DMEXCO 2013: Turning Visions Into Reality

Turning Visions Into Reality: A Story about Growth and Sustainability

Each September, I sit on the airplane from Berlin to Cologne on my way to dmexco and get the chance to reflect on the previous 12 months and all the changes that have passed before my eyes. With yet another dmexco stretching out before us, few things make me more proud than looking back to September of last year and seeing everything that our amazing team has accomplished during this period of hyper-growth.

Last year, that feeling was represented in our rocket, a symbol that we were ready to launch our mission in a big way — and in fact we did! Having been born in Berlin — a city that at one time symbolized the separation between East and West, and today is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world —  Sociomantic has become nothing less than an incubation of the city’s new global image. As rapidly as the city has developed over the past ten years, so have we in the last four — it’s been such an incredible thing to watch. It’s amazing to remember the early days after the Berlin wall came down, the extreme unemployment, and comparing that situation to today when Berlin has turned into the “Sillicon Valley” of Europe, employing tens of thousands of people in the digital media industries. Being able to be part of that makes me more than proud. It’s an honor and a unique time in life that potentially won’t repeat itself.

Looking back to September 2012: we launched our first offices beyond central Europe — in Sao Paulo, Moscow, and New York — and appointed our CEO, Jason Kelly. What a move! Jason has been challenging us and pushing us forward more than even a founder could have done. If you are ever going to be the founder of a company, you will begin to understand how all your decisions are made in the company’s favor — everything is a team play! And Jason is no exception in this sense.

He has done an incredible job of leading the charge in the U.S. and building up a great team that’s today located in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. At the same time, he helped us to crawl out of our safe and cozy stealth mode and begin to tell the world about the innovations and solutions we had been building for almost four years already. We were ready to come out and he has helped us tremendously in doing so. This was followed by one of the most aggressive and international hiring stretches that I’ve ever seen adopted by a self-funded company — within a year we grew from 35 to over 150 people – staying always profitable – always sustainable!

The results? Over 350 percent growth in our number of campaigns live, so that our campaigns have extended to more than 60 markets around the world — from Nigeria to Peru, from Thailand to Finland, from Japan to Kazakhstan, and many places in-between. We saw 210 percent growth in our full-time employees worldwide, with a dream team spread across 14 offices on four continents today, including a rockstar list of new hires such as Robert Bosch, Mahesh Narayanan, Rohit Kumar and Charlies Pitzer. Today we receive and analyze 450 percent more bidding requests every day than last year, combined with error rates at an all-time low of 0.05% — this metric alone can reveal more about our dedication to scalability and sustainability than almost any other metric.

Looking at all this, I realize that a personal dream has come true: I always wanted to demonstrate that globally scalable technology can be built and operated out of Berlin in a sustainable way! This all started five years ago in a Berlin “Hinterhof,” and now Sociomantic has grown into a young but successful global company. We have been able to show that borders, cultures and confessions don’t matter if you try to go for the better – with a vision of changing online marketing.


The people that have trusted our mission are the ones who made it all possible, so this is also the time of the year to say thank you to all of you! — the amazing team working hard each and every day to research, innovate, develop, refine, sell, and service the Sociomantic solutions for marketers around the world. These are the people who understand that there is no “magic” — only hard work! Success is an outcome of wanting more, of pushing more and fighting harder. These people have helped us turn our vision of a dynamic, growing and disruptive technology company into a reality.

That’s why, when we heard the motto of this year’s dmexco show, we decided to take the challenge to represent our vision of the company in our booth design: Sustainability. For the task, we were very pleased to work again with designer Christian Gröschel of Inco Media, who has seen our growth first-hand as our longtime partner and who has worked with fashion brands like Nike, Red Wing, FreemanTPorter, Pantanetti and Riccardo Cartillone to help them bring their brands into the third dimension with powerful and unique space designs. Christian had this to say about the concept:

“The diversity, the complexity, the essence of Sociomantic – the company’s swift and organic global expansion that has required them to build technology and team to be stable, sustainable, widely branched, strong, and growth-oriented — this was the inspiration for the Sociomantic dmexco space 2013.”

On a deeper level, the concept was inspired by the pop-up effect – taking two dimensional planes and creating a three-dimension space with them. Just like the booth figures, which use angular flat shapes put together into 3D figures of growth, so Sociomantic takes disparate and one-dimensional data points and brings them together to create a multi-dimensional, growing and sustainable business.

In the end, it all comes back to the same point — we want to continue to grow, but we want to do it our way — responsibly and sustainably. This is what I look forward to until the next September.

So, here’s to another year of growth, momentum and innovation — we’ll continue to turn visions into reality! Just yesterday we had the pleasure to announce the launch of our HTML5 display advertising solution for mobile — an industry first that allows advertisers to reach users with personalized ads across every connected device. Another dream come true for us.

If you want to learn more or become a part of this story, we’d welcome you to connect with us at dmexco (Hall 7, Booth E026-E028) or get in touch. We’d love to help you turn your visions into reality.