Anuj Khanna Sohum talks about how data powers contextual mobile marketing – Business of Apps

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Started in 2006, today Affle is a global mobile technology company with its consumer platform helping advertisers acquire new users and engage with their existing consumers.

What is Affle’s core preposition for App Marketing?

Affle’s platform focuses on providing end-to-end solutions for App Marketing. Our MAAS (Mobile Audience as a Service) platform helps marketers to acquire new users backed by the consumer intelligence of over 1.18 Billion consumer profiles as at March 31, 2018 on our mDMP (Data Management Platform) platform while our mFaaS (Fraud Analytics as a Service) platform focuses on enhancing quality through fraud detection & prevention.

Our propositions for App Marketing recently strengthened with the acquisition of Vizury’s platform and business that allows us to offer solutions to boost App Usage through integrated retargeting.

Tell us more about Affle’s recent acquisition of Vizury’s business?

The Vizury platform offers an integrated solution for marketers to drive usage by retargeting relevant users over notifications, social and programmatic channels. We see this complementing the new user acquisition related strengths of our platforms and thus, expect this to significantly boost our propositions for e-commerce & app companies to reach high ROI shoppers and drive more transactions.

With this acquisition, Vizury’s commerce business and its related platform, team and customer contracts have all become part of Affle.

You talked earlier about your mDMP platform. How is that helping you deliver higher ROI to your clients?

Our mDMP Data Management platform enables insight-driven audience marketing using Appographic data (Apps used by a user), intent data (click or other action initiated by user), behavioural data (in-App actions) and transaction data (purchases by users). It helps process, visualise and synchronise data across marketing and inventory channels. mDMP allows marketers to reach out to the right audience by choosing from a wide range of segments.

In the last fiscal year (Apr’17- Mar’18), we enriched the mDMP with over 140 Billion data points for 1.18 Billion consumer profiles spread across India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa, North America, Europe, Japan, Korea and Australia.

How is Affle differentiated from other players in the sector?

Our twin approach of optimising over good data (from our mDMP) and filtration of bad data (from our fraud platform “mFaaS”) together with ad unit optimisations on our mkr8 platform, has helped us to consistently find the most relevant and ROI worthy consumers for our advertisers.

In our key markets like India, this is even a greater problem to solve as the number of internet users were more than 445 Million in the year 2017, with the total e-commerce shoppers being estimated to be only ~80 – ~100 Million India can be a hard market to sustain, even for market participants who are globally successful. Frost & Sullivan believes that achieving profitability in such a price-sensitive market is possible only for companies that are familiar with the dynamics of consumer profiles and have a track record of working alongside brands locally for years. (Source: Frost & Sullivan Report). Therefore, we believe our extensive consumer profile data, proprietary technology and local knowledge makes us better placed compared to global peers to deliver profitability in India.

A recent report says advertisers will lose a whopping US$19 billion as a result of ad fraud in 2018. How this platform would help in preventing and reducing this?

As I mentioned earlier, we are trying to plug this gap with our Fraud Analytics as a Service Platform (mFaaS) which utilizes two primary interventions (device and server based) as part of its detection technology. The platform detects and flags potentially fraudulent conversions and transactions on 15+ reason codes, which includes click spamming, conversion hijacking, app version frauds, BOT/simulator activity, and many IP related fraud types. We have recently also filed 7 patents for some of proprietary algorithms for fraud detection.

How is Affle working with traditional retail companies & brands?

While a good part of our business is targeted to App Marketing & e-commerce, we also work extensively with traditional brands and retail companies to help them in their Offline to Online (O2O) transformations using our Markt O2O commerce platform.

When was Affle founded and how the journey has been so far?

We started the international business in the year 2005 in Singapore and today we have several offices spread across Asia. In this period, we have won the trust of several well-known clients and notable investors of Affle Holdings Pte. Ltd. like Microsoft, D2C (a subsidiary of NTT DoCoMo), Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd., Itochu amongst others.

We have also built a patent portfolio with three patents to our credit in the US in the areas of Consumer Acceptable Advertising, contextual Ads on messaging etc. while we have also filed seven new patent applications covering various algorithms of digital ad fraud detection in India.

Apart from this, the iMDA in Singapore has also accredited our platforms for data/information security. It gives us immense pride as it makes us amongst the first few companies in our domain to be accredited by a very well-respected government body. This accreditation is based on audits/ assessment of security, reliability, usability and maintainability of the products/ platforms/ processes and is done by the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (iMDA).