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CEO of AdMobilize sheds light on the world’s first ‘plug and measure’ audience analytics tool for DOOH advertising

By Nurlan Urazbaev,
Editor-in-Chief, Digital Signage Pulse

Friday, May 8, 2015

Exclusive interview for Digital Signage Pulse.
By Nurlan Urazbaev.

I spoke with Rodolfo Saccoman, CEO of AdMobilize, the company that recently launched a platform designed to raise the accountability of out-of-home campaigns to the level of online ‘pay-per-click’ advertising.

It is often forgotten that Google became the giant it is now largely due to the fact that it created an advertising system that went beyond the obscure ‘impressions’, directly to the ‘cost-per-interaction’ (pay-per-click) and ‘cost-per-transaction’ model. Online advertising suddenly started to make sense and became truly accountable, leaving the CPM model in the dust.

I have always supported the efforts to bring digital out-of-home advertising to the AdWords-type standard of accountability. Much of my work at BroadSign was dedicated to building the cost-per-interaction ROI mechanisms in the digital signage software.

That’s why the announcement by AdMobilize caught my eye.

Rodolfo in new office

Rodolfo Saccoman, CEO of AdMobilize

Here is what the AdMobilize chief had to say:

NU: Why did you decide to create the AdBeacon? What specific problem does it solve?

RS: The AdBeacon® is a patent-pending product that provides a turnkey solution to a major problem: the lack of intelligent ROI metrics for offline advertising.

AdMobilize was founded for the purpose of bringing online-type accountability and insight to the world of out-of-home advertising. We believe our team has the ability to anticipate systemic bottlenecks 2-3 years ahead of their time and then come up with intuitive products that solve those problems.

The AdBeacon and AdDashboard® suite of products allow OOH and DOOH operators, advertising agencies, billboard manufacturers, and brands to determine how efficiently their ad dollars are being spent. Furthermore, our proprietary algorithms provide ways to target ads and measure their performance in real-time. These tools can be integrated with content management systems (CMS, aka digital signage software), and their data can be fed into demand-side platforms (DSPs) and data management platforms (DMPs).

At present only a small portion of the millions of existing static and digital OOH advertising assets are ‘smart’, i.e., equipped with modern analytics. The AdBeacon allows you to make any asset a “smart hub”. And it only takes a minute to install it.

NU: The announcement said that your platform is the ‘world’s first’. It is true that there is a great demand for affordable and scalable automated analytics for DOOH advertising, and there are quite a few suppliers of such technology already. With that in mind, what makes your solution the world’s first?

RS: I appreciate this question, Nurlan. We have a brilliant team of “thinkers” at AdMobilize, and our primary goals are to make our products affordable, scalable and easy to implement. Indeed, the AdBeacon is the world’s first device that fits in the palm of a hand, provides highly accurate metrics in real-time and can convert any street-level asset into a smart hub within a minute. We like to think that what the AdBeacon is doing for offline analytics is what the iPod did for music.

Additionally, our back-end technology is a powerfully engineered robust system based on the most advanced API protocols, which allows us to integrate our technology with virtually any system used by our industry partners.

NU: Could you describe what exactly AdBeacon does and what exactly it measures?

RS: The AdBeacon measures and aggregates audience metrics such as age, ethnicity, gender, dwell time, gaze-through ratio, peak times, impressions, views, and even a range of emotions. All this data is captured in real-time, allowing clients to evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts while the campaign is in progress.

The AdDashboard’s functionality allows advertisers and networks to make sense of the data collected by AdBeacons. Its power is in the rich data, the ability to analyze it from different angles, and in the way the results are presented visually.

We are students of Apple’s intuitive UI/UX school of design. Thus, we make our products not only aesthetically pleasing but also truly intuitive as far as the user experience is concerned.

We offer free demos that show how we have re-imagined the analytics for the industry.


NU: Are you in competition with electronic audience measurement providers such as Quividi?

