PaperG brings the Thunder

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Co-founder and CEO Victor Wong
Co-founder and CEO Victor Wong

Last August, I wrote about how PaperG was helping brands keep up with the exploding demand for differentiated creative content driven by the adoption of marketing automation. Now rebranded as Thunder, co-founder and CEO Victor Wong describes the platform as "what Adobe would look like if it was invented today."

Wong--winner of our Stars of Martech "Programmatic Prognosticator" award this year, had characterized PaperG as a cloud-based solution, helping to synchronize creative and media planning by allowing rapid editing and versioning of content assets. In a conversation about the rebranding, he told me: "We're still a creative managment platform, but we've expanded to support social channels like Facebook. You can now see what your campaign will look like in multiple channels." This provides, he said, consistency of messaging across channels, and also economies of scale: "No-one wants to start from scratch with each channel. You will be able to see what your creative looks like everywhere." (Instagram will be added to the mix this quarter.)

Adobe's creative offerings, Wong said, were built for a different world--one app, one screen, one channel. "It's a great tool for a wedding photographer," Wong said, "but he doesn't have the same needs as a marketer. Marketers need a specialist tool." Marketers need to execute creative across different channels, without developing, for example, photo-editing skills. "We've built this with the marketer in mind," Wong said. It's more like Instagram than Creative Cloud, he told me: you don't need to be a power-user; a few clicks here and there are all that's required.

"We're betting," he said--and who could disagree? "that the world will get more channels, not fewer. We have the simplicity and power to deal with that." 

Of course, Thunder isn't offering anything like the comprehensive audience targeting and campaign execution functionalities associated with Adobe's total offerings in this sector. "As a start-up, we focus on what we do well. Stacks like Oracle and Salesforce have solid targeting and audience management technology." Thunder seeks to be best of breed for creative management.

As for the name change?  "What comes after flash?"

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