The Future of Programmatic is in Dynamic Creative Optimisation: Aditya Jagtap, co-founder, HockeyCurve

The two-year-old company has big ticket clients like Flipkart, Hotstar, VOOT, Tanishq, NBC Universal Studios and eBay

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Nov 30, 2017 8:49 AM  | 4 min read

Two-year-old marketing technology company, HockeyCurve, is infusing a slow change in the way brands use programmatic advertising. Aditya Jagtap, co-founder and operations manager, HockeyCurve, is of the firm belief that the future of programmatic advertising is in dynamic creative optimisation. To that end, Jagtap and his team of five are evangelising Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO.)

Big ticket clients like Flipkart, Hotstar, VOOT, Tanishq, NBC Universal Studios (18 movies so far,) and eBay are already using their products and have seen significant improvements in conversions. HockeyCurve has used real-time data to tweak campaigns whether it is the colour used in the creative or the template of the creative. These tweaks have resulted in higher conversions for clients sometimes to the tune of 4X or even more in some cases. Given some maturity of the market, Jagtap said “DCO can even disrupt the Indian General Elections and play a significant role in helping political parties reaching voters.”

Jagtap spoke with exchange4media sharing his thoughts on why he believes in DCO and the digital marketing sector in India.


What brings you to Dynamic Creative Optimisation?

Currently, display advertising dominates the market. Irrespective of performance, brands are comfortable with spending on display. Only 30 per cent of display buying is programmatic in India unlike mature markets where 75-80 per cent of display advertising is programmatic in nature. This is mainly because of the apprehension about ad fraud in India.

Within the programmatic universe, people are still only creating one ad unit and giving that to publishers who are running it. Around Rs. 2,500 crore of ad spend on programmatic goes into creating ads which are static and there is no communication or image variation for the most part. The philosophy is very simple: not all people are the same and we need to create different communication for different users.

Are publishers not already offering similar products that customise and personalise ads?

A lot of what is on offer with publishers is more in the ad tech part of the universe. We bring in the mar-tech and marry that with the ad tech. We are more performance driven, so we are well-poised to deliver the final results that brands need. The differentiation that we offer with re-marketing is more granular personalisation.

If you look for a red dress on a website, the same red dress will not follow you around, we can show you other red dresses or other dresses in similar patterns. That is in the case of re-marketing. With pre-marketing, where most of the money is spent, we can take analytics like the most popular products or most discounted products and combine that with the communication for the brand thus building a branding creative that is dynamic in nature, as opposed to a single creative that just says ’30 per cent off today on clothing, buy now.’ This significantly helps with new user acquisition.

We began as an analytics driven company but we moved to offering dynamic optimisation to steer away from competition and offer something unique.

The last election was won on social media. With the technology that you have, are you gearing up to offer your services to political parties?

A lot of that depends on the agency handling the political party. If agencies can inform political outfits about the services we can offer, we can even disrupt the general elections. Currently, we are seeing interest from big agencies to understand the scope of the service we can offer. So, maybe not this general election, but by next general election we should be in a comfortable position to offer them something.

In a niche space like this, how have you approached the issue of talent acquisition?

It is very hard to find talent in this field because talent is scarce. We look for people with strong fundamental understanding. We are not just looking for people with strong data analytics background, but people who have proactively understood how to create a query based on raw data and come up with metrics that can change the entire marketing strategy. We are also looking for talent that can relate creative advertising with programmatic advertising.

What is your current revenue like and what are your growth plans?

In terms of revenue, the company has clocked a revenue of Rs. 5 crore in the last 18 months. We have 15 clients and are now focussed on working with partners who think in terms of customisation. Our growth will follow the growth of programmatic advertising in India. Our trajectory for the next year will be similar to this year. We hope to see a spike in two years when programmatic advertising will see 50 per cent of the spends. We are currently bootstrapped and not aggressively looking for funding. We are now self-sustaining.

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