|By||| Mar 3, 2010 | News|
Take a multi-billion dollar digital marketing industry, add industry veterans, mix it well with technology and sprinkle it with an industry award and you get an exciting and rapidly growing company – Pinstorm, a company that originated in India and has its APAC headquarters in Singapore
Pinstorm was founded in 2005 by Mahesh Murthy, who was Country Head of Channel V, and also runs Seedfund, an early-stage venture capital fund in India. They were one of the 31 asian companies to have won the Red Herring Top 100 Global award this year.
Now, Red Herring awards are usually bestowed upon innovative technology companies which was why, it piqued my interest to see how a digital marketing firm got into this space and was recognized as a technology firm. They are also, the only digital brand management firm to have won this award. I spoke to Geetha Sethi, APAC head of Pinstorm to understand this interesting concoction of web products with digital marketing services.
Pinstorm provides Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Interactive Digital Display Advertising, Social Media Marketing Campaigns and Online Reputation Management services to their clients. In order to provide these services, they have developed a broad spectrum of proprietary tools in-house.
For example, they have developed a tool called LiveBanner, which falls under the category of Interactive Digital Display Advertising to help clients display their services across various platforms. This tool was used by CNN to display real-time news that engages the user. This banner could be seen on Yahoo, MSN, LinkedIn and host of other portals.
BroadWords is another proprietary technology that lets them deploy ad campaigns across different channels with low cost. This tool helps in finding out relevant yet low-priced key words for the clients. To cite a use-case, one of their clients required a particular set of keywords that were essential to them. Even after bidding for 21 cents a click, they were at a low position on the page and were hardly getting more than 1000 clicks a month. That’s when they used BroadWords to identify what they call “virgin” keywords, which were being bid for only 5 cents. Afterwhich, one keyword alone generated about 8000 clicks a month.
Similary they have host of other technologies that does personal searching, twitter monitoring, geo tracking, competitive analysis, social media monitoring and a lot more technology driven services.
Their clients and partners list is nothing less than impressive and are spread across different verticals. Some of their clients include DBS, HSBC bank, NUS, INSEAD, ebay, National Geographic.
Digital marketing products Vs Digital marketing firms
In the digital marketing/advertising landscape, we have product-based companies that cater to a particular need for their clients. ThoughtBuzz, JamiQ are examples of such companies that focus solely on social media brand monitoring. Also, products like myADengine compete indirectly in this space. Can these companies co-exist or will they cannibalize each other?
Firms such as Pinstorm provides a service to their clients and products is a part of their offering. Their main value proposition lies in providing holistic solutions that solve a particular need. Whereas, digital marketing product companies are selling a product first with consulting services as an add-on. There is a fine-line between the two and is hard to say which approach is better. It is largely dependent on the varied needs of the clients and their budgets for such services.
In my opinion with regards to Pinstorm, each individual technology does not stand out as innovative or anything to write home about. But, it’s the way they cleverly integrate all the pieces of software to provide a holistic solution to their clients, that sets them apart.
[img courtesy: Dynamic Business]