Pranav Kataria shares the elements needed for a successful programmatic strategy

The Algorian Way: Pranav Kataria Reveals His Winning Programmatic Strategy Plus How to Overcome 2023’s Challenges

From stricter regulations to tighter budgets, a fresh set of challenges surely await us this 2023. What better way to start it then than to talk about how we can overcome these and triumph despite the odds? That’s why we’re calling in our expert strategist, Pranav Kataria, to discuss how to best navigate the twists and turns we’re about to face. As AlgoriX’s Associate Director for Programmatic Strategy, Pranav knows all the ways to elevate your programmatic strategy and take it to the next level!

1. Can you briefly tell us about yourself, your previous experience, and your current role at AlgoriX?

With over 10 years of experience in Ad Tech, I gained expertise in analytics, account management, media planning, programmatic strategy and ad sales. Before joining AlgoriX, I worked across leading organizations like PubMatic, Inmobi, Smaato & Blis. Throughout my career, I worked with various entities within the advertising ecosystem, be it Agencies, Advertisers, Publishers, DSPs & SSPs; as well as global clients across the US, EMEA & APAC regions. I maintained a strong record in improving the processes, sales enablement with analytics ,and managing client relationships to achieve sales and business objectives.

Currently, I’m working with AlgoriX for almost 3 years. Here, I’m responsible for growing key accounts on the network by strategizing and coordinating demand-supply to sustain and grow the revenue. Over the board, I’ve built strong working relationships with clients in identifying their key areas of growth and consistently pushing for new market adoptions like CTV/OTT, PMP packages, contextual targeting, new formats/markets to drive additional revenues. Apart from that, I’m also involved in consultation and guidance for internal teams to align with global industry standards and in mentoring team development and establishing best practices across account management and optimizations.

2. As someone who’s had a fairly long career in ad tech, what’s the most significant change in the industry you’ve witnessed so far?

The last few years saw a tremendous evolution of mobile ad tech industry. Mobile friendliness has become a priority ever since the launch of the App Store, which allowed advertisers to take advantage of mobile apps- a shift from desktop ads. As mobile device capabilities continue to grow with features like interactive gaming, GPS technology, and more mobile ads incorporated these features for a more personalized and engaging user experience.

Furthermore, the rise of e-commerce platforms, increasing traffic into mobile apps, and recent popularity of CTV/OTT, has significantly contributed to increasing demand and growth of the ad tech industry over the past years.

There’s now more competition than ever with data analytics driving more communication and media strategies. This leads to better measurement and improved utilization of spending. The usage of artificial intelligence and machine learning means performance and accuracy have improved. With more granular targeting, customer centric and performance based marketing strategies have continued to improve in the past few years.

3. From your perspective, have these changes also affected the challenges most often faced by demand and supply side partners? If so, how do we help our partners navigate these shifts in the landscape?

The evolution of Ad Tech and all these changes indeed created new challenges, some of which are related to measurement, ad fraud, brand requirements, planning, and so on. There are issues where a user’s experience gets overlooked. In particular, with pop-ups, auto redirects, malware, deceptive ads, etc. We work closely with our demand and supply side partners and 3rd party tools to help ensure that our marketplace remains clean and fraud-free.

Additionally, advertisers today have a lot of data points to target where highly targeted inventory segments and more personalized ads are the way to move forward. We continue to help our partners with their specific campaign requirements with custom audiences, inventory segments, sharing information on successful historical campaigns and suggestions on targeting. This helps them to optimize their main KPIs.

4. In a few words, how would you define a winning programmatic strategy? What elements must it possess?

First, one needs to set clear goals and KPIs. An effective programmatic strategy starts by keeping data in mind. The best thing buyers can do is segment their target audience based on the information gathered with multiple data points. This way they can narrow down their strategy to specific messages which can then be delivered to specific audiences. These audiences or segments can depend on various criteria, such as Demographic, Device, Location, Behaviour & Interests, Contextual parameters, Categories, etc. Highly targeted, personalized ads are the way to succeed.

Besides that, like almost any other type of ads, programmatic also relies mostly on creatives, specifically their visuals partnered with clear messages. The creatives and their message should be precise and relevant. The ad should be delivered through the right channel. The choice of format is one of the most significant features of what creatives look like. The most common formats currently in use are Standard Banners, Rich Media, Video, and Native advertising.

Since the very nature of programmatic is dynamic, it’s most important to stay agile to accept learnings and, accordingly, pivot quickly.

5. On a less serious note, what’s something you enjoy doing outside work that you’d highly recommend our colleagues and partners to try?

Outside of work, I enjoy playing board games, especially chess, which I play almost every other day. This hobby has been a great teacher, as it allowed me to develop a more analytical mindset and help in strengthening skills such as pattern recognition, creativity, imagination, and logic.

Apart from that, I also love the outdoors and enjoy going for hikes during weekends. It’s great to connect with nature, enjoy some gorgeous views, and get away from the city.

