Times Internet Limited (TIL) is working to expand the scope of its new native ad platform; the Colombia Traffic Network (CTN), beyond TIL properties.
Though the platform was designed to be open to third party content platforms, newly appointed Chief Revenue Officer for TIL, Gulshan Verma, confirmed that the main focus areas for 2016 will be to extend the scope of CTN to non-TIL properties.
Right now, around 2-3 new publishers join CTN weekly, “We are looking to deploy it across the TIL network but the biggest thing is extending it as many people (outside the network) as possible,” said Verma.
This is in keeping with TIL’s new approach towards monetizing its digital properties, which includes leveraging the strength of its own properties, while providing marketers and audiences with the widest possible range of content.
The idea, says Verma, is to provide a consolidated package to clients. “Each of our brands has its own business. How do you tie all this together? We have to get much better at presenting it together to the marketer,” he said. To do this, a common technology platform like CTN is very important, he opines.
Speaking about the focus areas for 2016, Verma said, “The first part is to understand what the user wants. The second is part is to decide how to engage with the user. This is where a smart marketing platform like CTN comes in. It is not just about content monetization but about creating brand value. We approach marketers with the promise of solving a business problem, whether it is getting a new kind of consumer or creating awareness about a new product.”
He gave the example of a recent campaign that TIL did for a product launch by a beverages company through their property Dineout. Identifying the target audience on consumer behaviour on Dineout (past bookings, food and drink preferences, etc.), members of the target group who booked via Dineout were offered complimentary drinks from the company. Verma said that such integrated and brand campaigns will be increasingly looked at by TIL going forward.
TIL is also building Colombia’s programmatic capability, as the digital world moves towards a more automated environment. As Verma explains, “One of the problems with programmatic is that there is so much data loading that it makes the page load slower. Colombia makes this process faster. A lot of effort has been put in to ensure that pages load faster. If you take Cricbuzz, it has the fastest load time. There is a role for programmatic but it is not just about ad sales but smarter ad sales. It is a different way for advertisers to advertise. It allows users to target users exactly where the client wants to.”