24 March 2023 01:07



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So, it was 2008 when the mobile app download companies came into being in plenty, every second company I knew was a mobile ad-network. I wondered and thought what will be the state of the industry when all these companies who are offering VC money to be blown away in wasted advertising stop being clients who feed this new breed of so called ad-networks, sorry mobile ad-networks.

Every ecommerce company I knew, every mobile gaming company I knew, every utility based company I knew was wanting to share that all important first screen that was dramatically becoming smart phones in the growing Asia Pacific markets. China, India, Philippines, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia had all seen some crazy growth in smart phones and mobile internet penetration automatically paving way to the developer ecosystem to take a giant leap forward in the Android based apps development that had started to see massive deployment of various apps across the Google PlayStore in various categories for consumers to ensure their lives would become easy.

Easy it did become but the options of choice became huge, not anymore was convenience and ease of use was choice, it was what was cool that became the option for choice. It was the millennial crowd fueling the growth of the industry and not all convenience or not all ease of use products were considered cool and vice versa.

Now this meant that there was no loyalty and companies that were well funded were only interested in capturing the screen forgetting fundamentals of business and in the search of more consumers they let these mobile ad-networks go down various routes including incentivizing consumers to download. That was the beginning of the downfall, I knew then that the game is going to end soon simply because end of day like in any business, customer retention does take center stage and board meetings had started to become volatile with founders not able to explain as to where their story is headed because the reason for pumping money into down load campaigns were simple, more downloads means more customers and more customers means more transactions and more time spent, which inadvertently was not the case and the installed base was constantly declining.

Then there was this clear aspect of cohort numbers from 0-7, 7-15 and 15-30 days that became the clear point of focus for brands to focus on, which meant that it was important for the consumers to be engaged through various offers and interactions that drove consumers back to the app. These were done through notifications and it drive the consumers bonkers. They either deleted the app or shut notifications, both were harmful for the brand owners. Over time cohort numbers revealed a disastrous trend, 95% apps downloaded by consumers were normally deleted. This made life very difficult and come 2012 things had changed by now there were million dollar companies that went bankrupt in the mobile ad-network space, clients realized they were getting nothing out of these efforts, affiliate marketing stories through third party platforms for validations and analytics couldn’t scale so then came the new rules of business in the app download markets.

It now rested on not just installs but with registration, by the end of 2012 it had moved to searches on the various offerings meaning if it was a travel app then solution providers had to not just get the travel app downloaded but ensure consumers searched atleast once for some flight routes for example. In ecommerce, it went all the way to transactions, which meant that service providers not only had to download the app but ensure that the consumers transact. So, numbers started to fall dramatically and by 2014, it was becoming impossible to scale any business in that category.
It was bound to happen, each app is atleast 8 – 20MB in size and having such presence on a screen that could not accommodate that kind of storage meant that the phone performance deteriorated and automatically consumers would look for better solutions by deleting apps that were weakening the phone’s performance. Now this was commonsense but duh we live in the world of competition and forget that there are more races in the Olympics than just the 100-meter sprint.

Now brands decided to have teams in-house, they built large digital marketing teams to ensure they could continue the meteoric growth they had seen two years ago and thought they could do a better job than the service providers, in this case the ad-networks in the mobile space. But little did they know that it had nothing to do with the service providers but this whole business of pushing consumers to participate or engage with them was a flawed model. The old marketing slogan of building a pull brand was forgotten by the most well-funded companies and today they have realized what it takes to build a great brand that determines automatic consumer pull and they are all correcting their mistakes, which are now over 8 years old. It isn’t an easy process but work has begun, companies who supported these initiatives in the mobile ad-network have pivoted and there is a massive change that is happening in the whole mobile advertising space.

Today transparency has become the key in both mobile and desktop internet advertising, which was lacking big time. Therefore, programmatic is growing simply because it not just gives the power to the advertiser through various machine learning tools but also ensures legitimate price for the publisher eradicating any fraud that could potentially happen and bring the advertiser close to the publisher to discover the audiences who matter. Due to this, we have seen that programmatic and programmatic direct advertising is growing phenomenally globally and it is the same with mobile too. The industry has changed and it is time for everyone to wake up from their slumber to embrace programmatic mobile first solutions that enables audience discovery and rapid video advertising adoption than the downloads that were being forced on consumers.

