AdsNative

We first started talking and thinking about “native” advertising back in 2011, and since then it’s become the buzzword that’s sparked conversations, panels, campaigns, awards, and now many new businesses.

The popularity of the term “native advertising” has stirred up a lot of debate about what it really means and what is and isn’t “native’. The reality is that despite how it’s defined, it’s a meaningful phase of the continual shifts in "what should the ads be like" in response to how people use the web. The rise of social platforms and distributed publishing, combined with mobile, tablets and non-desktop experiences, expanded the variety of ways in which people see and interact with content and advertising. And so the ads have changed as well.

At first, many thought “native” ads would only be a niche product, due to the cost and complexities to scale the tasks of creating and distributing ads across more contents and contexts. Back in 2012 Taylor wrote about how "what’s native today will be programmatic tomorrow", and despite the initial questions about how native ads would scale, programmatic native is becoming a reality even faster than many thought possible.

Taylor first met Satish in the summer of 2013 while AdsNative was in TechStars Boulder, looking for advice and thoughts on how to approach building a solution for this emerging and fast-changing space. Over time, their thesis has evolved to bring ”the capability of Facebook-style advertising or Twitter-style advertising to the next generation” of publishers, by providing them a infrastructural solution that enables publishers to execute direct buys as well as work with native ad networks and exchanges.

We are excited today to announce our seed investment in AdsNative, alongside Interwest Partners, Onset Ventures, Foundry Group Angels, and a number of angels. By providing an infrastructural solution made for the “new wave of native/premium/nonstandard ad experiences”, they have the opportunity to help make the nonstandard ad the new normal, enabling advertisers and publishers to continue to adapt their ads to fit the products and experiences they deliver for people. That’s something we’re excited to support.

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Announcing Joanna Randell, new kbs+ Ventures Analyst

Joanna Randell, Associate Director of Content & Social Strategy at kbs, is adding kbs+ Ventures Analyst to her responsibilities.

Almost three years ago, kbs+ and kbs+ Ventures formed the Fellows program, an in-house training program that educates kbs employees about venture capital and entrepreneurship. Explained in detail in Adage, the program teaches the basics of venture capital and entrepreneurship and gives participants the opportunity to assist Ventures portfolio investments and meet emerging startups.

As kbs+ Ventures continues to thrive, we’ve been looking for new ways to further incorporate in-house talent and on-the-ground experience into the division and are announcing another part-time addition to the team. Joanna Randell is graduating from the fellows program to take on an analyst role, assisting with meeting and analyzing early stage start-ups, facilitating agency introductions and providing insight into how to work better with brands. This will be in addition to her current role as associate director of the content & social strategy team.

Joanna can be found on LinkedIn and as a silent observer on Twitter @joannamrandell.

Announcing Jonathan Kim, new kbs+ Ventures Analyst

Jonathan Kim, Digital Engineering Director of The Media Kitchen, is adding kbs+ Ventures Analyst to his responsibilities.

"In the ad world, there are two big problems when it comes to talent: finding it and keeping it." (link)

Almost three years ago, kbs+ and kbs+ Ventures formed the Fellows program, an in-house training program that educates kbs employees about venture capital and entrepreneurship. Explained in detail in Adage, the program teaches the basics of venture capital and entrepreneurship and gives participants the opportunity to assist Ventures portfolio investments and meet emerging startups.

Today, we’re announcing that Jonathan Kim is graduating from the Fellows program and joining kbs+ Ventures as an Analyst in a part-time role, adding to his responsibilities as Digital Engineering Director at The Media Kitchen. Jonathan has assisted in meeting and analyzing countless early-stage advertising technology startups, and has led efforts to bring innovation from many startups to the agency and its clients. Jonathan will continue to assist the Ventures team in their due diligence and portfolio support, and will work with the Fellows to help bring startups to the agency.

Jonathan can be found on Twitter at @jkim772 and on LinkedIn.

Josh Engroff joins as new Managing Partner, kbs+ Ventures and Chief Digital Media Officer, The Media Kitchen

Details in Mediapost.

The Intent Marketing Landscape
Last week MediaPost wrote an article featuring the release of a document kbs+ Ventures put together to frame our thinking around the use of intent in marketing and advertising. 
As Darren mentions,

While intent is generally harnessed at the lowest part of a purchase journey, there are plenty of pre-intent signals that pop up prior.  We frame the journey as follows:
Exploration -> Interest -> Intent -> Purchase

… and we created the intent landscape to create a structure to our thinking, both for the agency to think about media partners and for the ventures unit to think about innovation and investment opportunities.
Obviously, intent isn’t new, but there is something new going on in the web today. As Taylor points out in MediaPost:

"The idea of utilizing data in advertising isn’t really new,” [Taylor] says, adding, “There has always been data in advertising and content. And the idea that intent-based marketing is new isn’t true either. What is new and different is that we are entering an area where things are being much more easily shared by people, and we have the opportunity to communicate with them based on what they are sharing. The big change is in the total level of personal information that is being shared."

