What was the scope of their involvement?
They worked on two things. There was the corporate narrative of the company and how that strengthened the corporate brand. In addition, we had to look at the employer brand narrative. The first step we started with was determining the narrative of the company. How are we different? Who are we? What do we do? If we weren’t here, why would that matter? We started by engaging the senior team. Emotive did a lot of research, and they mastered our industry quickly. I can’t stress enough that the ad tech programmatic space is full of jargon. It is dense and complicated and everything looks the same. They took the time to understand the market and where we fit in. They got the information through interviews with both external and internal people. We have a complex business, and they were able to break it down.
The biggest thing they helped us to do was talk in human terms. In ad tech and marketing tech, we tend to talk to ourselves instead of talking to the customer. Emotive’s work helped people truly understand our value proposition, how it was going to impact them, and why they should consider talking about it. We were helping provide technology solutions that are independent, open, and transparent. However, that message wasn’t getting across. Emotive helped us do that from a narrative standpoint.
We didn’t change the logo. Instead, we revamped it by putting a chiclet in front that showed what we were becoming—a platform that customers could use to consume the technology and services that aligned with their business strategy. We showed the difference between our platform and taking a rigid off-the-shelf solution. Emotive Brand’s work on the logo brought the platform into focus and they gave us a fresh color palette. They also inspired strategies on how to bring that to the company, both internally and externally. We also revamped our sales decks. As a result, the sales teams were excited and it gave them new energy. People started looking at us in a different way. We became a sophisticated platform and solutions provider that people saw as innovative versus old.
The employer brand side is just as important. We wanted to help the publishing industry survive and thrive. That became the rallying cry for our employees. They really believed that what they were doing was important—not only to themselves but beyond ad tech. Our tagline was “What you do @PubMatic matters.”
Finally, PubMatic has a diverse employee set with all different cultures. A lot of the offices were distant and disassociated with the brand. They felt the company revolved around our RedWood City headquarters and our New York office where the president is located, and that it wasn’t inclusive. When we landed on the “Helping Publishers Thrive” motif, we brought that to life visually through elements with the old publishing aspect. We took images of our employees, and they became the brand. This made them feel that they were part of a bigger company. It was really impactful, especially on retention and recruiting. Emotive gave us a fresh look, and it’s still being used today. I’m proud of both elements, even though I’m no longer with the company. You know something is having an impact when elements of it still exist and thrive. Emotive was a tremendous partner in helping us get there.
How did you come to work with Emotive Brand?
We found Emotive Brand by word of mouth in the Bay Area. Our head of HR heard about them. They fit our ethos—hardworking and smart. Plus, they weren’t too big of a company. They were agile, adaptive, high-energy, and collaborative. They also had a good portfolio that helped put them over the top.
How much have you invested with Emotive Brand?
We spent between $50,000 and $200,000 over the course of our relationship. They weren’t cheap, but they weren’t overly expensive. They were smart about how they structured it. We got our money’s worth and more.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in March of 2015 and we rolled everything at our sales conference in January of 2016.