intel, Unilever, Marks & Spencer and Paddy Power. Last year, it raised €2.2m in a funding round led by Ulster Bank's Diageo Venture Fund, adding to over €1m it had raised previously.

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