Mobile advertising · AdTech

Best way to approach major brands with an adtech solution for a popular unexploited content medium?

Glenn McCreedy Co-founder of Eleven

December 12th, 2016

We've talked to advertising agencies about our solution and we're ready to talk with major brands.  We are close to launch of our solution that uses AI and machine learning to dynamically place relevant ads and promotional content inside ebooks while preserving the reading experience.  It's a unique environment for the brands to engage consumers.  It's a challenge to get in front of brands that have budgets to try out new innovative solutions.  What do you think are the best methods to get their attention and talk with them and get their thoughts on what we offer?

Dmitry Kroshka Marketing, Strategy, Partnerships

December 12th, 2016

Hi Glenn,

I'd need more detail here, because I'm not sure what the challenge is: finding the right person, or getting a response?  This may simply be a lack of network in the ad space, or it may be a deficit on what the media offers.  Or simply the fact that late Q3, and all of Q4 are insanely busy for media activity.  Let me try to answer anyway.

While AI and ML are hot topics (I was recently in the space), the challenge is that they are buzzwords, and don't address what a brand or agency's a brand or agency looks for: how big is the addressable audience, what are KPI's/metrics, what should I expect in terms of CTR, conversion, ROI, etc.?  

The first question to ask yourself: Is the audience big enough (by that I mean 7-8 digits). If the audience isn't big enough, then build it until it is big enough.  If the audience is big enough, but you don't have case studies, dig deep into your network to find folks willing to test either for free or very cheap.  Once you have case studies, it becomes much easier to sell.  

If your network isn't large enough, good case studies also make it much easier to find a partner to help sell, at a higher commission structure if you're not ready for a partner or employee. There are a lot of very good media sales people out there, and if the product is strong you should be able to attract someone with a good rolodex.

Mark Schopmeyer Investment Professional at Carrick Capital Partners

December 12th, 2016

In the early stages of the previous ad-tech startup I was at, our CEO made it a point to hire a connected / experienced advertising executive as his 3rd hire.  Borrowing from this, if you believe in your product, it might be time to hire an experienced advertising sales rep - there should be plenty of them given the state of the ad-tech economy as of late.  Those reps should be able to get you into the door of the right people at the major brands.

Christina Trampota Digital Executive for the Mobile Consumer | Product | Marketing | Startup Advisor | Innovation | Global

December 12th, 2016

I would suggest participating and pitching in the brand's accelerators and innovation programs. Strong recommendation to sign up for the newsletters with KITE https://getkite.co/ and also look on F6 f6s.com

Good luck!

Michael Hauptman 10+ years in AdTech. Founder AdLib Media Group.

December 13th, 2016

Glenn- If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Seeking out a channel partner that already maintains relationships with brands/agencies and can position your inventory and offering alongside the rest of their products is a proven model for success- assuming you add value up and down the chain.

If you are able to prove added value for both the brand and the channel partner then you are in business. You may want to reach out to adtech vendors that aggregate and provide brands/agencies access to a range of supply sources (like MediaMath). Happy to make an intro if that would be helpful - message me.

matt matt Web Developer

December 12th, 2016

Interesting question. Thanks for asking. Curious myself Sent from my iPhone

John Wagner 20+ years sales & BD leadership, start-up turnkey management

December 13th, 2016

Hey Glenn - glad you're seeking more advice, and hope you get some traction soon. As we've discussed, and to echo Dmitry and Mark below, a person with a good rolodex and solid network clients fitting your target demo is advisable. They can get you in the door, you then have to sell it in.