6. Last, since the year just started, any predictions about the industry or things we should look forward to in 2023?

With Google’s announcement on phasing out third-party cookies by 2024, one area to look out for is cookie-less advertising solutions. There are likely to be new strategies to emerge, such as the collection of First Party Data and the use of cookie-less signals to target.

Another area we should look forward to is CTV. As CTV platforms are working to improve targeting and measurement capabilities in their programmatic channels, there are improvements expected in cross-channel identity and measurement. There will also be improvements made to determine more granular level of information about the user. These changes are likely to drive growth in programmatic CTV ad spending. According to eMarketer, CTV ad spend is set to grow to $74.88 billion in 2023.6.



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Pranav Kataria

Associate Director, Programmatic Strategy

As the Associate Director of Programmatic Strategy, Pranav brings over 8 years of experience in the adtech industry working with Publishers, DSPs, Agencies, and Advertisers from global regions to improve their monetization, performance, and strategies. With great understanding of the mobile market, his expertise lies in analytics, account management, strategy, and ad sales. With this refined skill set, he brings customer-centric mindfulness that enables growth and innovation.

Before joining AlgoriX, his keen business perspective and skills have earned him opportunities to work across different organizations and verticals in the advertising ecosystem; be it improving the processes, sales enablement, and managing client relationships.

Ray Xia

VP, AlgoriX Partner Studio

Ray Xia was a mainstay at Tencent Games, having worked at the company for 13 years. There, he took on various roles including backend developer, application development manager, and game producer. During this time, he actively participated in the development and operation of popular titles such as QQ Pet, QQ Pet Fight, and games involving the Naruto franchise. To date, these games have over 10 million daily active users. Through this rich well of experience he has accumulated covering all aspects of game development and operation, he aims to spearhead more creative endeavors via AlgoriX Studios.

Naomi Li

VP, Research and Development

Naomi Li has a decade’s worth of experience in research and development for the adtech industry. She started her career at Baidu where she was mainly responsible for the Automation Testing of the Baidu Fengchao Ad Search Engine. There, she focused on the fields of overlapping experiment infrastructure, rich media ads rendering, and ad antispam technology. Moreover, as part of Baidu’s International Group, she led the research and development of various monetization and advertising mechanisms for Baidu’s overseas app store, SDK, and AdNetwork. At present, she is responsible for the overall direction of AlgoriX’s R&D efforts, which include product planning, technical architecture design, and talent training.

Frederic Liow

SVP, Revenue Growth & Strategy

A veteran in the digital advertising industry, he began his career during the early days of the dotcom era. To date, his passion for the digital industry is still as strong as ever (and getting even stronger). Spanning twenty years of his digital career, he has worked for leading companies like Nielsen, MRM McCann, Omnicom Media Group, Millward Brown and Smaato. Currently, Frederic is the revenue officer for AlgoriX spearheading global revenue growth, business expansion and strategic partnerships. He has set up and built AlgoriX’s global mobile ad exchange, hiring talents, establishing best practices, and injecting global industry standards into the company. Prior to his current role, he was the Head of Demand for Smaato, overseeing the demand business and operations in APAC. Frederic is currently based in our Singapore HQ.

Xinxiao Guo

Chief Operation Officer

Equipped with a decade’s worth of experience in global product operation as well as a deep understanding of emerging markets, Xinxiao brings her expertise in mobile traffic monetization and programmatic advertising to the table. Before her role at AlgoriX, she was a core member of iQIYI’s research and development unit. After that, she moved to Baidu as Head of Programmatic Advertising.

At present, she is AlgoriX’s co-founder and Chief Operation Officer. Together with the team, she aims to help game developers effectively reach global audiences and implement better monetization strategies.

Ruiz Xie

Chief Executive Officer

With nearly 20 years of business experience, Ruiz Xie founded AlgoriX with the vision of creating a global advertising platform and entertainment ecosystem. Through AlgoriX’s services, he aims to create a more inclusive tech ecosystem by providing customized solutions that meet the needs of businesses at every stage. At the same time, through AlgoriX Studios and its third-party partner studios, the company is currently bringing to life a greater goal of providing a comprehensive entertainment platform for people worldwide, which covers games, IP, comics, movies, and more. At present, he leads nearly a hundred employees with concrete plans to expand the company by establishing more offices worldwide.

Before founding AlgoriX, Ruiz Xie joined CoreMail in 2002. There, he created the first Ajax version of the mailbox in China for NetEase, which was the largest Internet company in China at the time. After that, he joined Tencent in 2005 and contributed to the creation of Tencent Games while also building a large scale distributed storage system. In 2013, he moved to Baidu where he took part in developing Baidu International’s overall architecture and search advertising system. During his tenure, he was also the Chairman of the Baidu Global Technical Committee and Baidu’s chief architect.