When was the last time you clicked on a banner ad?
Can’t remember? That’s because display advertising - which commands 24% of the dollars spent online - is broken. It needs a refresh.
The company offers services that allow brands to alter their ads virtually in real-time based on the themes, trends, and memes of the day.
“We’re trying to change the concept of an ad from a static, disconnected thing to something that can be programmed to what’s going on,” Will Price, the company’s CEO, told us during an interview on Friday.
Flite isn’t the only company attempting to change the market, but they’re one of the most successful. Revenue is up 100% year-to-year for each of the last three years, and they currently have around 70 employees. In March, they raised $12 million.
The service they provide has multiple aspects. Part of it is “an aggregation system for controlling content,” Price said. Flite allows a brand manager to change videos, stories, and other pieces of content within an ad quickly and simply. They also work to automate the process to bring down costs. (Currently, 28% of ad dollars spent online go toward overhead versus just 2% on television buys.)
Additionally, there is an analytics section that can help fine-tune or change the message depending on how consumers are responding. A brand manager can see what people are clicking on or avoiding, and act accordingly. No one watching a movie trailer? Sub another one in. Easy. Simple. Painless.
At this point, Flite’s services are not for everyone. Using the technology requires a flexible mindset and many bigger agencies and companies are not ready to take the leap of checking data on a daily or hourly basis versus a monthly one. (That said, Flite counts clients including LinkedIn, L’Oreal, and Schwab.)
But the change is coming. It has to.
Google reaffirmed its commitment to display advertising and they believe the industry can grow from $20 billion to $200 billion. It might not get that large, but Flite is setting itself to be one of the major companies that grabs a large chunk of whatever does arrive.