Internet marketing agency VirKet based in Mexico City, Mexico announced last month that it had signed on with Kenshoo and its search engine marketing (SEM) platform products - Kenshoo Enterprise (for large, corporate clients) and Kenshoo Local (for managing many smaller advertisers). See the release.
Daniel Molano, Chief Strategy & Product Officer at VirKet, discussed the deal and internet marketing momentum in his region with AdExchanger.
AdExchanger: You were involved in adopting Kenshoo Enterprise, Kenshoo Local as well as reviewing its capabilities initially. What was the trigger for deciding to go with Kenshoo?
DANIEL MOLANO: We felt we had already heard many things about Kenshoo in the past, and Google, who we are doing some things with, recommended them.
We have about 20 of the top – call them "Fortune 100" - Mexican companies as clients. We also are managing campaigns for almost 4,000 SMBs, so we needed a platform that would allow us to manage multiple firms at the same time. Our main objectives since the beginning of the company has been not to just provide raw clicks and impressions to clients, but rather performance and ROI-oriented business models.
Do you have a sense of the differences between the Mexican market that you’re serving and the United States or Europe, for example?
I always say that the Mexican market is about five years behind. When we started out, we had no competition whatsoever - or very little. If there was any competition, it was the traditional media agencies trying to do traditional media online, therefore they didn’t know what they were doing. In SEO (search engine optimization), we still have no competition here in Mexico.
Havas, BBDO and others are coming on strong here but, in digital, they’re doing the traditional, above-the-line, mass media advertising - basically they push a lot of clicks and impressions to the clients. Actually - not even clicks. You’re going to get billions and billions of impressions that will get your branding all over the place. I've never been a believer in branding in this way myself.
So, your agency’s services are primarily search, bottom-of-the-funnel opportunities. Correct?
Yes. What we’re trying to push to the clients is “You’re actually going to get results.”
Display advertising is something that Kenshoo is beginning to offer through its platform as well as social. In Mexico, is there interest in those channels?
Yes. We already do display advertising with Kenshoo through the Google display network.
Almost everything we do is with Google because Google has 90 percent of the market share here in Mexico. It’s basically the only option. The display network is huge, and YouTube is huge, so we are doing that as well.
With social media, that’s more of a branding strategy. We’ve done a lot of social media things and have had a very difficult time here in partnering with social media firms. We’ve also had a very difficult time in providing better return. There is return - but we’re having a difficult time providing even more return and profit for the client than with search and display advertising.
Are you using remarketing in display, yet?
Yes, of course, that’s definitely a marketing strategy that you have to embrace if you want to get results. If you want to maximize the return, you only have to do that.
Kenshoo has Kenshoo Enterprise and Kenshoo Local. Which is more important to VirKet and why?
The answer is both. The Enterprise is good for the corporate clients and Local has become more advanced. It still needs some tweaks but it’s doing quite well and is a platform that allows you to manage multiple accounts at once. It also has some interesting automation and algorithm settings that allow you to step away from [running campaigns] manually all the time. It’s called Bid Policy. For example, there’s a CPA Bid Policy that allows you to increase the bid that the keywords are converting and decrease the bids on those words that are not.
It also has a branding version if you want to go for clicks as well as a Click-Through Rates policy. But yes, both are useful for big budgets and small budgets.
The Facebook Exchange inventory source in Mexico - is that interesting to you, or is it all about Google?
We haven’t delved too much into that yet because we’re focusing on our core areas of expertise - it could be interesting in the future. We do have our social media area that is doing quite well, but it’s more of a branding opportunity – as in getting interaction with your fans and developing a huge fan-base system with Facebook and follower-base with Twitter, and making sure that they’re interacting.
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