Epom Mobile Market CEO Anton Ruin on Mobile Advertising
The Epom Mobile Market connects publishers and advertisers in one unified mobile ad exchange platform. Anton Ruin became the CEO of Epom itself in 2012, and since then he’s already seen the mobile advertising industry grow at a rate that has exceeded his expectations. We spoke with Anton to discuss how the Epom Mobile Market stands out from the rest of the mobile ad network pack, what he thinks are the big trends in the industry this year, and even found out what his favourite app is.
Epom CEO Anton Ruin
There are hundreds of mobile advertising networks and platforms in the market today – how does Epom Market stand out?
Our goal is to satisfy every need our clients may have. That’s why Epom offers all standard IAB mobile ad formats and a few exclusive solutions of our own development (including UniMobile and custom interstitials). This helps us stand out from numerous mobile platforms. We came up as pioneers with a unique mobile solution – UniMobile footer ad. This ad placement is highly effective on mobile sites due to its excellent CTR, which leads to higher revenues and is a great solution for apps and desktop sites without mobile optimization. The UniMobile solution makes it possible to monetize mobile traffic that otherwise would be wasted. Epom’s JS tag, when placed on the site, detects the device type and shows certain ads to mobile users only. This guarantees extra income for publishers.
Another outstanding solution Epom offers is mobile interstitial ads. At this point we can proudly say that we have the best fill rate for this ad format on the market. With Epom, every impression is monetized and CPM rates are extremely high and competitive, which significantly increases revenues.
You recently raised $7m in funding – what has enabled Epom to attract this investment?
It’s been almost a year since the previous round of funding took place, and Epom has shown truly significant results. In particular, the company has created an ad serving solution for networks and ad agencies and developed an RTB system, thus getting more visibility in the B2B segment. Epom has also signed partnerships with large clients, which demand a custom approach. Not to mention we’ve doubled the amount of served impressions as an ad network. These facts have proven that the company is recognized and shows promising prospects.
We are glad Epom has attracted another investment as it lets us develop in numerous directions simultaneously: as a highly customisable ad server for large clients and as an RTB network offering a range of unique features.
What mobile ad formats are most successful on your platform right now and how do you see this evolving?
I think that an ad platform should be able to offer its clients every format they may require, this is why Epom offers both standard and expandable banners, as well as HTML 5 Rich Media and video ads. It’s really important for us to guarantee the best results, therefore we mainly focus on the promising formats. I would like to point a few of them out — mobile video ads and interstitials are the most successful and rapidly growing mobile ad formats. During the past year we’ve increased the amount of both mobile video ads and interstitials served by more than 2 times, and this tendency is supposed to continue in 2014 as well.
What impact is RTB trading having on the mobile ad market and how is Epom working in this area?
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of RTB for the entire digital industry. Personally, I’m sure it is the future of mobile advertising. RTB is all about process improvement and it is supposed to make online marketing even more powerful. Since we want to grow and become more vigorous, we’ve come to the decision that an RTB system is essential for Epom. For a year we have had a team of IT specialists working on the RTB system development. Right now the RTB system is at the stage of final testing. It is already integrated with 5 DSPs, one of them focusing entirely on the mobile segment.
You’re offering publishers attractive CPMs of up to $3.70 – how are you able to achieve this?
We’ve been on the market for several years now, and have established sustainable relations with a huge number of key players in the digital sphere. Our publishers receive such attractive CPM rates due to the lasting partnerships Epom has with large advertisers.
Mobile is a confusing market for many advertisers – what advice do you have for successful media buying in mobile?
What may seem confusing about mobile is that it differs from display advertising. It’s relatively new, it’s fresh, and it’s rapidly changing. I’m sure in 3-5 years it will prevail in online marketing. It’s already happening – we are living in the world of smartphones and tablets.
The great thing about the mobile segment right now is that it’s a perfect time period for experiments. It’s important to continue trying something new. I think my advice would work for everyone – don’t be afraid to take risks. Launch campaigns, analyse the results, change the conditions, and then start all over again. It’s still the dawn of mobile, and you have a chance to become an expert in a growing industry. I’ve been working in this direction for over 2 years and it’s great to observe how fast mobile advertising is changing and to have the opportunity to make an impact on it.
Another important thing for successful mobile media buying (and not only mobile) is to absorb pioneers’ experience and knowledge. I am proud to note that our team at Epom consists of truly experienced professionals, who are ready to consult our partners and clients in case they need help finding a proper solution.
What do you think are the big trends in mobile advertising for 2014?
This year should bring solutions to the biggest problems businesses have experienced in mobile advertising.
The task with the highest priority is to improve the measurement mechanism. Due to the fact there are no cookies on mobile, it is extremely important to be able to portray the customer’s image. This can be done with the help of deep cross-platform research and analysis. This year should be marked by the development of purchase path tracking mechanisms and the creation of a unified, standardized framework of mobile ad measurements. I see this as something that is likely to happen, due to the growing cooperation of IAB, DMA & MMA members.
Another trend is the growing diversification of mobile ad formats – they are becoming more and more creative. Innovative rich media formats are already being developed and will offer a fresh take on mobile advertising.
Sharing and engagement is slowly becoming part of the core of mobile advertising, thus changing the media-buying process. CPM is very likely to be replaced by Cost Per Engagement (CPE) and Cost Per View (CPV) purchasing models, and that’s not surprising, since it’s not the quantity of the views that counts now but rather their quality.
Tendencies in mobile advertising are closely related to the changes in the tech world. While users are receiving faster internet — advertisers are getting new opportunities in video advertising. While users are offered more sophisticated devices — advertisers can develop new strategies separating smartphones from tablets.
I’m really impressed with the speed with which things are changing in the mobile segment and I’m sure that by 2015 mobile advertising will be completely different – more influential, more innovative.
We’re seeing more and more exciting mobile advertising companies coming out of Ukraine and Eastern Europe – is this a good region to start a mobile ad business in?
Eastern Europe, and Ukraine in particular, are showing impressive results in the global IT sphere, and thus the mobile ad business too.
I would say it’s a good place to start any kind of digital business largely due to the highly qualified human resources. IT specialities are extremely popular in all the Ukrainian universities, and there is already an established community of profound IT specialists ready to share knowledge and experiences. The availability of ambitious and educated people, the ability to target numerous markets, and the ability to enter the global market with no excessive deposit required are all factors that make IT one of the most promising industries in terms of potential investment.
What devices do you use (phones, tablets)?
I’m a fan of Apple devices, mainly because I like their approach of creating perfect products. Currently I use both an iPad and iPhone.
What’s your favourite app ?
I usually use my mobile devices for working purposes, which is why I give proper respect to social networking apps as they are really helping me to stay informed and connected.
Anton highlights the power of mobile advertising, especially how he thinks it will prevail over online marketing in the next few years. What can’t be denied is the hugely impressive growth of the mobile ad market and the constant innovation that is required to keep pushing the industry forward – as Anton says, the diversification of mobile ad formats is a large part of this. We would like to thank Anton for his time in answering our questions.