In this undated photo, prospective customers (right) inquire about Mobisummer's products at the company's booth at Global Internet Mobile Conference 2018 in Beijing in April. (PHOTO / PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
Guangzhou, Guangdong province-based Mobisummer, a mobile marketing company, is fast emerging as a powerful aide to Chinese internet-based companies, software developers, app makers and e-commerce companies that are seeking to go global.
Mobisummer specializes in mobile marketing, the science and technology of placing targeted advertisements on mobile phone content (websites and apps) as per user behavior.
A variant of digital marketing where the likes of Google have already made a killing, mobile marketing has emerged as a powerful, lucrative tool as most netizens are online via their handheld devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops.
These days, online sellers of manufactured products, services, commodities and even content like news, information, data and entertainment cannot do without mobile marketing.
Mobile marketing is key to funneling traffic to specific digital assets from various online destinations and thus creating opportunities to optimize sales
It is key to funneling traffic to specific digital assets from various online destinations and thus creating opportunities to optimize sales.
This is where Mobisummer has expertise. And companies across industries and across the globe are willing to pay big money for Mobisummer's technology-powered services.
Using legal means and without violating any privacy laws, Mobisummer mines data on online user behavior from its clients. It uses sophisticated algorithms to create consumer profiles that are matched intuitively with online destinations for various products and services. It's a kind of matchmaker－it marries consumer desires to products or services concerned.
That kind of help can open up markets worldwide to manufacturers and service-providers at a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain an additional user.
Difficult because each website or app tries its best to be the stickiest－meaning, it has many tricks up its sleeve to engage a visiting user for as long as possible. So, any technology that can tempt the user into leaving the current destination for a recommended website or app is worth its weight in gold.
But Mobisummer and its clients have a few challenges on their hands.
For one, China's internet-based industry no longer has the benefit of demographic dividend, according to Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu, the web search engine firm.
For another, the growth of active digital devices in 2017 was much slower compared to the past decade: Only 61 million new devices were added in the year, according to QuestMobile, a digital services firm.
To survive in a fiercely competitive online field and gain more users, internet-based companies need to look beyond their traditional markets and expand globally.
Paradoxically, this is proving to be an opportunity for Mobisummer.
"In the past, when Chinese internet-based companies went abroad, they used to depend on local digital marketing companies in the markets concerned. Now, however, we are almost everywhere, and can compete with local players on their home turf," Li Shuhao, CEO of Mobisummer, said at the 2018 Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing in April.
Mobisummer relies on its strength in big data analytics, and on its ability to integrate it with business intelligence and years of experience in the mobile technology.
"We've a very strong data analytics ability," Li said. "Take e-commerce for example. People go shopping online. They like to put items in their shopping carts first. But they just leave them there without proceeding to checkout. What we do is collect and analyze such data and tell clients what users like and what might be stopping them from actually buying the products.
"Using legal means, we track users' navigation behavior on apps or websites and then use those insights to improve marketing strategies. Many other competitors merely analyze data. Only a handful are able to apply analysis to strategy. We are one of them."
In this undated photo, Li Shuhao (right), CEO of Mobisummer, introduces the firm's services to a guest at the GIMC 2018 in Beijing. (PHOTO / PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
Business intelligence, or BI, is the next big thing Li's team is betting on.
Li said: "We plan to invest 20 million yuan (US$3.13 million) in feeding our BI model. When fully developed, it will know how to make marketing, advertising and data analysis efficient, and how to monetize online traffic.
"I know many great product managers－they are like extraordinary craftsmen, but have no idea how to sell their wares. With BI, they will know precisely how to gain online traffic, locate their potential users and thus drive the business forward.
"Talking about competitiveness, I don't see any reason why we should worry about competition from our counterparts in Germany, Israel or the United States.
"When we went to the European and the US markets, we were surrounded by those companies but we still have higher volume of demand from our clients."
We plan to invest 20 million yuan (US$3.13 million) in feeding our BI model. When fully developed, it will know how to make marketing, advertising and data analysis efficient, and how to monetize online traffic
Li Shuhao, CEO, Mobisummer
Founded in 2014, Mobisummer has grown rapidly and now boasts big-name clients such as Baidu, Alibaba, online news aggregator Toutiao, livestreaming app Kuaishou and e-commerce firm Globalgrow.
Among Mobisummer's recent successes is Mobile Legends, a Chinese mobile game developed by Shanghai-based Moonton Technology.
Mobisummer helped the game launch in over 10 countries with daily downloads volume reaching between 8,000 and 10,000.
"The major markets are Europe, the US and Southeast Asia," Li said. "We have seen a rapid growth in the volume of smartphones sold in the region, with about 200 million Android phones sold every year. It's a massive market. We have seen investors pumping in big-ticket capital in ventures in Southeast Asia. All of them need a partner to help them find their target audiences."
The firm earns every time a user clicks an ad strategically placed online by Mobisummer. Although exact figures are not available, it is said that the privately held Mobisummer's revenue reached hundreds of million yuan in 2017.
Mobisummer is planning to go public and list on a stock exchange. The firm hopes to double or even treble its revenue in the next few years.
"Digital marketing worldwide could be worth about 640 billion yuan or US$100 billion now," said Li. "And it does not include cross-border e-commerce business, which is a US$1 trillion market at present. Usually, an online company is willing to spend 20 to 30 percent of its profits on marketing and winning overseas traffic."
READ MORE: Cross-border e-commerce takes off
According to Statista, an online market research portal, companies the world over have spent US$143.53 billion for digital marketing services in 2017. That number is expected to top US$247 billion in 2020.
Small wonder, many investors have high hopes for Mobisummer. "In the big data era, digital marketing is one of the most valuable businesses on the internet," Yang Fei, partner of IDG Capital, a venture capital firm, said. "For example, companies such as Mobisummer have deep understanding of what clients need."