In its ongoing effort to overhaul its operating structure and image, ad-supported software company WhenU has created its own internal sales force, part of which was acquired from former resellers.
“We have a very clearly stated goal to build a low-frequency, high-response network, with ads that are more beneficial to the people who are seeing them,” said Paul Rothkopf, WhenU’s VP of advertising. “The best way of doing that is to bring our sales force inside to directly communicate our message to the marketplace without encumbrances.”
Prior to the creation of the new sales force, which consists of 14 client managers and salespeople, WhenU employed the services of three external resellers: Conducive Corp., ContextualNet, and ClickAdsWork.
Members of the new sales team include former employees of Conducive and ContextualNet, who were brought aboard by WhenU along with other assets for an undisclosed amount of money, Rothkopf said.
Conducive transferred four salespeople and two client managers, along with certain technology, to WhenU. The transfer signals “a bit of a shift in strategic focus,” said Jim Waltz, Conducive’s president and chief executive. Moving away from the third-party reselling business, Conducive will focus more exclusively on its other products, such as adMarketplace, a self-service pay-per-click ad network.
Though not the end of ContextualNet as a standalone business, the deal with WhenU reduces the company to “more of a business model than an active business with clients,” said Andrew Reis, COO of ARG, the holding company that owns ContextualNet.
For WhenU, the creation of the internal sales force follows other important changes made by the company in the last six months to remake itself. Recent measures include naming Bill Day as its new chief executive, the hiring of a privacy expert to audit the company’s technology, and obtaining a third-party certification from anti-spam company Aluria.
“We’ve gotten to the point where we want to know what’s going on in the ad community directly,” Rothkopf said. “Having our own sales team is better for that than relying on external resellers.”
Headquartered in New York City, WhenU also has a sales office in San Francisco.