iQuanti Inc, the US-based digital marketing analytics and solutions company, has launched its operations in India and the Asia Pacific region. The agency will work with brands in the region to improve their customer acquisition strategies on digital by leveraging data and establishing a solid targeting and measurement infrastructure.
In a conversation with BestMediaInfo.com, Aditya Saxena, Vice-President, APAC at iQuanti, said this is the perfect time for them to enter APAC considering the evolving market landscape and digital penetration in the region.
Talking about their India strategy and how they intend to compete in this cost-sensitive market, Saxena said, "We are certainly not competing on cost-effectiveness. We are competing on value and how we can provide a competitive advantage to brands in the region through our proprietary data-led tools and services, rather than saying that we can do it cheaper. So, this is the value proposition we are after and are confident we can accelerate business results for our clients and enable them to acquire more customers."
Why do you think it is the right time to enter APAC market? Isn’t it already over-occupied by big network agencies and local players?
Globally, brands are looking towards India and APAC for their next wave of growth. Changes like digital payments in India have seen mass adoption, and with the ever-increasing use of modes of payments like UPI, wallet, etc., consumers are increasingly spending time and money online. Brands, consequently, must sharpen their digital strategies to tap into these audiences. We feel it is the right time to enter the market now as spends on digital are growing. We bring the same sophisticated solutions and quality of work as we’ve done for our clients in Europe and the Americas. You said the region is over-occupied by other networks, which is also true in the case of the West. But there is always a place for independent marketing players with differentiated service, which I think is the key.
Other than your positioning as a data analytics and AI-based agency, what edge do you have over existing players in APAC and especially India?
Our vision is to drive strong customer acquisition & marketing outcomes through the application of advanced data, modeling, and insights for our clients. We have built algorithms that help generate better returns on marketing spends and win on search engines. There is specific intelligence derived from large-scale algorithms built over voluminous data sets, which lend sophistication to our products. These data-led products and the services are our primary differentiators. We have built frameworks that identify which customer is looking for what kind of services or products at what point of time and we are able to leverage that intelligence to make precision targeting solutions for prospects.
Where do you place your agency in terms of cost-effectiveness as brands consider digital a cheaper medium prima-facie?
We are certainly not competing on the cost-effectiveness. We are competing on value and how we can provide a competitive advantage to brands in the region through our proprietary data-led tools and services, rather than say that we can do it cheaper. So, this is the value proposition we are after and are confident we can accelerate business results for our clients and enable them to acquire more customers.
Is digital really cost-effective when compared with TV in terms of Cost Per Thousand (CPT)? For example, a targeted YouTube view costs 20-25 paisa on an average.
I would rather differentiate digital from the traditional media in terms of the ability of the digital channels to attribute very clearly what they contribute. Besides, the targeting is more difficult in traditional media as they are mass medium by their very nature. Digital enables precise targeting, which becomes a key differentiator as marketers increasingly focus on getting more ROI on their marketing spends. If you can understand the effectiveness of marketing channels, that is your sweet spot as a marketer. Therein lies the advantage of digital, which will increasingly dominate marketing budgets.
Facebook is way too cheaper than any other social media platforms but they have almost killed organic engagements. Isn't it harming the industry?
I don’t think is correct. While paid placements allow sophistication in terms of targeting and reach, organic placements are still a major play for brands, primarily due to their ability to engage with their audiences. Depending on a firm’s objectives of increasing brand effectiveness and/or increase customer acquisition, marketers must balance upper funnels such as social media platforms with down funnel channels such as organic search and paid search.
Digital measurement, especially in video, is still opaque as there's no unified measurement currency. There are also challenges of brand safety and ad fraud. How do you see that?
Ad fraud is a concern that most of the companies must address. Safety is also their primary concern. Brand safety is very critical in video, especially in programmatic, as an algorithm determines where your ads are getting placed. They are evolving challenges across all the platforms be it Google or Facebook. But, we as a solution provider work with these platforms for our clients to ensure safety. Having said that, video is very fast-evolving, and measurement is also evolving because newer methods and platforms are coming. So, as these new platforms are growing, different techniques and optimisation techniques are evolving around them.
How can Strategic Search Investments improve brand awareness and generate business?
In terms of generating business, search has been very reliable and one of the core channels. For every brand, search should always be a core component of your channel strategy due to its predictable nature to guarantee returns. However, as Google’s algorithm evolves, we advocate an integrated search strategy rather than an organic search or paid search in isolation to gain a competitive advantage. A targeted content strategy with targeted product content and adjacent content allow brands to familiarise potential customers with their offerings. These are all opportunities to think about when conceptualising your search strategy.
What would be your core focus area — digital buying-planning or creativity or content?
Our primary focus is on digital planning and then a lot more around how you create content that works. Our primary differentiators are around creating unique solutions to help firms target better. And, once firms nail targeting, the only job is to figure out what channel strategies and content works for your target audience.
Measurement of ROI from content is far more complex and there is no concrete practice in India except mapping of engagement. What practice do you follow to map marketing generated opportunities?
I don’t think an ROI challenge exists. It depends upon the nature of the campaign. If you have the right underlying infrastructure, deploy the right data management techniques, you ensure you are packing the right kind of matrix to measure any marketing efforts, including investments on content.