Hello and welcome to another episode of Ephlux Insights video series. My name is Babar Khan, I am the Entrepreneur in Residence of his program. WE are joined today by Dmitry Fedetov, the founder and CEO of Multichannel Group. An expert in Innovation, he established his firs technology start-up during his first semester of studying digital media economics at the University of Applied Science
Hello Babar. Thank you very much for this warm introduction. I’m Dmitry Fedetov and I’m the founder and CEO of Multichannel Group. What we do here is very fascinating as we work with Artificial Intelligence in order to enhance our customer’s marketing campaigns. We’re using a lot of smart algorithms, technologies that we have developed ourselves. Today, I would like to talk about how we really target the audience and what are the trends in this area. Many of you have been worried about intrusions into your personal life, in the States recently, and a lot of buzz about companies who have been collecting all kinds of information about people without them knowing that. I would like to underline that this is true, to a certain extent, but perhaps not as bad as you think.
In order to establish a baseline, I would like to do hands on approach. Now, most of the viewers of this video, I assume, will be using smart phones. I think the biggest platforms currently trending are Android and iOS. I’d be concentrating on those. You see this link here [View to see your location history on Google – https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/b/0 ] and you can look up where you have been through the past few days. You can look up your location history on your Android or iPhone device and based on this what I’m going to share with you is going to make more sense.
Mobile marketing is quite a famous space, but targeting seems to implicate an immediate ROI. Can you share your view on it?
Right. Many people don’t imagine how targeting works and precisely can we correctly target the content. Especially given this technology in mobile. We have discovered ways to target people who are passing a certain location on workdays. For example, if you are on your way to work on a daily basis, and you’re passing a convenient store that is some take away coffee. Okay, practical example, currently we are able to target a person based on which days this person passes a convenient store, for example if you are going to work from Monday to Friday. Every day at 8 am we can target you when you pass the store. We can track your habits using your own devices. Your own devices can basically spam you!
That’s a scary thought. Aren’t people concerned about cyber fraud or phone hacking?
One of the most interesting things we discovered was that the customers were hugely exposed to cyber fraud, especially in search engine advertisement. We discovered that there are a number of cyber gangs. We might call them. They take a sector of website that they create, put for advertisement and then they hire, or already have, an army of clickers, such as click on this ad, close this window and then click on another. In extreme scenario, we have seen that about t0% of the budget might be wasted on this and surprisingly we have been pressed that the publishers do not really want help.
Could you give us an industry overview with examples on information collection, mobile targeting technologies, cross device tracking and how relevant information is utilized for big data?
I will not go into the depths of this term. I would rather prefer to talk about what will happen to this big data. Now, corporations, governments, all possible organizations, were able to collect, store, all possible information about customers, residents, citizens. Now, collecting and storing data doesn’t really bring you any benefit. It’s not a purpose, this data must be applicable. I think the companies will start collecting less information, which will be much more relevant.
What are the current hot topics in the industry?
There are a number of interesting trends out there. Sometimes, they are kind of on the surface but you have to really draw the line between dots to understand it. One of the examples of a hidden agenda is the acquisition of nest by Google. Imagine the company that has information already, now is able to know when you’re home, what are your habits are, how long do you watch TV and so on and so forth, it is an incredible source of data collection that nest brought to Google. One of the practical applications at the Los Vegas was Role out of Amazon; it is definitely a future technology. At the same time, Amazon have unveiled, basically you will receive goods, books, whatever, before you even order it. [Check Amazon automated shipping goods that you did not order … yet! – [http://techcrunch.com/2014/18/amazon-pre-ships/] Amazon is so confident that what you need, what you haven’t even thought about, they will take a risk to send it to you. Isn’t that amazing?
What can be expect in the future from the world of mobile marketing pertaining improved targeting, publishers and ROI orientation?
I think another trend that is quite big right now is globalization. We have bee ntalking about this a lot, really a lot. However, right now it is quite visible that businesses struggle to survive, unless we have a reach to the whole world. Whatever you do, unless you’re selling pizzas at a local store, and you don’t want to expand, you really are better off selling worldwide and there are really not that many obstacles between doing that. Here, at Multichannel we are solving part of this problem by giving you access to publishers like Bay Du China or Yung Russia on top of Google, and Accenture, Bing and Yahoo. One more trend that is quite interesting and was a hot topic for a couple of years was re-targeting. Now, re-targeting is a very interesting technology. Basically, it tracks a person that went onto a certain website, make a purchase. Re-targeting works in a way to tracka person across different publishers – face book or LinkedIn or Google Search and tries to pull this person back to the website where the deal is happening. the thing is that this technology needs to be improved. We are quite underway here. The practical approach will be that you will be approached with an offer even if you made a purchase. Re-targeting must be a little bit more intelligent – distinguishing between people who have already made the approaches and unlikely to do it again and the customers who didn’t really make the purchase are reasonably fair to track.
Now, speaking about the monetization. I’m currently amazed and cautious about the ways of monetization in digital media, in IT industry. You don’t have to make profits to be successful. It is somewhat alarming to me. Of course cost of money is not that high, interest rates are very low, yet it is somehwat unreasonable to invest to a business that doesn’t make profit, and it’s exactly what’s happening. The companies that go public recently, never posted profits, yet they have a very successful IPO. This is one of the concerns that I have in terms of the technology sector.
Secondly, the difficulty of fund-raising for start-ups. We are facing the same issue, there’s term used for the Silicon Valley that is the Death Valley. Now, if a start-up in this area, it’s difficult to have someone trust it. So, when you see a tech crunch, news about deals, usually it is the company that has a track record of few years. It is unusual for a company that is a pure start-up to raise funding right after it started business.
Are you by any chance open to external investors and if so how can they get in touch?
Absolutely. If any of your viewers, are interested in investment in highly intelligent and promising company such as Multichannel, they can approach me.
Thanks for the opportunity Dmitry, we look forward o the next session featuring case studies.
Thank you for this opportunity.