Presented By:      Welcome to the first edition of Startup Outlook, a monthly report published by 360iU,      the educatio...
StartupScorecard                                            Here is 360i’s qualitative Startup Scorecard, presenting      ...
Startup ReviewsHere are five startups that are working with brands or are looking to do so. Each one is measured againstth...
•	   Prominence: Ads appear upon a mouseover within the image itself, rather than around it. Only one     ad will appear i...
•	   Prominence: Brands joining the marketplace directly will need to promote their storefront through     other channels ...
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The Startup Outlook - Issue 1 - Presented by 360iU

  1. 1. Presented By: Welcome to the first edition of Startup Outlook, a monthly report published by 360iU, the educational center at digital agency 360i. Startup Outlook offers a guide for how brands can evaluate new technologies. Included here are the evaluation criteria and five startups to watch. Head to to register for future updates and sign up for our kickoff event. If you have feedback, or you’re a startup that wants to be considered for a future edition, contact us at tweet thisHow Brands Can Evaluate StartupsStartups are proliferating at far too fast a pace for any marketer to review them all. Thousands ariseannually, with a large percentage looking to work with brands. The most successful and luckiest of themget mentioned in TechCrunch, Mashable and Advertising Age, but even those three sources alone citemany more than most can keep track of.Marketers and their agencies need to constantly evaluate which startups to screen, and then which to divedeeper into, and then which to do business with. Many of them sound alike; startup database CrunchBaselists 91 companies starting with “crowd” and 282 starting with “social.”That’s why brands need criteria for evaluating startups and newtechnologies. A consistent method for reviewing these companies will Startups aremake it easier to distinguish them, and it will help brands figure out what proliferating at farto look for when learning about and meeting with startups. 360i presents too fast a pace forsuch a guide here, based on our experience of working with hundreds any marketer toof startups at all stages, spanning social, mobile, media planning and review them all.buying, web development, digital out of home and more. 1
  2. 2. StartupScorecard Here is 360i’s qualitative Startup Scorecard, presenting the four criteria to use when evaluating startups: Value: What consumer and brand needs does the Applicability: Which brands or verticals would find technology facilitate? If a consumer application, why the startup most relevant? Even the hottest startups would consumers use this, and why would brands aren’t right for every brand. Some startups are more even consider participating? If the value is high for applicable for a certain season, campaign or goal. consumers, brands will want to find a way to get involved. Prominence: How can the brand stand out and create Ingenuity: What is exciting right now? In some cases, its own experience? A rotating banner ad within a site a brand will seek out ingenuity because it’s looking to or application won’t give the brand a prominent hook, attract media attention and get recognized as an while sponsorships, white label offerings and product innovator. It’s also important to discern whether the integration will score high here. offering is truly unique, or if there are more established competitors with similar offerings that can better achieve a marketer’s goals.Other CriteriaThere’s no actual rating system here, and there won’t be in the Startup Outlook. Marketers may find ithelpful to use one, and that’s fine, but it’s impossible to provide universal scores that apply across allbrands and campaigns. A startup that ranks well for a CPG brand may fare poorly for a financial servicescompany, and a startup may be a great fit for a retailer during back-to-school season but not in the deadof winter.There are several other criteria that were considered but not included in the Scorecard:• Service: Is the startup easy to work with? Does it quickly return calls and emails? Can it execute on a plan on time and on budget? Even if a startup meets all the other criteria, falling flat here will almost always guarantee that brands will turn elsewhere. This can be so subjective and change dramatically based on the marketer’s point of contact at the startup. It can also be difficult to determine up front before a program launches.• Scale: Having a lot of users helps, but applicability is far more important than the actual number of users. Brands tend to fare better working with a highly relevant startup than a less suitable company with many more users. There are other factors that directly impact scale as well, such as whether the program includes built-in ways to reach a wider audience through social sharing.• Cost: Costs can be nominal for a small test, or they can be substantial for a major program, so this will vary widely. Startups also are often willing to negotiate, especially if a major brand promotes the activation.• Management Team: The pedigree of the founders helps open doors and may make a startup more likely to succeed, but the management’s employment history and education are not the most critical factors for a marketer considering to launch a campaign or program. 2
  3. 3. Startup ReviewsHere are five startups that are working with brands or are looking to do so. Each one is measured againstthe evaluation criteria outlined in the Scorecard.Immersive Labs• Value: Immersive Labs developed facial detection software that could be extremely valuable for marketers, as this digital technology can improve the effectiveness of traditional media. By attaching a camera to digital out-of-home displays or in-store screens, Immersive Lab’s CARA platform can detect the gender and approximate age of people passing by, determine consumers’ attentiveness, and then target messaging and offers based on who is paying attention. Additionally, marketers can use the detection engine alone as a measurement tool. For instance, they could determine the gender and age of shoppers in a store and see how that changes every hour.• Applicability: This should be of interest to any retailer or any marketer running out-of-home advertising. Packaged goods manufacturers may also want to incorporate CARA into in-store displays.• Prominence: Some marketers and retailers will use this for their own proprietary analytics and media targeting. Conceivably, some out-of-home networks and other media sellers could use this to improve targeting and reporting; in that scenario, all advertisers taking part in the buy would benefit equally.