Experience of introducing foreign technologies in the Russian market

AdIndex recently spoke with Michael Huseynov, Scanners CEO and Managing Partner Target 360 Blis Russia and Neil Cook, Global Development Director Blis about bringing Blis to Russia. To read this story in Russian click here. 

What market pain will this technology have to solve?

Michael Huseynov: Not only retailers, but also manufacturers of goods are increasingly concerned about the real effectiveness of digital advertising. Therefore, such interest has been growing over the past couple of years towards O2O and the impact of digital on increased traffic to stores. Blis’ unique tools and technologies, such as Smart Scale and Smart Pin, allow you to scale, verify and maximize your geo-targeting, as well as measure the effectiveness of campaigns by implementing your standard FFR (foot fall rate) – measuring “reach” based on the results of advertising campaigns.

Is there an alternative on the Russian market?

MH: Yandex and My.Target are significant players with whom we will compete in the hyperlocal advertising market; they have done a lot to create this market here in Russia. The huge amount of data and Smart Pin technology in the Blis platform, which is responsible for generating interests in the segments based on visits, will allow us to give advertisers an equally powerful competitive offer.

How does the technology / solution feel in other markets?

MH: The solution was launched in three new markets across Eastern Europe in 2018 and this year in Canada and Russia.

How difficult is it to implement a foreign solution in Russia?

MH: We believe that the key here, in addition to the effectiveness of the technical side of the solution, is the availability of both technical support and customer service, availability in the literal sense of the word – quick, detailed and understandable answers, prompt arrival to the client if necessary.

What can turn out “import substitution” in technology issues for our country?

MH: We do not observe it in advertising technologies, but if some protectionist measures are taken, this will negatively affect the quality of services, because we, unfortunately, are significantly behind the West in Adtech.

What technologies bring most often? And why?

MH: Only the solutions in RTB technologies are noticeable – I will assume that this is simply the effect of the scale of large corporations. Actual solutions in the field of CDP or CDAP we do not observe, probably there is no demand.

What technologies are definitely not worth bringing?

MH: Due to a serious factor of mistrust in technology (sometimes out of ignorance), it is not worth taking the next verifiers; it would be better if the domestic industry verifier appeared sooner.

What will we see in the next five years in the market?

MH: Fragmentation in the areas of knowledge (end-to-end analytics, affiliate programs, CDP with data exchange, special data sources) and the development of CDAP tools – Customer Data Activation Platform.

What tasks for advertisers should your technology solve?

Neil Cook: We live in a world of curation. Consumers often portray online the life they would like to lead, rather than the life they live in real life, leaving brands to take all their cues from online data. This creates a challenge for businesses in terms of how to truly understand and connect with audiences that will actually engage with their brand and buy what they are selling because they are typically only looking at part of the picture. Blis specialises in understanding real, human behaviour by analysing vast quantities of location data. By mapping real life, we get a more authentic view of consumer behaviour, and specifically purchase intent.

How does Blis develop in other markets?

NC: Blis believes that the only way to really develop a market is from within, using local experts on the ground. Whether this is through one of our 20 offices around the world, or through one of our 13 global resellers, local representation is key to understanding each market and how it operates.

A key area of focus for development in a new market is education. As the global leaders in real-world intelligence, we are continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible using location-based technologies. Our vision is to revolutionise the way businesses use data to understand people and places. And to fulfil that vision we provide the tools, analysis and insights to help you generate real results.

What works best is delivering real results and providing a premium experience for our customers. Blis helps brands truly understand what their audiences actually do in real life delivering better insights, leading to better creative campaigns and driving business results. Sharing a live demo of our technology is a very compelling way to showcase this.

What are the key challenges you face when entering a new market?

NC: Every market is unique and various factors need to be considered when launching in a new region, including technological, cultural, organisational, commercial, legislative and the labour market.

From a technological perspective, digital infrastructure plays an important role. We take into account smartphone adoption and the programmatic landscape, while balancing the transition to digital with the willingness of the market to adopt these new technologies. In addition, the combination of digital experts that understand the cultural nuances of the media landscape is key

Blis enables every client to lift the lid on their campaigns by offering full access to our Smart Platform with a variety of solutions that can be purchased in a flexible way via our DSP, or programmatically via a DSP of choice.  Having a local partner you trust is key to identifying, communicating, and navigating the issues identified and, in Target360 we have a partner we believe will enable this.

What processes will take place on the AdTech market in the next 5 years?

NC: With the growth of privacy regulation around the world, vendors that place privacy at the core of their businesses will thrive. For Blis, transparency is imperative and it’s something that has, and will continue to underpin our operations. The rise of eCommerce has led to hyper-effective targeting online. However, the retail landscape still exists and will continue to do so. Blis delivers measurable foot traffic to physical stores, improves consumer engagement and drive sales performance. The demand for improved measurement systems will increase. We’ve seen some of the world’s biggest brands pushing for an industry-wide cross-media measurement model and more and, as more brands align, the digital industry will need to respond with effective metrics.

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