Home » Complete AdStage Review – Should You Use It?
Complete AdStage Review – Should You Use It?
Wondering if AdStage is the tool for you?
Find out in this full review.
Fashion e-tailer MVMT was struggling to reach customers at scale. The company needed an automated solution to optimize its social media ad campaigns and increase sales.That’s when management decided to test-drive AdStage, a closed-loop marketing and automation platform.MVMT applied AdStage optimization rules to its Facebook campaigns. As a result, the company saw a revenue lift of over 100%, an 18% decrease in acquisition costs, and a 100% improvement in its conversion rate.All without hiring a single new employee.According to Justin Kassan, Director of Acquisition at MVMT: “On any given day, I have at least 2,500 ads running live. With AdStage, I can edit ads in bulk, scale up and down, control budgets, and raise bids quickly. Very simply, it saves me time.”Those are the kinds of benefits that AdStage can bring to your business as well.
“Close the Loop”
If you browse around the AdStage website, you’ll undoubtedly come across this phrase: “close the loop.”But what does it mean?It’s a reference to closed-loop reporting, a marketing concept that AdStage supports on its platform.Closed-loop reporting bridges the gap between data collected on marketing automation platforms and data collected from sales. It’s a way to track the digital marketing sources that bring in the best leads.AdStage closes the loop by offering a service that consolidates analytics from different platforms.Beyond that, the tool also simplifies workflows and makes it easy to share insights with team members. In the next few sections, I’ll go over the various AdStage features one by one.
AdStage Review: Integrations
AdStage enables you to visualize your digital campaigns from a variety of networks in one place. That’s how you can determine which channels are giving you the best ROI.Here are the ad networks that AdStage currently supports:
As you can see, that list is fairly exhaustive. The only ad networks missing are native ad networks and some of the platforms that run ads on high-profile websites.For each network, AdStage offers comprehensive reporting, automation, and analysis. You can also compare results from different ad networks so that you’ll know where to allocate resources for maximum return.AdStage doesn’t just integrate with ad networks, though. It also integrates with other tools, including:
Google Data Studio
Integration with Salesforce enables AdStage to live up to its promise to “close the loop.” When your marketing automation platform uses data from your CRM to provide actionable insights, that’s the textbook definition of closed-loop reporting.Keep in mind: you don’t have to know how to write code to integrate AdStage with any of the other tools. The platform makes it easy to connect to third-party apps with just a few clicks. Then, you can drag and drop widgets to view the other tool’s data as you see fit.However, if you’re a developer or have a team of developers who assist with digital marketing analysis, you’ll be happy to know that AdStage also offers an API.Use that API to pull data from any one of your ad networks. Then, aggregate the analytics in your own software to determine which course of action is best for your brand.In fact, the AdStage API provides data all the way down to the keyword level. That gives you the ability to crunch the numbers with significant granularity.You can also pull hundreds of metrics for each level: campaign, ad group (or ad set), ad, and keyword.Additionally, AdStage will automatically update its own platform with data from various other tools. You set the schedule, the platform handles the data retrieval.Is there a tool you’d like to integrate with AdStage that isn’t on the list above? No problem.Many tools enable you to export data in CSV format and AdStage enables imports from CSV documents. That means you can integrate with any tool that supports CSV exports.All you have to do is specify which keys AdStage shares in common with your down-funnel metrics app. The platform will take care of the rest.
AdStage Review: Reporting
AdStage gives you access to a custom report builder. Use it to produce the kinds of reports you or your clients are looking for.The platform even makes it easy to create reports with a user-friendly interface. Just drag and drop tables and widgets as you see fit.AdStage also enables you to display the metrics that really matter on your reports. Track conversion rates, budgets, goals, and more.And how would you like real-time data? You can get pretty close to it with AdStage.For some networks, such as Google Ads, Facebook, and Yahoo Gemini, you can visualize nearly up-to-the-moment results of your ad campaigns.Here are some other things you can do with AdStage reporting:
Import your conversion data to understand campaign ROI/ROAS.
Define your own key performance indicators (KPIs) for all ad networks.
Visualize performance with cross-network analysis.
Produce white-label reports that you can turn over to clients.
Filter results to view specific performance info.
Produce reports automatically and send them out on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
The more you can automate, the more time you’ll have to devote to building your business. Fortunately, AdStage enables you to put repetitive digital marketing tasks on auto-pilot.First, the platform enables you to “combat ad fatigue” by rotating and scheduling new ads based on schedule or performance.Additionally, you can create optimization rules with simple if/then logic. The “if” part of that equation can evaluate various metrics, such as ROAS or CPA. The “then” part of the equation can update ad spend, budget allocation, and other aspects of your campaign.AdStage also allows you to schedule your ads to run a specific times during the day. That’s helpful if people in your target market tend to confine their web habits to well-defined hours.You can even choose to run your ads on specific days of the week.AdStage also lets you send email alerts so you get a report in your inbox about how your campaigns are performing.If you need to get involved with manual updates, you can take advantage of the platform’s bulk editor. Use that to update several ad campaigns at once.
AdStage Review: Pricing
AdStage offers four products:
AdStage Data API
The first three products live up to their names.The fourth product, AdStage Join, is considered an “add-on.” It’s the component that enables you to integrate with Salesforce and Google Analytics.If you use Salesforce as your CRM and you’re serious about “closing the loop,” you’ll need to buy the add-on. It’s going to cost you $299 per month.You can bundle the other three products together in one of four plans offered:
Core – $1,048 per month for up to $50,000 in monthly ad spend.
Pro – $1,328 per month for up to $150,000 in monthly ad spend.
Elite – $1,748 per month for up to $250,000 in monthly ad spend.
Enterprise – Call for pricing on unlimited ad spend
Unsurprisingly, you’ll get different levels of support depending on the plan you choose. For example, with the Core plan you only get chat support but with the Elite plan you get chat, email, and phone support.
The Pros and Cons
As with any other digital marketing tool, people who use AdStage have good and bad things to say about it. Here are some of the product reviews from around cyberspace.First, the good:
Excellent reporting capabilities that are easy to use
Strong onboarding/training process
Outstanding customer service
Folder feature enables users to group similar campaigns across channels
Saves countless hours of manual work
Great “one-stop shop” analytics dashboard
Now, the bad:
No Snapchat support
Lacking “bells and whistles” you might find on other platforms
Sometimes users have to reconnect to a platform
UI is non-intuitive in some spots
Platform is slow at times
No ability to create custom columns in reports (such as average order value)
Wrapping It Up
There’s no doubt about it: if you’re looking for a comprehensive front-end for all your digital advertising analytics, AdStage should be on your short list. That is, if you have the budget.It’s pretty pricey for a cash-strapped startup. If you can’t afford the monthly cost, you might need to limit yourself to just one of its products and handle some tasks manually.Then, after your business grows, you can splurge on the full suite of products.
About the Author
John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Named #1 Search Engine Marketing company by Clutch.co, Ignite Visibility is a 3 time Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketing strategiest in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.