AdKaora and Hej!: a year of development and growth for the Mondadori Group’s MarTech hub

Aggregate annual gross revenues of more than 20 million euro

2021 was a year of growth for AdKaora and Hej!, the Mondadori Group digital companies specialised in mobile advertising and conversational marketing, which, following AdKaora’s acquisition of Hej! at the beginning of 2021, form the nucleus of MarTech, a cutting-edge digital hub and leading player in tech advertising.

With their focus fixed firmly on the future and new challenges, the two companies evolved over the year through product innovation, using their strong technological and know-how synergies to create increasingly effective adv solutions for their brands.

Their success is also confirmed by the results reported by the hub, which posted aggregate gross revenues of more than 20 million euro (preliminary figures) – with the newly acquired Hej! contributing approximately 8 million euro –, an improvement of over 50% from the previous year on a pro-forma constant-size basis.

THE MARTECH HUB OFFER – The secret of the success of the two companies is the ability to support their brands step by step in achieving their targets through a technologically advanced, creative consultancy-based approach, which also enabled them to strengthen relations with key clients on the market.

“The synergies between AdKaora and Hej! blended naturally right from the start,” said AdKaora CEO Davide Tran. “For example, the integration of proximity marketing in correlation with the performance marketing campaigns, two different but closely related areas. The new developments of our MarTech hub are still under way, in 2021 we took a first step towards expansion on the Spanish market with the acquisition of 30% of Adgage, a Madrid-based company, through which we aim to export our own products and those of Hej!. I am very satisfied with the remarkable results we achieved this year, and the opportunity to work closely with the Hej! team of talents, with whom we immediately established a strong bond and a shared vision of innovation and the market. 2022 will be a year when these synergies generate full value to offer our clients an unbeatable integrated offer,” Tran added.

In 2021 AdKaora developed a series of new adv solutions based on constant observation of the market. As a result, the proximity marketing offer reached a new level, introducing channels such as DOOH and SMS, and extending planning with rich media formats with a high engagement impact. It also saw the development of Circle, the proprietary platform that enables brands and media centres to monitor campaign results in real time.

In the last quarter of 2021, in anticipation of the gaming trend, AdKaora launched the new native in-play offer: immersive display formats inserted in game dynamics, where the focus is on brand and product awareness, thanks to the high visibility afforded by the communication message.

Hej! also reported unstoppable growth. “2021 was the first year for Hej! on the Mondadori Group’s MarTech hub, and it was very exciting,” said Hej! CEO Stefano Argiolas. “We established a natural alchemy with AdKaora, a process of continuous contamination enabling both companies to set and achieve ever more challenging objectives. Together we design and develop integrated solutions to cover the entire marketing funnel. At Hej! we have continued to invest in innovation and the evolution of our solutions, guided by our sole mantra: tangible results for clients. By its nature, conversational marketing gives us a privileged view of user needs: a view we use for in-depth analyses of aggregate campaign data in order to improve results continually and bring innovation into performance marketing, a segment that has been tied to obsolete processes for too long,” Argiolas added.

Hej! conversational marketing has become an indispensable solution for many brands because of the quantitative and qualitative results it delivers. Thanks to its robust data drilling capability, Hej! can use artificial intelligence to offer clients even more detailed qualitative analyses and campaign insights, which help the entire chain to optimise results. Automated real-time analyses is an undeniable advantage for optimal performance.

Creativity, conversation and customisation merge in the conversational audio display format recently launched by AdKaora and Hej!, which aims to engage all the consumer’s senses when they are choosing a product, and strengthen their discovery. This dynamic multi-sensory experience creates greater product awareness for both online and in-store sales.

The two agencies are also working on the development of brand lift survey solutions, which measure the brand-consumer interaction in an advertising campaign, and identify the extent to which the customer journey changes in terms of awareness, perception, consideration and purchase probability.

CASE HISTORY AND SUCCESSFUL FORMATS – A demonstration of these initial synergies is the successful Somatoline Cosmetic campaign for Bolton, presented by AdKaora and Hej! at IAB Forum 2021: the combination of proximity marketing and conversational marketing made it possible to cover every stage in the funnel, with a multi-channel strategy that guided the user in both online and offline stores, creating a personalised conversation channel with the consumer and following them as the protagonist of their purchase decisions.

