We don’t provide static solutions to all clients: CPO, MainAd

Larraine Criss on the launch of MainAd's flagship proprietary technology, Logico by partnering with Google and how they are going to expand in and explore the Indian market

e4m by Anam Khan
Updated: Mar 22, 2018 8:52 AM

MainAd is an advertising technology company that specializes in global display and retargeting ad campaigns. Founded in 2007, it is a privately held company that services international brands across 80 markets.

In an interaction with exchange4media, Larraine Criss, Chief Product Officer, MainAd, discussed how they are going to expand in and explore the Indian market at the launch of its flagship proprietary technology, Logico. She also spoke about their partnership with Google in developing Logico. Excerpts:

What was MainAd's vision behind developing the proprietary flagship product, Logico?

The business we’re doing is based on Programmatic and Performance. We have been working with other DSPs in the past. We saw what was both good and bad and together, based on the market and our company needs, we created something out of scratch to bring our needs together to operate better than before.

Earlier, it was really hard for us to work separately in different SPs. That is how one of our co-founders developed a system in-house that could meet our needs. This is how Logico was born.

What kind of business efficiency did Logico bring to MainAd?

As I told earlier, it's an in-house technology. We can have all the functionalities that we need, how we want to buy and optimize. We control everything, especially the algorithms. Earlier it was not like that and we followed the algorithm of a solution provider in the ad exchange. Now it's us, so we have full control of our technology.

Logico has already been introduced globally. What are your expectations from the Indian market?

The Indian market for us is mature but still emerging. Historically, we know that MainAd is really good at tapping such emerging markets. So, India is huge and it’s a unique market for us as it has a unique culture and way of doing things.

Talking about our product Logico, we are also new but we know that the Indian e-commerce market is directly dependent on performance. Now with Logico, we are more confident that we can compete in the market.

Still new in the market, how would you differentiate Logico from competitors?

Our competitors work exclusively for their clients. We don't compete but we offer an enhancement to the digital advertising clients without the risk. Our competitors don't offer that but they ask their clients to work with them exclusively. We don't do that because we know we are adding value to the client.

We don't need exclusivity. We just want our clients to let us work with them as a partner.

One more important factor that distinguishes us from our competitors is tailoring, or you could say the customization of services that we provide. It may not fulfil huge corporation needs, it's a small-medium system and that's the way we want to be. That's our identity and we are very proud of that.

We build the strategy and products around our client's needs. We are not very commercialized and we don't provide a static solution to all clients because we provide a specific solution to each client. We are more flexible, maybe because we are not that big and we want to serve the client on how they need to be served.

Could you share some insights on the R&D which has gone behind developing Logico?

Logico is equipped with our first machine learning model which is more about sales prediction. It's not only unique in the Indian market but also across the industry. After generating a sale, everyone wants to know when this user should buy the product again and what kind of product should we propose to this user.

For example, our oldest clients here in India, Firstcry, faced the problem of how can they have specific timings to promote the product to a specific user. So, they created a lot of segmentation but it didn't work. With the help of machine learning in Logico, we know what our customers need. It’s still developing but already tested. The capacity to know when this buyer should buy again and what specific product is suitable for the particular client is what we are looking forward to as a company.

We have our product and tech team and the one thing unique about Logico is that the R&D team is a combination of different teams. A typical R&D team consists of an engineer but our team is represented by different departments like people from the product or commercial team. Our team consists of engineers from India and the development and execution of a product are done by our team in Trivandrum.

Please give us a brief overview of the partnership with the Google to develop Logico.

Google apps are open source which is hard and has its own setbacks. It is not always perfect and you have to do a lot of research. Your team will be left behind if it doesn’t fasten up to do research. Google really helped us here. Sometimes, when we have issues or are struggling we need to resolve that because we are developing something out of scratch. But the challenge is not to stop the operations. We need to improve without shutting down the operations. We like to work in real time. We always test our product that we are working on in real time. Google Cloud platform is a server-less technology, which means it does not require hardware. When we understood that we are going towards the direction of having our own product, we interacted in the real time marketplace. We understood that if we have to develop this internally, it will take a long time and would be very costly.
So this is how we let Google do what they do best so that we can concentrate on our best.

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