Thursday, 27 August 2015

Indian ad tech companies try to secure footholds in US, Japan

Komli Media Inc., one such ad technology firm, is looking beyond its markets in India and Asia-Pacific

Companies developing digital solutions, which link online advertisers with publishers of desktop websites, are increasingly targeting developed countries that had previously been perceived as tough markets.
Komli Media Inc., one such ad technology firm, is looking beyond its markets in India and Asia-Pacific, said Mukesh Agarwal, vice-president, product and engineering, Komli Media.
“The US, Japan, China, South Korea, Germany are a few of the top markets in terms of digital ad spend, and we will be evaluating these markets over the next 6-12 months,” Agarwal said.
Earlier this month, Komli sold its South-East Asian operations to Malaysian telecommunication firm Axiata Group Bhd for $11.25 million.
Last year, Adadyn Technologies Pvt. Ltd, another ad technology firm that initially served clients in India and other Asian markets, left the region to focus solely on the US.
According to its founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Kiran Gopinath, Adadyn’s revenue grew three-fold for the year ended 31 March after it exited Asia.
Adadyn is also improving its mobile technology to prepare for a re-entry into emerging markets a few years later and for a gradual shift in the US advertising spend toward the mobile.
Smartphones are preferred medium of commerce and Internet browsing in countries such as India compared with the US.
Spending in the desktop and mobile ad markets in the US alone are much larger than in India.
In 2013, desktop digital ad spending was $32.44 billion while the mobile accounted for $10.67 billion, according to a 24 March report by eMarketer, a market research company.
This is expected to change in 2015 with mobile accounting for at least half of the total digital spending in the US.
In comparison, India’s mobile internet ad spending is estimated at only $173 million in 2015, though it may increase to about $1 billion by 2018, according to the report.
“Ad tech players focusing on the PC/destkop need to focus on developed markets, like the US market, as the Indian market is very small,” said Manik Arora, co-founder and managing director, IDG Ventures India.
“However, going after the US market requires tremendous differentiation and courage, given number of competitors there. Mobile ad tech players have more flexibility in choosing markets, as there is rapid growth in emerging markets like India and South East Asia with limited competition,” said Arora, who is also a board member at ad technology companies Adadyn, Vserv and Silverpush. “The US SME (small and medium enterprise) market is massive, and traditionally, only few companies have catered to SMEs because tech know-how and adoption among SMEs was low,” Adadyn’s Gopinath said.
“But that is changing; their willingness to experiment and compete with larger players is on the rise. It is very important to keep the consumer interest and trust at the core of the product. SMEs are lucrative customers, but to be successful, you need to create products that are feature-rich and yet very simple for SMEs to use at a price point they can afford.”
Even though India and other emerging markets are the fastest growing digital advertising markets, they still represent a lower single-digit percentage share of the global advertising market, said Komli’s Agarwal, adding that “it’s important to have presence in one or few major advertising markets like the US, China, Japan, South Korea or Germany as an ad tech company”.
Emerging markets remain a long-term plan for firms, such as PubMatic Inc., a marketing automation software platform.
“Because advertising tactics are also less sophisticated, marketers need a significant amount of education (about) advertising technology,” said a spokesperson for PubMatic.
Ankit Oberoi, a co-founder at Ad PushUp, an ad placement optimization firm, explains why the US market is more lucrative.
Revenues per ad impression from markets, such as the US are higher when compared to India. “So, the higher revenue allows us to build our billing model also around that and allows us to be flexible, and at the same time, charge more for those publishers because the value which we unlock for them is also in that same proportion,” he said.
In the Indian market, digital advertising accounts for only 10% of the overall ad expenditure.
However, Manish Vij, founder CEO of digital media network SVG Media, said mobile advertising will account for about 50% of the total ad spend in India by 2020. The digital ad market is growing at nearly 40%, he added.
For ad tech start-ups from the emerging economies, “North America tends to represent the largest opportunity and a local sales presence in major DMA (Direct Marketing Association, a national trade organization), such as New York City, is becoming a requirement,” said Seth Ulinski, practice manager/principal analyst focusing on ad tech at the research firm Technology Business Research Inc.
Companies such as InMobi and Ad PushUp argue that there is no reason for a company to limit itself to one region if its platforms are good enough to be taken to a larger audience in mature markets.
“Building the technology is the most challenging part in this business; if you believe you have succeeded in that, you should definitely leverage that asset and go global,” said Abhay Singhal, co-founder and chief revenue officer at InMobi.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

"Is just the Product enough?" Strengthening the back end technology to attract customers.

"My brand is in my hand", is the new saying of the customers across the globe. Today all the top brands are easily available in the digital world. Moreover with the prices falling and demand rising of smartphones, the customer has his desired brand literally in his hands and is in true sense the reigning KING of the digital world.

The brands have two big challenges ahead in the online world. One is to lure the customers to keep coming back and buying from their website and prove their loyalty. Second is to attract more and more potential new customers to visit their websites and hence be a part of it. 

In today's crowded industry, marketers are constantly looking for innovative ways to make themselves stand out. With technological advancements soaring high, it’s becoming important for a company to be present in the market wherever the customers are going. Very soon, presence across a large number of online platforms will become THE norm rather than a distinguishing factor for businesses. 

