The Akron startup has grown rapidly, and their powerful predictive software has earned them recognition from Facebook.
Effective advertisers succeed by getting their message in front of the right audience in the right place at the right time—whether it’s a billboard along a busy highway, a commercial during the Super Bowl or a sign on a park bench. As internet use continues to grow year over year, so too has the importance of digital advertising for brands. CompanionLabs in Akron is building software to help companies spend wisely and maximize the impact of their digital marketing efforts.
“Companies are recognizing the value of advertising on Facebook, Google and Amazon, but the problem is that there are a lot of unknowns,” said Brian Deagan, founder and CEO of CompanionLabs. “Smaller companies don’t have the resources to compete with bigger companies who have analytics specialists and data scientists, so you end up doing a lot of guessing with your ads. That’s not very effective, so we built tools to help advertisers avoid the guesswork and get tangible results.”
Deagan is an industry veteran from his days starting, growing and selling digital marketing company Knotice. Later, he discovered the need for predictive advertising software running Human Unlimited, an e-commerce apparel company leveraging digital platforms to sell their products. With a small budget, Deagan felt uninformed making decisions around how much money to put towards Facebook campaigns. He envisioned tools that could forecast performance to avoid the tedious, blind, guess-and-check technique his company—and every other small-to-midsize company—is facing.
CompanionLabs tools operate as small Plug and Play apps that run alongside existing services like Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor and analyze the performance of your pages’ ads. The tools can assign letter grades (A-F) to help users understand the statistical significance of campaigns in their accounts, automatically predict performance and recommend budgets for the campaigns before they launch. With this foresight backed by algorithms developed using data science, small-scale advertisers can face off with bigger players on a level playing field.
Launched in April 2017, CompanionLabs attracted 2,000 trial users in its first two weeks. News of the software’s effectiveness spread quickly, ultimately reaching Facebook itself. Deagan and his team received an email encouraging the young startup to apply for a spot as one of its’ official marketing partners, with less than 190 globally. In August 2017, the small Akron company received Facebook accreditation.
“When Facebook reached out to say, ‘Hey, we think you’re doing some interesting things with our platform. You should consider becoming a partner,’ that was a huge affirmation of the work we’ve done,” said Deagan.
The software startup is growing rapidly with support from JumpStart, a northeast Ohio regional partner of Ohio Third Frontier. JumpStart invested in the growing Akron company to help accelerate its apps to market.
“Our small team from Akron is in exclusive company now with this recognition from Facebook,” said Deagan. “We’re going to continue building intuitive, easy-to-use apps to help people make the most of these platforms and keep growing and scaling our business in northeast Ohio.”