Anyway, we are not only seeing consolidation in the commerce space but have come to terms with consumer first approach in all the businesses in the eco-system to deliver value that just occupy the screen.

RIP – Mobile Download Advertising!

Written by Rammohan Sundaram,Managing Director & Senior Vice President - APMEA C1X Inc

Monday, 27 February 2017 00:00

ETV Network Continues to Revamp Channels

Refreshed Channels re-launched in Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh, Bihar/Jharkhand and Rajasthan

Continuing with the on-going refresh of its channels, ETV channels in MP/Chhattisgarh, Bihar/Jharkhand and Rajasthan also underwent a complete makeover. Apart from the fresh packaging, new look and feel; new shows were also launched on these channels.

Commenting on the refresh Avinash Kaul, President – Strategy, Product & Alliances – Network 18 & Managing Director, A + E Networks | TV18 said, “We are committed to bring the best in terms of content, formats and packaging to the viewers of ETV in each state. ETV channels in UP/Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Karnataka have already been revamped. The changes that are being effected in these 3 channels now are a part of the same process towards ensuring a consistent, common and superlative viewing experience.”

In terms of their programming, all 3 channels will have a hard hitting debate show Prime Debate at 8pm. While the branding of the show will be common, in different states it will focus on the top news of the state for the day and discuss the same threadbare. The show will be hosted by our top anchors such as JP Sharma in Rajasthan and Praveen Dubey & Prakash Chandra Hota in MP and Chhattisgarh respectively. A new crime show Tafteesh will also be launched–all 3 channels will have this show and will highlight the latest crime stories from each state. Special shows will also be launched such as News Trendz on ETV MP which will present the latest trends on social media and Seedhi Satt a one on one interview show with Shreepal Shaktawat on ETV Rajasthan.

Rajesh Raina, Group Editor, ETV News Network added, “We are very excited about these changes that we are executing on all our channels. We feel that these will help us further consolidate our position as the leading news channel in each state. We believe that the channels’ refreshed look will further strengthen our connect with our viewers as they will get an enriched viewer experience while we continue to provide them the news that matters to them most.”
To promote the new look, the channel will also be rolling out a multi- media campaign across the states.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 00:00

Valentine's are spending less this year


A new report indicates the Valentine's holiday maybe a bit softer than 2016. The National Retail Federation predicts shoppers will spend just over $18 billion; that is a decrease from 2016's record breaking $19.7 billion spend.

The estimated spend is also down about $700,000 from 2015 numbers; on average, shoppers plan to spend about $86 on their significant others and about $26 on other family members.

"Valentine's Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion even if consumers are being more frugal this year," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "This is one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget. Consumers will find that retailers recognize that their customers are looking for the best deals and will offer good bargains just as they did during the holiday season."

As to what people are hoping to get for Valentine's day, nearly 30% say they are looking for a 'thoughful' gift while 10% are looking for chocolates and 9% are hoping for a romantic getaway.

"The survey shows that this Valentine's Day is all about love, and Americans want to find the perfect gift for their significant other," said Kevin H. Johnson, CEO of Ebates. "Ebates makes it easy to save money by shopping both online and in-store for everything from chocolates to jewelry and even a romantic getaway."
And on the 'do not want' list are items like lingerie (24% of women do not want this), flowers (24% of men do not want this) and gift cards (16% of women and 17% of men do not want) top the list.

C1X bags most of the biggest coups of the evening

C1X, the Advertising and Marketing Technology (AMT) leader won 5 prestigious awards at the BBC Knowledge Presents National Digital Marketing Awards on 13th February, 2017 at Taj Lands End, Mumbai.

C1X was declared the Programmatic Company of the Year India. Entrepreneur of the year 2017 and Product Person of the Year were given to Mukundu Kumaran- Co-Founder, CEO C1X. Rammohan Sundaram- MD & SVP APAC, Middle East & Africa got Professional CEO (Digital) of the Year and finally, VP and Head of Business - South Asia, Sunil Punjabi received the Digital Marketing Professional of the Year India.