The project achieved important results in terms of engagement and visits: AdKaora’s Find&Go Now! obtained a 26.6% engagement rate, reflecting a high stimulus to action and effective activation of drive-to-store dynamics, which led to a 54.4% increase in visits to sales outlets. Consumers also showed an offline/online balance in their purchase habits: from Hej!’s Conversational Engaging Marketing format, 53.4% of users landed on the brand’s e-commerce and, an almost equal share, 46.62% on Find&Go Now!.


AdKaora and Madi Ventura join forces on an innovative enhanced proximity marketing strategy

Created to promote three product lines, the campaign combines latest-generation rich media formats with advanced drive-to-store technological solutions

AdKaora, the Mondadori Group digital agency specialised in user-centric mobile advertising and proximity marketing, is continuing collaboration with Madi Ventura, a key player in dried fruit, which has decided to promote three seasonal product lines – Fichi e Datteri, Linea Difesa and BBMix Funzionali – with a new proximity marketing strategy.

The campaign, managed together with Asset Media, went online in November and December. It was designed to cover each step in the funnel from awareness to drive to store, and to combine the creative power of advertising formats with a strong impact on engagement with the advanced tools of footfall analysis, post-sales analysis, consumer insight and brand lift surveys, in a planning approach integrating online and offline strategy.

Two rich media formats with high engagement power designed by AdKaora Creative Studio were used to enhance brand awareness: the Swipe format for the Fichi e Datteri line and the Geyser format for the Linea Difesa and BBMix Funzionali lines. Swipe and Geyser are innovative interactive formats that give the user a unique brand experience through dynamic forms of interaction for a powerful, personalised discovery of the product: all their calls to action take the user directly to the brand site to obtain additional information, and, with the Geyser format, to see a short video presentation.

To promote footfall in the supermarkets involved in the campaign, the strategy also used a mixture of geolocal mobile display advertising formats and near-store, in-store and near-product push notifications, shown to customers in the vicinity of stores and set up to steer them to AdKaora’s proprietary Find&Go Now! technology, an interactive map that leads the consumer to the nearest shop where they can buy the product.

The campaign produced a positive engagement rate and boosted visits: the interaction rate was 21% with the Swipe format for Fichi e Datteri, 25% with the Geyser format for Linea Difesa and 28% with the Geyser format for BBMix Funzionali. For Find&Go Now!, the engagement rate was 25%, while the uplift for visits to the stores reached 68%.

To check the effect of the campaign, the AdKaora solutions were combined with sales and product data, collected through a qualitative analysis by CheckBonus and a quantitative analysis by IRI, both partners of the agency.

With CheckBonus, a variety of marketing tools was used to give visibility to the products – BB Mix Funzionali in particular – and obtain valuable insights in terms of sales drill-down, sales by retailer and sell-out analyses, together with socio-demographic breakdown and consumer behaviour data. A special survey provided information on the factors that influenced purchases, brand and product perception, and the positioning of the brand with respect to competitors.

The analysis supplied by IRI, which monitors the effects of advertising on product purchasing during a specific period, highlighted positive results in terms of sales uplift with a sales increment of 4.3%.

Matteo Giorgi, E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Manager Madi Ventura: “Proximity marketing is now an integral part of our communication strategies, which are evolving rapidly in a multi-channel direction. With AdKaora we created a complete proximity campaign and took it to another level: brand and product awareness, consumer engagement, and, above all, measurement of results (footfall and sell-out) and the impact of advertising on in-store sales. Insights into consumers were equally important, helping us to monitor the market. An enhancement of all the steps in the funnel together with close attention to KPIs.”

Alessandro Garziera, Partner & Head of Digital Asset Media: “A multi-product advertising campaign with innovative creative assets and monitoring of the entire funnel. The strategic decision to guarantee a complete view of the brand and the products using AdKaora’s innovative tools at the various digital touchpoints proved to be effective. The agency is satisfied with the results achieved.”

