Facebook’s Chris Gomersall Departs For His Marketing Startup Atomized

Chris Gomersall has spent the past three years working with brands and agencies at Facebook, where he was the first creative strategy leader. Now he’s leaving to run his own startup, Atomized.

Gomersall told me that he’s trying to solve a problem that he saw again and again in meetings with marketers — when they needed to bring out the creative assets for a campaign, that usually meant looking for a folder full of papers, pointing to art on their cubicle walls or saying, “Let me pull up this email, I think I have a PDF, but it might be old …”

At the same time, those assets are being used in an increasingly wide variety of channels and platforms. Even if you just look at social networking, there are new products taking off, but existing networks remain important, meaning that marketers face pressure “to add more and more.”

“It’s becoming atomized, with your content or your creative execution broken into thousands of little pieces,” he said.

Hence the name of the startup. Atomized tackles these problems by giving marketers shared calendars to manage all their campaigns across different media, including print, TV, outdoor and online. It allows those marketers to see how their photos, videos and other creative assets will look in each medium, and customize the presentation accordingly.

While Gomersall just left Facebook, he’s actually been working on Atomized for more than a year — with the permission of his bosses at Facebook, naturally. He admitted that there was some skepticism when the company found out he was working on marketing software on the side, but he got approval “when they realized I wasn’t an engineer.”

Atomized remained a nights-and-weekends project until recently, when Gomersall realized it was time to commit to the startup — both because he was starting to feel “maxed out” between his two roles, and because marketers aren’t eager to work with startups that don’t have a full-time CEO.

Asked where the product goes from here, Gomersall said, “We want this to be a calendar you can send to your CMO and to your most junior intern. It’s going to get stronger and we’re going to build more features, power features, but they’re going to stay hidden. We want the clean version to be front-and-center.”