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Fireside Chat with Salil Shanker – VP at Amnet

We had the pleasure to talk to Salil Shanker – VP at Amnet and gain some insights into how they look at data, and how zeotap and its custom data segments play a key role in their mobile-first strategy.
You can read the full interview below:

  • Give us a little intro about yourself and the role at your company.

Currently I am leading the role of Vice President at AMNET India where my key responsibility is formulating Programmatic strategic direction and devising business development initiatives consistent with overall strategy in DAN. 
I have been in this industry for the past 13 years , where I started my journey with Search Engine Marketing at Group M Interaction. Being with Dentsu for more than 9 years now, I was given the opportunity to set up AMNET INDIA -Programmatic agency for DAN  4 years back. It’s been an amazing journey ever since with many opportunities to experiment and grow at the same time. 
Some of my key achievements have been launching India’s first products- Programmatic Radio, Programmatic Content and Programmatic Digital Out of Home which was delivered by associating with brands like SBI, Microsoft, DS Group, Maruti and JK Tyres. Such innovations, defy the gap between the physical (offline media) & digital world and challenges advertising approaches across channels. 
I am backed by a wonderful and hardworking team of tech geeks who are responsible for Business Development, Planning, Trading, and recently Amnet has created a data unit as well with expertise in big data analytics. All the elements in the team come together to deliver disrupting tech ideas that bring value to the brands and business. 
We at Amnet believe and consistently drive innovation by using data and tech in Programmatic space in the market for delivering best-in-class programmatic solutions for our brands. 

  •  What could you tell us about the data industry in India and how it has shifted over the past few years?

Data has become the new battleground for all brands. Data controls the outcome.  
Today we talk about targeted media as the efficient way of displaying digital ads and it is only possible by the use of data and technology together which help us understand when to reach a consumer in its journey.  
Speaking about India specifically, the level of digital penetration which we have seen, will further witness expansion with the onboarding  of more ISPs like Jio and other telecom players who are getting ready for war with investments worth of 20,000Cr in 2019 & 2020 Along with ISPs the growth and disruption is also led by big giants like Google, Facebook and other players coming up with engaging consumer platforms by keeping data as a key factor. 
According to the latest research, currently India sits at about a 500M internet users and a growth rate of 35% which is forecasted to grow to 800+M by 2021. In the digital marketing landscape, brand strategies have seen a shift from being centred around media first approach to data first approach. This way of working is definitely more efficient in terms of brand’s return on investments and leads to a more media efficacy. 
At Amnet, we deliver solutions from the data lens to enhance brand experiences for consumers and hence higher returns on investments for brands.
The intelligence to media buyers comes from the ability to evaluate each impression on its merit. The evaluation is possible because of data.

  • How does your company look into data and how is it used across the company? Which types of clients do you work with that demand the most data, and which types of campaigns do you mostly run for them? 

We at DAN think and do Digital first. Therefore, data is extremely important for us. Data backed media buying is the essence of Digital media advertisement. 
The data outlook at Amnet indeed goes beyond just media. We look at delivering data-driven solutions that solve business challenges than just mere media challenges. While keeping the brand in the center of interest, we analyse the different types of data sets at play and build a custom data architecture.
As brands we rely on multiple data sources to target the set audiences, they’re increasingly turning to data management platforms (DMPs) to import that data, find segments to target and send instructions to campaigns.  As per salesforce data, 20% of companies have been using a DMP for more than three years, an additional 21% are either currently implementing a DMP or have done so in the past year.  
Amnet works with the entire DAN portfolio of clients across verticals and our practice has been to always advocate the importance of data control to brands. Majorly brands from Auto, BFSI, Health, Education, Co-working Spaces demands most of data because of their Multi product range and specific audience requirement. 

  • Which zeotap’s data is mostly in demand? And how has it helped your clients?

Zeotap is the first company to source, refine and market deterministic data from telecom operators. It is important for us to connect with zeotap audience for targeting, insights and connect solutions to be able to deliver better results to our clients.  Mobile Device has now become the primary computing device for most of the users these days. The kind of content they consume and applications they use determine the behaviour of the user. Using zeotap we are able to hit right user based on the real apps they are using.
We have used zeotap’s crafted segment audiences for large advertisers across verticals – including FMCG, Automotive, BFSI, Home Appliances & Telecoms – and all the campaigns have reaped significant rewards since the deployment of the zeotap audience data segments. The data segmentation capabilities that come with zeotap are fueling our campaign performance on multiple programmatic tactics and audience targeting. 
With zeotap: App usage, Offline Visits and user’s Household Income data have been the most demanded user attributes that have also delivered the best campaign results so far. 

  • Can you share with us your most successful campaign with zeotap up to today?

 At Amnet we work with multiple clients across verticals and different data partners – so we compare eye-to-eye each audience-targeted campaign. Let me give you some examples. 
For our co-working spaces client,  data is critical to identify the right target audience – which we wanted to accomplish considering the brand KPI while promising better ROI through programmatic. Partnering with zeotap, we expanded our horizon on targeting capabilities to further leveraged untapped audiences. Thanks to zeotap’s deterministic mobile data at scale, we curated custom data segment for the client and targeted a niche audience in real-time while considering the quality of the consumers we were targeting. We also did A/B testing with various audience buckets from zeotap and non-zeotap audiences to identify the potential users. With zeotap’s deterministic data set, we were able to decrease our client’s campaign cost per click (CPC) by 46%, with an uplift of 75 % on viewability and +162% in CTR – compared to non-zeotap audiences. 
Telecom is another vertical for which zeotap helped identifying the right users by distinguishing and providing device-level details (iPhone 6S and above device targeting) that helped us strategize client’s ad spends by cross-selling of the campaign. Not only this, it helped us attain the on-target OTR’s that led to the overall campaign success. As a result, we delivered 45% higher click through’s and 14% lower cost per click. In addition to this, we also experienced a high Viewability rate of 76% & recorded 45% higher session depth that helped inflating the overall impact.

  • If you had to choose one word to describe zeotap, what would that be? And how would you describe the team at zeotap?  

Pioneering in Data driven Marketing.
It is great to work with the team at zeotap who are very responsive and take their job seriously. They create a great synergy between the Amnet team to develop and drive business solutions jointly. They are well equipped on their products and deliveries and it has always been a first call resolution with them. 
Kudos to the leadership and the team!

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