Adespresso: Faster Scaling, Better Insights for FB Campaigns

My everyday work involves a lot of data-driven Marketing. I end up using a lot of tools for all this work. Sometimes I’m selling hotel rooms or getting architects to try out a new design software and sometimes I’m selling business workshops for senior management. But mostly, I sell T-Shirts. In all these cases, advertising is online is one of the most basic things I do. It’s important for me to get the right message to the right audience. But just like everyone else, I’m not always sure of what’s the right message or who’s the right audience.

Enter Adespresso.

At one point in time, I was handling Facebook ad campaigns for 4 different companies through 2 ad accounts. It wasn’t easy creating so many advert sets, ad copies, A/B testing and still not getting the right combination. I discovered Adespresso mainly through online reviews and growth marketing forums. I decided to try the 14-day free trial. I used it to create and optimise some campaigns spending about 100$ with campaign budgets as low as $1 per day.

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Pros

  • Perfect for A/B testing: Adespresso lets you create all possible permutations and combinations of adverts using different creatives, copies for different target audience. If you try to do this manually it might take days.
  • Simple dashboard with an overview to understand how good the campaigns are performing. The graph helps understand a lot of things quickly compared to Facebook’s tables.
  • The dashboard also gives great insights on the audience – based on age, location, device, gender, time of the day etc for specific conversion goals. This helps a lot in figuring out what targeting works the best – without digging through a lot of data.
  • The campaign summaries are great. You get to see the best and worst performing ads and interests targeted.
  • The community/forum – Adespresso university is a great place to get help and understand the platform better.
  • You can set a daily budget for less than the $5 base(on Facebook). As low as $1 per campaign per day.
  • The support is quick and very responsive.

Cons

  • Adespresso does support Instagram and Messenger destination ads but not all features are enabled. Instagram story ads are not available. Also, it doesn’t support structured JSON for Messenger destination ads which lead to maximum conversion.
  • The auto optimisation sounds fancy but doesn’t work that great. It might sometimes take a wrong judgement and stop some well-performing ads. The conversion goals are not specific to the kind of campaign and hence some of the analysis might not be apt for all campaigns.
  • Bulk creation of ads is possible but bulk editing isn’t. You can’t edit/change a creative/link in bulk. It’s hard to even understand how the advert sets are structured on Facebook.
  • The Adespresso dashboard is simple & less complicated but not as powerful as the Facebook dashboard.

It’s very useful for a company/start-up spending lots of time(more valuable than money) on Facebook ads. My free trial ends today and I’ve decided not to go ahead at least for now. I will, however, reconsider the decision if and when they start supporting Instagram story ads and structured JSON for Messenger destination ads. But even then, I won’t be too sure of the auto optimisation part. Facebook is adding new features for advertisers every day and I understand it’s hard for a product like Adespresso to keep up with this pace.

It’s a great tool for you if you run a lot of generic ad campaigns. By generic, I mean something generic goal like driving traffic to your website or page likes.

Final Verdict: 7.5/10

10 years of startups and tech Entrepreneurship

How did tech entrepreneurship become mainstream in the last 10 years? What led to explosive growth of tech startups? Was it the abundance of VC money or was it the spirit of Entrepreneurship? I tried answering this on Quora.

The last 10 years of startups worldwide is influenced by a) the expanding reach of the internet through mobile devices b) tech advancements.

The internet now has reached to almost every corner of the world making it easier to scale a business that’s built on the internet. This started to happen in the late 90s but wasn’t very successful back then. A lot of VCs lost their money in what was called dot-com bubble. Most of this happened due to the ‘growth over profitability’ mentality. Things didn’t work that well back then because of limited reach and access internet. But things changed in a few years,

  1. Mobile internet became mainstream
  2. The phone became a multi-gadget with camera, music, GPS etc
  3. The survivors of the dot-com bubble and post-bubble companies became platforms or enablers for the new age startups – Amazon, Facebook, Google etc.
  4. Faster, flexible networks around the world – 2g to 3g to 4g all around the world
  5. The middle class or the mass consumers got comfortable with the internet
  6. Business policies got liberal and global expansion became easier
  7. Banks evolved, payment gateways came in – making it easier for people to actually perform transactions online
  8. The world started discovering new stuff – like APIs, tools built by internet companies, growth hacks etc
  9. We also advanced in hardware, education and business policies
  10. Venture capital started flowing and Unicorns were born making it a dream for lots of tech folks to be a unicorn entrepreneur.

Then the world thought, let’s do it. Let’s build a Unicorn. And in a way, what we call the 4th industrial revolution or the digital revolution began and started spreading around the world.

Interest in Social Media

Communication began with sounds and symbols. Evolved to languages and scripts before we found out a lot more media to communicate and today we’ve reached till the internet. And as communication evolved, our needs for communications increased. Now that we’ve invented internet, it can fulfil most of our needs and let us communicate effectively.

I’ve always been really fascinated with the concept of advertising and creative communication. I always wondered if this communication ever reached the right people. I had seen ads on government schemes for farmers and ads by clothing and jewellery merchants from a far off place of the state. I always wondered why these people couldn’t target on specific people and locations and may be even pay less for it. Then after a few years when I got used to the internet, I learnt how internet spammers could fool people with ads. But recently, the Indian e-commerce sites started ads on facebook and contests on twitter. And they succeeded. They targeted specific type of people who lived in specific locations. Then I learnt a lot more about social media marketing from a lot of videos and other resources on the internet. I learnt the difference between internet marketing, email marketing and social media marketing. Right now, only a small share of the world’s population has access to the internet. But in someday, not very far in the future, most of the world’s population will have access to internet and the Social Networks and then, Social Media Marketing will have a huge impact.

I’m also amazed by the amount of information, pictures shared on social media. The reach of social media can be wide or narrow; however you want it to be. And this has impact on everything. From art, design to videos to politics and news, everything gets influenced by social media. Especially in politics, it’s a big game changer. Social Media marketing is strategic. It needs creativity. It needs talent to attract viewers using the limited characters on twitter. It also requires art and content creation skills. With right content shared with right people, or good ads put forward to potential customers can impact a lot.

It is the impact, the power and the reach of social media that interests me and inspires me to take it up as a career.

Well, I had applied for a job at a Social Media Firm and the person who was taking my interview checked my twitter profile which led him to my blog and read this story. He was like “You’d have realized this now or may be 6 months back, I realized this 2 years back and started this company”.

I got through. But like I always do, I ditched the offer.  

Huduku – The Lost Project

About two years back, when I was in the third year of college, Samsung had conducted a mobile app designing contest in our college. We were put into groups and were asked to come up with our own app idea, design it and build it. We were told that Engineers from Samsung would come and guide us and there would be chances of getting an internship. Samsung was doing this to attract more developers to their Bada platform. It was something new and a great opportunity to learn. We were all curious and excited at the same time. The teams, though a few members were in different classes and had different time tables, met frequently, discussed, planned and presented the Idea. We all submitted the ideas to Samsung. Then the Development Started and didn’t go that well and the entire program was cancelled. We were all sad that we couldn’t complete it but no one of us ever thought how much we learned from this project.

Just today, while searching some old documents, I found the presentation we had made. But now, looking back at things, connecting the dots, I feel it was of great help back then. In the process of just designing and presenting the app, we had learnt a lot of useful stuff. We understood the possibilities, complexities and the limitations of mobile apps on various platforms. We designed the UI, planned an entire app explored ways for development. There was also Business plan and Presentations were involved. It changed the way we looked at the mobile app world. We could understand things in a better way after the program. It was great altogether. May be someday when I want to join a design school, or a business school, these skills would help me.

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