And it’s not just the total level of personal information shared, but there’s also a big change going on in *where* that data is being shared. New consumer platforms create new opportunities for brands and advertisers. If you’re an entrepreneur focused on harvesting and buying intent, we’d love to chat.
Read more about the landscape on MediaPost, and view and download the intent marketing landscape on Slideshare. 
Thank you to Dontae Rayford of kbs+ Ventures and Jonathan Kim of The Media Kitchen for contributing to creating the landscape.

The Intent Marketing Landscape

Last week MediaPost wrote an article featuring the release of a document kbs+ Ventures put together to frame our thinking around the use of intent in marketing and advertising. 

As Darren mentions,

While intent is generally harnessed at the lowest part of a purchase journey, there are plenty of pre-intent signals that pop up prior.  We frame the journey as follows:

Exploration -> Interest -> Intent -> Purchase

… and we created the intent landscape to create a structure to our thinking, both for the agency to think about media partners and for the ventures unit to think about innovation and investment opportunities.

Obviously, intent isn’t new, but there is something new going on in the web today. As Taylor points out in MediaPost:

"The idea of utilizing data in advertising isn’t really new,” [Taylor] says, adding, “There has always been data in advertising and content. And the idea that intent-based marketing is new isn’t true either. What is new and different is that we are entering an area where things are being much more easily shared by people, and we have the opportunity to communicate with them based on what they are sharing. The big change is in the total level of personal information that is being shared."

And it’s not just the total level of personal information shared, but there’s also a big change going on in *where* that data is being shared. New consumer platforms create new opportunities for brands and advertisers. If you’re an entrepreneur focused on harvesting and buying intent, we’d love to chat.

Read more about the landscape on MediaPost, and view and download the intent marketing landscape on Slideshare.

Thank you to Dontae Rayford of kbs+ Ventures and Jonathan Kim of The Media Kitchen for contributing to creating the landscape.

Talking about “Creative Entrepreneurship” with entrepreneurs at General Assembly (GA) (by @tdavidson)

Talking about “Creative Entrepreneurship” with entrepreneurs at General Assembly (GA) (by @tdavidson)

Darren Herman (@dherman76) chatting with entrepreneurs at WeWork Labs (@WeWorkLabs) (by @tdavidson)

Darren Herman (@dherman76) chatting with entrepreneurs at WeWork Labs (@WeWorkLabs) (by @tdavidson)

Announcing Awe.sm for marketers

Today, awe.sm, a kbs+ Ventures portfolio company, released a major new product, their first product built for marketers. As awe.sm explains:

The focus of the new awe.sm for marketers is tracking the full funnel — from reach to revenue — of each social post by your marketing team. awe.sm for marketers takes all the attribution and ROI measurement capabilities of the awe.sm platform and packages them up in a way that enables social media marketers to quantify the success of their efforts in real business terms, like traffic, conversions, and even revenue.

As Techcrunch explains,

The new product focuses on attribution and conversion rates of various social networks — including Facebook and Twitter. It allows clients to see which channels have the greatest reach, which means counting all the likes, shares, tweets, and retweets. More importantly, though, it keeps track of various conversion and sales metrics based on social sharing.

Earlier today Darren Herman, President of kbs+ Ventures, shared his thoughts on the release of awe.sm for marketers:

Why I got excited about what…awe.sm is doing, is because it helps clients like BMW (our kbs+ client) and others measure the impact of social media marketing. If sharing means caring, then you might as well know who cares about you the most. awe.sm now does this.

(Read his full post here). 

More coverage on the launch of Awe.sm for Marketers:

What is the Key to Hiring and Building a Great Team? 

During the launch of Creative Entrepreneurship, we asked a variety of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists a number of questions about the lessons they’ve learned in their lives and careers.

In this, the fourth of the series, we asked “What is the key to hiring and building a great team?”

Watch the video above, watch the preceding video in the series, and download Creative Entrepreneurship for free to read more about the topic from 25 other venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.

What Is The Most Important Advice A Mentor Has Given You? 

During the launch of Creative Entrepreneurship, we asked a variety of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists a number of questions about the lessons they’ve learned in their lives and careers.

In this, the third of the series, we asked “What is the most important advice a mentor has given you”

Watch the video above, watch the preceding video in the series, and download Creative Entrepreneurship for free to read more about the topic from 25 other venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.