• Ingenuity: For some, this will seem like the future from “Minority Report” has arrived. It’s not far off, based on what CARA can do already. Yet note an important distinction. “Minority Report” ads spoke personally to individuals using facial recognition. Immersive Labs instead uses anonymous facial detection, which better targets consumers but lessens privacy concerns, as it doesn’t remember individual faces. If it detects someone who moves around within view of the camera, it will know it’s the same person, but it won’t remember that person if she walks by the same camera an hour later.Luminate• Value: Luminate enables publishers to earn revenue from images running on their sites. For consumers, some of the value is being able to share images or even specific sections of images, and ads can provide extra context such as promoting products similar to those displayed in certain images. Advertisers get a way to reach 160 million unique users via three billion image views monthly, with targeting options that can go as granular as to only run ads on photos where people in them are expressing a specific emotion.• Applicability: Retailers are one target, as ads can run on images matching the merchant’s specific products. Brand marketers also may appreciate some of the target options, such as when a quick- service restaurant chain promoted a contest on images that expressed “a look of winning.” 3
  4. 4. • Prominence: Ads appear upon a mouseover within the image itself, rather than around it. Only one ad will appear in a single image. If multiple, varied images appear on a page of a publisher using Luminate, it’s likely that each image will run a different ad, as ads are targeted based on the relevance of the image itself.• Ingenuity: While Luminate isn’t the only company running ads within images, advertisers can be especially creative with targeting. The wide reach also offers a greater likelihood of marketers’ messaging and products finding a large enough volume of images to target.QWiPS• Value: QWiPS offers web and mobile applications that let people record audio messages, with or without accompanying photos, and share them through social networks. People have become so prolific at sharing text, photos and videos, so it’s logical that people will appreciate ways to share their voice too. Marketers can similarly share content this way, and they can also create branded experiences within the QWiPS app at live events.• Applicability: Any marketer working with celebrities and spokespeople can use this application to excite fans. It’s also a potentially interesting activation for live events. It won’t be as relevant for most day-to-day community management though; a fan of a brand’s page probably won’t care about hearing a voice clip from the brand’s marketing manager.• Prominence: QWiPS isn’t designed to be a destination for consuming content like YouTube, so brands aren’t directly competing with each other. It’s up to the brands how well they can make their QWiPS posts stand out in Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. Additionally, when people use the mobile app at an event, the marketer offers a custom code so that the user engages with a branded section of the app.• Ingenuity: QWiPS is one of the pioneers of “social voice,” as it calls the genre, and it offers a number of creative ways for both consumers and brands to use the app. There are competitors, however – most notably Fotobabble, but also audio sharing technologies such as SoundCloud. That will give brands some options when comparing functionality and integration options.Shapeways• Value: Shapeways is a marketplace where anyone can set up a storefront to sell goods produced through 3D printing, a process that creates tangible, physical goods on-demand. The marketplace is similar to Etsy but, in this case, the orders are fulfilled by Shapeways, which produces the objects. This opens up new shopping possibilities for consumers, while brands can join the bazaar or partner with Shapeways’ community of designers.• Applicability: Top categories of goods sold through Shapeways include fashion & jewelry, gadgets, art and home décor. Brands in those verticals are the most natural candidates to participate. Entertainment marketers and others may find ways to work with Shapeways artists to create goods that align with their offerings. 4
  5. 5. • Prominence: Brands joining the marketplace directly will need to promote their storefront through other channels to make their shop stand out. Yet brands can create their own experience around Shapeways by crowdsourcing a project with its growing community or hand-picking select designers for a custom program.• Ingenuity: Shapeways is one of a handful of companies that could be a disruptive economic force through 3D printing, which is also called “additive manufacturing.” Objects can be printed in a range of materials such as plastic, sterling silver, sandstone, ceramics and glass, and more options are added each month. The company itself is as creative as the designers working with it, so expect even more possibilities for brands to emerge.Viggle• Value: As TV viewers watch and interact with programs, people earn points that can be redeemed for real rewards. Points are also offered for interacting with ads and branded content within the app, and brands can tailor their content to achieve a range of goals. While some users may enjoy the points, the app offers utilities like alerts for when new shows are on, as well as polls and other activities during live events.• Applicability: This can appeal to a broad range of marketers, with interest likely to be especially strong among major TV advertisers. TV networks can also use Viggle to promote their shows.• Prominence: Brands can pay more for featured placement within the app or specific show experiences. Marketers can also run smaller campaigns and appear as one of several marketers in rotation.• Ingenuity: There are many mobile and tablet TV applications that allow users to interact with programs, ads or both – and the category is getting more crowded – but Viggle is trying to appeal to many types of users at once. Additionally, no TV app has been focused on offering real rewards for virtual currency. Shazam has a much greater reach, but so far it has been used more to identify music, including what’s playing on TV, as well as interact with commercials. Given that Viggle just launched earlier in 2012, it is figuring out which features most appeal to users, even while rolling out new offerings for both consumers and brands. It has done well enough to earn a spot on the short list for marketers considering how to engage TV viewers through digital media. Sign up to receive monthly Startup Outlook updates at If you represent a startup and would like to be considered for a future report, please contact © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserved 5