Startups are innovating in a number of industries, and marketing is no exception. That's not to say the road to success is as simple as starting your own company — many startups fail to cross the one-year mark, and still more continue to struggle with profitability.
A lot of these companies do show great potential. It seems like there's at least one startup acquisition making headlines every week, whether it be Livefyre's purchase of Realtidbits or Facebook's spurned attempt to buy Snapchat.
With that in mind, we've compiled this list of promising young marketing startups. From hyper-targeting and real-time analytics to facilitating programmatic buys, these are the firms to watch in the new year.
Rebelmouse, a startup created by the former Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry, is a content marketer's dream. The firm developed a platform to curate all of a user's (or a brand's) social media posts in real-time on one beautifully designed homepage. Rebelmouse offers solutions for both personal and enterprise customers.
Founded in 2009, Ampush is one of the more established startups on the list — but it's certainly still worth watching. The ad-tech company helps marketers make programmatic buys across platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Big name clients include MasterCard, Kellogg’s and the Warrior Dash.
Ampush was one of the first ad-tech firms to partner with Facebook advertising and was this year named a "Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer" by the social networking giant.
Percolate, a new content marketing platform, applies what it calls “Brand DNA” to each content marketing campaign. The platform pays attention to brand identifiers like tags, colors and language in an effort to help marketers create content campaigns that will scale.
Using past posts and data, Percolate makes suggestions on what users should post as well. Its collaborative element allows marketing teams to collectively create content as it offers information and suggestions.
B2B startup Enplug has developed a digital, real-time, interactive billboard network. The network caters both to venues wanting to display its interactive billboards and brands wanting to advertise on the network.
For venues, the AURA displays items like menus and schedules, offering the option to show a real-time stream of social media accounts. The social media account takes the interactivity component to a new level. For example, if a bar patron takes an Instagram photo, that photo could instantly appear on Enplug displays.
For advertisers, Enplug offers hypertargeting and real-time analytics. Advertisers are also able to launch cross-campaigns with their social media accounts.
Mobile Roadie is certainly a force to be reckoned with. In the simplest of terms, it took the once-expensive and complicated endeavor of developing a mobile app and made it accessible to almost anyone.
Now, with less concern about budget or app development knowledge, marketers can use Mobile Roadie to develop an iOS app, Android app or mobile-optimized website. That power means a lot in an increasingly mobile-centric world where brands need a mobile strategy to survive.
Performance-based online advertising startup Blue Track Media seeks to connect advertisers focused on incentive-based methods, like affiliate marketing, with the publishers utilizing incentive-based models.
Shahzil Amin founded Blue Track Media in 2009, and today, the startup provides over 350,000 leads and sales to its advertisers every month. Though the focus is on incentive-based advertising, Blue Track Media's non-incentive options are popular, too.
Contently solves a common problem in the content marketing world — having the talent and time necessary to create quality content. The site is a matchmaker of sorts between journalists/writers and the marketers and publishers who need them. The idea was born from co-founder Joe Coleman’s frustration in being unable to find quality writers. Coleman reached out to journalist Shane Snow, who was struggling to find work, and programmer Dave Goldberg to create Contently.
Not only does Contently help content marketers hire talented writers to create content, but it helps struggling writers find decent-paying gigs. By fairly compensating the writers, Contently is helping to improve the marketplace in general.
Conversation is a marketing agency startup based in NYC that has created what it calls the “new traditional” approach. Basically, it takes a holistic approach to marketing by doing all design and development in-house. The results are more creative campaigns with a better sense of cohesion among tactics, and with no outside influence to stifle the ideas.
This startup already has big name clients like L’Oreal, The Children’s Place, Estee Lauder and VH1, and has also appeared on AMC’s The Pitch.
Currently the fastest-growing affiliate marketing network in the world, Peerfly boasts big name clients like Target, Best Buy, Netflix and Apple. In less than five years, Peerfly has generated $50 million in sales for clients. Additionally, the startup has already been named the most popular affiliate network in the world by Performance Marketing Insider.
AdYapper helps advertisers answer the very important question: Is anyone seeing our ads? The company's technology monitors 95% of ads across platforms, browsers and devices.
The platform collects real-time data across the ad ecosystem and funnels it into one area so it can be easily analyzed and understood. From there, clients can identify where they are wasting advertising dollars and work to combat the problem. The firm recently attracted a $1.2 million round of funding.
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