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UE.co, formally Underground Elephant, is a San Diego based, Software-as-a-Service provider that specializes in delivering MarTech solutions for enterprise-level advertisers. Named San Diego’s Fastest Growing Company and San Diego’s Best Place to Work by the San Diego Business Journal, as well earned a position on the Inc. 5000 list four years in a row, UE.co’s comprehensive suite of platforms allows their clients to analyze, manage, and optimize their digital advertising budgets. In the following conversation with Keola Malone, CTO at UE.co, he sheds some light on MarTech trends and the company’s unique strategies in the space.
What is the most significant trend that is gaining traction in MarTech?
The most influential trend that is gaining traction is “platformization” of Martech. Today, advertisers have a diverse ecosystem of cloud-based solutions to assemble a custom package that suits their needs. This has increased the speed to market, agility, and rapid development cycles, expediting the assembly of software that creates market value. However, its complexity has also confused many organizations regarding what they need to build themselves and where they need to leverage third-party solutions. Regarding this, UE.co depends on our internal expertise and the overall vision for the software design. We often utilize PaaS products to quickly assemble a Minimum Viable Product. By abstracting dependencies in the code, they can later be replaced by more robust or proprietary alternatives.
How does your company mitigate the challenges in the MarTech solutions space?
Security has become the most significant cause for concern in the wake of Facebook and Equifax security breaches. Since we handle both our users' and the consumers' information, we hire outside consultants and neutral third parties to help audit code, infrastructure, and processes, ensuring our private information stays that way. Additionally, there are challenges in the financial and insurance industries due to many enterprise clients’ lengthy/complex development life cycles involving many stakeholders. UE.co helps our clients by leveraging the right technology to develop highly functional solutions that can connect disparate databases, integrate with legacy systems, and close the loop on business initiatives. Since many customers cannot migrate their systems into the cloud, we custom-build a solution that provides all the benefits of a cloud-based system without any of the heavy liftings on their end.
Please walk us through your solutions concerning its core features and functionalities.
Our software suite covers a wide array of tech-forward marketing services that connect advertisers with high-end consumers. Our platform serves as a centralized hub for advertisers ranging from SMBs to enterprise-grade insurance carriers to acquire leads, clicks, or calls.
Our software suite covers a wide array of tech-enabled marketing services that connect advertisers with high-end consumers
We integrate directly with web publishers who specialize in generating high-quality interest through a variety of proven SEO tactics and experiment with multiple marketing channels such as email, search, social, and call center campaigns. Using these tactics, the platform allows users to discover what vendors, sources, and media channels are right for them and their product. Additionally, an innovative integration style and machine learning algorithms allow advertisers to score traffic in real-time so that leads, clicks, and calls can be bid on in real time. The system can be customized for any industry, vertical, or client.
Could you share a story where you helped your clients overcome their challenges by leveraging your solutions?
Allstate, an insurance provider, was facing issues regarding poor lead quality, returns, and managing individual contracts with their lead suppliers. They wanted transparency in marketing spend and the flexibility to react to market needs and improve quality from their lead suppliers; Allstate contacted UE.co to build a solution. In response, UE.co created The Allstate Lead Marketplace (ALM), an industry-leading InsurTech platform that expanded the insurance icon’s capabilities by streamlining the digital marketing process. Dedicated UE.co representatives from the marketing, sales, legal and technology departments oversaw the development of the project and continue to introduce new enhancements today. Allstate leverages ALM to acquire qualified, in-market consumer leads with distribution to the appropriate agent within the organization. It also enables the agents to adjust their budget and bids to changing market conditions in real-time. Since implementing internal calls in 2016, 3.5 million opportunities have been processed through ALM, and enhanced pricing sophistication has lowered Allstate cost per policy by eight percent.
What do you think makes UE.co surge ahead of its competitors?
The most crucial factor is the focus we give our talent. I encourage my team to continue learning by attending conferences, taking classes, and teaching peers skills and techniques during our weekly “ code gym.” In addition to career development, our developers are given the autonomy to be creative in their problem-solving. However, UE.co also values work-life balance. Our team enjoys many off-site team-building events. This has helped us enjoy each other’s company which has made implementation of new ideas and projects a collaborative opportunity. Secondly, we try not view other companies as competition, but instead look to see how we could use each other’s strengths to make a better product for the client while enhancing the user experience. By building software that is modular and extensible, we can integrate and leverage existing technology rather than compete against it directly.
Are there any geographical expansions or platform enhancements that you expect in the near future?
UE.co is excited to expand our platform to new verticals in the future. We also envision continuing to grow and add more features to Parrot, our call marketplace. Since it was developed in 2015, the platform has generated over 12 million calls. Currently, Parrot is pacing to have a 142 percent growth in calls this year, and 2019 is expected to continue to upward trend.