By: Kelly Stincer
Today’s consumers see advertisements from the second they step outside – from bus stops to park benches to billboards. This type of advertising is a valuable tool for businesses, but it can be difficult to find and choose the most effective space. DOmedia in Columbus, Ohio, created cloud-based software that allows advertisers to find, view and inquire about hundreds of thousands of possible ad spaces. Ad sellers can, in turn, respond with tailored price quotes and proposals for how the ad can be placed.
“Buyers and sellers were constantly swapping phone calls, emails and spreadsheets with mostly redundant information. Because buyers often deal with many different sellers, they are particularly swamped with all of this ‘digital labor.’ It was very inefficient and took a lot of time,” said DOmedia CEO, Ken Sahlin. “Our software automates the process so buyers and sellers can spend more time on the creativity and strategy of their ads.”
Advertisers can use DOmedia’s software to look at a map of an area they’d like to target, and see all of the options in that vicinity. They can narrow their search by selecting which type of media they’re looking for, including transit, street furniture, digital screens or billboards. With the DOmedia system, buyers have access to a wide range of media, can view details and get competitive prices. This gives them the opportunity to make informed decisions. It also allows ad sellers to connect with buyers they might not be aware of and who are genuinely interested in purchasing a space.
Before joining DOmedia, Sahlin helped launch a company that sold advertisements on moving vehicles. He experienced the lack of visibility and inefficient communication with advertisers first-hand and decided to create a better way for the supply and demand sides to interact.
“The industry needed a centralized place so that everyone could have increased visibility and speak the same language,” said Sahlin. “In the past, ad sellers all had different terminology and proposals for placing and pricing ads. DOmedia has standardized all of that, breaking down those barriers between buyers and sellers.”
DOmedia received funding from NCT Ventures, a central Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier, to build the technology and invest in sales and marketing staff. NCT Ventures also provided low-cost office space and entrepreneurial mentorship that helped the company connect with investors and potential customers.
DOmedia has grown from 11 to 31 employees in the past year and recently expanded their office space in downtown Columbus. The company has signed with six major advertising companies with plans to add more. Sahlin attributes his company’s growth to its elite group of programmers and entrepreneurs, which wouldn’t be possible without the talent pool in Central Ohio, plus the help and advice he’s received from NCT Ventures.
“We have become the leader of supply and demand software in this industry because of the guidance we received as a Columbus startup,” said Sahlin. “The company has grown faster than I thought was possible thanks to the mentors and organizations that have helped us every step of the way.”