Programmatic will be key in driving efficiency for advertisers: Tejinder Gill, Truecaller

Gill, VP, Global Sales, Truecaller, revealed that they will be rolling out a new pricing model around cost per click

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Published: Aug 11, 2020 8:11 AM  | 5 min read

Caller ID and spam detection app Truecaller has evolved in a big way since its debut in India, which also happens to be one of its biggest markets. In May, the brand also revamped its app completely for its Android and iOS users across the globe. The company has unified some of the services including calls history, SMS, and Instant Messages conversations under a single tab and also introduced a host of new features including a screen caller ID and Smart Sms feature that would help users to sort messages into four groups. Moreover, despite the ongoing COVID 19 crisis causing a massive dent across businesses, Truecaller’s Vice President, Global Sales, Tejinder Gill, in conversation with exchange4media, shared that from a business perspective, the company is very much on track and on par with pre-COVID levels. “From a business perspective, we are already back at pre-covid levels in June. We also are seeing good traction for August,” Gill asserted.
He revealed that the Independence Day week is when the company expects the business to hit a new peak. “We’re seeing a lot of brands, already talking to us across categories, about the new offers, the new sales that they want to come up with for that specific week,” Gill shared. When asked about the biggest verticals that drove growth for Truecaller he said, “Pre-COVID, auto was one of our biggest verticals, followed by OEMs and travel.”
Gill noted that post COVID, the company has seen three completely new verticals emerging out of the business model. “One was OTT, watching more television, digital and gaming, which was a big surprise for us, like we thought people probably might not have enough money but people are so engaged in this. And they are spending too much time on gaming sites. Also education tech Upgrads of the world, like those kinds of customers, started coming back. In June month, e-commerce started shaping up well. So that's a new category but. On the other hand I think some of the other verticals are taking a little extra time like auto, travel, etc. So I think it is a different phase, “ he observed.
Gill believes that growth always happens in waves. “Growth is never a straight line. It always happens in waves. So this was another wave where the downward curve was more deep, but I think we'll come out of this even stronger. But businesses have to survive and grow,” he remarked. He also expounded on the importance of marketing in an increasingly volatile landscape. “You can't do it without marketing, whatever you say. And if marketing plays a vital role, advertising will be the first thing to recover in this entire ecosystem because brands can't afford to remain silent. They have to build top-of-the-mind recall within the consumer sets they operate in. They have to deliver more value. They can't afford to be just silent and watch it. So if that happens, I think, advertising will be ahead of the curve,” Gill explained.
He hinted that within advertising, digital and programmatic will be leading the way forward for advertising growth. “I would say programmatic would be the key driver right in terms of driving efficiencies to advertisers. So I'm pretty optimistic that it's just a matter of time. And I think every day in the next sunrise, that we are seeing is getting better, which is good,” Gill said.
He also shed light on Truecaller’s strategy with cost effective advertisers in India. “Truecaller has a massive user base of 150 million active users. And what brands love it is that they get an exclusive, clutter-free space. Now you might have other platforms also but I think we are very different as we give an exclusive space to our advertisers. There’s only one ad that we serve on that particular day for any kind of brand. We get like seven to eight calls a day which means a brand gets seven to eight opportunities to talk to you. It's not a forced thing but a very natural seamless integration that we have done for both the consumers and the brands,” Gill said.
He revealed that in a bid to give more control in the hands of the advertisers, Truecaller had come up with a model called the reach and frequency model. “With that model, you are not bound by a certain budget. Let's say you want to target not 150 million users but 50 million users at a frequency cap of 2. So you can buy just it and don’t need to buy the entire inventory. Now, which is actually a big hook for some of these advertisers, and I think that is very apt for the new world. So as the marketers and consumer journey’s change, everyone is looking for efficiencies and to eliminate wastage. So our reach and frequency model is a hit amongst advertisers. We have been seeing great traction post COVID in June-July,” he explained.
Lastly, Gill revealed that plans are underway to roll out a new solution in the market which will be around building new pricing models around cost per click.

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