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Adlucent Adds More Amazon Expertise With Acquisition of Directional Cue

Retail veteran Jason Roussos to serve as Adlucent’s VP of Strategy 

AUSTIN, TX - August 1, 2018 - 

Today,  Adlucent is adding 10+ years of Amazon marketplace experience to their team of paid media specialists by acquiring Directional Cue, an Austin-based digital agency specializing in accelerating sales on Amazon. This announcement comes in response to clients' increased plans for Amazon investments over the coming year.

With a business model focused on innovation over profit, Amazon has transformed itself from an online bookseller to the largest ecommerce marketplace. Today, the company captures nearly half of every dollar spent online and their market share will only continue to grow. Adlucent has worked with Amazon since 2001, first as its paid search agency and now as a partner, helping brands sell successfully on its platform. Over the last 17 years, Adlucent has gained unique insight into the ecommerce giant’s business model, learning ways brands can leverage Amazon to efficiently grow sales.

“Thanks to Amazon, the ecommerce landscape will look vastly different in the next five years, and we want to help brands succeed in this new digital world,” said Michael Griffin, Founder and CEO of Adlucent. “The rate of change is fast, so we wanted to find a partner with extensive retail and marketplace expertise to help us quickly expand our Amazon offerings. We found that partner in Directional Cue.”

Directional Cue focuses on helping clients accelerate sales on Amazon through ecommerce strategy, product listings, content, and paid advertising. Through their custom-built technology, they also enable their clients to overcome Amazon’s reporting limitations. With one dashboard, vendors and sellers are able to look at all of their Amazon data in one place, including business and advertising reports, allowing them to better measure the profitability and performance of their entire Amazon program.

With this acquisition, Adlucent will not only gain new technology, but unique talent as well. Along with a new team of Amazon experts, Directional Cue’s founder and CEO, Jason Roussos, will serve as Adlucent’s new VP of Strategy. Prior to Directional Cue, Roussos co-founded Living Direct, growing the home improvement and hardware retailer into a $100+ million company before selling to Build.com in late 2015. With an understanding of ecommerce challenges from a retailer’s perspective, Jason’s unique background will be an invaluable asset in pioneering new digital strategies for Adlucent clients.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Adlucent team,” said Jason Roussos. “When I started Directional Cue, Amazon’s advertising services were in their infancy. Over the last year, we’ve seen brands’ demand for these solutions grow exponentially. With our acquisition by Adlucent, we’re bringing together a powerful set of Amazon tools and services that create a true competitive advantage.”

For more information, please contact solutions@adlucent.com.

About Adlucent:

Adlucent is a digital advertising and intelligence company that helps retailers identify, acquire and engage with their highest value customers. Based in Austin, Adlucent’s platform helps retailers create, launch and manage high-volume and product-based campaigns through the use of extensive data analytics. Founded in 2001, Adlucent is a successful bootstrapped company that continues to execute on its commitment to create personalized advertising programs. For more information on Adlucent, visit www.adlucent.com.


 

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Michael Griffin

Founder & CEO

As the founder of Adlucent, Michael brings over 12 years of experience in strategic search engine marketing (SEM), bid optimization, consumer demand intelligence and retail analytics.

Michael is a leading thinker and innovator in retail SEM and drives the technology and overall business strategies for Adlucent.

His first venture into the online retail space was in managing paid search for Amazon.com where he helped grow revenue by 300% year-after-year eventually becoming Amazon's largest worldwide partner in search.

Michael built Adlucent as a bootstrapped company and has grown it into a profitable business accustomed to achieving 75-100% year over year growth. Adlucent's growth has been highlighted in the Inc. 500 and the Austin Business Journal's Fast50 listings, and the company's culture has been honored as an AdAge Best Place to Work and an Austin American-Statesman Top Workplace.

Michael is frequently tapped as an expert on the strategies that foster high converting online traffic to drive successful e-commerce. An active member of the Shop.org Research Committee, Michael participates in driving industry research and sharing results with retailers. Michael's work and perspective have been featured in major media outlets, including The New York Times, Inc. Magazine, the Search Insider and TechCrunch.

