Sramana Mitra: Trace the process of building QuanticMind till this point. Take us to the very beginning of what was going on in the industry. What signals were you picking up from the market that gave you the idea that there was an opportunity to do something like this?
Chaitanya Chandrasekhar: Let’s talk about the idea itself and the ideating process. Today’s digital world had its origins in the 2000’s. Google invented what is digital marketing. Before that, it was just display. Nothing really worked. Google changed the Internet. People were starting to pay for stuff. Advertisers and
marketers, they started leveraging Google. That’s when they found success.
If you think about the ecosystem in the 2004 timeframe, we, as users, were consuming a lot of content on the Internet but advertising and marketing were still stuck in the pre-digital world. TV, radio, and print was where all the dollars were focused on. With people spending more time on the Internet, Google realized that this focus has to change. Google was able to change that.
In 2005, all the digital advertising and marketing business was being managed by agencies who, at that point, didn’t really have much experience. The second was, everyone from a marketing point of view was purely focused on branding. The world of marketing was the world of Mad Men. It was very interesting for a lot of people. Even digital hadn’t even begun on its maturation cycle. The iPhone wasn’t invented in 2005.
Let’s take another timeframe around 2015. John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” It was still relevant in 2015. With Google coming in, what happened with digital is, you could track. You could generate a lot of data. You could say, “This person who saw this bought this.” What ended up happening was marketing became the world of data and it became the world of “math” men.
Marketing has gone from being very creative to being more data-driven. We realized that the CMOs needed to become more data-first. You can start to see this too if you look at the marketing teams today. They talk about data. They talk about instrumentation. They talk about analytics. This whole transformation was the genesis of QuanticMind. We said, “We can be the digital data platform for marketing teams.”
If companies and teams are spending a lot of money on advertising, we would be the platform that can help them track the customer in their journey and measure the efficacy of advertising. Then we can leverage that data to bring better outcomes. That was the thesis.
Today, the digital advertising ecosystem is about $180 billion. If you go and ask someone, they’d say that 50% to 60% is owned by the big search players. About 20% is owned by the social players. Between these two, you have 70% of all the ad dollars. That’s where we help our customers manage their ads.
Sramana Mitra: There was a lack of digital marketing savvy in various customers. You wanted to manage their multichannel digital marketing strategy across these major platforms from something that you would provide. That was the thesis.
Chaitanya Chandrasekhar: The first thesis was that teams were becoming data-forward but they didn’t have the tools to help them with that. QuanticMind provides those tools so that companies and marketing teams can leverage those tools to manage the digital infrastructure that they need to put into place to attract customers.