Marc Kiven was recently named to Crain’s Tech 50: “The 50 people you should know if you care about Chicago tech.”
For those of us who know Marc, this honor comes as no surprise. He inspires us at Signal with his knowledge, drive, and passion to change the way brands and customers interact.
Marc has always been one to identify big problems and tackle them, no matter how intractable the issues may seem. He grew up in the Chicago area and received a finance degree from Arizona State University. He began his career as an options trader, eventually starting his own fund. Later Marc became an investor in Chicago’s competitive real estate scene, and bought a growing manufacturing business.
The internet was still in its early days. Following his success in other arenas, Marc decided to make a leap into the nascent world of digital marketing, believing it would explode with opportunity. He went on to play key roles in growing a series of trend-setting digital firms, including Avenue A, Atlas, and Right Media —companies that would eventually be sold for a total of more than $7 billion. “My early days in the world of digital marketing helped me form the foundation to build companies like Signal,” Marc says.
Following those wins, a major publisher asked Marc to help them solve their advertising problem: The only revenue source for the news site was simple banner ads, and its growth was flat. Marc understood that for the publisher’s digital advertising revenue to grow, ads needed to be targeted based on audience. But the site’s IT department said the necessary changes would slow down the website, create too much work, and hurt the user experience.
This difficulty struck a chord for Marc, who became determined to fix the problem. After several months of research, planning and the landing of an early client engagement, in December 2009, Marc reached out to Mike Sands to discuss his plans, and his desire to build something big in Chicago.
“The focus from day one,” Marc explains, “was to create a new standard for how real-time customer interaction data across all channels could be used to create the most accurate advertising and marketing campaigns.” With Signal, Marc is now solving major problems and creating bold new possibilities for major publishers, brands, and advertisers around the world: resolving identity, harnessing live intent, and reaching in-market audiences when it matters most.
“The most energizing thing about this industry is that change happens so quickly,” Marc says. “It’s not for the faint of heart, but for those, like me, who have learned to deal with such rapid change, the opportunities are boundless.”
We have Marc to thank for writing the opening pages of Signal’s story—and together we’re writing new chapters every day. Congratulations, Marc!