By Don Mathis, Kinetic Social CEO
There is a smell of desperation afoot in social ad:tech. The bloom is off the rose, and ad:tech social marketing is undergoing a period of tumultuous change. The headlines are focused on sell-before-death M&A, shuck and jive (aka “pivoting”) stories, and lay-offs.
I think we are seeing an important evolution underway in the social ad:tech sector: the shake-out that most of us expected to occur is underway, the era of frothy valuations is over for the moment, and the real social media marketing companies are beginning to stand out from the pack.
As the wheat gets culled from the chaff, many of the start-ups listed in Terry Kawaja’s LumaScape will fail, pivot or both over the next 18 months. That’s because anyone with a heartbeat and a Facebook API key could sling social arbitrage advertising in the early days. Now, you can’t shake a stick without hitting a venture-backed social play.
But the companies with genuine added value will continue to expand and thrive … the ones that have invested in real technology development and differentiation. Meanwhile, the companies that raised a bunch of venture capital and spent it mostly on marketing with go, quietly or not, into the night.
AdExchanger had a great interview with LUMA’s Terry Kawaja on this subject, posted a few days ago on February 4th.
Perhaps we are approaching the end of this era?
Don Mathis is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kinetic Social, a company launched in 2011 with a core focus of marrying “Big Data” to social media on behalf of large brand advertisers. He also serves in the active reserve of the US Navy, where he is the Commanding Officer of a highly deployable, selectively staffed, joint-service combat logistics unit that supports forward deployed war-fighters.