AudiencePlus Launches Owned Media Software Alongside 5.4 million In Seed Funding

AudiencePlus Launches Owned Media Software Alongside 5.4 million In Seed Funding


Anyone in marketing knows that 2023 is off to a tough start.

Budgets are tighter than they’ve ever been, teams are running more lean, and yet, expectations on marketing to impact revenue are higher than ever before. The traditional demand generation tactics no longer work – and if we’re honest, there’s no going back to those same tired tactics even when the market does eventually rebound.

Ultimately, it feels like we’re losing control.

Taking back control of marketing’s impact on revenue starts with owning the relationship with our audience. Your audience is the most important asset for your brand. By renting or paying for that relationship, we are putting our trust in inefficient and unreliable distribution channels, giving up control of the very outcomes that we’re responsible for driving.

But today, it is harder than ever to capture our audience’s attention.

With all the noise pollution on the Internet, getting the right message, to the right person, in the right channel has become difficult at best. And if you DO capture their initial attention, keeping attention is even more of a difficult task.

So what do we do? The traditional marketing playbook suggests two approaches, both equally flawed in today’s reality.

  • Paid media is inefficient. Paid media is often the largest line-item within the marketing program budget, and the one most often scrutinized by Finance. And not without good reason – according to recent data from RulerAnalytics, only 0.8% of paid search traffic result in a phone call. For companies investing in paid media at scale, finding efficiencies has become harder and harder.

  • Rented distribution lacks control. We rent audience attention by using third-party algorithms on social media networks like LinkedIn or Twitter, content networks like YouTube or Spotify, and search engines like Google or Bing. Our distribution is governed by algorithms we don’t control. These networks are incentivized to keep engagement on their platforms – throttling your reach, suppressing links off-property, and hoarding your followers.

As the saying goes, it’s unwise to build your house on rented land. You don’t have to look too far to validate this is true – just check the headlines with Twitter suppressing engagement on external links, TikTok on the verge of a national ban, and many other existential examples of platform risk.

We also rely on these same third-parties for data to help marketers understand engagement. But unfortunately the data they give us often creates more questions than answers – things like impressions or click-throughs, watches or listens, likes or comments – better than nothing, but certainly a far leap from how we’d like to forecast pipeline. As a result, we never truly understand the impact our content is making with our audience.

Again, we’ve lost control.


Inspiration Found in an Unlikely Place

I understand this challenge.

As the former Chief Marketing Officer of companies like Gainsight, Front, and Hopin, I’ve grappled with these same headwinds. But my inspiration as a marketer didn’t come from other B2B companies, but rather from the B2C world—specifically consumer media.

Facing similar headwinds, consumer media companies have cracked the code on capturing and maintaining audience attention by focusing their efforts on creating editorial content that captivates their audience, and then converting that audience into what they call subscribers. In doing so, they see something on the order of 10x the web conversions compared to the traditional SaaS website, and unlock a rich first-party dataset of audience engagement that they mine for monetization.

While it may be cliche to say that “every company is becoming a media company,” there is truth to that old adage.

In each of my CMO roles, I’ve put a ton of energy into building an owned web surface that sits at the intersection of our brand and audience – attempting to reimagine our archaic blog and resource center into a modern media property. I’ve stretched traditional CMS tools like Wordpress and Webflow to serve that use case, but found that the CMS is just not built for owned media.

  • Blogs are not designed for media. The traditional blog has not evolved since 1994. The blog “post” is designed for long-form text content, not video, podcasts, or live digital experiences.

  • Web analytics data doesn’t solve for true engagement. The only way to measure digital engagement today is using web analytics technology like Google Analytics that reveal impression-based clickstream data – directionally helpful perhaps, but not rich enough to understand true content performance.

  • ROI of content becomes impossible to prove. Without rich engagement data, we can at best infer how our content is performing rather than truly understanding the impact of our content programs on revenue.

Even if we could build something custom – and trust me I’ve tried – marketers do not have the engineering resources to develop and maintain a truly bespoke media platform.

We need something new. A new category of software that enables marketers to take back control of our audience relationships, and by doing so, control of our pipeline and impact on revenue.


Introducing AudiencePlus – Owned Media Software

Today, we are announcing the Public Beta availability of AudiencePlus, a first-of-its-kind software platform that makes it possible to use owned media to build sustainable pipeline for your business.

AudiencePlus replaces the corporate blog, resource center, or becomes a stand alone media property that allows marketing teams to build, engage, and monetize their audience.

Specifically, we enable marketers to do the following:

  • Launch a beautiful media property without writing a single line of code. Host your video, podcasts, articles, and live digital experiences (such as webinars or virtual events) from your branded media property, becoming your own (and best) channel for content distribution.

