The advertising and marketing industry is fiercely competitive. For a couple of years now an increasing number of AdTech and MarTech start-ups have been surging onto the market. With their new approaches, solutions and technologies, these young enterprises want one thing in particular: a piece of this industry’s large cake. But the dominance of big players like Facebook or Google is simultaneously making it increasingly more difficult for founders to get their foot in the door for the long term. The result: the market is consolidating; the number of exits is rising. And yet there are still quite a few start-ups whose exciting concepts have been convincingly presented on an international stage. The Restless CMO introduces five of them below.
The concept: The Moscow start-up connects advertisers with car owners who want to lease their vehicles as advertising space. By using a mobile smartphone app, StickerRide functions somewhat according to the Uber principle: marketers can submit their campaigns to the platform with the corresponding parameters like target locations, target groups and times. Car owners can apply to a campaign if they are interested.
In order to boost the motivation of the drivers, StickerRide also pursues a gamification approach: the more often a driver is out driving, the more points they can collect. Participants receive the most points if they drive to the specific locations requested by the client at the specified times. Those who also take part in special actions like flashmobs, can further increase their points. When the campaign is completed, the drivers receive payment according to their activities.
This concept offers advertisers the opportunity to reach even those locations where there are hardly any or no out-of-home advertising spaces at all. At the same time, an app and a corresponding dashboard allows them to track the development of all campaign parameters. More than 85,000 are said to have already downloaded the app and over 30 campaigns with renowned companies like Marvel, Michelin or Warner Brothers have already been implemented.
Founding year: 2013
Locations: Moscow, offices in London, Paris and Los Angeles
Last funding: USD 3 million from Winter Capital (May 2016)
The concept: Phrasee combines human experience with artificial intelligence to handle headline texting for e-mail marketers. This is enabled by an algorithm that collects and analyzes data and information about the click behavior of the recipient via machine learning and creates the optimal subject line, body copy and call-to-action (CTA) based on these findings.
According to a statement made by the London start-up, recipients preferred KI-based e-mails in 95 per cent of all test cases. The goal of the Phrasee software is to optimize the opening rates, click rates and ultimately even the conversion rates of companies in e-mail marketing. More than 30 companies use the services of the British start-up, including Virgin, Euromoney and UBM.
Founding year: 2015
Last funding: more than USD 1 million from Next Fifteen and Galvanise Capital (July 2016)
The concept: Attest is a further MarTech start-up based in the British capital. The online platform enables marketing executives to create marketing surveys, distribute these to the desired target group and subsequently evaluate the results according to central demographic parameters in just a few clicks. According to the start-up, their intention is to enable faster and more reliable decision-making in marketing.
For instance, delivery start-up Deliveroo used the Attest platform to identify new, suitable partner restaurants. The beauty start-up Treatwell, in contrast, surveyed its target group to identify the emotional trigger behind booking beauty treatments.
Attest clients also include major brands like Amazon, Unilever or Twitter.
Founding year: 2015
Last funding: USD 3.1 million, headed by Oxford Capital and Episode 1 (April 2017)
The concept: Mattr is a platform with the objective of connecting companies with the right influencers. Unlike other similar suppliers, the start-up applies algorithms to analyze influencer followers to determine their fundamental demographic and psychographic characteristics like age, income, gender or values on social and ecological consciousness. The goal of Mattr is to support brands to facilitate their targeted and customized selection of digital ambassadors.
Companies can review detailed results during and after completion of the campaign on the platform dashboard. Brands like DELL or Ford are clients of the Texas-based start-up.
Founding year: 2011
Location: Austin, Texas (USA)
Last funding: unknown
The concept: Remerge wants to use app retargeting to help developers reanimate dead apps. By placing personalized advertising in other applications, the Berlin start-up wants to encourage users to start using apps again more frequently. The goal is to sustainably increase the retention and the lifetime value of the applications. A corresponding dashboard provides marketers with information on current figures and interesting insights.
In addition to game and e-commerce suppliers, Remerge especially collaborates with media enterprises – these include Spotify, Axel Springer and CBS. The more than 100 names in the impressive portfolio of the start-up include brands like McDonald’s and Lovoo.
Founding year: 2014
Locations: Berlin, office in San Francisco, New York and Tokyo
Last funding: USD 3 million, headed by Point Nine Capital (August 2015)