Speaking about the wins, Mukundu said: “Winning the programmatic company of the year along with all the other awards, make me feel very proud of our leadership team. We try to give our best when it comes to our platform, thriving to achieve the best to empower our clients.”

“These awards are testament to the enhancement of the technology we provide. Customer centricity is one of our core values, and our approach has always been to provide a service that is innovative, responsive, and fulfills the needs of our clients with the utmost convenience. Winning all these accolades, only push us to strive even harder to bring about a revolution through our one of a kind technology product, to contribute to the evolving digital landscape in the best way we can.” said Ram.

Commenting on the recognition as the Digital Marketing Professional of the Year India, Sunil mentioned “It was an unexpected but totally welcome surprise. It lets us know that efforts in this industry surely pay off, even if it takes time. I feel honored to be one among those whom this forum has recognized, it increases the responsibility. While I've never worked for awards or external recognition, this surely makes me want to keep doing more to add value to the ecosystem.”

C1X helps brands and their agencies find difficult-to-source audiences directly and transparently from leading premium publishers. Its data-driven digital advertising platform facilitates a friction-free marketplace for both publishers and advertisers with easy to execute direct connections, delivering industry-leading visibility and view ability. The C1X Platform offers an Audience Guarantee approach to provide buyers and sellers smooth participation in private marketplaces without having to rely on Deal IDs. The C1X Platform hosts access to inventory from more than 10,000 premium sites globally, including a growing list of premium publishers in the U.S.

The Digital Marketers' Awards have been known to recognize exceptional work done by the Marketing fraternity to take their brands into the digital era. Brand Stewards i.e. the CMOs or the Heads of Marketing shepherd their teams and their company into creating brand assets. These awards recognize & reward leaders for the pioneering job of online asset creation amongst their peer-set for their brands.

The entries were judged by an exceptional jury who not only looked at the results but also the leadership ability in creating an innovative marketing environment that has the ability to change the game of the branding and marketing industry.

Sunday, 12 February 2017 00:00

Hello Australia, New Zealand, Singapore

AKQA is arriving in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore through a partnership with creative technology company DT. Experiencing double-digit growth in 2016, DT has just celebrated its most successful year since its founding in 1996. Clients include Bunnings, Optus, Bupa and Tourism Australia.

DT’s brand will remain but transition to the AKQA brand in the future. The partnership is the latest move in AKQA’s strategy to meet client demand across service-lines and regions. AKQA has added more than 300 new employees during the last 18 months by opening locations in many of the world’s cultural capitals including Italy, Brazil, Sweden and UK. Combining DT’s additional 220 employees from Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore, AKQA will now have 2,000 employees in 21 studios across the USA, Europe, Asia and Australasia.

Ajaz Ahmed, AKQA’s CEO said: “In a world where digital is everywhere, AKQA’s passion is a thoughtful, considered and intelligent brand experience at every connection. DT’s talent and track record will strengthen the AKQA community and enhance our combined purpose to partner with progressive clients to define and deliver a better future together.”

Brian Vella, CEO of DT will continue to lead the company and join the AKQA Executive Team. He said: “We take pride that DT’s most recent year broke all previous records. As we look ahead to the next chapter in our journey we will now provide our clients and team with access to the global stage alongside AKQA, a globally admired partner that shares our vision. AKQA has always been an inspiration to so many, redefining the industry through influential work time and time again."

WPP Australia and New Zealand CEO Michael Connaghan, who oversees over 80 agencies in the region, sums up the potential of the new partnership:

“Combining the cultural influence, core values and global caliber of AKQA with the capability and coverage of DT represents an extraordinary platform to create the world-leading brand experience agency.”

Recent AKQA launches include the highly acclaimed BBC Earth Story of Life, and the world’s first voice animated story The Snow Fox. AKQA won more than 100 honours in 2016 including seven Cannes Lions; IAB Agency of The Year and PromaxBDA’s Gaming Agency of the Year. DT launched Australia.com, while architecting and creating brand experience activity for Bunnings in Australia.


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