Our big vision at AdStage — the platform for the new Head of Demand Gen.
With the launch of Automate in February 2016, we started speaking publicly about where we see the marketing technology space headed over the course of the next decade. Automate was our first step towards building a platform to lead in that space.
When Jason and I started this company 3.5 years ago, we initially set out to build a better, open ad management platform for search and social ads that was accessible to the masses, not just the Fortune 500. What we’ve seen since then is that marketing organizations are getting more sophisticated. Agencies are adapting. Companies are bringing activities in-house while leveraging agencies on the planning and creative side of campaign execution.
The biggest shift, however, is that we’ve seen a huge proliferation of tools that are best in class for very specific parts of what we call “the marketing stack”. For example, you may use Salesforce, Intercom, Datanyze and a handful of other tools under your “sales automation” stack. On the advertising side, companies are expanding into multiple networks at a rapid rate while using tools for analytics and attribution beyond just placing the lionshare of their budget on Google AdWords.
What’s even more intriguing is that all of these tools are also becoming far more sophisticated and should be connected. Today, sophisticated demand generation marketers will take leads from Salesforce and upload them into Facebook, Twitter and Google Ads as targeting. They’ll post organic content on Buffer and then take those content pieces and turn them into social ads. They’ll pull all their segments from their marketing automation tool (HubSpot or Marketo) and create audience segments that are identical or similar via paid ads to nurture outside just the email inbox. The list of ways you can bridge the many tools is long and today, highly manual and reserved for the most sophisticated of marketers.
As the industry continues to increase in complexity and the toolsets proliferate we believe that the Head of Demand Generation will become the most critical role in the marketing organizations. This highly analytical and tool-reliant marketer will sit at the center of all things online ads, content, sales automation and marketing automation. They will be the conductor of the marketing orchestra and be asked to stitch together dozens of tools while generating a clearly measurable return on investment.
This is why AdStage is building a platform dedicated to helping the Head of Demand Gen be successful. We believe they will have the most impactful role on the marketing team and their success is critical to the marketing health of an organization. This shift will not happen overnight, and likely not even over the next year. Even the role itself, “Head of Demand Generation” can be seen as a fairly new role at many organizations (many of which actually lack this role altogether).
At AdStage, we’ll be working towards building what we’re calling (working title) a Meta Marketing Platform. The goal of this platform is to not just connect the Head of Demand Gen to all of the various tools, but also build workflows between the tools themselves (you can see this in our new logo). We’ve started by building AdStage, which is an ad management platform, to tie the many ad networks and analytics together. We’ll also focus our efforts on building applications like Automate that live and connect across networks. The idea of the latter being able to actually get the tools working together.
Our Meta Platform can be seen as a sort of switchboard or data pipeline across the many tools within a modern day digital marketer or demand generator’s stack. The key is to then also build out applications that add the layer of sophistication atop and across all things online ads, content, sales automation, and marketing automation.
So let’s start the revolution now to #connectthemarketer.
Stay tuned for more from us, and hopefully many other companies that will help drive and sustain this movement as we enter a critical decade for marketers.
Sahil is the co-founder and CEO of AdStage who co-founded his first company, YC & SV Angel backed Trigger.io at 20. Before that, he dropped out of UC Berkeley, where he studied Philosophy and Econ, to join AOL Corp Devt. at 19. Even earlier, he dropped out of high school to join Yahoo! Mobile at 17 and worked in the professional video game industry before that.
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