Wheels in Motion: Ready? Start-Up. Go!
FOCUS MAGAZINE Issue 65
Moving Marketing Mobile Emmanuel Allix, Founder and CEO of Singapore-based mobile media agency Art of Click, tells us about the start-up’s journey and the potential in mobile marketing in APAC.
Could you share with us about Art of Click and your start-up journey?
How does the landscape for mobile in APAC compare to Europe and North America?
Art of Click was born out of a desire for independence – independence not only thanks to the start-up model but also thanks to our clients. We chose not to rely on external investments, and instead our focus was on our sales power: our goal was to be profitable from day one. So we built a powerful in-house platform to support our core activity: digital advertising campaign management.
The APAC region is composed of emerging countries where internet consumption is purchased mainly through mobile. Just taking the last quarter of 2016, APAC stood as the leading region in terms of mobile connection penetration at 112%, with 1.48 billion people on smartphones and tablets (excluding China and India). We are therefore focusing on a ‘mobile-first’ strategy. On the other hand, in 2016, the US mobile market share was just 39.29% against 52.69% for desktop.
Over the span of six years, we have developed and expanded our set of services with a strong expertise in performance campaigns. Our solutions are tailored to the needs of each of our clients. Art of Click is now a 50+ entity with sales representatives across APAC. Our headquarters are based in Singapore and we have a second office in Manilla.
The second difference revolves around data privacy concerns. The APAC countries are still quite behind in comparison to the US and Europe. 2016 nevertheless witnessed a few important changes: the Filipino National Privacy Commission was formed, the Personal Data Protection Regulations was issued in Malaysia and an amendment to the South Korean IT Network Act was passed to make penalties more severe for data protection breaches. There is a shift towards a global alignment of those privacy laws, following the European consentbased model.
In 2016, we accepted an acquisition offer from Xurpas, which fits with our long-term strategy and our values. We then became part of the largest consumer technology company in the Philippines. This acquisition was made with two goals in mind: revenue synergy and complementary products. Xurpas is expanding its own panel of competences and driving a higher revenue thanks to a richer product. And today, with a leadership position consolidated by Xurpas’ network, we are looking forward to formidable growth opportunities in the market of mobile advertising.
Are there any exciting plans or projects for Art of Click that you might be able to share with us? Apart from the exciting challenges that our industry offers, we took a stand against digital ad fraud, which cost the industry US$7 billion (S$9.46 billion) in 2016. A need for transparency and clear return on ad spending has emerged. We are proud to introduce our anti-fraud tool, Art of Shield, which was the company’s primary objective in 2017. In 2018, as a Demand-Side Platform historically specialised in performance, we aim at broadening our market reach on the brandperformance side. With both a DMP technology (data management platform) and a programmatic department on the rise, this upcoming year is full of promises for Art of Click! F