  • Build an owned audience of subscribers. Set content as exclusive to subscribers, building a first-party dataset of your audience while exponentially improving web conversions.

  • Understand (actual) audience engagement. Go beyond views and listens to understand content performance at the individual and account level. Configure an Audience Engagement Score to keep a pulse on your audience, and look for buying signals within your own data.

  • Connect audience engagement with revenue outcomes. Integrate your CRM and Marketing Automation platforms to finally understand how your content efforts are impacting pipeline and other downstream revenue metrics.

Each of these use cases are powered by machine learning, enabling marketing teams to leverage the power of the AudiencePlus platform to train a ML model using their unique audience engagement data. This unlocks a number of exciting features, such as a recommendation engine based on subscriber engagement data, and generative AI-assist capabilities for content management (such as generative titles, descriptions, and SEO metadata).

Industry-leading companies like Crossbeam, Five9, Gainsight, Nextiva, and Zuora are taking back control of their pipeline by building and engaging their audience with AudiencePlus.

“We believe that the future of marketing campaigns will look a lot more like showrunning – companies producing original content in order to build and engage their audiences over time,” said Gurdeep Dhillon, SVP of Global Marketing at Zuora. “AudiencePlus enables us to operationalize our audience marketing vision, and build a modern go-to-market motion that creates trust with our audience and growth for our sales team.”


Leading Saas Investors & Executives Join Our Movement

To accelerate our mission, we’ve raised $5.4M in Seed funding led by Emergence Capital, with support from Forum Ventures, Worklife Ventures, and GTMfund. Angel investors include tech, media and marketing visionaries who understand the value of owned media, including the CEOs of Gainsight, Guild Education, Redis, and Zoom.

Here’s what our lead investor at Emergence Capital GP, Santi Subotovsky, had to say about why he invested in AudiencePlus:

“AudiencePlus fulfills an emerging conviction area that we’ve had around the future of content and audience development. We are thrilled to partner with Anthony and team, who we believe represent the perfect ’founder-market-fit’ to reinvent how B2B companies go to market and fuel company growth.”

As part of today’s news, we are also announcing that Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta has joined our board as an independent director. Nick is one of the most highly respected CEOs and company builders in Silicon Valley, having recently been recognized by Glassdoor for building the #1 best place to work for 2023.

For those who don’t know, I had the pleasure of building Gainsight with Nick for 7 years with owned media at the heart of our playbook. AudiencePlus will actually be the THIRD time Nick and I have partnered on building a company together.

Here’s what Nick had to say about our partnership:

“Gainsight would not be the company we are today without our foundational focus on building and engaging the Customer Success audience – a strategy that Anthony and I developed together over a decade ago. Much like the Fast and the Furious movie series, we’re excited to come back together for ’one last ride.’"


Take Control Back of Your Pipeline with AudiencePlus

Ok, maybe the old adage that, “every company is becoming a media company” has become somewhat of a meme over the years. But now with AudiencePlus, your marketing team can finally harness the power of editorial media to captivate your audience and transform engagement into sustainable pipeline.

The future of marketing is owned over rented.

Today we’re expanding access to our Beta. If you’d like to see how AudiencePlus can supercharge your business through owned media, fill out this form to join our waitlist and we’ll reach out. If you’d like to get in touch about something else, reach out at [email protected].

We’ve spent the last seven months using AudiencePlus to build our audience in public, and without spending a dollar in paid media, have developed an owned audience of over 2,500 subscribers.

If you want to follow along and learn more, join our growing community of marketers and access exclusive content and experiences by subscribing for free.


Anthony Kennada | About the Author

Founder and CEO, AudiencePlus

Prior to founding AudiencePlus, Anthony served as the CMO of incredible companies like Hopin and Front. He was the founding CMO of Gainsight where he and his team are credited with creating the Customer Success category -- a novel business imperative, profession and software category that helps subscription companies grow sustainably by becoming customer obsessed. By focusing on human first community building, content marketing, live events and creative activations, they developed a new playbook for B2B marketing that built the Gainsight brand and fueled the company’s growth from $0 to $100M+ ARR, and eventual acquisition by Vista Equity at a $1.1B valuation. You can follow him here.


AudiencePlus Launches Owned Media Software Alongside 5.4 million In Seed Funding

Today, we are announcing the Public Beta availability of AudiencePlus, a first-of-its-kind software platform that makes it possible to use owned media to build sustainable pipeline for your business.

You Might Also Like


This is a test comment.


This is a longer test comment to see how this looks if the person decides to ramble a bit. So they're rambling and rambling and then they even lorem ipsum.