Prior to founding Adlucent, Michael attended the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a PhD in analytical chemistry where his thesis focused on advanced analytics for medical diagnostics. Michael is the recipient of the prestigious Watson Fellowship and received his BS degree from Davidson College.

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Ashwani Dhar

Chief Client Officer

Ashwani Dhar is an experienced executive, entrepreneur and venture capitalist bringing sales, marketing, business development, and funding experience to Adlucent.

At Adlucent, Dhar is responsible for customer acquisition and overall client success.

During his tenure, he has expanded the company's customer base five-fold while achieving an industry-leading client retention rate. Ashwani has been also responsible for Adlucent's positioning and go-to-market strategy. He pioneered an innovative performance-based model that aligns Adlucent's compensation with its clients' success.

Prior to Adlucent, Dhar was responsible for revenue generation, market positioning and the ultimate business success for successful startup companies like Iconixx, Agea and Trilogy. Ashwani also founded and managed DC International, an international consulting company that focused on the emerging markets of Latin America.

Dhar began his career in strategic consulting for healthcare clients with APM and technology & operations consulting with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). Dhar also served on the Board of Directors for Bigfoot Networks, Robot Genius and Perception Software through investments from his venture capital firm Venio Capital Partners.

Graduating from the Jerome Fisher Program for Management & Technology at the University of Pennsylvania, Ashwani earned a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BSE in Electrical Engineering from the Moore School. He also holds an MBA from Harvard University.

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Tim Ozor

Vice President of Engineering

Tim has over 25 years experience designing and developing high performance software machinery. Tim leads all technology development and operations in the role of VP of Engineering.

Tim's responsibilities also include all data integration, tracking, reporting and analytics utilized by Adlucent.

Since joining Adlucent, Ozor has driven the development of Adlucent's leading edge BuyerPath™ application and analytics platform, which is being utilized to effectively and efficiently manage millions of keyword and product ads for some of the largest online retailers in the world.

Tim's body of work includes Unix operating system development, object oriented middleware design and large scale Web application architecture. Ozor was instrumental in the development of Austin-based Vignette's ground-breaking content management system which served as the core product for Vignette through its IPO and eventual sale to Open Text. Tim was one of the first developers on board at Vignette and was employee 15 at what came to be one of the most successful IPOs in the Austin high-tech industry. Prior to Adlucent, Ozor led the design and development of the highly acclaimed National Transcript Center, which provides a secure electronic trading system for the exchange of student transcripts.

Tim received his BS degree in Computer Science from Clemson University in 1986, and has been committed to achieving higher and higher levels of software mastery ever since. When he is not building industrial strength software, Tim enjoys windsurfing, rock music, and maintaining the lowest carbon footprint and body fat levels possible.

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Brian Vogel

Head Coach - People & Culture

As Head Coach, Brian’s charge is to guide managers and Adlucites to their full potential. With 20+ years of experience as a HR executive and NCAA Division I Athlete and Coach, he instinctively relies on his vast experience in leadership development in business and athletics to bring forth leadership and business enablers.

Prior to joining Adlucent, Brian held various HR executive leadership positions at Verizon and USAA. More recently he led the HR functions at Austin-based FirstCare Health Plans and Campus Advantage. He played a pivotal role in the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE to form Verizon, one of the five largest mergers in the 1990s. During the merger he directed team of 10 employees who orchestrated placement and /or displacement of 6,000+ staff. In subsequent roles key accomplishments included implementing a third party HR administrative solution valued at approximately $750K annually at Campus Advantage and instituting scientifically based recruiting processes resulting in a 33% improvement in average time to fill for key positions as well as a 20% reduction in turnover. He has also served as a Senior HR Consultant for vcfo and currently maintains his own business performance coaching practice ~ Sundog Coaching Group.

He holds a bachelor's degrees in business administration from University of Notre Dame where he concentrated in Marketing and was co-captain of Men’s Swimming and Diving team. He also has a master's degree in business administration from the University of Illinois where he concentrated in Human Resources at the nationally renowned School of Labor & Employment Relations.

When not coaching, Brian spreads his free time between trying to stay fit doing CrossFit and mountain biking, enjoying quality time with his two daughters Gracie and Elle, and serving as a business consultant to Little Helping Hands, the renowned Austin non-profit he helped found with his wife, Marissa.

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