This is a photo of Zeyuan Gu of Adzviser LLC
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Zeyuan Gu: Charting the Future of Marketing Analytics with AI-Driven Insights

In the constantly evolving terrain of marketing, pioneers who harness technology to fuel their journey can turn nascent ventures into benchmarks for the industry. Today, has the privilege of featuring Zeyuan Gu, a luminary in the marketing analytics field and the visionary founder of Adzviser. With a remarkable blend of expertise in analytics and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Zeyuan has led Adzviser from an early stage startup to a commanding presence that offers functionalities at par with industry giants, but at a fraction of the cost.

His journey of bootstrapping Adzviser single-handedly and amassing over 100 paying customers within a year is a testament to his strategic acumen and innovative approach. Beyond the metrics of success, Zeyuan is driven by a personal goal to scale Adzviser to 1000 satisfied clients. His insights into the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing analytics promise to redefine traditional paradigms and pave the way for breakthroughs in digital marketing strategies. Join us as we delve into the mind of this thought leader to explore his journey, experiences, and visionary outlook on the future of marketing analytics influenced by AI.

Can you share with us your journey into the marketing field? What inspired you to dive into this particular area of expertise?

My journey into marketing began with my first role at Google’s Ads Department shortly after college. There, I received an intensive introduction to Google Ads and digital marketing, sparking my fascination with the complexities of programmatic advertising and marketing at large.

Living in West LA, I often spent time with friends in the Media industry, exchanging insights from our respective roles in advertising—mine in sales, and theirs in buying. Their struggles with marketing analytics in a mid-sized agency caught my interest. As a software engineer with a passion for problem-solving, I saw an opportunity to delve deeper into marketing analytics. This curiosity and drive to address challenges in the field gradually shaped my expertise in marketing.

Leading Adzviser LLC to success as its founder is no small feat. What motivated you to start Adzviser, and how did you identify the niche it serves today?

Founding Adzviser was driven by my quest for a new challenge after 3 enriching years at Google. The seed for Adzviser was planted through conversations with friends in advertising agencies, who shared their struggles with marketing analytics. The issues they faced—such as the laborious process of creating periodic reports, the limited capacity for ad-hoc analysis and hypothesis validation, and the challenges of developing in-house marketing mix modeling (MMM) in the absence of third-party cookies—highlighted a critical need. Marketers were in dire need of easier access to data.

Inspired, I envisioned a solution: a search-engine-like web application designed to answer marketers’ data queries in real-time. Whether it was questions like “how much did I spend on Google Ads today?” or more complex data inquiries, this platform would offer a straightforward, unified interface to tackle a wide range of marketing problems.

Convinced of the potential impact and feasibility of my idea after three months of rigorous research, I took the risk of dedicating myself fully to this vision. By the end of 2022, I had left my job to found Adzviser, aiming to transform how marketers access and utilize data.

You’ve achieved a significant milestone by growing Adzviser to 100 paying customers within 12 months. Could you walk us through the strategic moves or tactics that played a pivotal role in achieving this?

A key move was securing a spot on the ChatGPT plugin store. By mid-2023, developers sought OpenAI’s approval to build ChatGPT plugins, and after persistent negotiation, Adzviser earned its place. This was crucial because many marketers were already using ChatGPT for creative tasks like generating keywords and crafting headlines. Our plugin, by offering real-time reporting data, provided substantial value, making it an immediate success.

Another pivotal strategy was focusing on cost-effectiveness. With Supermetrics being a leading but costly solution in the market, marketers were vocal about the need for more affordable alternatives. Leveraging my software development skills and the efficiencies gained through AI, Adzviser was developed to be of high quality and low prices. This approach allowed us to offer our services at a fraction of the cost—aiming to deliver 90% of Supermetrics’ capabilities for just 10% of its price. This strategic pricing significantly contributed to our rapid customer growth.

As someone deeply involved in analytics, you’ve stressed the importance of AI in marketing analytics. How do you believe AI is currently transforming marketing analytics, and what potential do you see for the future?

AI is revolutionizing marketing analytics by making it more accessible and efficient. Where traditionally a data analyst was required to extract data and manage pipelines, often using tools like Google Sheets, AI now enables these tasks to be accomplished with well-crafted prompts. This democratization is lowering barriers to entry and boosting productivity in the field. Looking ahead, I anticipate that AI will play an even larger role in facilitating cross-channel marketing analytics, shifting the human role towards making strategic decisions based on insights generated by AI. This evolution promises to enhance the precision and effectiveness of marketing strategies.

