[Interview] Programmatic advertising the next game-changer of ad buying system: Sahil Chopra, iCubeswire

Sahil Chopra, CEO and Co-Founder, iCubeswire, shares his views on ad-blocking, the challenges of digital marketing in India and the recent partnership with LeEco

Techseen – 12 October 2016



iCubeswire, a Digital Marketing Solution and concept provider in India recently inked a strategic partnership with Global Internet and technology conglomerate, LeEco to strengthen its digital communication by offering personalized strategies and integrated marketing campaigns. Founded in May 2010, the company affiliates more than 10,000 publishers across social, search, email, display, rich media and videos, which is helping it deliver tailor made digital concepts to the brands they work with.

In an exclusive interview with Techseen, Sahil Chopra, CEO and Co-Founder, iCubeswire, shares his views on the recent partnership and the key challenges facing the Indian marketing scenario.

Techseen: Last month, iCubeswire entered into a partnership with LeEco to strengthen its digital communication. In the past too, you have helped their e-commerce platform LeMall.com, during the launch of LeEco’s Superphones. What were your learnings from the previous campaign and what strategies do you plan to employ this time?

Chopra: We at iCubeswire, have helped LeMall.com in creating a digital buzz before the phone launch through pre-booking registrations across India and flash sales post the launch retargeting the same audience and delivering huge number of acquisitions. We have had a very good experience with LeEco and now, we are all set to provide similar offerings for the LeEco Super3 TV series which was recently launched in India.

We are supporting them with various digital marketing activities with accurate data, reports, analytics, and insights to drive higher ROI and amplify the reach of LeMall.com and further entrench their presence in the country.

The key learnings for us have been the fact that customer engagement and retargeting is key to ROI and at the same time to increase the life time value of the customer. We help brands build the engagement matrices and analyse the customer behavior as well.

Techseen: What tools and software do you use to provide real-time tracking to the advertisers and publishers? What all does real time tracking entail?

Chopra: We use multiple platform for our tracking and measurements as well as ad detection. We are working with TUNE as the primary platform and are deeply integrated as a preferred partner with Appsflyer, Apsalar, Adjust, MAT, Localytics.

Real time tracking helps us measure the level of customer engagement and their preferences. It also helps us to measure their behavior and helps us with lot of customer data. We can target customer based on their geographies, demographics. We can track their Ips, device ids, operator, geography and a lot more.

Techseen: How do you know when a campaign has failed? What metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) do you use?

Chopra: We are 100% data driven and the success or failure of a campaign is totally defined by data. We work as partners for all the clients we have, and before we initiate any customer we deeply understand what are the end objectives of the campaign and how can we add value. All clients have specific defined objectives and we design campaigns in accordance to the same.

Techseen: In a blogpost on your website, it has been mentioned that programmatic advertising is picking up momentum in India. What is programmatic advertising and how is it more beneficial for advertisers?

Chopra: Programmatic advertising is automated buying and selling of digital advertising through centralized computer-driven ad exchanges and related databases and management platforms without any human intervention. It is truly holistic and an impeccable tool for the advertising ecosystem. It ensures that the ads are being directed to the right person.

Programmatic advertising in India is still fresh and people are learning about how to implement it. Globally, programmatic advertising has been noteworthy in the online advertising industry. According to a recent study forecasts, the global programmatic spending will account for 50% of the total ad spend and take over other forms of advertising by 2018. Programmatic advertising technology will make the ad buying system more efficient, and therefore cost effective.

Techseen: A recent report by Experian indicated that over-reliance on a single marketing channel leads to lower likelihood of engagement with consumers. Hence, marketers need to employ a right mix of channels. What is your take on this?

Chopra: I agree and disagree both on this. I agree as over reliance can limit the engagement, but can increase the engagement as well if we understand the customer behavior and retarget them on the basis of what the behavior is. At the same time, we are in the age of omni-channel marketing and we need to ensure that all our channels are explored and connected.

Techseen: What according to you are the major marketing hurdles in digital media and what methods do you suggest to overcome them?

Chopra: Generating appropriate traffic- Spreading the brand awareness in the right target market and drive the ideal traffic to the websites is one of the major challenges marketers are facing these days. Therefore, understanding which channel to tap into and driving relevant audience to your website to turn them into customers is becoming an ongoing challenge for marketers. Marketers can overcome this hurdle by using vigorous analytics which will help them understand the channels and tactics that work the best and optimize the efforts simultaneously.

Targeting the right audience effectively- As the number of internet users is increasing day by day and their needs are also changing almost every second. Marketers can overcome this with a proper identification of customer needs, customer personas, their online behavior and possible future needs.

Lead generation using social media- Marketers feel that only the paid campaigns can get them brand awareness and lead generation. Although, both of them are a constant challenge with the ever increasing market competition.

Sharing behavioral data and interaction levels with leads on social media, can help the sales team define a custom, personalized customer journey for them.

Augmenting marketing budgets and ROI- As digital channels and advanced analytical tools are increasing, marketers are now expected to be able to optimize the marketing budgets and the ROI to best suit the business’s needs.

To better optimize the campaigns for higher results, following points are very important:
• Understanding of the impact of each digital campaign on lead generation
• Testing of different variants and approaches of reaching out to target audience

Keeping up with the changing trends- The digital marketing techniques and trends have changed drastically over the last few years and it continues to change even today to cater to the modern market needs.

Marketers should consistently engage with their target audience on platforms that they are most active on.

Techseen: How big a threat is ad-block technology to digital marketing? How has iCubeswire responded to it? What technology have you used to block ad blockers?

Chopra: Ad blocking is much talked about these days, but to be frank it hasn’t impacted us much. Our media is widely spread across social, search, display, emailers etc. and we’ve been able to tackle this situation so far.

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