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Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Founders Series where we get insights and analysis from founders of various different companies in the tech industry. Dave Feller is the co-founder and CEO of Yummly. Prior to Yummly, he served as Vice President – Marketing of StumbleUpon, Inc. and joined it directly from a 6-1/2 year stint at eBay and Half.com. Dave served as a pre-eBay acquisition member of Half.com where he served roles managing marketing at Half, directing the evolution of the Half product, and working on Half and eBay’s fixed price strategy. Dave has vast marketing, product and business development experience, most notably managing pricing and promotions for eBay North America. He served prior roles at start-ups and in consulting for PwC and Ernst & Young. Mr. Feller has a business degree from Emory University and an MBA from the University of Florida.

When it comes to advertising with brands, knowing what you are trying to do and being able to measure success is key. In the case of Yummly Advertising, the company is revolutionizing the way Consumer Product Goods brands like Unilever, Oreo and Frontier Co-Op, speak to consumers through premium native advertising. Yummly lets brands reach recipe-seeking users within an engaging and trusted environment.

The goal is to provide the best ROI for every dollar that an advertiser can spend. Here are simple tips on how to make your company most attractive to advertisers:

Tip 1: Start with building the right products

Before you start anything make sure to do your homework, whether that is understanding where the industry is going, gathering benchmark data and figuring out the triumphs and pitfalls the industry currently is faced with. Another way is to talk to potential prospects using your networks. Take time to understand and find out their needs and motivations to help you create a better product. Lastly, the best way is to test the product and knowledge you learned from your research. There is no harm in running an advertising campaign at no cost to the brand; chances are that you can get the brands attention with some compelling results.

Tip 2: Target the right prospects (once you have the right product built)

Once you have the lay of the land and the product is where you want it to be, figure out who needs it. Ask yourself, ‘who is this good for now?’ and ‘who will this benefit later?’ Once you answer those questions, establish who would be willing to spend money to advertising on your site or within your product.

The next step is to determine is it suitable for a brand or do you need work with the brand’s agency to get what you need. For example, Yummly worked closely with media buying agency, Planet Propaganda, to create a successful ad campaign for Frontier Co-Op.

Tip 3: Sell the product and the value

When you know who prospective advertisers are, it is easier to target your product. A key to success is in the way you demonstrate the product. Put your idea in the best light by following these simple rules:

  • Know how to speak a brand’s language. Do they talk in terms of dollar amounts or unique visitors?
  • Convey your values in terms they understand. How can you deliver on driving awareness about the brand?
  • Show them the data. Give them statistical proof that betting on your product is worth their time and money.

Tip 4: Follow-up and Improve

Learning is the best thing you can do. Figure out what worked and what didn’t and give yourself something to improve upon. It is an ongoing cycle, you can constantly find ways to make a product better and provide more value to brands and advertisers, from the actual product offering to a sales pitch.

Always continue to foster the relationships and go back to them with fresh ideas—this is the best bet to get repeat sales wins and lead to additional business contacts.


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