Davide Tran, CEO AdKaora: “We are very happy with this on-going collaboration with Madi Ventura and Asset Media, which enables us to support the client with a comprehensive communication strategy. A proximity marketing “booster” combining the effectiveness of our latest-generation rich media formats with advanced drive-to-store technological solutions, to maximise awareness of the different products, which benefited from enhanced concentrated interest, and to transform users into store visits. We achieved important campaign results as well as exclusive insights into the brand and consumers, which will be useful for future communication strategies. The results were only made possible by the integration of the advertising strategy with close monitoring of the KPIs required by the client.”

AdKaora selected by L’Oréal Paris for the launch of its new make-up product

At the heart of the campaign, a drive to store strategy which combines proximity and trade marketing

AdKaora, the Mondadori Group digital agency specialised in user-centric mobile advertising and proximity marketing, has been chosen by L’Oréal Paris for the launch of Accord Parfait Nude, its first tinted serum with 1% Pure Hyaluronic Acid that fills out the skin like a serum and evens out the complexion like a foundation, and to promote some of the company’s best-selling skincare products

The campaigns Product Awareness and Drive to store objectives, developed together with Publicis Media and online since September, have been reached thanks to a combination of digital marketing tools with traditional trade marketing activities inside the stores involved. A strategy conceived to build awareness of the products and increase footfall.

Thanks to the cross-referencing of geo-behavioural and navigation data of interest, which are part of a user panel made up of 9 million device IDs and 26 million cookies, it was possible to precisely intercept the target audience, i.e. women between 25 and 54, interested in make-up, beauty and skincare.

Having identified the audience, a mix of standard mobile display formats was planned to present the new Accord Parfait Nude foundation and the Revitalift Filler to the target audience, who were close to the points of interest. This was accompanied by the use of Push Notifications, which also made it possible to take advantage of the touchpoints and micro-moments that can be activated thanks to smartphones.

All of the formats directed users to the proprietary Find & Go Now! technology, a branded interactive map designed to guide consumers to the nearest store where they can buy the product. In addition, cross-category displays were installed in more than 100 participating stores with the aim of promoting products in the make-up and skincare sectors.

A data analysis phase completed the strategy, which proved to be significant in validating the effectiveness of the levers used. First of all, a footfall analysis made it possible to measure the effect of the campaign on the increase in visits to stores and to meet the drive-to-store KPIs.

In addition, thanks to a series of marketing tools and a dedicated section of the CheckBonus app, L’Oréal Paris gained extra visibility. The survey carried out on a panel of CheckBonus subscribers and conducted during the campaign also allowed the clients to obtain valuable information on sales, consumers’ buying behaviour, the sales trends by outlet and perception of the products.

There were also very positive results in terms of product awareness, thanks to display formats and Push Notifications, which recorded 1% and 2% of CTR, respectively, An engagement rate of 23.5% from Find & Go Now! revealed a strong interest in action on the part of users, also confirmed by the analysis results, which recorded a +167% increase in visits to stores and therefore fully achieving the drive to store objectives.

Davide Tran, CEO of AdKaora: “Working with L’Oréal Paris on the launch of new products and having the possibility to use all the tools we have available, has allowed us to consolidate the circularity of proximity marketing, which has reached a tangible and replicable multi-channel level in a range of product sectors. In addition, for this project, the aim was to develop a strategy that, through activating digital elements, would bring users to points of sale and, in particular, reinforce a typical offline trade marketing initiative such as a cross-category display. Thanks to analysis, a crucial component of our advanced Proximity Suite offer, it is possible to measure the impact of advertising on sales, the effectiveness of the various channels involved, and gain important insights that become must-haves for future communication and strategies.”

The pharmacy of the future: the AdKaora analysis on the evolution of the pharma market

The Observatory on changes in markets and consumers of AdKaora, the digital agency of the Mondadori Group specializing in mobile advertising and proximity marketing, has published the new research “The pharmacy of the future”: focusing on an analysis of the transformations in pharma sector in 2021 and the definition of the new profile being adopted by pharmacies as they evolve as points of sale.

In 2021 physical pharmacies have broadened their catchment area, expanding from a traditionally local clientele to customers of online pharmacies, which are constantly growing as support platforms for physical outlets, which continue to offer a customer experience that cannot be replicated on the web.

