Friday I spent a few hours with Jeremy Barnett, founder of The Boardroom’s latest startup investment…
RAD Intelligence –– A first of its kind advertising platform that matches brands (Nikola Motors, Toyota, RagingBull…) with online celebrities (aka influencers) to promote their products through sharable content.
The first hour was an investor training session for much of the RagingBull community…
We discussed the landscape of the AdTech (advertising technology) space and the opportunity it holds.
AdTech is a range of software and tools that brands and agencies use to strategize, set up, and manage their digital advertising activities.
For a limited time, I’m making the replay of our Investor Training available right here.
The second hour was with the members of The Boardroom for an exclusive interview and Q&A session with Jeremy.
Before we dropped the link to invest in RAD, Jeremy fielded a ton of questions from members.
Lucky for you, I summarized the entire call and the Q&A session in this short post…
Rad Intelligence is a no-touch influencer marketing platform for small and medium-sized businesses that guarantees results. It’s the first of its kind.
From Q1 to Q2 of this year, it saw 400% revenue growth.
Clients include Nikola Motors, CitizenNet, Noovie, and Ranker.
As the latest and greatest exclusive deal of The Boardroom, you know Rad has to be good.
Rad founder Jeremy Barnett went head-to-head with the angel investors of The Boardroom.
After some negotiations, we decided to back Rad and give $40,000 in funding.
Now anyone can co-invest with us in this high-growth, high-potential Adtech startup with the same terms we negotiated.
Boardroom members get full access — and now you can too with this exclusive Boardroom Spotlight!
Meet the Founder
Jeremy Barnett just made it through a Boardroom pitch deck. Jeremey Barnett just bought a puppy. Things are going very well for Jeremy Barnett.
This is the man behind Rad Intelligence, the latest innovator in influencer marketing.
He is a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits under his belt.
Before Rad, he was the co-founder of the fashion technology company, Trendy Butler. He grew this company from zero to $25 million a year in just 3 years.
Needless to say, Jeremy brings entrepreneurship, leadership, and tenacity to the table.
First things first — Rad Technology is an Adtech company.
Advertising technology, or Adtech, is defined as:
“…a range of software and tools that brands and agencies use to strategize, set up, and manage their digital advertising activities.”
Whether we are talking about Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, or an independent blog, the business model is the same. They all want to get data on the customer and show them the right advertisements at the right time.
This is where Adtech comes in.
Rad helps advertisers connect with customers in a very unique way. It all comes down to internet celebrities aka influencers.
These reputable, influential people work through the Rad platform, getting paid to share ads with their audiences.
The benefit of this is the authenticity of an influencer ad.
Rather than customers know they are being sold to by a faceless brand, they see people they know and love recommending products.
But, what really is an influencer?
An influencer is someone who has the power to sway customer buying decisions through their authority, popularity, expertise, or relationship with their audience.
In the new world of digital marketing, these gurus, bloggers, YouTubers, and online experts can provide marketing potential as valuable as any other publisher.
And influencers aren’t just marketing tools, they are “social relationship assets” that brands love to collaborate with and customers love to emulate.
Being either experts or celebrities, consumers have no problem basing buying decisions on influencer endorsement.
The Adtech space is very confusing to many people.
Blocking the metrics that matter, there is a lot of jargon and fluff that gets tossed around.
What people really need to know is — how much am I spending, and how much am I getting back?
This is Jeremy’s specialty. Rad offers clients performance metrics, not vanity metrics.
Other influencer marketing platforms rank success by likes, shares, and engagement — all vanity metrics that don’t come close to showing your ROI.
The big issue here is wasted money in digital marketing campaigns. Each year, across social media and influencer marketing, companies waste over $75 billion.
Rad is here to change that.
Who are Rad’s Clients?
Jack runs a large online media publisher.
We’ve heard of these types of online brands like GQ, MSN, and Vanity Fair.
This client persona has great articles and content it can choose to distribute to social audiences.
With Rad, Jack can get an influencer marketing campaign running in no-time. He doesn’t need to research influencers, send products, or wait for content to be created.
The perfect influencers are chosen for him based purely on data. The influencer will publish Jack’s already made articles, videos, and product pages.
When it comes time to see how the campaign went, Jack will see performance metrics, not vanity metrics. This will show him his actual return on investment.
Sara is a Sr. Media director at a mid-sized company.
Her job is to test new marketing products once others have validated them. Her brand has great digital content for distribution.
For less money than the big marketing agencies, Sara can start distributing her content to appropriate, eager customers.
Rad will show Sara’s content to audiences that identify with their influencer.
When customers see their favorite influencer supporting Sara’s brand, they are far more likely to convert and buy into in.
A Q&A Session with Jeremy Barnett
Members of The Boardroom got the chance to pick Jeremy’s brain on big issues. Here is what he had to say:
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted Rad and Adtech in general?
A: While from a humanity perspective, COVID-19 really sucks, from a business perspective things are going well for Adtech. Think about how much more time you are spending online. We have seen 77% more spending on eCommerce during this time. There is an explosion that is happening, not just in eCommerce but just online usage in general.
Adtech was already a very strong space. Just last year there were 86 M&As. We had a healthy space. But now, it’s like someone just injected steroids into Adtech.
When the whole thing hit, there was a slowdown, and Rad actually lost a couple of clients. But since May, things have been off to the races. Advertisers are coming and they are staying.
Q: What is the minimum to average amount you charge a client to advertise through your influencers? And does your client pick the influencers or do you?
A: The way we set it up is it’s a performance marketplace. The advertisers give us a cost-per-click, or, how much they are willing to spend for each unique visitor that the influencer drives to their site.
If people want to pick their own influencers — we are not for you. This is one thing that differentiates us from our competition. The reason is that we are using data to tell us the answer. What we do is create persona IDs through our database for new advertisers who come on the platform. What that means is we find the right influencers that match up your brand.
So, instead of confirming the influencer feed, we are going to market to, we are confirming the audiences that the influencers influence.
That basically dictates the initial setup of the campaign and the testing phase. From there, we literally just let the quality of the traffic and the data dictate our next steps. We figure out the influencers that really work well with certain brands. We find the obvious ones and the less obvious ones.
We are doing this in a way that the brand has full transparency. They can see every click and every sale. The influencer also has full transparency — how much money they earn, the traffic they have driven. They get paid outright through PayPal.
Q: What is wrong with other influencer marketing platforms?
A: You have to find the influencers — that’s a pain in the butt. Then after you find them you need to send them products sometimes, or you’ve got to educate them. Then, once they have the product, you need to wait for them to create the content. Then, once they create it they need to post about it, so they make a video. Once it’s all done, who even knows if it worked?
There is all of this creative iteration, going back and forth.
And that’s just the headache on the brand’s side! Think about the headache on the influencer’s side. Number one, they have two or three people in their daily chain that are making money off of their back, a lot of times. They have to create something, and then be subject to some advertiser critiquing whatever it is they created, whether it’s good or bad or indifferent to their audience. That’s a big friction point for the influencers.
With Rad, we eliminate all of these friction points by being the platform that connects the dots. We use assets (content) that the brand already has, we are going to identify the influencers that work with your brand, and the results are going to dictate where we go next.
Q: What is your exit strategy?
A: We are building a huge company. We are building a digital marketing channel. What you need to understand as an early-stage investor is that we do have plans to build this thing into a meaningful exit — meaningful meaning a unicorn exit.
Once we start getting to Series B, Series C, and Series D, we are going to start creating secondary markets and liquidity opportunities for early investors. In my previous venture, we created liquidity opportunities in Series A.
But the idea is to be the gold standard platform for automated influencer marketing. Period.