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Indian advertisers have come a long way from just focusing on volume to now aiming for quality: Simon Dussart of Adjust

Adjust’s CEO Simon (Bobby) Dussart spoke to about the company’s three-and-a-half-year journey, the trends in mobile marketing, and how much of a role India play in the company’s overall growth plans

Simon Dussart

Mobile marketing has become an increasingly important aspect of advertising in India due to the country's rapidly growing smartphone market. With millions of users, advertisers have recognised the potential of mobile marketing to reach a large and diverse audience and also attract better RoIs.

Mobile marketing solutions and tools offer advertisers the ability to not only create personalised and targeted campaigns but also measure and attribute down-the-funnel engagement to run more optimised and efficient campaigns.

Speaking to, Simon (Bobby) Dussart, CEO, Adjust, stated that India is a rapidly growing country that is home to close to a billion smartphone users which account for about $4.5 billion in terms of the market cap, therefore it is a great opportunity for the company – and not just number wise, but also the type of advertisers that are there and their specificity to the Indian markets.

“When we came to India three years back, we identified that it is going to be the next big thing and now its full truth is out there and is working for us on all sides but we want to keep growing and become the go-to solution for any of the advertisers in the country because we want to make sure that the market and the industry at large understands that India is important to Adjust,” he added.

He also shared that the team size of Adjust in India currently stands at about 20 people and that the mobile marketing company wants to ensure that the country continues to play a key role in its growth over the next few years.

Commenting as to why Adjust had forayed into India, Bobby stated, “Because we know there’s a product-market fit and we know that advertisers will want the product and we have things like a decade of experience and knowledge of having done the same thing in the rest of the regions apart from India.”

Moreover, he also shared the fact that each region and each market has its specificities and keeping those in mind, Adjust aims to help and guide advertisers, given their specificity for India, and build solutions that can make them more successful. 

Additionally, Bobby also went on to highlight that if one is an advertiser that wants to grow, one needs to start spending on advertising and when that happens, one would need to have solutions like that of Adjust.

“It is because we can help you as an advertiser to understand how to best place your budgets and get the best RoI on your ad campaigns,” he said.

In Bobby’s opinion, Adjust is growing much faster in India as compared to the rest of the world because mobile adoption in India is on an incremental increase when compared to other markets that have comparatively flattened down. 

“Our solution is also well-tailored for India because it’s been the trend across the world and we can tell advertisers how to spend their money best. On top of it, we also offer product-wise centralisation which brings about more efficiency and that’s our purpose as of now,” he added.

As per Bobby, Adjust might’ve taken some time to figure out what type of advertisers can the company go after, to begin with, but for the last three-and-a-half years, the mobile marketing company has been growing steadily and rapidly.

Commenting on the short- and long-term objectives, he elaborated that as of now, India is a market where Adjust is witnessing a lot of business coming in and therefore the objective is two-fold. One is to get more clients and the other is to facilitate the growth of their clients, he said.

“When it comes to the types of campaigns that the advertisers run, we see similar patterns in India as the rest of the markets and therefore, we have built a tool that most advertisers can use to refine their campaigns albeit through out-of-store tracking, the measurement for some apps and also on the education side as ultimately our clients’ growth is our growth,” he stated.

Elaborating on the major challenges that Adjust has faced in the country in its three-and-a-half-year journey, Bobby stated that it might’ve taken the company some time to just get there and figure out how can one break into a market like India because of the intricacies of the type of campaigns, partners, etc. juxtaposed to other countries where the company was in a position of strength as clients themselves wanted to work with Adjust.

“The other piece is how can one do out-of-store measurements because Adjust doesn’t use Google Play Store or App Store and hence we devised a plug-in solution for that because that’s what we had identified as a service that needs to be built and provided by us. Now, it’s much easier for us when clients walk up to us and ask us if we provide that service, and we are like yes, we do have a solution for you,” he added.

In Bobby’s experience, Adjust is currently not seeing any of the budgets being cut due to the impending recession. But he did agree that there was a lull during the pandemic because the economy seemed likely to have shaken a bit and as a result, the advertisers had also pulled back, but now the company is seeing more momentum in terms of keeping up with the growth.

“Because the Indian market is not saturated presently as the rest of the world, therefore you can put more, because you already know that you can get more and even if one reaches the maximum in India, which I believe is complicated owing to the fact that mobile users are just growing, the clients are spending in an interesting manner, or even outside of the country,” he said. 

During the course of the interaction, Bobby also shared the view that even when one pulls back on the advertising budget, one still needs to know where that money needs to be put because in that case, the RoI becomes so much more important. 

“If cash is low or tight, you need to know the best return on your investment,” he added.

While emphasising some of the trends that he has seen in the Indian market, over the past few years, Bobby recalled that earlier on, advertisers in India laid more emphasis on getting more ‘pure volume’ in terms of installs and ‘quality’ was not a major priority. But, today, it’s more about getting quality users or the users that are going to trigger a purchase or have their first ride or place their first order or take a subscription and in doing so become a recurring paying user.

“Now that budgets are being tighter, one can still spend the same amount but what’s crucial is that there has to be more quality coming out of it because of which RoI and the measurement both have become highly important,” he opined.

He also went on to add that the modern-day advertiser needs to know if one should be spending before the entire results come in or move it to a campaign that has much more firepower and by carrying out measurements Adjust suggests advertisers stop or spend more on a particular campaign.

“In the beginning, it was very simple- click to install was all that advertisers cared about, but in the contemporary world, it goes down the funnel and it also depends on how far down the funnel because of determining if the level can be optimised or not. But, in India specifically, advertisers go down to the second step down the funnel, like end-user experience, installs, registrations, logins, purchase, etc,” he stated.

In his opinion, all advertisers today are going to look at cohort data on the revenue and ad spends both because that’s how one gets efficient and grows in addition to making the money.

He also went on to add that Adjust had come up with its CTV AdVision solution to be able to measure and attribute CTV to mobile and CTV to CTV owing to the rise of Connected TVs, especially in India. He added that when one runs a CTV campaign it almost runs all the way down the funnel and that it’s not going to be the last engagement with the user, but it's definitely going to be a part of the funnel engagement that helps one convert.

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