What do you like best?
AdStage is an ambitious cloud-base digital advertising management application. And by ambitious, I mean that it offers a wealth of money and time-saving features that allow me to launch, edit, manage, and halt multiple campaigns either manually, or by using programmed rules, and advanced scheduling options. What I like best about the platform is its ambitious nature. It's clear that the over-arching goal of the team is to make life easier for the beleaguered marketing program manager. Does this mean that some features may need a little work or optimization as new features roll-out? Of course, but that gets me to the second thing I like about the product, the AdStage team is dedicated to customer service and they have a built in technical support chat system that is proactively managed by the entire team. They are eager tohelp me troubleshoot issues, respond to questions about server-up time or slow-downs, They take comments on features that we'd like to see or changes that might make our work easier. It really feels like we are partners in creating the ultimate ad management system.
What do you dislike?
Well, as an intermediary layer between a variety of stand-alone 1st party advertising platforms (LinkedIn, Big, Google AdWords, Twitter and Facebook), there are times when things do not work exactly as you would like. In some cases, these are existing limitations of the 1st party platforms that AdStage cannot really improve independently, In other cases, there maybe one helpful feature of the 1st party platform that was not used in AdStage. Generally, I am thinking of small issues, like, in LinkedIn, it is easy to basically copy and paste all of the variables of a campaign on a high level page, while, in AdStage, I actually have to open the campaign to edit, in order to get that list. The other thing that was an issue early on, and occasionally still is, is the overall weight of moving data from platform to platform. It can be slow to respond. Which only really irritates when a deadline or last-minute request hits your desk. But again, I always feel that the team is doing all they can to optimize the system.
Recommendations to others considering the product
If they are still offering a trial, go for it. Focus on the value that having a single source for creating, managing and reporting on campaigns brings. Keep in mind that AdStage is working very closely with the 1st parties to ensure that they succeed. This is critical.
Once in the system:
Keep your instance tidy.
Devise and adhere to a campaign naming convention that is meaningful.
Initially, be careful with your budgets. It is easy to get overwhelmed managing multiple platforms from a single interface
Keep a folder to archived and deleted campaigns. Use the built-in Conversion Tracking!
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Like many companies, we have lots of requests, tons of ambition, loads of MBOs but scant resources to get all the work done. We are a lean team. Managing multiple campaigns across multiple platforms is a complete time suck. Having one centralized platform to manage everything is a no-brainer. We have made one person responsible for what 4 people used to do part-time and not very efficiently. Generating reports is made a lot easier, and we are even able to set-up success parameters that help to validate what GA and our automated marketing platform is telling us. With better budget management built into the system, we have eliminated unpleasant surprises when a campaign goes awry.