I am extremely excited to announce today the launch of Octane11, a full-stack B2B marketing platform in partnership with MediaMath, Oracle, Intersection, Bombora, EverString and LiveRamp. Octane11’s mission is to deliver on the promise of multi-channel digital marketing by focusing on the unique challenges of B2B marketers. Ad tech and mar tech have come a long way, but digital marketing still falls well short of the vision that so many of us believe in— real business outcomes, transparency, control, respect for the consumer. We’ve made progress as an industry, but we have much work to do—and B2B presents a great opportunity to advance the mission by focusing on a specific use case and, well, just making it work.
Over the last eight years I’ve held a variety of roles across MediaMath—Product, Sales, Business Development, Corp Dev, Strategy…and most recently Chief Marketing Officer. Since I stepped into the CMO role in 2017, I’ve had the chance to experience firsthand the digital marketing challenges that B2B CMOs face every day—and I realized that I wasn’t alone. B2B marketing is a $100B+ category that lags behind B2C in adoption of multi-channel digital marketing, with, for example, just 10% of spend going to digital formats (vs. 40%+ for B2C), and just 15% of digital leveraging programmatic (vs. 30%+ for B2C).
This gap comes from the fact that most innovation in digital marketing has been focused on the much larger B2C market and the fact that the B2B use case is just different enough (higher price points, longer sales cycles, wider range of online/offline interactions, decision-making committees, etc.) that existing digital tools remain insufficient for B2B marketers. This leaves B2B marketers no choice but to focus on the more easily-managed “owned” and “earned” channels like outbound emails, events, social posts and corporate websites, often in disconnected silos—and that means a huge amount of potential value is left on the table.
Ask any B2B marketer and they’ll tell you—multichannel campaign planning, creative development, execution and measurement is just way too hard. There are certainly a growing number of great vendors in the category, but often they present just one piece of the puzzle or they make things too complicated or they fall short of driving (and proving!) real business impact. There has to be a better way.
This has created an opportunity for a new entrant to bring best-in-class paid digital capabilities, deep technology expertise, close partnerships with leading complementary platforms and intimate knowledge of B2B use cases to build an offering that unlocks the full value of the B2B marketers’ entire paid, owned and earned toolbox. As CMO of MediaMath, one of the leading players in digital marketing and a consistent innovator in the category for over a decade, my team and I saw that we were uniquely positioned to tackle this problem—and not just to build a great solution, but to be a power user too, so we could test, learn and deliver a solution that we could stand behind every day.
Over a year ago, I recruited Jib Hunt, an experienced ad tech/mar tech leader, and now my co-founder and COO at Octane11, to start building out a team and network of technologists, clients and partners to begin solving this challenge —and we’ve decided that now is the time to spin out the core team into a new company, so we can put even more focus and resources against this large and worthy B2B mission. MediaMath has an extensive and inspiring roadmap— and the specific needs of B2B require their own inspiring roadmap (of build, partner and buy opportunities) and we intend to bring the necessary focus that this mission deserves.
It’s worth noting that Octane11 is just the latest in a long and distinguished list of MediaMath-incubated and/or -invested companies, including Kepler Group and most recently BritePool. Octane11 is also the latest in a growing cadre of MathCapital-invested companies including HudsonMX, TVision Insights and Iris.TV. I was fortunate enough to have participated in the formation of and/or investment in several of those companies—and I’m proud to now be leading the launch of the latest addition to the class.
The opportunity to deliver on the vision of a complete multi-channel digital offering is immense—and B2B indeed provides an ideal proving ground to showcase what great multi-channel marketing can and should be. We’ve already assembled an outstanding group of team members, partners, investors and clients to begin this journey, but we know we can’t do it alone, so whether you are a marketer or technologist or industry watcher overall, we hope you will join us.
At the moment, Octane11’s offerings remain in closed beta with a small number of active clients, but to learn how you can participate in the closed beta or to sign up for updates on product availability and more, please visit www.octane11.com—and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/octane11.