Given the speed at which new online engagement channels and digital businesses are hitting the market every day, a greater need has emerged for the businesses to take a step back and critically re-evaluate their strategies to make a mark in the field. In order to keep pace with the industry, businesses today have to take into consideration several features like:-

1. Innovation in technology and services - Advancement of technology in the field of online shopping plays a positive role to build trust among customers in multi-dimensional issues like ease of use of technology, confidence in payment transactions, service satisfaction and to gain social admiration.

2. Provision of better quality engagement for consumers - An engaged customer is a hitched customer. A number of provisions like proactive chat solutions to help monitor customer behaviour and target customers who
were prospective buyers, but have left the website without making a purchase,  is a sure shot hit amongst online

3. Consumer behaviour to compete with other brands - Online shopping has made consumers more effective and efficient in their shopping behaviour and has driven businesses to a new level, forcing many to make the necessary adjustments and changes to reach the new market of knowledgeable consumers.

Marketers need to know that consumers these days gravitate more towards the brands that provide plethora of benefits like Convenience, Experience, Relevance or Value. Generation Y is more concerned about the comfort, engagement and services offered rather than simply the product.

Nowadays most of the online websites have taken the role of a market-place that provides different brands on one single platform. 

For instance - Customers may get the same Puma shoes, on Amazon, Yebhi, Jabong etc. With the same quality of product with the same price tag, the choice of retailer will depend on the service as well as the ease with which the customers are able to search and get the desired product. They will end up choosing the one that gives them an easy access in order to save time and effort.

A variety of smart back end tools and advances in digital technologies, are thus streamlining the shopping experience of the customers right from attracting them to the website to comfortably providing easy options to pay and look for more and more products and services. Some of the noteworthy back end tools & services are :- 

1. Device Independence - As more and more new devices are coming up, online channels are tuning themselves to adjust to each such device to have a wide customer base.

2. Platform Independence - Many brands today are available on multiple platforms, hence helping the customer in selecting the best platform that is in their comfort zone of shopping.

3. Customer database - With customers filling multiple forms online and searching for a product or service, the online platforms are getting humongous customer database which they need to plough back into showing more relevant view of their website to the customer keeping his preferences, needs etc. in mind 

4. Catchy and Jazzy Ads - The businesses are now coming up with more and more innovative ad styles online, thus grabbing the eyeballs of new customers.

5. Displaying and Filtering Products - Online platforms have their own digital tools to help customers discover and filter products as per their needs.

6. Payment Options - Right from COD to cheques to debit cards to net banking, payment options are becoming more and more easy to enable swift transactions.

7. Delivery time - The “Just-in-Time” supply chain management solutions help the right product to reach the right  customer at the right time.

All these are critical to keep up with ever-changing customer demands and to keep the customers as comfortable as possible and pamper them without being physically present to do the same.

In markets where customer retention is the key, a competitive edge in operational tools can mean the difference between repeat business and lost opportunities. Customers have more choices than ever and they will migrate to where they uncover best customer service. They will not only react quickly to online engagements but will also network instantaneously with other like-minded consumers regarding their research and experiences with products. They will talk about that brand and will make it famous.

Yes, people talk about brands.

Its time you make them talk about yours!

Engaging directly with your customers, their family, friends, friends' friends and giving them the best possible experience of online shopping while integrating all the magical tools of back end technology to pamper them will surely yield healthier results.

So targeting your next customer with a well designed front-end store, make sure to have strong back-end processes .

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Things to look for before devising and executing a video advertising campaign.

Adding life to messages is the next big thing that the marketers all around the globe are vying for. The decision makers are in love with the new growing popularity of online videos because it is capable of providing maximum impact within the shortest span of time. 

Studies indicate that videos are more superior when it comes to establishing a personal & emotional connect with the viewers.

As per recent comScore report:-

The graph above shows that the digital video market has a wide and diverse range of viewers available. In fact video advertising is growing faster than any other content marketing options.  

However, there are a few things that the advertisers need to keep in mind when they devise and execute a video advertising campaign:

1. Rise in the number of video platforms - We are seeing more and more publishers offering Video content to their consumers. This is turn is providing marketers with a wide choice to execute videos advertising  and reaching the desired target audience.

2. Access from multiple devices - With the explosion of mobile phones, more and more people are accesing video content throgh their smartphones as opposed to laptops & desktops. Thus, marketers who are making videos a part of their core content marketing strategy also have the option of reaching their target audiences through multiple devices. The challenge lies in adjusting to smaller screen size and shorter attention spans of potential consumers. We will soon have users accessing content though connected TVs, wearables etc. 

3. Business casual - Being formally casual is the new norm. Marketers are now creating videos that are more irreverent - and more engaging. We see videos being more informative, intensive, upbeat, entertaining and easy to digest. Formal communication is becoming passe in the digital world.

4. Sharing skills - Social networks are becoming a second home or even first home for the digital natives.  We see users sharing interesting content within their social networks. This can give brands an opportunity to ride on the viral factor.  

5. Less is more - Attention span of an online consumer is 10 to 15 seconds for a video content.  To exit out is just a button away. Hence brands have to create crisp and engaging / immersive video content.

So, before giving a final go ahead to the video campaign , marketers would do well to factor the above in so that they are able to leverage the best out of their video advertising campaign.