Friday, May 27, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: makes advertising across the social web a breeze

A few weeks ago during ad:tech, I saw a company called Adaptly compete in the Social category of the Start-Up Spotlight competition. They faced stiff competition, and while they did not win, there was this sort of divide in the audience of perhaps 200 people – half the room seemed absolutely rapt by the offering, while the other half saw value, but didn’t appear to have a near religious experience watching their presentation.

I am convinced that the divide was between those who regularly purchase media – especially social media – and those a few steps away from this task.

Because if you buy media, you saw tremendous utility. As part of their assignment, Social companies were asked how they would spend $500K on behalf of a client. What did was LITERALLY book and launch a campaign with $500K in spending.

In about three minutes.

For rather than talking on a high level about the philosophy behind their offering, they launched their social buying platform and defined targets and spends for a number of social sites and opportunities.

Let me back up a minute. What offers is a buying, management, and reporting platform for advertising across a broad range of social media platforms. All from a single web-based console. Where can you buy ads? Check out this list:

Linked In
Stumble Upon
Plenty of Fish

As you know, each of these platforms offers ads in very different formats, and each of their self serve buying platforms works differently.

Provides a management layer between you and the social venues, so that you can buy everything you want from a single interface.
Automatically versions ads if you desire to optimize performance. In effect, they make the process of testing hundreds of copy versions automatic.
Offer real-time performance information
Provides the tools to enable you to quickly reallocate resources to stronger performers, or adjust your targeting specs to take a different tack in advertising on some or all of the values.
While I don’t buy much social advertising, I do so occasionally, chiefly for B2B clients, and the speed and ease of really impressed me. So too did the idea of the automatic copy testing. In my view, far too little attention is placed on copy testing in text ads, and Adaptly offers a powerful and simple solution to capitalize on the untapped opportunity.

Here’s a vid that shows the platform in action:

The other reason I liked this idea is that clearly understands the need for scale in social. It’s all very well and good that there are tools that enable brands to reach a hundred or even a thousand super influencers, but big brands with big budgets need ways to drive reach and other metrics at critical mass scale. If you are in 30% of US households, it’s difficult for 100 influencers make a meaningful impact on the bottom line, no matter how powerful they may be. And no brand or agency has the resources to spend $20,000,000 or $100,000,000 $25K at a time. has stepped into this need gap in a big way, and I for one will be watching them closely over the next months and years. Hard to imagine a concept with more appeal than making the ridiculously complicated process of buying social media so much simpler. This team has got something big on their hands.

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first.

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