ADOTAS – Founded in 2006, Sponsormob is one of those rare companies that has really changed the landscape of online advertising. The firm is the first CPA Network for the mobile Internet. Having such a title is both exciting and daunting for a company to maintain. Speaking to cofounder and CEO Peter Glaeser about the history and the future of the company, Sponsormob is still very much ahead of the curve.
ADOTAS: Sponsormob is an industry leader in the truest sense of the term. Explain your foresight in creating the first affiliate/CPA network for mobile devices. What motivated you to go into mobile?
GLAESER: My business partner Jet [Patel, cofounder and COO] and I have been working for a number of years in online marketing on the advertiser’s side. We worked in many different industries throughout our careers and saw two major trends taking place in digital advertising.
The first was that more businesses were gravitating towards true performance marketing. The second was that mobile Internet usage was skyrocketing. You put these things together and that’s how we decided to start our own mobile Internet Affiliate/CPA network.
How did you pick your team to grow the company to where it is today? Was it organic or did you have an idea who you wanted to work with from the beginning?
It was fully organic. It’s hard because if you want a certain quality of people they are usually employed elsewhere. In Europe you must wait three to six months to leave a job. Because of this you must start looking very far in advance from when you actually need to fill a position.
How has your client base changed since the company has started?
We started out selling games and music for the major mobile entertainment companies in Europe and North America. This took up the bulk of our business efforts until mobile apps came out. Now they’re competing for the same traffic. So our business is shifting towards app publishers.
We run the gamut of advertisers now, both people well established with mobile advertising and many new to mobile, which we’ll get to in a moment. With apps having become so wildly popular there are definitely both pros and cons to using them for your campaign.
The pro for us is that the marketing lifetime on any app is about three months, which inevitably increases our demand. The potential problem with that however, is that in order for a client to be successful they must continue to produce new apps to stay current.
How do you address concerns over privacy with mobile advertising? Everyone expects targeted adds to a certain degree but how do you toe the line between innovation and invasiveness?
The rules are the same as online. Certain content gets paid for. If the content is free to the user than there is revenue to be gained for advertisers. Germany has the strictest laws when it comes to protecting identifiable data.
We don’t use unencrypted device IDs. We can’t keep any raw data for more than 90 days. We don’t record GPS data. IP addresses can only be kept for seven days. We only look at general information on your phone such as country registration, language setting, and day of the week, etc. in order to tailor the advertising experience.
What can you tell me about Host & Post and Click To Call? How will this innovate mobile ads for advertisers?
We’ve learned two things in the past three to six months. A lot of advertisers don’t have a lot of experience in building good mobile landing pages. And there are industries for whom it doesn’t make sense to have lengthy sign ups on the phone – finance, cable, etc.
Those that have lack of experience will highly benefit from Host & Post. This is a platform in which we build the creative material for the advertiser and submit the user information in real-time through a standardized gateway. All we need is a gateway. The benefits are that campaigns start faster with better, more accurate results and inevitably produce higher volume.
With Click To Call, we build a small mobile landing page with a call button where the user can directly call the advertiser. All we need is a phone number. There’s no further integration necessary. This lets us start very quickly.
The validity of the call is defined by its duration. A valid lead is longer time, generally a minute or more. It lends mobile advertising to the entire offline world. We are starting the first campaigns this week.
Where do you see the company a year from now? The industry as a whole?
I believe that Host & Post and Click To Call will be our main focus for the time being. It will help us expand into other countries. Anything that does well will be picked up by other players. I anticipate you will see other versions of these platforms get integrated in other companies’ suites. This will be a key trend in mobile advertising.
The demand for mobile traffic is growing faster than the supply. What that means is the quality advertisers with large budgets will have a big advantage for some time over their competitors. It is time for all advertisers to explore their mobile options.