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Fireside Chat with Bharat Khatri – Country Lead at Xaxis India

We had the pleasure to talk to Bharat Khatri – Country Lead at Xaxis India and gain some insights into how they look at data, and how Zeotap plays a key role in its strategy.

Xaxis has been collaborating with Zeotap which has consistently improved the outcomes that they have been able to deliver to their clients thanks to its deterministic data at scale: from 1.6x better On-Target Reach to 3x more conversions. 

You can read the full interview below:

1. Give us a little intro about yourself and your role at Xaxis

My current role is Country Lead at Xaxis India, where I am responsible for ensuring Xaxis’ outcome-driven approach is serving the complex and varied needs of the India market. I have been with Xaxis for the last four and a half years, working closely with global and regional management teams to grow the business. I began my journey at Xaxis as an Engagement Manager, where my primary focus was in business development and client account management.

Within this role, I worked to leverage technology to drive efficiency and creativity in digital marketing at scale. In my previous role as Client Development Director of Xaxis India, I led client development and oversaw operations and publisher partnerships to deliver best-in-class programmatic solutions for our clients.

I have spent over a decade in the digital and sales domains. I’ve stayed this long in the industry because I love the challenge and reward of using data to help brands uncover and truly connect with the right audiences, rather than causing unwanted interruptions. My background in new business setup and experience working across EMENA and APAC regions has instilled me with a future-facing and holistic approach to digital marketing in the context of all other media. I find great satisfaction in identifying and converting digital marketing opportunities into actionable, measurable and revenue-generating business outcomes.

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

India’s digital infrastructure has grown massively over the past few years. Government initiatives like Aadhaar and BHIM UPI have helped a lot in promoting this growth. With this growing digital infrastructure, we have also witnessed enormous increase in technology adoption.

It is evident now that technology adoption, digital consumption and the explosion of data are all closely connected, and in many ways data is the cornerstone of the three. Conglomerates and startups alike are building business models around these technological opportunities, offering data-driven analytics services and products to cater to numerous industries.

With this dizzying rise in internet penetration, we’ve become tied to our smartphones, whether it’s booking a ticket, buying food or even booking a cab – we use our smartphones for everything; it is the technology that enables all these things. Businesses these days are trying to gain as much as they can from this new digital infrastructure.

Another noticeable thing happening is the falling costs of smartphone and internet data prices. This has in turn given rise to an increase in data consumption. And with this high consumption of data, we have seen a clear shift in consumer behaviour and the way people are using this new-found connectivity. All these developments have opened up exciting new opportunities for the digital mobile advertising industry. 

3. How does Xaxis look into data and how is it used across the company? Where does Zeotap play a role?

To market a brand in a place as vast and diverse as India, insights need to be local or hyper-local. They’re  also demanding more reliable, higher-quality data to inform their decisions and  maximise the value of their investment. To help deliver on that demand we have since collaborated with deterministic providers like Zeotap to provide the much sought after verified data sets. In the case of Zeotap, their deterministic ID-verified data is coming from the big telecom operators in the country which makes it very accurate and at scale. This is highly different from probabilistic providers available in the marked, which conduct data modelling resulting in less accurate data.

In our industry, the quality of the data plays a major role in making better-informed programmatic decisions. Using quality deterministic data have allowed us which in turn allows us  to deliver more impactful results to our clients. Already our clients are seeing impressive uplift in ROI from this shift in strategy.    
We also shifted from cookie-based to an ID-based DMP. The reason for this should be obvious: cookies were only tracking website browsing behaviour and came with a number of limitations. For starters, connecting them to other less volatile identifiers was no easy task, and they didn’t allow for overlay of other attributes, which really limits the granularity of audience insights. The new ID-based DMP, in addition to gathering first-party data based on static identifiers on their audiences, means we’re now able to overlay precise attributes at scale coming from third-party providers. We also chose to work with Zeotap here because they offer quality data at scale from unique sources such as telecom operators.

4. Can you share with us your most successful campaign with Zeotap up to today?

We have worked with Zeotap on campaigns for large advertisers across a number of verticals including FMCG, automotive, app-based services and telecoms. Collaborating with Zeotap has consistently improved the outcomes that we’re able to deliver to clients.

In the case of FMCGs, Zeotap has helped us create very specific custom audience groups for young moms – an increasingly popular target for consumer brands.  This is a segment that can vary a lot in terms of behavioural preferences, so were looking for a data provider that could give us very specific niche insights.

We ended up creating a custom segment that was implemented across several large FMCG campaigns, based on Zeotap’s data from women in the 25-34 age range that had used parenting apps on their mobile devices. The results were impressive. On average, FMCGs have been experiencing an On-Target Reach (OTR) up to 80% or 1.6 times better – when Zeotap’s data is being used.
Education is another vertical that has been positively impacted by this partnership.

Thanks to Zeotap, we were able to identify students that were moving from school to university, and then drill down on a custom segment comprising niche millennial apps related to lifestyle and digital consumption, combined with city location and high ARPU. We conducted A/B testing to compare the performance uplift when using Zeotap’s custom segments, and we saw a 3X in conversions. This is exactly the kind of meaningful, measurable business impact that Xaxis is committed to delivering.

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