The startups that will redefine marketing

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A few years back social was all the rage. Then mobile first had its moment. Now content and the brand as publisher models are the "it" trends in brand marketing. Each of these has merit, and expertise in each discipline is valuable. But none of these ideas live on their own. They're all different facets of the same gem.

Social is just a behavior, a way that people share and communicate. And mobile without content is just a blank screen. Content flows through the system; it is created and distributed through social channels and ultimately surfaces across a wide variety of devices and screens, increasingly mobile ones.

The startups that will redefine marketing

Are the newest consumer and ad tech innovations social? Mobile? Content? It's becoming more difficult to neatly place the emerging products into these buckets.

But one theme is consistent across each of these intertwined disciplines: speed. The pace at which content is created, shared, and consumed is constantly increasing, with consumer creation and consumption behavior usually outpacing a brand marketer's ability to keep up. And so with this lens, a new generation of startups rise in a self-perpetuating cycle that enable more seamless, rapid development and delivery of content, as well as solutions to organize, manage, and digest this ever-expanding and accelerating stream.

Here are nine startups that break down the silos between social, content, and mobile to stand out in today's cluttered consumer tech ecosystem. I've broken them down into four sections, by the most prevalent trends and opportunities that I see emerging in our industry.



dave adox
dave adox July 17, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Great list Alex!

Jay DeDapper
Jay DeDapper July 15, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Alex -- Nice list especially with the focus on content marketing but I think you missed something even more disruptive: Customer-created content. With Vine, Instagram, Keek and others proving that consumers love to create content the challenge for brands is to stop pushing content and start working with consumers to create their own brand-contextual content. That means everything from Chute helping companies find all the brand-relevant UGC out there to Yotpo reinventing reviews. At Buzztala we have built a totally customizable end-to-end platform that gives brands and retailers the tools to tap into this explosion of social customer content and turn it to their advantage. I'd love to see you do another list that reflected this sector really will change marketing forever.