The Silicon Review
Paid search isn’t new, how Finch manages it is.
Google AdWords is one of the most important channels of online marketing. The AdWords platform enables businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google properties. All businesses spending advertising dollars on AdWords are naturally focused on profit. That needs a profit-driven marketer who knows exactly what you want. Founded in 2009, Finch has pioneered a new method of managing PPC (pay-per-click) advertising through programmatic technology. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the company was recognized among the fastest growing private companies in the US by Inc. 500 magazine and recently won Google’s Shopping Performace award.
Let’s Start the Ball Rolling With Bjorn Espenes, Co-founder and CEO
What led to the inception of the company?
Eric and I had been working together for almost 10 years to build one of the first SaaS eCommerce platforms; through that venture we captured over $1B in online sales for our clients. We grew increasingly frustrated that we weren’t able to find a partner that could deliver predictable, consistent, and profitable paid search advertising solutions for our clients. We tried partnering with several companies and even tried buying one. In that process we discovered an industry that was splintered with many small, local agencies and little technology in use. Agencies were doing manual work and using spreadsheets for calculations. With our eCommerce platform we had an incredible automation software along with integration of large scale APIs like eBay, Amazon, and Google Shopping. The AdWords API was already very mature and we couldn’t figure out why nobody was using it.
We had some ideas about how we could dramatically improve paid search for eCommerce and had the skills required to automate through software. After 10 years we were ready to try something new, the timing was perfect and Finch was born.
Briefly us about your first product.
The core technology is still quite the same as what we launched in 2009. We pioneered a couple of key concepts that broke Google’s best practices in favor of performance.
Primarily, we looked at how performance can be influenced by campaign versus ad group settings, and then restructured campaigns in a way that the software could best take advantage of that for optimization. Our basic concept was to build a software that could optimize ad spend to maximize returns while maintaining a hard cost goal. For eCommerce clients this was critical to help measure and improve revenue while maintaining a strict cost of sales.
Since then, we’ve been able to take advantage of Google’s changes over time to boost performance. For example, we were given the ability to start optimizing mobile traffic separately. Then Google introduced Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) and we were able to start bidding very granularly on different audiences. When shopping came out we were able to roll our technology out quickly to optimize shopping performance. We also now support both Google and Bing.
What are the greatest attributes of Finch?
Magnificent Reviews from the Clients
“Finch’s programmatic solution has dramatically improved the return on ad spend for weBoost’s AdWords program. Their bid modeling would be nearly impossible to replicate with internal staff and their account management helps us greatly given their exposure to multiple businesses. I highly recommend them.” - Jamie Elgie, CMO, weBoost
“Finch has been an invaluable tool in launching, managing, and fine tuning our PPC campaigns. We have experienced significant growth in volume and drop in cost per conversion as a result of Finch’s services. Finch has also made managing our campaigns clear and easy to implement.” - Schott Taylor, Online Marketing Manager, Premier Mentoring
“I have been working with Finch for 3 years, and they have once again shown me their ability to maximize revenues while managing a tight cost line when taking advantage of new Google AdWords opportunities.” - Peter Macaulay, CEO and Owner, Kitchen Warehouse
Revere the Founding Duo
Bjorn Espenes, Co-Founder and CEO: Espenes is a serial entrepreneur who loves starting and building great companies while meeting and working with great people along the way. The ultimate reward for him is seeing clients become successful through using his products. Including Finch, Espenes founded three successful internet software companies focused on driving profitable online revenues. Aside from his passion for technology, Bjorn is a global speaker, an avid skier and has lived all over the world. He is a graduate of the University of Utah.
Eric Maas, Co-Founder and CTO: An entrepreneur at heart, Maas loves the challenge and rewards that come from extraordinary effort. He thrives whether he’s creating business value using innovation and technology or if he’s (literally) running up a mountainside or participating in a marathon. Including Finch, Maas has founded three internet businesses from the ground up. He holds a BS degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.
"Our success comes from the results we produce for clients, the transparency we provide throughout the process and the relationships that clients have built with our team". - Bjorn Espenes