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IgnitionOne : Strength through diversity

July 2016

“We help marketers win,” declares Dave Ragals, global managing director of search at IgnitionOne. That’s the kind of answer you want to hear from a cloud-based, digital marketing company. Of course, it does beg one to ask the most obvious question: “How?”

“We provide deep insights and a very targeted focus on audiences, much deeper than where others go,” Ragals explains. Those insights come through the company’s Score-Powered Performance scoring engine. The data for the engine focuses on conversion rates and visitors. “Our proprietary digital marketing suite creates an engagement score to really help marketers understand who their users are, what they're interested in and where in the consumer journey they are,” Ragals says. “We can do this across a variety of channels, including paid search, social, mobile, display, email and on their websites.” Pretty clever, no?

The New York City-based company is not your average digital agency. It balances its digital marketing suite with a powerful data management platform to drive performance across devices. Although the company took on its current name in 2011 when it combined its user scoring capabilities with a Demand Side Platform (for managing multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface), it actually dates back close to two decades. As an innovator and enhancer in the field during that time period, the company has built a reputation as a leader in user scoring, predictive portfolio optimization and real-time bidding.

Global reach

And that’s just scratching the surface. It doesn’t even take into account industry awards and the like. “Innovation is the space we live in,” Ragals says. “It’s a part of everything we do and instilled as a key part of our culture.”

Today, IgnitionOne has a global footprint of 450 employees in 17 offices across 10 countries. The company currently scores more than 300 million users a month in 75 countries, and powers more than $60 billion in revenue annually for leading brands such as General Motors, CenturyLink, Bridgestone and Acer. “We work with a variety of clients largely at the enterprise level in a direct response type of space,” Ragals says. “But our focus is in high-end retail, automotive and hospitality.”

While scoring engines and data management platforms may sound complex, IgnitionOne likes to keep things simple. “The basics of marketing never really change,” Ragals admits. “You have a conversation with a customer and tell a story. The power of digital is the ability to do this in more relevant and powerful ways than we ever imagined.”

Ragals considers paid search one of the most, if not the most, dominant forces in digital advertising today. To optimize that channel, IgnitionOne looks for diversification. “It's important that we have really strong partners in this space to really understand how our clients are working,” Ragals says. “Bing Ads has been a great partner in being able to dive in and understand who our mutual customers are and what their needs are.”

The biggest selling point for Ragals concerns the Microsoft ecosystem. Unlike other companies, Microsoft offers a platform that stretches across a variety of other ones. “So whether it's in gaming, desktop, laptop or mobile, Bing Ads offers a consistent experience and great multi-channel opportunity for our advertisers,” he points out.

Looking ahead, IgnitionOne plans on continuing to innovate, integrate and simplify life for marketers, blazing new paths into the possibility of all things digital. “Search will continue to be an important part of the digital marketing puzzle. As we are able to better connect what we may know about a customer and provide more relevant messages, we will be able to keep paid search the most reliably effective tool in the marketer’s belt,” Ragals says.