Last year, Earthbound Brands, a brand management and licensing company, was preparing to debut its own home goods brand, Under the Canopy. The company had signed a deal to soft-launch the brand exclusively in Bed Bath & Beyond stores in October and was looking for sponsorship opportunities to gin up interest.

Earthbound Brands marketing director Ryane Montañez had contacted multiple publishers over email and through the contact forms listed on their sites for potential advertisers. But she struggled to get anyone to respond to her inquiries, which was frustrating “especially because I was looking to spend money with them,” Montañez said.

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