On Eve of IPO, Reddit Introduces “Free-Form” Ads

LinkedIn Opens All Posts on Platform to Advertisers

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Reddit announces new ad format offering as it prepares to go public this week, and the the SEC is looking into the company’s handling of user-generated content to train AI models.


  • Top News: On Eve of IPO, Reddit Introduces “Free-Form” Ads

  • Social Ads: LinkedIn Opens All Posts on Platform to Advertisers

  • Targeting Strategy: Forrester’s “Outside-In” Strategy for Reaching Anonymous B2B Buyers

  • AI Startup: AI Customer-Targeting Platform Developer Prophet Raises $5 Million

  • AI Martech Acquisition: Sensor Tower Acquires Market Intelligence Platform data.ai 

  • Today’s Master Marketing Tip: Avinash Kaushik, author and global Chief Strategy Officer of Croud


On Eve of IPO, Reddit Introduces “Free-Form” Ads

On the brink of its anticipated IPO on Wednesday, Reddit has announced the introduction of a new advertising offering it’s calling “free form ads,” which encourages readers on the site “to come together, get the information they need and deep dive into the topic at hand.”

“All of this makes it one of the best formats to launch a product, introduce a brand to a new audience,” Reddit announced.

The move comes as LinkedIn, a social network for professionals, just announced a new offering through which businesses can sponsor any post on its platform, as long as the original creator of a post provides their permission.

“Our new building capabilities within the Ads Manager (which include topic templates like ‘brand introduction’ and ‘product deep dive,’ with more to come), make it easy to create, edit, and launch free-form ads at scale with minimal lift,” the company announced. “Free-form ads are clearly labeled as ‘Promoted’ just like all ad formats on Reddit.

Reddit is expected to price its IPO this week at between $31 and $34 per share.

Separately, on Friday Reddit disclosed in a regulatory filing that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched an inquiry into the company’s sale, licensing, or sharing of its users’ content with third parties for the purpose of training AI models.


LinkedIn Opens All Posts on Platform to Advertisers

In a move to cash in on the programmatic advertising market, LinkedIn announced on Friday that businesses can now sponsor any post on its platform, regardless of whether they’re produced by verified employees of the advertiser.

Previously, businesses could only place "Thought Leader Ads" on LinkedIn to promote content created by employees within their own organizations. Now they can sponsor posts from all other sources such as industry influencers, brand advocates, and customer tutorials and reviews—as long as the original creator of the poster provides permission.

“This update injects a dose of social media flair into the professional networking landscape, making it more dynamic and potentially more rewarding for both businesses and users,” the company announced.


Forrester’s “Outside-In” Strategy for Reaching Anonymous B2B Buyers

Emerging B2B technologies such as generative AI, intent monitoring, and identity resolution can help marketers address the growing trend of anonymous digital buyer behavior—but they’re not enough, according to a recent article by Forrester analyst John Arnold.

“Today’s buyers make decisions in groups and are inclined to maintain their anonymity for longer periods, avoiding contact with salespeople until they are ready, or sometimes entirely,” Arnold writes. “These changes have major implications for B2B marketers.

What’s required to overcome the growing anonymity wall is a unified, outside-in strategy that considers the entire customer lifecycle, according to Arnold. This approach, also called “lifecycle revenue marketing,” demands that marketers break through silos and accomplish three key objectives, he writes:

  • Catering to all audiences, including anonymous, pseudonymous, and known

  • Collecting and sharing self-guided interactions orchestrated by marketing and the connection to resulting human interactions with salespeople

  • Influencing buying motions and opportunity, from acquisition through upsell, cross-sell, and retention, through coordinated efforts.


AI Customer-Targeting Platform Developer Prophet Raises $5 Million

Prophet, a developer of customer-targeting technology founded in 2020, announced it has raised $5 million of seed capital, which was led by two Australian media and advertising executives, Antony Catalano and Matt Rockman.

Currently in pre-revenue beta test phase, Prophet’s platform combines advanced mathematics with predictive intelligence to help businesses quantify the historical return on investment of their online and offline marketing spends, while predicting future outcomes.

Prophet’s founders expect the pending demise of third-party cookies on Google’s platform will create demand for its alternative methods to track and optimize digital advertising performance, say the company’s founders.

Catalano, one of the deal’s two main investors, told The Australian Financial Review he decided to back Prophet partly based on his view that the company’s technology would be useful to his own businesses, Australian Community Media and View Media.

Prophet expects to commercially launch its platform soon.


Sensor Tower Acquires Market Intelligence Platform data.ai 

Sensor Tower, a provider of digital economy data, announced it has acquired data.ai, an AI-powered market intelligence platform, in a deal led by Bain Capital Credit with participation from Riverwood Capital and Paramark Ventures.

“This announcement comes at a moment when consumers are spending an increasing amount of time socializing, playing, watching, and shopping across many digital channels,” Sensor announced.

“In 2023 consumers spent $130 billion globally on in-app purchases; trends only expected to increase within the digital economy as major platforms such as Google, Meta, TikTok, Instagram, and Snap invest heavily in user acquisition, retention, and monetization,” according to the company.

Sensor Tower's buy out of data.ai follows its rapid growth and acquisition of Pathmatics in 2021, which expanded its buyer personas and customer base by providing increased visibility into brand activity and advertising spend in the digital landscape.

Sensor’s digital intelligence suite is powered by first-party panel data, with insights delivered to customers on a subscription model.


“Never let ads write checks your website can't cash.”

— Avinash Kaushik

Avinash Kaushik is the global Chief Strategy Officer of Croud, a full-service marketing agency, and author of two best-selling books


Want to learn how to get your brand referred at scale to your target customer? Check out Presspool.ai to learn more.

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