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30 Fastest Growing Tech companies 2018

Motive Interactive CEO Brendan Smith’s Mobile Push: Honored for Scaling Growth through Investments in Programmatic Technology


Rather than perform in isolation, Motive’s advanced technology leverages human insight to perform more effectively than other programmatic bidding solutions.

Welcome to the golden era of mobile, in which the rise of the smartphone has given marketers and businesses access to customers 24/7 via mobile devices. Today U.S. adults spend an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes per day on a mobile device. By 2019, this average viewing time is projected to surpass television in the U.S. (eMarketer, 2018).

Not only are people spending more time on their phones, they are also making more purchases. By 2021, over half of all retail e-commerce sales are expected to be generated from mobile devices (Statista, 2018). It’s no wonder that digital ad spend on mobile is projected to grow as marketers increasingly throw more and more ad dollars at mobile channels. Global media spend is projected to grow at more than 5 % a year through 2022 (eMarketer, 2018). Eighty-six percent of this growth will come from mobile ad spending (MobileMarketer, 2018).

As mobile spend and channels continue to grow and proliferate, players with market-leading technology and nimble,innovation-first cultures are well positioned for success. Motive Interactive, a mobile marketing platform founded in 2003 and headquartered in San Diego, is poised to capitalize on the golden age of mobile.

Motive Interactive is a global mobile app monetization and marketing company that combines over 15 years of experience delivering digital marketing solutions and sophisticated programmatic technology to drive user acquisition for some of the world’s top app brands and Fortune 500 companies. Since its inception, Motive has been firmly committed to providing the industry’s most trusted and cutting-edge mobile app marketing platform. As an early adopter of mobile marketing technologies, the company has continually adapted to meet the challenges of the fast-paced advertising technology industry. Today, it’s recognized as one of the most advanced user acquisition platforms in the mobile marketing space.

Driving Quality Users with Motive Programmatic

Looking ahead of the industry’s pivot towards programmatic technologies, in 2017 Motive began building a proprietary real-time bidding platform that optimizes ad request bids programmatically to ensure the most effective and efficient spending of advertisers’ budgets. Motive’s comprehensive bidding model varies bid-prices along an evolving data set of unique characteristics, including moments when and where a user is most likely to undertake a conversion, optimized ad-creatives, offline real-world data on target audiences, ad request attributes, user demographic, interests, device type, geographic location, day of week and time of day. To achieve technological innovation at scale, Motive has utilized partnerships to support the build-out of its platform, leveraging Amazon Web Services’ data mining platform and Beeswax’s demand-side platform. This strategy has proven powerfully effective with the company driving revenue of over $27 million with a team of under 40 people.

Unlike other mobile app marketing companies, Motive focuses its programmatic technology exclusively on mobile performance marketing. This differentiates it from competitors’ programmatic platforms whose technology handles a broad range of branding and performance needs. Because of its exclusive mobile performance approach to machine learning solutions, the company’s programmatic technology incorporates several algorithms not commonly seen in the user acquisition marketplace. These include:

  • a pacing algorithm that updates bid price according to market demand to deliver the highest possibility of a winning bid;
  • an algorithm that modulates bid price to optimize click and conversion rates based on historical conversion data.

Unlike competitors whose products optimize according to a limited set of factors that influence advertising performance, Motive continually adds capabilities to its custom-built bidder and machine learning models to account for multiple factors that influence advertising performance. This includes optimizing bid-price along attributes such as ad-size, dynamic ads and click optimization.

The company’s data set has more than 100 unique characteristics and is regularly and periodically updated to include new data points. Having a large set of unique characteristics gives Motive the ability to analyze a wider range of parameters and draw insights from them to optimize bids, discover inventory and deliver lower user acquisition costs through all mobile user acquisition channels.

The firm collects and processes over 50 terabytes of first-party data per day. To continually refine its bidding platform, Motive’s team of data scientists employ multiple machine learning and deep learning models, including regression, random forests and neural networks.


Combining Technology with Human Insight

Rather than perform in isolation, Motive’s advanced technology leverages human insight to perform more effectively than other programmatic bidding solutions. The firm’s team applies their collective historical knowledge of mobile-focused media buying to discover relevant inventory, identify ideal price range and openly share data insights with clients to help them scale future campaigns. This is a collaborative and consultative campaign approach not often seen in the marketplace.

In addition, Motive’s media buyers, sales professionals and data scientists all collaborate closely. Their shared findings on campaign performance, client feedback, inventory discovery, competitive landscape and predictive modeling are used to refine the development of Motive’s machine learning algorithms, which are core to its product offering. The goal of the company’s data intelligence work is to continually enhance its machine learning solutions. This is how it stays ahead of the pack with mobile app marketing tools that deliver best-in-class performance.

Motive also has exclusive partnerships with traffic sources to access preferred mobile performance inventory that is either premium in nature or not easily sourced. To identify and combat fraud, it leverages white lists, blacklists and combinations of machine learning models, registering low fraud rates with user-installs.

A Culture of Grit

According to Brendan Smith, Motive’s success can be attributed to its team members and their personification of Grit, one of the company’s key core values. Grit, or a relentless spirit of hard work in the face of adversity, has helped Motive survive in the fast-paced and highly competitive marketing technology space. By harnessing the power of passion and perseverance to get things done and never give up, Motive’s team has successfully leveraged its performance marketing expertise and advanced technology to be a leader of user acquisition. 

Proud Moment

Motive Interactive CEO & Founder, Brendan Smith, wins CEO Achievement of the Year in the Annual 2018 CEO World Awards®.

“To achieve technological innovation at scale, Motive has utilized partnerships to support the build-out of its platform. This strategy has proven powerfully effective with the company driving revenue of over $27 million with a team of under 40 people.”