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!.