Marpipe and Waterbucket are both tools that can be used to transform image creatives for catalog ads but there are some significant differences.
Lets look at the roots for each company. Marpipe received a few rounds of funding of around $11 million in VC to build a multivariant testing tool specifically designed for Facebook/Meta ad testing. It’s great as a concept, but it’s a very difficult thing to pull off.
In the past A/B or multivariant testing creative was simpler. You could set the same conditions for different ads and see which one did better. The variables were mostly known and could be controlled. In today’s environment there are more unknown variables than known. The AI may treat two ads very differently based on signals that are not exposed to the user or external platforms. Early engagement can bias the model. Modeled conversions can skew the reality. It’s a lot like putting two sticks in a stream to see which floats the farthest. No matter how you enter, the stream is always different with every tiny eddy and small current.
Because of the difficulty in finding success with a multivariant testing product the team at Marpipe pivoted hard into creative iteration. Specifically with a focus on Dynamic Product Ads (DPA). The team appears to have taken heavy inspiration directly from Socioh.com. Both Socioh and Marpipe are focused on decorative backgrounds or dynamic image frames for DPA. Facebook has launched similar functionality in the interface, but Socioh and Marpipe offer some great off the shelf creative recipes that can kickstart the process for most brands and goes beyond the basic frames into more custom branded catalogs. I’d give the edge to Socioh for having a longer track record as an innovator in the space.
Waterbucket is different. The team at Waterbucket come from Iron Pulley, a leading agency focused on feed optimization for Google Shopping. That background in feed optimization made the focus of Waterbucket go beyond frames. Waterbucket’s patent pending rules engine can blend third party data that adds context to images. The best example is Buy Now Pay Later prices. Price is what people use to decide if they are interested. A BNPL callout can drive more than 40% more conversions in DPA.
Waterbucket is also partnered with Klaviyo. A Klaviyo optimized feed with BNPL is proven to dramatically improve conversion from abandoned cart flows. It can be an early email in the flow that changes how people think about the product.
Waterbucket isn’t just for BNPL. There is also a tool for building curations of UGC or creator images and tying them to the product. These curations of additional images become slideshows in Facebook ads, or additional images in the Google Shopping Free Listings. Curations can tell a story for each product in the feed. You can run a lifestyle image feed in parallel to your standard catalog feed.