In addition to providing medicines and health and beauty advice, pharmacies are also becoming authentic prevention centres and service hubs, which while on the one hand requires a significant effort in terms of adaptation and investment aimed at supporting the transformation, on the other hand they continue to have undisputed advantages.

The aim of the survey was to investigate how consumer needs regarding to pharmaceutical products have changed and changes in buying habits, the relationship with physical points of sale and the effectiveness of advertising.

The research is the result of AdKaora’s consolidated knowledge of the market, thanks to the management of geo-fencing and geo-behavioural data on a panel of 9 million ID devices, to an analysis of footfall at more than 470,000 verified points of interest. and surveys conducted on the habits and behaviour of the procurement managers of the CheckBonus app, with which the brand has a multi-year partnership.

Here are some findings that emerged from the study:

  • Changes underway: pharmacies are commercial operations that also play a role in providing assistance to people, thus confirming their role as a fundamental and high-potential market that is changing and becoming “service pharmacies”.
  • The bricks-and-mortar pharmacy as a point of reference: consumers believe that physical stores are irreplaceable, even though they are increasingly multichannel in terms of the purchasing process.
  • Quality and reliability: not very permeable to concepts other than quality and reliability in terms of health, consumers tend to see the pharmacist not only as a seller, but also as a source of expert advice.
  • New communication must-haves: brands have started investing once more in communication with a renewed approach and new principles to be taken into consideration.

For the full version of La farmacia del futuro(The Pharmacy of the Future), click here.

The survey is part of an in-depth analysis on consumption and purchasing trends that the AdKaora internal Observatory produces regularly during the year, using analytical and measurement tools used for client’s advertising strategies, such as granular data, footfall analysis and consumer insights, which are subsequently used scientifically for information purposes and exclusive publications.


AdKaora confirms its position among the leading players in mobile marketing and looks to the future

The growth of AdKaora continues as it confirms its position among the leading players in mobile marketing in Italy following the acquisition of Banzai in 2015, now part of the Mondadori Group.

The agency, which is specialises in the provision of marketing and advertising solutions, ended the first 9 months of the year with an increase in revenues of over 60% compared with the same period of 2015, thanks to  a significant hike in mobile planning, which generated revenues of €2.6 million during the period (consolidated by the Mondadori Group since 1 June 2016).

This particular business line was driven by the development of an internal mobile DSP, hakaMobile, the proprietary DMP enhanced by intragroup data and exclusive publishers, as well as the development of creative and technological solutions, such as the PlaySunrise video format and the drive to store Pass2Ngage, a powerful online/offline bridging tool.

“Innovation and quality are tow very important drivers for us and, by choosing our products, our customers recognise the added value of every collaboration. We are extremely satisfied with the results that we have achieved but, obviously, we won’t stop here. Indeed, we have a number of new projects in the pipeline for the end of the year,” announced Luca Nigro, co-founder and chief innovation officer of AdKaora.

In terms of the company’s organic growth the recent creation should be noted of, on the one hand, a marketing division, with the task of analysing market trends and anticipating the evolution of the market to provide an increasingly articulated and structured offer, while also consolidating the agency’s positioning. Head up by Antonella Caliandro, who, after a number of years at Alkemy, moved to AdKaora where she has taken on increasing responsibility before being appointed Marketing Manager.

On the other hand, AdKaora has strengthened the already close collaboration with agencies and media centres with the appointment of Francesca Degasperis as Agency Relationship Manager. After a number of years of experience in companies such as Dada, Buongiorno and the start up BeeAd, she will have the responsibility of coordinating the sales team and supporting AdKaora’s vast offer with the principal objective of offering its clients the best cross-device solutions in the market.

“AdKaora is in a very important phase of its development. The health of the company is excellent, but as real fighters, we are already looking to 2017 with renewed enthusiasm and a mission and determination to continue to grow in a health and organic manner. This is the basis for the decision to create a marketing unit, led by Antonella Caliandro, who brings her crossover company and agency experience in digital marketing, and to entrust to the extensive experience of Francesca Degasperis in the world of mobile advertising the consolidation and development of the business with agencies and media centres,” said Davide Tran, CEO of AdKaora.