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“We wanted a platform that reflected the truth of how paid search really works and that is designed from a practitioners’ point of view.”

Interview by Mike Sullivan of Sully’s Blog


This Interview was made possible by our friends at

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Lucinda Holt is the CEO of ClickEquations.  She is an accomplished technology CEO who led a number of successful venture-backed companies. In 2004, Lucinda co-founded and led TurnTide, an anti-spam technology company, which was acquired by Symantec for $28 million in only six months.  Prior to founding TurnTide, Lucinda was President & CEO of Destiny WebSolutions, a venture-backed Inc. 500 winner that provided Internet strategy and implementation consulting to large financial institutions. While growing Destiny from $250,000 to $25 million in revenue Lucinda received many honors. She was named America’s 17th Most Influential Consultant by Consulting Magazine, won the Eastern Technology Council’s Enterprise Award for CEO of the Year, and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Philadelphia. In the last year, Lucinda was named the Iris Newman Award Female Entrepreneur of the Year and an Eisenhower Fellow.   In addition to her CEO roles, Lucinda has been an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at First Round Capital and has held management positions at Infonautics, Automated Call Processing, SEI Investments, and American Express. She graduated cum laude from University of Pennsylvania and earned an MBA from the Wharton School in Entrepreneurial Management.

ClickEquations is the first intelligent paid search platform for large advertisers and agencies.  Founded in 2006, just outside of Philadelphia, ClickEquations is run by a team of paid search experts and software entrepreneurs.  The company was founded with the goal to create a more effective and efficient way to manage paid search campaigns.  The platform provides advanced analytics and management for PPC campaigns.  ClickEquations is designed for advertisers and agencies who manage paid search campaigns with monthly spend of at least $25,000.


ClickEquations has a lot of energy and force behind managing paid search campaigns.  What was the inspiration for launching the company and creating this new platform?

When we started we were an online marketing consulting firm, or agency. We had a growing paid search business and we were dissatisfied with the available paid search tools. Everything on the market was very search engine centric – it was all about what worked best for the search engines and how they viewed paid search. We wanted a platform that reflected the truth of how paid search really works and that is designed from a practitioners’ point of view.

We knew that the market was large and growing quickly, that there was a real need, and that there was an opportunity to provide a better tool.

What do customers of ClickEquations ultimately gain from your service?  Who needs this platform?  What are some of the features that separate you from other tools?


It’s not hard to see that managing PPC effectively at any large scale is difficult. It’s only made harder by the fact that the free tools and other paid tools are engine-centric instead of practitioner-centric. They deliver incomplete data and the same old editing, just across more engines.

The implication is that it’s the user’s job to find all of the data they need, know what it means and know what to do.

We don’t think that’s ever possible or even desirable. Paid search tools should take some of the responsibility prioritizing where you need to focus and make it easier to manage those changes.

We believe that intelligent technology is the solution. ClickEquations is focused on creating a platform that helps find areas of opportunity or waste in our clients’ advertising and makes it easy, or automatic, to react to those trends.

For example, we have a Best Practices system that automatically scans the user’s account and alerts them to areas that need time and attention. Instead of having to sort through the data manually and figure out where to focus, ClickEquations identifies the key opportunities and presents them in a work list. If you only have a few hours to manage your account in a given day or week, this is a much more efficient way to prioritize.

Keyword Zoom, our latest feature, truly reflects the way search works and dramatically simplifies the process of targeting prospects. Every time someone searches, they’re asking a question. As advertisers, the goal is to answer those questions as directly and profitably as possible the clearest indicator of their intent is in their search query, the actual phrase they type into the search engine.. We use keywords (and their associated options) to try to reach those searchers and text ads to attract them to our site. Most tools have 3 separate screens to show you search query data, keyword data and text ad data and then an entirely different place to make changes. Keyword Zoom combines all of that information in one place and lets you take action immediately. It’s an intelligent way to think about paid search and a very easy way to make your campaigns more efficient.

Finally, one of our customers’ favorite features is ClickEquations Analyst – our Microsoft Excel plug-in for automated reporting and analysis. You can literally create any completely custom report you want in Excel and refresh it with 1 click. Our clients have reported cutting their reporting time by up to 80%.

These are the most leading edge of our features, which include complete bid management, editing, and reporting.

Each of these features improves your profit by making it easier for you to understand what is happening in your account, select where to focus your limited time and budget and execute quickly, so you can spend your time wisely and efficiently.

ClickEquations is designed for both advertisers and agencies. It’s best for companies that spend at least $25,000 on paid search advertising and who are frustrated with the limits of the free tools or other platforms.

Focusing on Destiny WebSolutions, where there fundamental strategies you employed to grow revenue so tremendously?

During the late ’90s there was a drive for large organizations to join the online revolution, but it was hard for them – technically and culturally. At Destiny we were able to bring an Internet start-up attitude to clients like CitiGroup and Bank of America in a way that worked for them and their culture as well.

The biggest challenge was scaling the company operationally to meet the growth we were able to generate in the business. We had a very disciplined, selective, and scalable hiring and training process that made that work.

The fact that you co-founded TurnTide and sold in only 6 months for $28 million dollars is amazing.  That’s an entrepreneurial dream come true.  How were you able to sell a company faster than most people could even get a business of the ground?

Well, there’s a bit of mythology in that story. It’s true that David Brussin and I did found the company and grow it extraordinarily quickly, especially for a B2B business, and sold it that quickly. But a lot of groundwork had been laid by a predecessor company, so we had a big head start. The real keys to the success were: 1) great, breakthrough technology and 2) outstanding execution.

Having had several entrepreneurial experiences and successes, are their certain keys to success?  That is, do you find that there are certain behaviors that you find yourself repeating in each new business environment you find yourself in?

There are three keys, and they’re not secret:

1)      A big, early, growing market

2)      A great product that fits the market

3)      A strong team

You have to get all three of those right for a knock-out success, which is very hard to do.


As I was preparing for this interview, you were in China on an Eisenhower Fellowship.  Can you tell me more about that and exactly what is an Eisenhower Fellowship?

Chaired by General Powell,  Eisenhower Fellowships is a  4-5 week leadership development opportunity that  exposes the Fellow to leaders and decision makers in her field. There have been about 1800 fellows from almost 100 countries including 4 heads of state and 125 cabinet-level officials, as well as many prominent business people and others.

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