Going for Europe

Ever since the German aristocrat Richard Nikolaus wrote the paneuropa manifesto in 1923, most capitalists have longed for a unified Europe. No borders, free markets and a unified currency has been the European entrepreneur’s dream for generations. Yet sixty years after the Treaty of Paris, winning Europe as a business is still not as straightforward as going for single-language, single-culture markets like the United States or China.

At Brainient, intrinsically a European company, we’ve been doing a push across the old continent over the past 12 months. We now have customers in 9 European markets and are expanding aggressively into Europe’s key territories – France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Nordics. We believe we’ve become good at winning Europe, and we’re looking for people to join the team. If you’re in one of these markets and would like to be part of a fast-growing technology company, visit our careers section or drop me an email.

Also, if you happen to be in Cologne for DMEXCO next week, stop by our stand and grab some chocolate. You can find us in Hall 6 Stand F-024. 

Mobile is eating the TV

There are three slides in Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2014 that tell a good story of where video is going.

The first slide shows mobile (smartphone & tablet) shipments compared to TV units. TV shipments are flatlining just under 300M whereas mobile & tablets are skyrocketing to nearly 1,5BN per year.

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The second relevant slide shows the daily distribution of screen minutes. In nearly all countries, smartphone & tablets are eating up half or more than the daily screen minutes consumed.

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The third, and probably most relevant, shows the distribution of total TV time for millennials vs. non-millennials. Almost half of the TV viewing for millennials is done on-demand or on-line.

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Five times more devices shipped per year than TVs, taking half of the daily screen consumption minutes and half of the TV viewing minutes for millennials. Mobile is eating the TV, hindered only by the lack of mainstream LTE availability. But it’s getting there, faster than any of us expected it. 

Raising money for blood cancer research

“For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.” – Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Cancer is not one of those things healthy people think about, unless you have a close friend or relative who’s been diagnosed. I’m lucky to have healthy friends & family, but that’s not the case for the nearly 18 million people who were diagnosed with cancer last year. 

Over the past few months, I’ve been training for my first ever triathlon, to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, a charity that offers patient support and research to blood cancer patients. Blood cancer accounts for nearly 10% of all diagnostics, and it’s the most prevalent type of cancer in kids. That’s very sad, and I’m trying to raise a little bit of money for LLR. 

Please go here to donate – any support will be much appreciated. I’m doing the Blenheim triathlon and I’ll do my best to get past the finish line.

Growing up

As some of you may have read, we’ve recently relaunched our platform, our studio and our identity. It’s been a labour of love, sweat and tears, but we felt it was needed after almost five years of being in business. Our platform is now used by some of the largest media companies and brands in the world and they expect us to have the best product in the industry. We think we do, but to avoid banging our own drum we asked ITV, the largest commercial broadcaster in the UK what they think about us. Here’s what they have to say: 

As proud as I am of our new product, I’m even more excited about our KPIs. Here are some interesting stats, to go with our relaunch:
– 400% YoY growth since we started the company
– 600+ campaigns / year for customers
– 95% customer retention rate
– 3 out of the 4 top broadcasters in the UK are Brainient customers (ITV, Channel4, Channel5)
– the average engagement rate across all our interactive formats is 8%

Ad tech: what’s an engagement?

It used to be that a click was a click. Advertisers bought banners and got clicks to their websites, end of story. Today, advertisers buy banners, video ads, native ads, second-screen ads, mobile ads, and many more. For these ads, they get clicks, roll-overs and swipes. To makes matters worse, these clicks, roll-overs and swipes are not to their websites anymore (at least not all of them). They’re interactions within the advert itself – image galleries, share buttons, likes, retweets, with only few of them going to the advertiser’s website. Because of this, it has become almost impossible to compare the impact of the different ad formats used within the same campaign. 

In an attempt to standardise these results, there’s a new metric adopted by a number of companies in the advertising ecosystem, called engagement. In theory, an engagement is any click, swipe or roll-over happening within an advert, regardless of its type. This can be swiping through an image gallery, retweeting, liking, etc. But what we’re seeing as of late is that different companies in the industry are starting to have their own interpretations of what an engagement is. Some look at every interaction within an ad, some at all interactions besides the first one (for example to launch an image gallery within a rich media advert) while some include both the interactions inside the unit as well as the clicks to the advertiser’s site. 

There’s a major benefit of having a widely adopted standard for engagement: by making it easy and straightforward for agencies and advertisers to understand the performance of their campaigns, they’ll spend more money on all these campaigns (provided that the results are good, but that’s a story for another post).

So at Brainient, we would like to suggest a standard definition for what an engagement is: any interaction on any element within an advert, except the click through on the ad itself (because this type of click is already known in the industry as a clickthru). Therefore, an engagement rate would be the total number of impressions divided by the total number of engagements within the ad. We’re trying to get this definition of engagement adopted by as many companies in the ecosystem as possible, so if you’re one of them and would like to contribute to creating the standard, please get in touch. 

Brainient hiring spree

When talking about GE’s strategy some time ago, Lawrence Bossidy, former COO of GE said that “nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.”

I’ve always believed that a company is only as good as its people, and I’ve had the privilege to work with some amazing people over the years. Whenever I find someone amazing I try to keep them close – so much so that my first ever employee, whom I hired almost 8 years ago in my first business, still works for me. 

The most successful entrepreneurs I know spend over 50% of their time on recruiting or developing people, and that’s something I’m trying to get better at this year. So without further ado, I’d like to let you know that we’re hiring quite a few people at Brainient. If you’re interested, use the links below to apply. Or, if we recommend someone that we end up hiring, we’ll give you a €1,000 referral fee. 

London: European Sales Executive (FR)

London: Marketing Manager

London: Office Manager / PA to CEO

Bucharest: QA Automation Engineer

Bucharest: Junior DevOps

Bucharest: HTML5 Developer