International marketing solution providers are recognising India’s potential in digital marketing. The latest example is Appboy, alifestyle engagement platform to help brands with geographically and demographically targeted advertising. Appboy forayed into India six months back and is now working with OTT (Over-The-Top) playersHungama and Voot, mobile marketplace Headout and ecommerce portal Hopscotch.in.
Matt McRoberts, VP, Global Business & Channel Development, Appboy, tells us more about it, emphasising on India as a top priority market with plans to open an office soon.
Appboy has clients across 80 countries in six continents. How is the work experience in India different?
India is diverse and unique. It's such a relationship market that it works in our favour. We empower our customers to help improve relationships with their customers. That's one of the things that became critical for us to be successful in India. We have to be here,find right partners, enable them accordingly and demonstrate success. The India market wants to see success and how you make other companies successful and articulate those API to their specific needs.
We see India as a critical market because it has the necessary infrastructure such as a strong bunch of venture capital communities, incredible higher education and robust content assets. All these come together as a full circle and providehuge opportunity for us.
What are your focus areas?
We are able to talk to a broad spectrum of folks across categories of enterprise and mobile-first businesses. Media and entertainment, ecommerce and retail are very savvy when it comes to leveraging digital. We are working with travel and hospitality, travel bookings, car-sharing applications, dating application, airlines and other categories.
We drive it around relationship marketing.The smartphone digital economy has enabled hyper intensive personalisation and we very much leverage that.
What’s your business model?
We partner directly with our clients. For example, Hungama would leverage us as a marketing technology vendor. Our remuneration model is that our clients pay us in annualised deals to leverage our technology for them to monetise their users.
What’s your target?
The target is to create best relationship marketing technology in the marketplace. In this advanced industry, we feel the traditional marketing tools have underserved the market and underwhelmed the clients as they have left the door open for savvy aggressive innovative folks like us to come and take marketing technology to the next level.
How are you different from Google and Facebook?
We are beyond the customer acquisition side of business. We help the client protect that significant user base that it maybe making across Google and Facebook. We keep those users motivated, excited and engaged with the respective business.
What’s your takeaway from India as a market?
Indian culture is technology savvy going by our experience with Voot and Hungama. We are almost invisible to the users in the sense that we help these companies enable and engage their customer base and mobilise accordingly. There is this kind of bridging of what historically would sit on the product side and what we would consider marketing. You receive a push message or email from Voot that recognises the content you might be most excited about that it's almost part of a product experience. It's able to understand the psyche around relativity. There is a trend of blurring the lines between what is historically a product and what is historically marketing. Our relationship with marketing technology is accelerating in a powerful way.
What do you think of personalised videos that seem to be the next big thing?
Video is today’s new ad medium. The cost of entry for people to create compelling videos (that speak to the audiences) has been so minimised that they ushered in a massive onslaught of compelling content that manifests itself in video units.The idea of personalisation used to be calling someone by their first name. Now, its dimensions and depth enabled by technology such asAppboy is unprecedented.
What kind of opportunities do smart devices bring to marketers?
The idea is around channel proliferation. Today's consumerhaswearables like smart watch, smart TV and smartphone. All the touch points in those consumers need to be orchestrated, consistent, relevant and personalised. That's where we're able to facilitate.
What’s the challenge with India as a marketplace?
The challenge with India and probably many growing economies is always consolidation in the marketplace. Everyone cannot be a winner. For us, it's about picking the right partners at the right time to grow. Consolidation will happen but that gives us the opportunity to tell folks that we can give them that competitive advantage if they leverage our technology. We are here for the long haul.