Silver Bullet Data Services Group “services and products are really in a great position” (LON:SBDS)

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Silver Bullet Data Services Group plc (LON:SBDS) Chief Executive Officer Ian James caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss what the company does, half year highlights, creating a niche with broadcast companies, market trends in digital transformation and what the business is looking to achieve in the coming months and into 2022.

Silver Bullet Data Services Group is a digital transformation services and product company that assists brands and advertisers to deploy their digital marketing spend with a focus on the use of technology and data. This morning, the company provided its interim results for the six months ended 30th June 2021 and with me to discuss the results is Chief Executive Officer Ian James.

Q1: As mentioned you’ve released your half year results this morning but before we talk about those, can you just remind us of what the company does and the services that it offers to clients?

A1: The company was founded in 2016 and I’m delighted to say we’re trusted by some of the world’s biggest brands to deliver marketing transformation, predominantly through the smart use of data.

So, we use data to help big brands to get better bang for their buck or return on investment from the investment they make predominantly in digital marketing.

We offer clients our services around that space so helping them go through that transformation journey and in 2020, we launched 4-D which is our flagship product. We launched the product into a market we thought there was a gap which was really driven by these clients really undergoing change through new regulation around the decline of the cookie as a data set in marketing. That was being declined so we saw an opportunity to launch a new product to help clients to connect with their consumers using their data in a new and interesting way.

So, we launched our product 4-D in 2020 and I’m delighted to say we listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2021 so we’re a services and products business that help businesses transform their marketing investment.

Q2: Results out today, can you just take us through the highlights of the first half?

A2: As I say, we really responding to this Privacy-First post-cookie era around data transformation and our proprietary contextual data product. I’m delighted to say that having raised £9.5 million at IPO, bringing in significant UK fund managers, we’ve now seen some great results for the first half of the year.

Our revenue is up 30% y-o-y, above management expectations, and this is predominantly driven by our very strong demand in data transformation services. We’ve actually won 13 new contract wins during this period, I’m pleased to say that ITV is a very good example of that, a company called Venture Crowd another very good examples of the 13 new contract wins that we’ve had during this period.

We’ve also continued to invest in our incumbent clients and we’re increasingly seeing new services being sold to our incumbent clients such as Heineken, Jägermeister being very good examples as well as Dolce & Gabbana.

Q3: The company has created a niche with the broadcast companies such as ITV and RTE, why is that and what do you provide clients in that space?

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A3: It’s a very good point. About 12 months ago, we realised that the broadcast industry were reaching out to us to help them go through the very early stages of their transformation journey of using data to improve the value of their advertising inventory that they sell to markets, to big brands, the brands that happen to also be our clients.

So, that’s specific niche of broadcaster transformation is something that we focussed on over the last 12 months and I’m now proud to say that we serve over 6 broadcasters in the global market. An example, as you say, we recently secured a contract with RTE, Ireland’s largest broadcaster, and previously ITV earlier in the period. They’re really indicative of the work that we’re doing to help those businesses to transform their organisations through the smart use of data.

It’s seismic really of the broadcaster piece because fundamentally broadcasting is the final step of this transformation of digital advertising from linear TV being the biggest spending area outside of digital now, finally moving into online video and ‘Over The Top’ viewing. Increasingly, I think we’re all watching more TV over apps on TV channels and increasingly, that requires more data to make that inventory more valuable.

That’s what the company is doing to help the broadcasting industry like ITV, RTE, SBS in Australia and Channel 10.

Q4: What market trends are you seeing in the digital transformation?

A4: The biggest market trend is this Privacy-First and the need for a post-cookie solution so increasing regulation requires brands to be evermore vigilant in how they use their customers’ data. I think there’s been reports over the weekend of Facebook, again, are being caught out for jus how they are starting to use data in a new way. That’s the really big trend, Privacy-First is something that our business stands for and helps its clients to organise itself for.

Secondly, it’s the death of the cookie. The death of the cookie is the biggest seismic shift in digital advertising in the last 20 years and we’re building our products and services that help our clients to adapt to that new Privacy-First post-cookie era.

Q5: Finally, can you just wrap up with what Silver Bullet Data Services Group is looking to achieve during the rest of the year and perhaps into 2022?

A5: We’re going to double down on the momentum we have in our services business as we look forward to growing those clients in the backdrop that I just described with the Privacy-First post-cookie era, that’s gaining more and more momentum.

We’re also going to look to double down on our US business where we launched our 4-D product last year into market and we are seeing increasing traction around our 4-D product that we’ll look to double down on in the second half of the year and into 2022.

Both of those areas of our business, services and products, are really in a great position based on where the market is today on the bounce back in digital advertising into ’22 and also these consistent and persistent trends around the need for brands to transform themselves around Privacy-First post-cookie consumer behaviours.

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