RS: I believe in the concept of “coopetition” and welcome conversations with Quividi and other companies working to improve accountability of the OOH medium. I have great respect for companies that push the envelope of innovation.

NU: What was the DOOH advertising industry’s response to your initial announcement? Are any of the networks or agencies testing your platform? If they do, could you tell us about that in more detail?

RS: We announced the availability of the AdBeacon platform a couple of weeks ago and the response has surpassed our expectations. We have already started shipping the product to clients and are also in conversations with operators, manufacturers, brands, and agencies (ranging from very small to publicly traded) in the USA, Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Africa.

In addition, we have been privately piloting the technology with several key players in the industry for about two months. The results are very positive and prove that our technology works as promised.

Furthermore, these companies are realizing that AdMobilize can become their “Innovation Lab”. While we are working on the complex tech systems, they are testing and optimizing the pilot campaigns, add incremental lines of revenues, and learn how to apply the unprecedented intelligence to the supply chain. Case studies and testimonials are currently being devised and will be shared in the coming weeks.

NU: There is an ongoing discussion in the DOOH industry about standardizing the ad ROI metrics and agreeing on market-wide currencies. What metrics does AdBeacon use and how well are they received by your customers?

RS: Standardizing metrics and agreeing on market-wide currencies is a utopian scenario at this moment, in my opinion. I think it will take time for that to materialize. So the question is: what happens from now until then?

At one point in my career I was a trader with Morgan Stanley, and have been enamored by the concept of data, real-time tickers, market forces, and consumer sentiment analysis.

Digital advertising and its bidding platforms have many similarities to how stocks are traded and there are many lessons to be learned. As an example, it would be amazing if networks could charge advertisers by the number of people that actually saw the ad on a screen or acted on it, and then serve ads based on the analysis of behavior of the measured audience. Our technology can provide the tools to make that a reality in DOOH advertising right now.

Speaking about the ROI currencies, why couldn’t the DOOH industry adopt a model similar to the pay-per-click model that has served the online industry so well? A few years back we trademarked several concepts including, Pay-Per-Face, Pay-Per-Look, and so forth. Our technology can serve as one of the missing connections between the dots, from campaign creation to bidding, to serving, to tracking, to charging, and then formulating predictive patterns to improve the entire process. The time to do it is now. There are billions of dollars that should be re-allocated to OOH and digital OOH advertising.

NU: Please give us a little more background about your company, AdMobilize.

RS: If you look back at the history of innovation, there is always an inflection point where an industry is prepared to embrace a disruptive solution or product. We started AdMobilize because we believed that advertisers deserved more in terms of campaign effectiveness metrics and we thought that the industry would be ready for our technology.
Malcolm Gladwell, who will be speaking at the OAAA Conference in San Diego next week, describes this readiness as our industry’s “tipping point”.

Creating a new product such as the AdBeacon requires cohesion of software, hardware, and user interface. Apart from some serious investment, it takes a mix of art and science to get a product right. I think we are there now.

At its core, AdMobilize is an Internet of Things big data technology company that was born to help bring about the convergence of the physical world and the online grid. We have assembled an incredible board of advisors that include the former Chief Scientist at PayPal, Mok Oh; and Kurt Holstein, serial entrepreneur and founder of Rosetta Digital which was sold to Publicis for $575M; and Dr. Noel Elman, Chairman of the Elman Research Group at MIT, among others.

We like to think that what AdMobilize is creating for the offline world is what Google has achieved for the online universe. Indeed, it is a lofty goal, but AdMobilize’s team is solid and we believe we are one of the most agile high-tech companies around.

I welcome anyone interested to contact us to schedule a demo of the AdBeacon, or visit our offices in Miami Beach, London, or Bogota.

We are currently working on three other ‘internet of things’ products, in stealth mode for the moment, which we will be launching in the next couple of months.


Published on Friday, May 8, 2015 at 1:56 AM

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