Four high flying executives from top online advertising agencies have launched a new initiative which promises big improvements to the often fraught relationships between ad agencies and tech startups.
The Technology, Advertising and Startup Council or TASC is the brainchild of three New York-based digital ad executives plus another based in San Francisco. At its core is the mission to improve communication between ad agencies and tech startups and align business objectives more clearly. As such, it looks set to ease the burden of the jobbing art director and valiant copywriter as they struggle to create bespoke campaigns.
While it’s clear that the ad agency/tech startup connection is often a fruitful one (just think of successful startups like FreedomPop, SoundHound or Layar, all of which fused technological genius with ad agency panache), it’s no secret that relations between the two aren’t always so good. Even so, there’s no disputing the fact that ad agencies genuinely want their tech startup clients to flourish. The technologies can, in turn, generate value for consumers and marketers alike, making good feedback between ad firms and tech firms inestimably precious.
The executive founders – David Berkowitz (VP of Emerging Media at 360i), David Herman (founder and MD of kbs+p Ventures), Ian Schafer (CEO of Deep Focus) and Mark Silva (VP of Emerging Platforms at Anthem Worldwide) — launched TASC’s first meeting last month. The meetings are not about deals, and participants are told as much before attending. Instead, they bring together startups, ad agencies and venture capitalists to give and receive key advice on product pricing, campaign structure and commercial potential.
The early verdict is that startups value the service considerably, with comments to TASC confirming that they rarely get feedback as comprehensive and detailed as they had at the meetings.
TASC founders have been around long enough to know that the chief reason for the coolness between ad agencies and tech startups is a lack of understanding. Berkowitz believes that ad agencies tend to pounce on marketing the products, whereas the startups often want help in transforming their market.
The new Council has big ambitions. It’s set its sights on that hub of startup innovation, Silicon Valley, where it plans to take its events in the not too distant future.