If Content is not right, everything else is irrelevant-- Morden Chen, GM, APAC Ad Sales, Cheetah Mobiles

In an interview with exchange4media, Chen speaks about the future of mobile marketing in India and the company’s long term plans for the region

e4m by Ritushree Patra
Published: Nov 22, 2016 8:36 AM  | 7 min read
If Content is not right, everything else is irrelevant-- Morden Chen, GM, APAC Ad Sales, Cheetah Mobiles

Morden Chen, General Manager of Cheetah Mobile's Asia Pacific business, delivered the keynote address on 'Dual Fusion: Achieving Both of Your Brand Awareness and Performance Target Through Mobile Marketing'at the recently held third edition of Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC)-a mobile conference series globally, in Bangalore.

At the conference, Cheetah Mobiles also launched 'Libra'( originally: appinsight)- a global Android market analysis platform that uses big data maintained by the company to conduct in-depth data mining and analysis to show the trends of the global mobile marketing industry through analysis reports, data products and case studies. It covers over 50 per cent of global Android users and is based on user behaviour, gain insights into industry advantages. It focuses on helping app developers, advertisers, marketers and publishers understand the history and current situation of mobile internet marketing, in-depth analysis of industry segments and trend predictions and international overview and experience share.

In an interview with exchange4media, Chen speaks about the future of mobile marketing in India and the company’s long term plans for the region.


Tell us about Orion 3.0 ad platform. How is it different from the earlier versions?

Previously Orion platform has been focusing on Performance Marketer, Performance Advertiser for a year already. The Orion 1.0 is a closed platform that nobody could use except our internal account managers. The biggest difference from version 1 to 2 that happened one and a half years ago was that we made it to be a self help platform that you could do it yourself, you could go online, swipe your credit card and run your campaign.

In version 2.0 we started providing the targeting capabilities, reach estimation in the previous platforms start from 2.0. But for the key accounts we had to go ourselves or partner agencies working together. And gradually we found that the performance based advertisers and branded advertisers were looking for different matrix, different types of tracking tools, inventories and KPIs. The performance advertisers only care about installs, which means you provide me the real users. So, the Orion 2.0 was not good enough for branded marketers. So, with version 3.0, of course we are continuing the capability to do self help, but we now fully support the brand advertiser’s tracking tools, double click etc. It depends on the different regional markets. You can do a lot more video in version 3.0. We had opened very limited inventories for 2.0. You just have to tell us how many views you need, the targets and the kind of interests, we give it to you. So version 3.0 is one step up to become brand advertiser’s platform than just a performance advertiser platform.

How have the brands in India responded to the ‘Locker ad format’ across your apps including Locker app, CM Security and Clean Master?

The brands in India are happy. They are continuing, after the first placement they want to do it again because I believe we offer some unique value including our branding that we call ‘Roadblock’. It’s actually ‘pre-social moment’. So, as long as you have an impactful ad unit and targeted the right person, you would have a massive reach with lots and lots of Indian based audiences. In the mobile media way it delivers something different, that previously, without technology that couldn’t be done. So, they are happy with us and want to do more business with us because it’s a unique value that previously didn’t exist and with technology, yes we can do it.

Tell us about WhatsCall. How is it different from existing apps in the ecosystem?

WhatsCall provides the capability of not only data-data talking, other companies are offering the service by call from your phone to my phone by the same app and the data pack, WhatsaCall offers calls through VoIP, which means that the receiver doesn’t need to have WhatsCall. It allows the user to call to a number instead of another app. So, lots of our users are working abroad and want to call back home. We saw plenty of users in Middle East, Singapore, so our target would be people working or studying abroad. And the result shows that we have successfully targeted those people.

Could you throw some light on ‘Live.me’? How does it support up and coming talent?

Capability wise, most of the live streaming is very similar. But there would be some difference, the User Experience Design, so there is a difference in the product manager’s idea as in what kind of action they want to do, that is the major difference. In the front end, it’s about the UI/UX, in the back end it’s about who made the streaming experience better related to the server to server communication, where is the Data Center set up etc. But the most important part is the content, if the content is not right the rest is irrelevant. We feel that content is the key, we really want to get in touch with the right content generators, they are the grass root celebrities.  As long as we have good content and we have the brand in the back end to deliver it to the right person, then everything will work well. The US part is growing bigger and bigger already. In the beginning, we had to go to find someone very famous on YouTube and request them to work with us, because you are nobody. What is happening now is that people are coming to us directly to showcase their special talent. In US it is already popular, we are launching it in Taiwan, and I think it will be very popular in Taiwan as well.

How do you see mobile advertising in India and what are your predictions about its future?

Video is going to be big for sure, the 4G is getting better and better. The content industry, or the people who generate content, would be very different starting from now. There would be more personalised content that gets produced by a very small team, it doesn’t require a big teams anymore. There would be more leveraging of simple devices and their creative ideas to spread out something short and cool. So, a new generation of content creation is coming. And regarding Cheetah’s branding and advertising business, among all the APAC countries, India is the biggest contributor to the revenue and it will continue to be so, I believe.

What next for Cheetah mobiles in India?

We are going to hire more people for sure in the agency management and sales. We want to serve our customers and our agency better so we will have more data insight related platform. We will have more content partnerships, not within my team but I am pretty sure they are working already because I am working very closely with them. So, content acquisition from both sides, content acquisition; work with more legit content source. And the other side is our Cheetah content streaming, SDK that technology will be embedded in many other new forms of manufacture.

How has your association been with Ventes Avenues so far?

The team is doing well because of the professionalism and the connection to the media and advertising community. I believe the Co-founders of the company have very good knowledge and they carry different kind of specialities. Somebody is very good at data, somebody is very good at customer success, somebody is very good at self development and with the combination-we know our platform and they know the market better, which makes it a very strong team. 

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