iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited (NASDAQ: ICLK) is an independent online marketing and enterprise data solutions provider that connects worldwide marketers with audiences in China. Built on cutting-edge technologies, iClick’s proprietary platform possesses omni-channel marketing capabilities and fulfills various marketing objectives in a data-driven and automated manner. The company helps both international and domestic marketers reach their target audiences in China. Headquartered in Hong Kong, iClick was established in 2009 and operates in ten locations worldwide, including Asia and Europe.
Since its establishment in 2009, iClick Interactive was founded with a vision to redefine the digital marketplace with data, insights, and innovation. “From 2009 until now, iClick has been through a journey of milestone developments. The birth of the company, continuous product evolution, investments and mergers, and acquisitions – not to mention conglomeration, the setting up of 10 branch offices around the globe to support business expansion, four rounds of fundraising, and the listing on Nasdaq in late 2017,” said Dr. Jian Tang, CEO, and Co-Founder of iClick Interactive.
Setting sights on the China market, iClick built a first-of-its-kind R&D center in China to engage in advanced data mining and algorithmic technology development to empower iClick Interactive’s marketing technology capabilities. The company capitalized on the opportunities to develop overseas markets by continuously strengthening its marketing technology capabilities. In the second half of 2018, iClick officially unveiled a new round of strategy upgrades towards the new positioning of ‘integrated enterprise and marketing cloud platform’. Besides, the company’s organizational structure was strengthened, by which a new smart retail division and an innovation institute were launched riding on the original advertising and marketing business.
Here are the strategic attributes that led to the growth of iClick and distinguished the company from competitors:
- Leading independent online marketing technology platform in China with a highly scalable and flexible business model
- Largest independent Chinese consumer data set covering 930M+ with an omnichannel, targeted audience reach.
- Highly sophisticated and automated platform powered by proprietary, cutting-edge technologies.
- Strong, diverse, and loyal client base.
- Deep knowledge and familiarity with China’s online marketing industry.
- Visionary leadership with a proven track record of organic growth and acquisition execution.
The digital landscape in China is incredibly fragmented with various local major internet players. Incompatible data silos, selling or fulfillment of ads in China (10-15%) compared with other markets, and the breadth of ad formats available all make it hard for brands to ensure the ROI of their marketing dollars, or to track their performance effectively. iClick helps marketers realize programmatic cross-channel targeting via a unified data platform. iClick is also well-versed with the challenges and opportunities in online marketing in China and has developed solutions that analyze and transform massive amounts of unstructured and scattered data into valuable insights on Chinese consumer behavior to help marketers capitalize on the growth opportunities in the China market.
The company helps marketers create profiles for both current and potential customers by analyzing their digital traffic and purchasing patterns, customizing their advertisements, and measuring their marketing effectiveness. As iClick continuously strives to enrich digital solutions with relevant technology in all stages, the organization worked towards the platform in building a ground-breaking product – iAudience, a proprietary market intelligence platform to provide real-time insights into the target audiences in China. Since its release in 2017, iAudience has helped clients understand their competitive position and provided AI-driven intelligence to explore new business opportunities through data-based audience insights that dramatically improve digital marketing strategy.
The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus has disrupted everything over the past few months. Huge challenges and uncertainties overshadow the retail growth outlook for 2020, posing daunting problems for marketers and advertisers. The sharp decline in customer flows and the temporary closure of retail stores are dampening retail activity in the market and around the globe. The coronavirus crisis may seem like a massive threat to businesses and health, yet digital marketing may take a great leap forward as a result of COVID 19. With iClick’s unparalleled data capabilities that cover 98% of internet users in China, performance-based Marketing Solutions that enable effective cross-platform targeting and customization, as well as the Enterprise Solutions that integrate data from both offline and online sources, iClick is well-positioned to emerge from the current challenges and capitalize on future growth opportunities in the years to come.
Through a strategic partnership with Tencent, iClick’s Enterprise Solutions presents reliable recurring revenue streams with tremendous opportunities to upsell multi-national corporations (MNCs). Tencent’s proprietary API connection enables brands to build 360-degree consumer profiles based on the collection and integration of purchased behavioral information from online and offline touchpoints, including WeChat Mini Programs, WeChat Payment, WeChat Work and more. As iClick continues to provide integrated marketing and smart retail solutions targeting Chinese consumers, the company believes Enterprise Solutions has strong long-term growth potential and will become a significant gross margin contributor.
Technology has transformed marketing by turning marketing campaigns more personalized and immersive for people and creating ecosystems that are more integrated and targeted for marketers. New technology in marketing has permeated the infrastructure and systems on which companies are built. In recent years, cloud technology and artificial intelligence are a hot topic in the tech world. iClick is well-positioned to bolster their competitive edge in the sector while cloud-based and artificial intelligence solutions can help enterprises transform their businesses, reduce costs, and give them a competitive edge.
iClick Interactive has worked with several industries of different sizes and has helped them in developing marketing strategies. In one instance, while working with Puma, one of the best-selling brands in the world that provide hot-sale sports apparel items. The sportswear products available in the market are highly homogeneous. In contrast, new products are introduced quickly, and it is challenging to expand Puma’s target group while pinpointing the target audience precisely in a highly competitive online environment.
Leveraging iClick Interactive’s proprietary data platform, Puma’s target audience profile was created based on their primary attributes, including demographics, interests, and behavior characteristics. iClick then expanded the data pool based on the data intelligence to widen the audience to reach further. The campaign scooped the Best Use of Programmatic– Data Application Award at the Golden Mouse Digital Award 2018. The results obtained were 34% more than the estimated impression, 12% more than the estimated CTR, and a 126% increase in brand followers.
iClick has recently launched a new milestone – iActivate, the ultimate SEM campaign management platform that connects several ad platforms to efficient campaign monitoring and management. It is a strong addition to the iSuite products, including iAudience, iAccess, iAx, and iClick’s Tracking solution. It provides intelligent market insights that address the pain points faced by marketers to analyze and understand campaign performance to target audiences more accurately. iNsights is also expected to launch later this year with the primary objective of providing marketers with audience measurement and campaign results monitoring analysis.
iClick Interactive understands that the APAC region is expected to be one of the fastest-growing regions within the marketplace in the coming years. The organization intends to enhance the competitive strengths and pursue the strategies to further expand the business by optimizing and diversifying the client base, expanding the audience data set, strengthening data analytics capabilities and innovative technologies, and extending data application across more aspects in online marketing and beyond.