Hipcricket’s Ivan Braiker to Chat about Ads, Commerce at Mobile Madness NY

Innovation will only carry a business so far without a plan to grow—and that can mean seeking out a partner who brings different technology and expertise to the table. In late summer 2011, Hipcricket decided it was time to make such a move when it agreed to be acquired by New York-based Augme Technologies.

More than one year after the deal, Braiker says his mobile marketing and ad services company has grown to become the epicenter of Augme’s plans. And that leaves Braiker well-positioned to talk about how the explosion of mobile computing is affecting advertising and e-commerce, along with other innovators at our Mobile Madness New York conference Dec. 4.

On its own, Augme had developed a mobile Web ad platform. Born in the Seattle area, Hipcricket was known largely for QR codes and SMS marketing. By marrying Hipcricket’s technology with Augme’s know-how, Braiker believes the combined company, which specializes in targeted ads, can stand out in the ever-changing landscape. “As a single-source provider, we’re in a relatively unique position,” he says. Combining Augme’s and Hipcricket’s services also means the company faces competition on a variety of fronts. “Each competitor is working at a different angle,” Braiker says.

Braiker now serves as president of Augme, whose clients include retailers such as Macy’s and media companies such as Clear Channel. He says the mobile ad market is always churning with new technology and strategies.

For example, he points to Los Angeles-based Rubicon Project, which aims to automate the buying and selling of online advertising in real time through its trading platform. Braiker says Rubicon serves a different segment of the market than this company, which deals primarily with targeted ads; however, he sees more fragmentation coming to the mobile ad industry. “I met with some people for coffee, and they are creating a platform for a commodities market in interactive advertising and mobile is a part of it,” he says.

There may be more deal making in the future as Braiker and company consider gobbling up peers with innovative ideas. “This coming year Hipcricket and Augme will look at companies we can acquire and add on to what we’re doing,” he says.

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