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Mobile Local Ad network xAD has been on a roll. About two months ago, it announced reaching 2 billion ads, just four months after hitting the first million (a feat that originally took 18 months).

Now the company has announced 550 percent network traffic growth (YoY) and a new batch of hires. Monica Ho joins as VP of marketing; many of you may remember her from TMP’s 15 Miles Division.

Joining her is Ron Merritt, SVP of sales (formerly at Yodle), and Dan Hight, VP of business development (formerly at SuperMedia). All three will join to bolster the company’s explicit emphasis on ramping up direct sales.

This will partly take form in xAD’s new Charlotte, North Carolina, direct sales operation that Merritt will oversee. It will call on SMBs with the promise of leads, delivered through xAD’s high performing mobile ad placement.

This represents an important (and opportune) step for xAD, as it has primarily worked through channel resellers like YPs. Its efforts to go direct are somewhat analogous to what Google is doing with local SEM.

Resellers of course involve margin compression and putting your product’s messaging in someone else’s hands. Nothing against resellers, but the product’s DNA sometimes doesn’t come through as well as direct sales (though they do provide scale).

Much more to say as things unfold. For now it’s three great hires, an exploding space and a company that has intelligently repositioned itself a few times to sit where it does today. We like where this is going.

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