Customer acquisition is the lifeblood of many startups from e-commerce to gaming to marketplace businesses, among others. Most of these startups spend the lion’s share of their marketing budget in today’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Snap, TikTok, etc. because – not surprisingly – that’s where the customers are.
Digital advertising spending is expected to grow 25% this year to reach $191 billion, with Google (69%), Facebook (59%), Snapchat (116%) and Twitter (87%) all reporting rapid growth in Its annual announcements a year later. Revenues. For these companies, it looks like a rosy picture.
But if you ask anyone in the customer acquisition ecosystem — founders, marketers, investors — and you’ll hear the same thing: Customer acquisition (CAC) is getting harder and more expensive. Some of this can be attributed to the massive growth in e-commerce and B2C as a result of the pandemic and global shutdowns – e-commerce for example grew 39% in the last year only – so there is simply more demand. Some of this can be attributed to the increasing pressure on available platforms to not only facilitate large-scale acquisition but also to do so in an increasingly “walled garden”, privacy-restricted world.
Despite the massive and continuing growth in digital advertising (or perhaps because of it), there are almost no tools with which a marketer or growth leader can understand their performance and spending across channels, nor where they can share best practices and ideas with their peers. Platforms in the information feature.
This is where the Trust comes in – it was built to arm those who spend money in channels so that they are not at a disadvantage.
==> You can join the Trust Queue here.
The Trust, which today announced $9 million in funding (Upfront is an investor), is a platform designed to help get the most out of your marketing investment by providing both analytics and a community of like-minded CEOs to share what works and what doesn’t across platforms. Think of it as Bloomberg for marketers, in a way that gives businesses and small teams as much firepower as large organizations to help them improve cross-channel spending and identify new high-performance opportunities. This is achieved through aggregated, anonymous, competitive benchmarking and market-wide performance data across major social and advertising platforms, and curated news and conversations from industry leaders.
To start, the Trust is also launching with a virtual Trust Card, which essentially passes credits and preferred bills to any company, allowing them to increase their marketing purchasing power up to 20 times and have 45-day payment terms for all their marketing investments.
Why invested in the trust?
As a VC, one of the main things I look for in any new investor is the “Product Founder Fit,” for example, does this founder have a vision or an advantage that makes him uniquely suited to successfully building this product and business? There are a lot of talented and smart founders out there, but you’d be surprised how many don’t have this “unfair advantage” when it comes to their product and audience.
The trust is led by CEO and co-founder James Borough, who led Snap’s global automated ad platform, and increased self-serve ad revenue from $0 to $1 billion over three years. In this role, James and his co-founders (many of whom are also from the Snap team) saw firsthand how difficult it is for companies to understand where and how to best invest in marketing, and how opaque platforms make it to advertisers. They lived this challenge every day alongside their clients at Snap, and the Trust was founded out of a direct desire to reshape the dynamics of marketing and advertising spending for the people working on the ground to build the business. For me, this is the biblical example of “Product Founder Fit” and one of the reasons I think this business will work.
From day one, I believed in James as a founder who deeply understands and sympathizes with the customer’s pain point, not only on the user side but also on the platform side. Lots of people have tried this multichannel analytics and optimization solution, but I think James and his team have a unique set of skills and experience to finally crack the code.
As an investor in early-stage companies, many of which face the challenge of acquiring clients every day, I’m excited to see how trust can reshape the playing field for startups and larger organizations alike. Founders, Marketers and Growth Leaders – Join the Trust’s waiting list here.