Mobco CEO on future of AdTech Industry post-Corona

Mobco CEO on future of AdTech Industry post-Corona

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April 5, 2020

Q&A with Mobco CEO,
Tomer Hen

By Evangeline Jesse Godwin

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Q: In the wake of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), we have seen panic spread across nations and industries. Business across sectors are reporting losses with widespread consequences. What is the status and the impact of this pandemic on the AdTech industry?

A: What is happening in the world right now reinforces the age-old saying- life is unpredictable. Although we did hear about the COVID-19 news and happenings in Wuhan, China, no one could have predicted the mass scale and repercussions of this global pandemic. It is unfortunate and my thoughts go out to all the people who have been affected directly or indirectly by the spread of this disease.

Yes, as is expected, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many businesses to a screeching halt. The change in consumer behaviour brought about by the necessities of the times has impacted the demand and conversely the supply of commodities and services. We’ve seen a slump in many industries like Travel and Leisure that has raised many doubts and uncertainties on the progress of their businesses.

With a vast majority of people working from their homes, we have seen a gradual rise in the number of people and time spent online. While we have noticed a decline in the demand for certain commodities and services, we have also witnessed a surge in DIY content, news, and gaming. To put it simply, what we are noticing right now in the Ad Tech Industry is a seesaw of demand across verticals. 

Much like a pebble dropped in a pond, stakeholders across the globe feel the ripple of this pandemic. We have seen Publishers forced to take cuts and relook at campaigns based on its content. We’ve seen Advertisers pause certain campaigns and push others. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the Ad Tech Industry. However, rooted in the Industry’s nature is its resilience. We have seen businesses alter and adapt its campaigns in solidarity with the community, yet, striving to still be relevant.

Q: And what of Mobco? Has the ongoing crisis dented your business and its functioning?

A: With the interest of our employees at heart and to do our bit to safeguard the global community, we have altered our approach to our operations. Our employees from across the world have switched to a work-from-home model until it is advisable to resume our regular office-based operations. That said, it is still business as usual at Mobco. Our team is striving to provide our partners with the standard that they have come to expect of us. We are working independently and yet, as one unit to ensure that our respective campaigns get the attention required to guarantee the best results.

Without delving too much into it, as stated above, much like our colleagues in the industry, we have made necessary adjustments to our campaigns, like placement, tone, creative, and even prioritizing campaigns according to the times. Mobco’s array of verticals has also worked to balance the decline in certain verticals, with the rise in others.

We cater to Performance and Brand Awareness campaigns, and each has had to alter strategies owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, branding campaigns are vulnerable as they must adapt to what their audiences are watching. Gaming or shopping (performance advertisers, usually) might not need to change their approach as people are staying at home, kids are off school and obviously playing more games and consuming content. That said, people are now hesitant to spend money on unnecessary expenses, this means one might mainly get an engaged user, but not necessarily a paying one. This might be a good hook to get more attention to your app and drive your revenues when the economy picks up. We have advised our Gaming Advertisers to promote social sharing incentives and freemium features to be offered during those months, so they can attract more users at a lower cost, and stick with them until they are more “open” to pay for virtual goods/content.

Q: What advice would you give your fellow digital marketers to help them navigate through these challenging times?

A: Adapt. The Ad Tech Industry is dynamic. There are regular and consistent advancements in technology and approach. We as stakeholders in the industry have learned to adapt and adopt these changes to thrive. Our ability to adapt defines our progress in this Industry. It is pivotal for us as colleagues and especially for start-ups in this Industry to adapt to this situation. We must observe trends and make necessary adjustments and changes where applicable to remain sensitive yet relevant. Our agility to adapt to changes brought about by external forces and situations also determines our survival in this Industry. We must always be prepared for the unexpected in our attitude. When our attitude is one that is prepared to take on the challenge and not break under the pressure then we have already won half the battle.

Q: In your opinion, how do you see the Ad Tech Industry functioning over the span of the next few months? How does the future of Ad Tech seem in these uncertain times?

A: I would be remiss to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the Ad Tech Industry. But, collectively, we are persistent. We will experience changes to our businesses over the next few weeks until we are back on our feet. However, this does not spell the death or end of the Industry. We are simply in a time where we must adapt to a new situation. While as an industry we may not experience exponential growth during this period, with cautious and necessary changes, we will see small, yet sustained growth which far exceeds the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. As for these uncertain times, as the saying goes – this too shall pass.

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