Stagwell’s Annual Competition Acts as Incubator for Tech-Focused Marketing Startups with $1M in Funding to Start
Stagwell Marketing Cloud has announced the winner of its 2022 Innovation Competition, a program designed to unleash employee innovation and fund technology that solves the modern marketer’s pain points. SmartAssets is an AI-powered SaaS platform that uses AI to extract creative components from ads. It then uses performance data from those ads to guide and support the creative process by reporting, forecasting, and optimising ads for effectiveness. With AI-powered asset categorization, performance analytics, and instant creative adjustments, brands can better optimise production timelines and overall media performance.
“We were inspired once again by the visionary ideas that were presented in this year’s internal ‘Shark Tank,’ where the competition was fiercer than ever,” said Stagwell chairman and CEO Mark Penn. “The potential and capabilities of SmartAssets perfectly align with the needs of modern marketers – bringing data-driven decision making to the creative process – and we’re excited to leverage the Stagwell ecosystem to perfect the platform, bring it to market and let it go to work.”
SmartAssets was developed by a team from multilingual content and media consultancy Locaria, part of Stagwell’s Brand Performance Network: Chief Operating Officer Lindsay Hong, Data Scientist Eric Walzthöny, and Innovation Lead Vitaly Boitelet. The platform has three core capabilities:
- AI-powered asset management: SmartAssets reads the full content of a brand’s creative library and categorises its attributes. It ensures assets meet industry and brand standards.
- Performance analytics: By connecting with a brand’s advertising platforms, SmartAssets provides performance reporting data not only to the creatives, but to media teams.
- Instant creative adjustments: After identifying opportunities, SmartAssets lets users quickly act on them by adjusting creative within the platform instantaneously.
“Global brands know that great creative drives performance just as much as a smart media strategy, and are looking for greater understanding and control of their increasingly complex creative asset portfolio. They want to be sure that the assets they produce not only meet quality and branding guidelines but will also land with the intended audience and drive results,” said Lindsay Hong, COO, Locaria. “By leveraging AI and the existing media infrastructure of the Brand Performance Network, SmartAssets will derive insights at scale to inform the creative process and expedite media strategy activation, allowing brands and agencies to unite their creative and media teams around one goal.”
Stagwell Marketing Cloud’s Innovation Competition provides funds and expertise for Stagwell’s 13,000+ employees to develop transformational ideas for technology-driven marketing solutions. The brief is simple: create a concept for a client-facing product at the intersection of technology, marketing, and business transformation.
“Our annual innovation competition, which we colloquially refer to as ‘Shark Tank,’ taps into the network’s global, cross-functional talent and deep understanding of the modern marketer,” said Stagwell Marketing Cloud chief marketing officer Elspeth Rollert. “We pair that industry knowledge with the vast technical resources we have at Stagwell to build SaaS solutions that solve some of the industry’s biggest pain points.”
Past winners of the Stagwell Marketing Cloud Innovation Competition have developed into successful products, including:
- Harris Brand Platform (2018 Winner), an industry-leading brand management software tool that collects critical brand and marketing data on brand competitors and consumers, to help marketers segment, target, measure and optimize campaign effectiveness.
- PRophet (2019 Winner), the only generative and predictive A.I-driven PR tool that helps professionals draft releases and social content in minutes. PRophet was recently named the winner of the Innovation SABRE Awards North America 2023 in the PR Software and Services category.
- ARound (2020 Winner), a first-of-its-kind fan engagement platform that delivers stadium-level augmented reality experiences, in use by the MLB, NFL, and launching soon in the NBA.
- WonderCave (2021 Winner), a peer-to-peer texting solution helping to grow brands and build communities with 1:1 text conversations at scale. WonderCave was crowned the 2022 Campaign Tech Award Winner for Best Texting Platform.
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