TONY CHEN: There is a big struggle in Asia and that is that advertising dollars are becoming more expensive. However, advertisers don’t know what their consumers look like, meaning things like consumer behavior and how they should place their advertisements more accurately. Our service helps them diagnose that and gives them a good perspective to determine what kind of advertising really works for them in terms of their business or industry. We started to connect with big players like AdChina and MediaV, and we’re working on something that is coming up with Alibaba. We work with these players to gather more information so our customers will have better perspective about what their consumer looks like out there, so they can plan better advertisements.
How do you work with these partners?
These are the two types of companies that we partner a lot with: mainly with advertising and then advertising and e-commerce. We also work with social networks and mobile platforms.
One example is AdChina. They have a lot of data internally. We have the ability to take that raw data and start crunching those numbers in the right way and present it to a customer with the right perspective. We know companies like AdChina are so busy trying to do their business quarter-by-quarter, but they don’t have the resources or knowledge to crunch that data. But we do. We have the modeling ready to go and we know the market. We get the pipe going and start delivering a solution and reports and dashboards to customers.
MediaV is another partner and while advertising is one of their big pieces, the e-commerce side is big as well. We focus being able to not only crunch the advertiser footprint, but also transactional consumer behavior, just like Amazon. We’re able to deliver full-solution end product for companies with e-commerce.
I’ve heard getting accurate data in China can be a challenge. Why is that?
As you know, RTB is growing so fast. It’s hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute growth, and companies are able to collect a ton of data. A lot of times, they try to collect everything, but collecting and analyzing all that data and being able to deliver that right report to the customer is very tough thing to do. And the customer is challenging them: I need data. I need you to tell me how accurate or what I can do better on your platform. How can I spend my money more wisely?
China is an emerging market. It grew so fast from an internet standpoint starting about 10 years ago. Companies just collect this data, but they don’t know what to do with that data. The customer wants the data but these companies don’t always have the infrastructure and ability and knowledge to be able to provide the data to the customer. The second thing is that they are afraid that if they put the data out, negative press will come out — that they are not putting things in the right perspective, or that the report they are sharing isn’t accurate. That is another reason why they are reluctant to share that information because their infrastructure isn’t ready.
Can you talk a bit about your investors and funding? What are your plans for acquisitions and expansions in the next year or so?
Starting two years ago, we became profitable. Next year, we are going to look for more funding in the second or third quarter. We are also thinking about acquisitions on mobile tracking and social tracking.
For expansion, we already have some customers in Southeast Asia and that is an area we’re looking to go as well. We’re already in China, Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore. But we’re going to start going to Jakarta, Thailand, Philippines and other areas in Southeast Asia. That’s our 18-month plan on acquisitions and expansions.
We’re also continuing to partner with bigger players, like Alibaba. I can’t say too much right now about that relationship, but in February, we’ll be releasing more information. Alibaba is about more than just advertising, so the relationship will be more like what we do with MediaV.
For programmatic buying overall in China, what do you see as the next step and the future?
It’s not going to become something like the US, at least for the next several years, because in China, they have the tendency to build the ecosystem themselves, all the way. In the states, you can break it up so there are all these players. But here, you will see, for example, Baidu trying to get more involved and build that whole ecosystem, so it’s all owned by one company. We’ll continue to see how they build those ecosystems efficiently, lend their knowledge, efficiency and crunch that data.
For Migo, we believe that mobile is going to pick up tremendously, so we will continue to have good relationships with the bigger players, and connect that with mobile and social sources, and we’ll be able to crunch all that data to be able to use marketing automation through our platform.