Chen Levanon is the CEO of ClicksMob a mobile performance advertising network that’s been making waves with very rapid growth over the past two years and has developed a growing reputation for the quality and scope of its technology platform. Chen is an MBA graduate and previously worked in investment banking as well as finding time to compete as a champion hurdler. We caught up with her recently to hear more about the Clicksmob story and get her views on the wider mobile advertising market.
Can you tell us a bit about ClicksMob and how you’re positioned in the mobile advertising market?
ClicksMob is a performance platform dedicated to better mobile advertising. There are zero barriers to entry for performance networks today, yet we decided not to take any shortcuts: our technology is our own, our team is the best you will find. ClicksMob’s technology paired with a human touch gives us our edge.
One thing you are known for is your strong technology platform – why did you decide to invest in this and what benefits does it bring?
Focus enables excellence. If we’re focused on mobile performance, we’re going to do it in the best way possible, this means we can’t rely on outside sources for our core operation. Thanks to our technology we can deliver better traffic. Because we don’t pay a third party for tracking on a click basis, we can afford to deliver traffic that has a low CR level at a very high quality.
You are also known for having a strong team – what type of people do you look to recruit at ClicksMob and how do you get the best out of them as CEO?
The mobile market is growing fast, which is why you want the best in the field. These are the top three features we look for when recruiting:
- Competitive go getters who will stop at nothing to take the gold.
- Multitaskers who can do three things at once without missing a beat.
- Fun people. If we enjoy working together, our clients and partners will also enjoy working with us.
What are the main geographic markets for you right now and where are you seeing the most growth?
No matter where the market is growing, the heartbeat is San Francisco, which is why we’ve decided to move our HQ there. Besides San Francisco, we’re seeing tons of growth in South East Asia and Latin America.
What types of advertisers do you work with and what do you look for in a good advertising partner?
Our best advertisers are those who are willing to invest in creating a partnership for “hands off” user acquisition. User acquisition is a no brainer – LTV>CPI and you’ll yield success. You don’t need to manage this yourself, you can fire back advanced events to us and we can do it for you. It does require a one-time investment in time to get it set up. After that we can optimize and work for our clients while they focus on their core business. For partners like this we can create a steady stream of new users for a win-win.
What types of offers are working well right now on your network and which verticals (games, apps, dating, ecommerce etc) do you think have the most potential for further development?
Our publishers have done amazingly well with Worldwide utility campaigns. Campaigns such as OLX in ecommerce and Zoosk in dating have been very lucrative for them. Other campaigns that we really recommend trying out: DU Battery and UC Browser.
How important are individual affiliates/ media buyers vs other sources of traffic such as publishers or other networks to ClicksMob?
Small “indies” are just as important as big networks. Small media buyers and affiliates can drive traffic that big networks can’t. This is exactly the reason we invest in an account manager for each of our publishers; big or small everyone has personal service. It’s also the reason we invest in marathons, to make it fun and worthwhile for publishers to remain loyal to our network. For example, this fall we’re giving out an iPhone 6 to publishers who beat their record by 30%!
Fraud is one of the biggest issues for all mobile ad networks – how do you deal with this at Clicksmob?
Everyone in this industry suffers from fraud. If you say you haven’t, you’ve either just started, or you’re not being honest. We’re constantly developing new solutions, and discovering new fraud detection methods. For example, a few weeks ago a CPA campaign we were running was delivering fantastic results. The advertiser was seeing 8% of users completing their first purchase within one week of install. Payouts were increased, and we were prepared to crank up volume.
Turns out, the tracking system was being defrauded to show purchases being completed which weren’t. It’s only when we created a triangular cross reference between our servers, tracking companies and the advertisers to eradicate traffic like this.* Dealing with fraud will always be an issue, but the key is to stay hands on and detect early and correct quickly.
What other companies do you respect in the mobile advertising space?
One of our favorites is Supersonic. They’ve recently expanded from the incent space, and they’re a great company to work with.
What are the main trends you see in the mobile advertising market for 2014-15?
We’d like to see a shift to CPE and CPA campaigns. We’d like advertisers to be more sophisticated and for quality to increase. We also expect an influx of brand budgets on mobile.
What mobile devices do you use?
I’m an iPhone junkie, never got used to Android devices.
What’s your favourite app?
WhatsApp. We use it internally all the time, and it’s a huge time saver.
If ClicksMob was an animal what would it be and why?
A Cheetah. Faster than any other.