Utility and viability allow Permission to maintain course
As the global economy faces headwinds and the crypto market enters bear territory, Permission remains too busy building its ecosystem and use cases for ASK to be unduly distracted. During the first half of 2022, we maintained growth through a combination of internal developments, external partnerships and key executive hires. These activities add value to our core ad serving infrastructure launched in 4Q21 — Permission Ads DSP (demand-side platform).
Unlike any other ad-tech product on the market, Permission Ads enables brands to distribute a tokenized reward ($ASK) across the open web, while collecting zero-party data (i.e., data that a user volunteers to share with a brand) and incentivizing action in a way that respects the user. Advertisers can run rewarded campaigns to preferred audiences, build custom, opted-in communities and cultivate loyalty by offering value in exchange for their customers’ engagement.
The 1-2 punch of tech and talent developments in 1H22 set the stage for us to partner with major brands in 2H22. CMOs and their agencies are eager to find alternatives to Big Tech data oligarchs while simultaneously dealing with increased consumer data protection legislation. Permission’s zero-party data platform addresses multiple pain points for brands seeking new engagement opportunities. As consumer and business adoption of cryptocurrency accelerates, we will further solidify our position as the leading advertising platform for Web3.
1Q22: sales leadership and Web3 partnerships
We continue to recruit and attract exceptional talent to help scale web3 advertising globally. The company is also an attractive partner for like-minded Web3 projects that provide consumers with greater agency and ownership of their data.
In February, Permission hired Lauren Griewski as our first Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). Lauren is establishing our advertising sales organization with a focus on onboarding brands and agencies to the Permission ecosystem via Permission DSP. She brings over 15 years of media, advertising, technology, and executive experience with some of the world’s leading platforms including Facebook (Meta), Roblox, VEVO, and Viacom. In her role at Facebook, Lauren served as a leader in ad technology, media monetization and strategic partnerships — her track record with global brands and agencies makes her a natural fit for commercializing our advertising platform.
“I’ve been fortunate to be a part of massive shifts and transformation in the advertising industry…Crypto and Web3 are no longer just the way of the future, they are here and experiencing rapid adoption.” ~ Lauren Griewski, CRO
In addition to a CRO, we added four highly distinguished media, advertising, and technology professionals to our brain trust, significantly bolstering our advisory board,.
To round out Q1 activities, we entered a partnership with Swash, a data union that rewards consumers for sharing anonymous browser data. Our shared Web3 ethos, including a vision for consumer data sovereignty, provided the foundation for this alliance. As our respective projects grow, there will be integration opportunities to cross-leverage audiences, including media activation through Permission DSP.
In a move to enable greater interoperability and industry-wide adoption of Permission’s native token (ASK), we migrated away from our proprietary blockchain to Polygon. As a layer 2 scaling solution built on Ethereum, the Polygon network is used by over 100 million consumers worldwide. Our Web3 advertising platform benefits from the scalability made possible by Polygon’s lightning-fast speeds and low transaction costs. In addition, Polygon will enhance ASK utility by enabling interoperability with the Polygon and Ethereum ecosystems, including access to DeFi, staking, wallets, and more.
Continuing to attract the brightest minds, we welcomed advertising veteran Michelle Wimmer to the team as Head of Advertising Operations and Data. She has extensive experience facilitating programmatic advertising campaigns and carries a legal background in data privacy, ensuring compliance. Michelle plays a critical role navigating complex technical and legal aspects as beta campaigns run on the Permission DSP and we implement a bespoke Customer Data Platform (CDP).
As Permission enters the next phase of growth, we appointed Thomas Shin as the company’s new CEO. Thomas brings nearly three decades of experience in the digital advertising space, spanning leadership, product management, operations, and marketing disciplines at companies including Facebook (Meta), Yahoo!, and programmatic pioneers such as Efficient Frontier (acquired by Adobe), MediaMath, and as a consultant to startups. Most recently, Shin served as Head of Americas’ Business at Moloco, a startup in the mobile programmatic space – helping to bring the company to unicorn status.
“This generational shift to a Web3 economy will thematically disrupt Web2, and Permission is perfectly positioned at the nexus of this evolution. I am looking forward to building out Permission’s products, business functions, Web3 ad sales momentum, and operations as we strive to make ASK the most widely used reward in digital advertising.” ~ Thomas Shin, CEO
As Tom takes the reins as CEO to execute our go-to-market strategy, founder Charlie Silver transitions to Executive Chairman where he will continue to support our strategic plans as well as fundraising efforts.
2H22 and beyond
A continued exodus of Web2 talent to Web3 illustrates the market opportunity through a business lens, including the value proposition of being part of a once-in-a-lifetime movement. For deeper business insights, a16z’s State of Crypto report and Harvard Business Review highlight the case for being bullish and building in Web3.
Although advertising budgets may be whittled or paused temporarily in the short-term, the quest for high-quality consumer data continues to be paramount for brand success. Regardless of macro economic factors, brands and agencies are pressed for next-gen ad tech solutions that address challenges around cookie degradation, big tech data exploitation and privacy legislation.
Despite market turmoil, we remain focused on the addressing the ad industry’s evolving needs while staying true to the Web3 ethos of consumer data ownership. As brands struggle to improve personalization and engagement with consumers amid stricter privacy legislation, the ability to collect and unify data via customer data platforms (CDPs) is more important than ever.
In 2H22, we will be integrating a Permission CDP that will unify collected zero-party data and allow advertisers not only to build their own permissioned audiences, but will also allow them to tap into Permission’s proprietary audiences. The CDP implementation will be complete in the next few months and will dramatically bolster our offering, by unlocking more value for brands and agency partners that seek to maximize return on ad spend (ROAS).
The tokenization of data and other assets empowers us, flipping the script on big centralized platforms which have long extracted value from our data. With the advent of Web3, we have control over our data, including the opportunity to earn a share of its monetization. Meanwhile, the challenges that digital advertisers have faced in Web2 – particularly, the inability to track users and access critical user data at scale due to privacy regulations – will be solved by Web3 platforms – like ours – that enable advertisers to obtain consent from users by offering tokenized rewards in exchange for their engagement. Whether you view Web3 as an evolution or revolution, we have the tech and the talent to be the leading platform for Web3 advertising.