PLATFORM

Engage, Inform & Delight

by Li Haohan
Portrait photo by Chino Sardea
22 Aug 2017

With an eye on the future of advertising, Vikas Gulati is betting on personalized mobile engagement

Mobile marketing technology platform AdColony helps brands connect with consumers on the most important screen – mobile. As one of the pioneers in iOS mobile app developers, AdColony understood early on the relevance of mobile media, engaging users on the small screen and creating enjoyable user experiences.

AdColony reaches more than 1.5 billion users around the world, according to Vikas Gulati, Managing Director, APAC, making it the largest independent mobile advertising platform behind Facebook and Google. It is trusted by Fortune 500 brands and has a footprint of more than 85 per cent of the Top 100 Adage advertisers. Its proprietary SDK technology is integrated with the world’s top grossing mobile publishers comprising over 25,000 Apps.

“Our clients are marketers, CMOs and brand managers who come to us with one simple wish: to connect their brands with the right consumers at the right time at the right moment. We do this by developing deep and immersive ad experiences to make the brand come alive on the small screen."

  • A MASSIVE GROWTH
  • POWERED BY TECHNOLOGY
  • REACHING OUT DIGITALLY
  • RIGHT MESSAGE TO RIGHT CONSUMER
  • THE FUTURE HOLDS

A Massive Growth

AdColony is focused on delivering high quality ad experiences to clients that simultaneously creates engaging ad experiences for the end users. “Our focus is on delivering real outcomes for our clients and maximizing their marketing ROI. For instance, our HD Instant-PlayTM video ensures crystal clear, buffer-free HD video playback in apps. This is extremely relevant in a region like APAC, which has relatively inconsistent Internet infrastructure – unlike that of the US, EMEA or even the Middle East.”

Over the last two years, AdColony’s business in Asia has grown nine-fold, and headcount in the region has grown to from five to 72. This massive growth can be attributed to the mobile-first or the mobile-only nature of customers in Asia. “We have presence in 10 countries in APAC with over 75 team members and we continue to grow. APAC is our fastest growing geography and one of the most vibrant mobile-first markets,” Vikas elaborates.

The company realized early on that apps are where the most value is. Mobile users engaged on apps were found to be between 1.3 times to twice as high as mobile web click-through. In Singapore for instance, app advertising revenue surpassed mobile web channel by as much as 13 times. 

“With over 3 million apps on the app stores, what matters is 1,000 top grossing apps that have the most active and loyal mobile users with an audience size comparable to TV,” explains Vikas. “We call these apps ‘today’s primetime’ which offers engagement at scale.” AdColony custom-builds marketing campaigns by curating these apps to capture the attention of these targeted audiences.

“As our media paradigm shifts, with consumers spending more than half of their screen time on mobile, this is completely changing the way in which we consume content – whether it is music, entertainment, gaming, or news.” – Vikas Gulati
  • A MASSIVE GROWTH
  • POWERED BY TECHNOLOGY
  • REACHING OUT DIGITALLY
  • RIGHT MESSAGE TO RIGHT CONSUMER
  • THE FUTURE HOLDS

Powered by Technology

Technology is at the heart of all that AdColony does. The company pioneered the Instant-Play Technology, which is considered by many as best in class video advertising standard in the industry. Aside from targeting the right audiences, AdColony has its own in-house innovation unit: Skylab, which creates custom built mobile creative content. Recently, it launched Aurora HD video, which delivers powerful graphic effects for a life-like experience on mobile devices.

“We always think of our users first, and want to strive to bring mobile experiences that are deep and immersive,” Vikas emphasizes. “Ultimately, our clients want to connect and engage with their audiences. We have a number of campaigns to our credit, many of which have gone on to win awards.”

AdColony is recognized for its work; it is the most awarded mobile agency last year with more than 30 accolades under its belt.

 

  • A MASSIVE GROWTH
  • POWERED BY TECHNOLOGY
  • REACHING OUT DIGITALLY
  • RIGHT MESSAGE TO RIGHT CONSUMER
  • THE FUTURE HOLDS

Reaching Out Digitally

Mobile is now synonymous with consumers’ way of life. Mobile phones are like personal supercomputers, Vikas qualifies, and they are always switched on. “As our media paradigm shifts, with consumers spending more than half of their screen time on mobile, this is completely changing the way in which we consume content – whether it is music, entertainment, gaming, news etc. Add to this the large youth audience in Asia and we have a demographic that is glued to their mobile phones and hungry for more.” 

Among the biggest advantages of mobile technology is its ability to reach the right consumer. There are massive amounts of data signals that consumers leave behind when they consume content, and these gives techn-driven companies like AdColony the ability to reach the right consumer with the right message at right time. “That’s the holy grail of advertising,” Vikas emphasizes.

Vikas sees tremendous potential for mobile. “This will continue to grow, and with that we see more and more companies becoming mobile first – over digital first. We help marketers make sense of the mobile marketing opportunities, handholding them and guiding them in their mobile journey.”

  • A MASSIVE GROWTH
  • POWERED BY TECHNOLOGY
  • REACHING OUT DIGITALLY
  • RIGHT MESSAGE TO RIGHT CONSUMER
  • THE FUTURE HOLDS

Right Message to Right Consumer

Marshall McLuhan’s proposition that the medium is the message has never been truer than it is today, Vikas says. “We see TV being relevant for its reach; radio for certain times of the day when people are commuting; digital for searching or making bookings online; print for branding and even building trust; and finally, mobile for consuming everything on the go.”

The advantage mobile offers, he points out, is being a personal device that allows us to do multiple things such as productivity, connectivity and content consumption on the go.

The holy grail of the advertising is delivering the right message to the right consumer at the right time. As an always-switched-on personal device, mobile allows for tailored consumer journeys. The challenge lies in delivering mobile ad experiences, which ensure that the brand storytelling resonates with the end user, and delivers an ROI to the advertiser, he adds.

At AdColony, technology becomes the enabler – whether it is to personalize mobile ad experiences, build speed to market, or target a certain kind of audience based on geographic, behavioral, or psychographic preferences.

  • A MASSIVE GROWTH
  • POWERED BY TECHNOLOGY
  • REACHING OUT DIGITALLY
  • RIGHT MESSAGE TO RIGHT CONSUMER
  • THE FUTURE HOLDS

The Future Holds

”We would argue that in the future, all companies will have to be mobile-first. The likes of Uber, Spotify and SnapChat have laid a fine example already. Personalization will come from the kind of apps people will download, content will be streamed and browser will die a slow death.

“We also think that advertising will become more and more personalized, which means that a brand will have to create multiple different ad formats to target a user: a red shoe with bows for Simi, the strappy black ones for Denise, Ugg boots for Jackie, and the grey cushioned walking shoes for Karen – based on the kind of content they have been consuming over the past few weeks,” Vikas elaborates.

Along with this, he also predicts that brand storytelling will change and marketers will become more and more accountable to maintain brand heritage while delivering on sales conversions.

Users will continue to demand better brand experiences, and technology will come to the rescue – whether it is speed to market or better ad experiences, Vikas claims. Digital and mobile advertising are transforming the marketing landscape by enabling brands to not just engage their consumers but also delight them with innovative ad experiences.

“This is something that is only a few years away, and we at AdColony are already working towards that future. The small screen will become the epicenter of a user journey, and those who do not see this will do so at their own peril.”