Picture a new fashion magazine running multiple campaigns across platforms for three months; a mobile recharge company running paid campaigns in the first week of every month across Google AdWords, Facebook, and Twitter; a customised bicycle shop making videos to engage their potential customers, and an e-commerce portal working with a lot of affiliates and getting good conversion.
Now, picture this–being able to check each campaign’s individual performance on each channel, week-on-week, comparing the achievements and failures of each, seeing what the total reach has been, what was the click through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC) or cost per visit (CPV), to see which keywords are giving the max conversion, which ones are not working even though one is paying a lot for it, the audience retention and cost per view for video campaigns, and ultimately, what one’s return on ad spend (ROAS) is.
That’s Adalyz for you.
The author of the popular book, Ember.js Web Development with Ember CLI, Suchit Puri, 31, created a system that could handle a billion users and terabytes of data. Vineet Shukla, 35, comes with over 11 years of experience in companies like Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Jabong, ThoughtWorks and Aconex. He is also the India head for marketing at Headstart Network Foundation. Atul Verma, also 35, is a techie who has worked for 12 years in travel, e-commerce, healthcare, and even online betting.
The trio came together while working at ThoughtWorks, and stayed in touch discussing innovative solutions to persisting problems, until they decided to actually go ahead and bring one of them to life.
Suchit’s wife works at one of the largest technology and advertising companies globally, where she manages the advertising for some of the biggest advertisers in the US. Suchit noticed that a big portion of her time was spent in working on complex Excel sheets and infographic reports for her clients. Being a developer, he hated Excel sheets so he shared his thoughts on building something cool which could be used by ad marketers not just using Google but also other advertising platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Vineet and Atul liked the idea and realised that they could be on to something big.
Throwing caution to the plunge
The first thing they did was research if this was an industry-wide problem, and validated the idea through a survey mailed to over 70 digital ad marketers. The problem that came to the fore? Today, when any company wants to promote its product, they don’t do so in isolation. Paid media is a very big part of it. With so many paid channels like AdWords, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., it becomes really hard for one to see how the campaign is performing across channels, and what’s working or not working for them to reduce customer acquisition cost.
They started building a B2B SaaS product to do precisely that–that is, complete visibility of your ad spend. It lets one compare their campaigns across different advertising networks, in real time, so that they understand which campaign gives them the best ROI.
With feedback, they started building the MVP. Once they got the MVP ready and while they were still part time with the product, they got their first customer, a digital marketing agency based out of Indore. And then, a second one, one of the largest motor companies in India.
Adalyz automatically prepares infographic reports for one’s campaigns, for branding, engagement and spend so that one doesn’t have to deal with multiple excel sheets. Says Suchit,
“You’ll know at a click of a button what is helping in better conversion, and what to do to acquire more customers.”
It provides comparative dashboard and reports across all ad platforms to work collaboratively with team members and stakeholders. “You can literally compare the performance of your campaigns running across channels in two clicks to understand 100 percent of your data in less than five minutes,” says Suchit.
With smart folders on Adalyz, one can also group campaigns across same or different channels according to their needs, and also track traffic coming in from organic mediums, with a detailed report on clicks, time of the day, source, medium, location, etc. They currently support Google AdWords, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Twitter ads as well as video and mobile ads.
“All detailed insights have pre-defined data points like impressions, clicks, CPC, CTR, CPV, etc., for multiple segments like device, audience, geography, placement, etc,” he explains.
With the download, annotation, and sharing capabilities, teams can collaborate and work efficiently across locations.
What works for them?
They are mainly targeting digital marketing teams handling paid media for their clients. They charge their client a monthly recurring fee based on the number of ad accounts and their monthly ad spend.
Their weekly feedback calls with select customers to understand their problems and get feedback have been a useful mechanism to check themselves. “We want them to make us their extended team. This is how we currently drive our product development,” says Suchit.
Some other strategies that worked wonders for their traction were showcasing their product at Ad:Tech 2017, asking existing users for references, blogging about latest news, problems, and solutions in this space to increase reach and interest, and believe it or not–cold emailing. Says Suchit,
“We had paying customers for our product even before we went full time with the product, like ‘Droom’ and ‘InAdz’. Now we have close to 400 users, over 350 ad accounts, and are managing millions of dollars of monthly advertising spend.”
Their toughest challenge as “technologists” was understanding how business relations work–but joining Y Combinator’s startup school helped them with a strong go-to-market strategy. Through Y Combinator’s network, they got their first customer in France followed by another one from Valencia, Spain.
A worldwide view
The digital advertising ad spend would amount to $229.25 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow to $335.5 billion by 2020. AdStage, Kenshoo, Marin, AdEspresso, and Adobe Campaign Manager are their global competitors.
A unique feature on Adalyz, though, is that they provide a cross-channel view of various campaigns, to compare how each is faring in one window. They now want to focus on the European Union. “Adalyz is a domain and location agnostic product. Our plan is to have a MRR (monthly run rate) of $25K by end of 2018. We plan to open regional offices in EU and South-east Asia by the first quarter of 2018,” he signs off.