Zeyuan Gu of Adzviser LLC
Zeyuan Gu of Adzviser LLC

Diving deeper into your expertise in PPC, how do you see AI enhancing the effectiveness of PPC campaigns? Any specific tools or technologies you find particularly promising?

I believe that Performance Max campaigns on Google Ads have a good chance of taking over the traditional search ads. While traditional search ads will continue to hold value, the shift towards Performance Max campaigns suggests a future with more automated decision-making in ad placements, potentially reducing the granularity of control for marketers. Despite these changes, the essence of success in PPC will remain rooted in the marketer’s acumen. A savvy PPC marketer, equipped with a strong sense of strategy and adaptability, will continue to thrive in this evolving landscape.”

Reflecting on the ambitious goal of growing Adzviser to 1000 paying customers, what are the key growth strategies or innovations you plan to implement to achieve this milestone?

We currently integrate with 11 data sources, and in response to customer feedback, we’re planning to broaden this spectrum significantly. Additionally, introducing Looker Studio as a visualization destination is on our roadmap, aiming to offer our clients more flexibility and power in data analysis.

Parallel to expanding our data sources and visualization capabilities, we’re also dedicated to enriching our AI capabilities. Developing and providing a wider range of high-quality prompt templates that leverage AI for marketing analytics will unlock new possibilities for our users, enabling them to gain deeper insights and drive more effective campaigns. These strategic enhancements are pivotal in our journey towards the 1000-customer mark.

Given your experience and success in bootstrapping Adzviser as a solo-founder, what advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to bootstrap their tech startups in the competitive landscape of today?

  • Embrace frugality and don’t worry about scaling until you have to.
  • Leverage AI to supercharge your productivity.

The balance between providing a service at a fraction of the cost while maintaining high-quality standards can be challenging. How does Adzviser manage to maintain this balance and excel in its offerings?

I try not to think too much about making money as of yet. I focus more on solving problems for marketers. I believe that if marketers find my software helpful at a reasonable price, the word will spread around and eventually I will make more money. I’ve started to see the network effect of marketers spreading the word for adzviser and demand has slowly picked up more.

In the long run, I plan to maintain the balance of low prices and a high quality product by keeping myself to be as productive as possible. Luckily, it’s been possible with generative AI as a co-pilot. I don’t plan on hiring anyone in the next 12 months.

This is a photo of Zeyuan Gu of Adzviser LLC
Zeyuan Gu of Adzviser LLC

The role of data in marketing decision-making has never been more critical. How does Adzviser empower its clients to leverage their data effectively, and what makes its approach unique?

Adzviser empowers marketers to make data-driven decisions through directly connecting their data to destinations such as ChatGPT and Google Sheets. Adzviser enables marketers to effortlessly import their cross-channel data into Google Sheets via an add-on or generate comprehensive cross-channel reports directly in ChatGPT with simple prompts. This direct connectivity simplifies the data analysis process, allowing for immediate insights.

What sets Adzviser apart is our unique capability to query and consolidate data from various channels, like Google Ads and Meta Ads, over multiple date ranges simultaneously. Our API is designed to retrieve data efficiently and in parallel, offering speedy convenience. Beyond this, we offer our subscribers highly flexible API endpoints. This enables them to custom-build their chatbots, tailoring the instructions, knowledge base, and integration with other APIs, such as Zapier, to their specific needs. This emphasis on flexibility underlines our commitment to providing a solution that adapts to our users’ evolving demands, setting Adzviser apart in the data-driven marketing landscape.

Looking ahead, where do you see the intersection of AI and marketing analytics heading over the next 5-10 years, and how does Adzviser plan to be at the forefront of this evolution?

The marketing analytics landscape is going to change. Even though the AI-generated marketing analytics might look wonky at times, it will improve over time. I’m banking my career on it.

Adzviser aims to lead this upcoming revolution by:

  • Expanding AI Integrations: We plan to broaden our collaboration with leading AI platforms, including but not limited to Claude and Gemini. This strategy ensures that Adzviser remains at the cutting edge of AI technology, providing our users with the most advanced tools available for their marketing analytics needs.
  • Developing Plug-and-Play Templates: By offering an array of ready-to-use prompt templates, we aim to simplify the process for marketers. These templates will be designed to be immediately applicable, enabling marketers to leverage AI-driven insights with minimal setup time.
  • Ensuring Access to Accurate Data: Central to our mission is connecting marketers with reliable and precise data at cost-effective rates. This commitment to affordability without compromising quality is a cornerstone of our value proposition.

Through these strategic initiatives, Adzviser is not just adapting to the future of AI in marketing analytics; we’re actively shaping it, ensuring our subscribers always have the most innovative and effective tools at their disposal.

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