Interview with Brian Bowman, CEO, Consumer Acquisition
“Advertisers are increasingly looking to creative automation and machine learning (AI) solutions to optimize ad campaigns.”
Tell us about your role and how you got here? What inspired you to envision a user acquisition solution for Facebook and Google?
I’m the founder and CEO of Consumer Acquisition, where I manage our business, strategic partnerships with Facebook and Google and driving the vision of our future acquisition products and solutions for our clients. We’re in a highly dynamic and competitive industry that’s ever-changing, so I focus on staying on top of technology and trends to produce results for our partners.
Prior to Consumer Acquisition, I was consumer Internet executive for Disney, ABC, Match and Yahoo and managed over $1B in performance-marketing spend. Almost five years ago, I saw an opportunity to focus on Facebook’s advertising marketplace. I envisioned an end-to-end solution for performance marketers like myself, which is the basis for Consumer Acquisition’s tools and managed services today.
How does the Pay-for-Performance creative model differ from the modern programmatic adtech marketplace?
While a programmatic adtech marketplace focuses on arbitraging the best price and placement for an ad. We focus exclusively on Facebook, Instagram and Google and offer a pay-for-performance solution within our Creative Marketplace, so for our clients, it means that advertisers can source creative images and video concepts from our global network of designers, and ad copy from our UA experts, and only pay for the ad creatives they choose to run. This mitigates the cost of sourcing and producing high performance creative at scale, and this is really critical in a highly competitive market – providing fresh creative is a constant need for advertisers.
The alternative to a pay-for-performance marketplace like ours would be to hire an agency or in-house designer to create each set of ads needed, regardless of whether the ads were used in campaigns. The latter can be costly and inefficient.
In 2018, what would be the biggest expectations from customer acquisition platforms?
I believe advertisers are increasingly looking to creative automation and machine learning (AI) solutions to optimize ad campaigns. Creative Marketplaces and AI have emerged in the generation, selection and running of ad creatives, and advertisers are curious to see how far the tools can go in streamlining campaign management and improving performance. 2018 will be an interesting year for Creative Marketplaces and AI automation in the digital ad space.
Which martech startups are you watching/keen on right now?
We are not watching particular startups and focus instead on categories. We’re closely watching evolution in Creative Marketplaces and how they and solve the significant challenge of ad fatigue, machine learning and how it can automate intraday management and automation of today’s user acquisition managers. We’re also watching the quick evolution of Playables & Rewarded videos and how blockchain will impact media buying.
What marketing services does your stack offer?
We provide an end-to-end user acquisition platform for Facebook and Google Advertisers. More specifically, we offer three main solutions:
Creative Marketplace: To help advertisers achieve successful creative at scale, we offer a pay-for-performance Creative Marketplace. Advertisers receive fresh images and videos from our global network of designers and only pay for the creatives they choose to run. We provide a free concierge service to help with creative brief writing and feedback to designers.
AI-Powered Ad Automation: Consumer Acquisition developed the AdRules to simplify user acquisition on Facebook and Instagram. AdRules brings AI automation to advertisers, providing a simple interface that allows them to automate nearly any process for ad management.
Managed Services: Consumer Acquisition’s team of user acquisition experts manage 100% of the work required scale efficiently on Facebook and Instagram. With a focus on rigorous a/b testing to optimize creative for your mobile game, app or website our designers, editors and account managers work together to reduce your advertising costs. We use our proprietary AI-Powered, AdRules ad management platform to manage ads in real time around the clock.
Would you tell us about your standout digital campaign?
We recently worked with Glu Mobile on a sprint-like 3-week campaign where we delivered an uplift of 20% return on advertising spend (ROAS). More than increased revenue and return, we also shared best creative practices and delivered winning creative concepts that also reduced non-converting spend. Our ultimate focus is on building lasting relationships that continue to deliver value to our clients, and this was clearly the case with our partners at Glu.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?
We’re actively experimenting with machine learning and AI and the potential impact on media buying and creative. We track Facebook and Google’s increased optimization capabilities and now believe that creative has become the unique differentiator for performance. Creative can NOT be algorithmically generated with AI or machine learning – YET! We’re heavily investing in ways to scale video, image and ad copy production.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Outside of our own platform solutions for managing our client campaigns and creative, we live and breathe Facebook and Google for their ever-evolving advertising solutions. We also are heavy users of Slack, Prosperworks, and Google Docs.
What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
For pre-sales and sales activities, Prosperworks is a fantastic tool. It fully integrates with G-suite and saves us a tremendous amount of time.
What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
Prodigiously reading Business Insider, Techcrunch, TechMeme, Facebook’s Blog, Google’s Blog.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t raise money unless you have to as you immediately give up control and your focus as the CEO immediately changes.
Hashtag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you Brian! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Brian is the CEO and Founder of ConsumerAcquisition, a badged Facebook & Instagram Marketing Partner which offers the first end-to-end user acquisition solution with a creative marketplace for ad creation, AI-powered campaign automation and action-based reporting for Facebook Advertisers. He was formerly CEO of Likelit.com. He has also served as CMO of Buyelink and As Community Manager at Yahoo.
Founded in 2013, Consumer Acquisition offers the first end-to-end user acquisition solution with a creative marketplace for ad creation for Facebook & Google with an AI-powered campaign automation and action-based reporting for Facebook Advertisers. We have acquired over 100 million app installs and leads for Glu Mobile, PlayStudios, Checkout51, Sunbasket, Terra’s Kitchen, Ford, PlayDots, EBATES and many more.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.