Q&A with Erik Tammenurm, Co-Founder & CEO at NEXD

Erik Tammenurm, Co-Founder & CEO at NEXD, has been with NEXD since the very beginning, starting as NEXD's CTO. Now, some 5 years later NEXD has grown globally, with offices from London to Tokyo, and Erik has taken on the role of CEO.

Test different creative solutions, messages, forms, and find the combinations that work for your brand.



MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into advertising and why did you choose NEXD?
ERIK TAMMENURM:
Great question. Before I founded NEXD, I was mainly involved in developing mobile games and applications. Advertising seemed to be this mystical industry that seemed so outdated and focused on the wrong angle on how to make the solutions perform as expected. In 2014 I partnered up in Estonia with a few industry leaders in advertising, and we decided to start solving the issues that are plaguing advertising.

M7: How does NEXD work to help companies in driving results? How does it ensure a better ROI to them?
ET:
I believe advertising has lost its way. It should focus on the message, the form of the message, and the audience – in that specific order. Advertising isn’t all about the audience. That idea comes from faulty logic, but unfortunately, right now it’s the most common focus for advertisers. Adidas recently researched their ad spending and learned that 65% of their revenue comes from new consumers, but they’re putting 80% of ad spend to existing consumers. There’s a huge gap between expectation and reality. Therefore, we try to help advertisers to come up with a great brand experience, and make it as simple as possible, so their audiences can engage with the brand in a more meaningful way – driving up the ROAS. I believe that consumers want to engage with the brands they use; advertising should be a conversation.

Nexd helps advertisers create an interactive brand experience so their audience can engage in a more meaningful way. Ads that are interactive and engaging are more memorable and help bring new customers to the brand. Our ads are designed to facilitate that conversation and to do it in a very intuitive way. We’ve tried to remove the roadblocks that stop many advertisers from producing good digital ads – namely, the time and expense of complex coding that leaves you with massive overhead – and make great ads accessible to everyone. Our goal is to help our customers drive up their RoAS, and I have to say we have been doing quite well in this.


The future of advertising depends on finding new ways of engaging with customers, and finding good and creative solutions are time-consuming and costly with standard solutions.



M7: What marketing channels do you use for advertising, and which ones do you see as the most promising, given your target customers?
ET:
Our main channel is our newsletters and blog. I have always valued approaching clients via content – providing value for their time. We are mainly distributing our content via social and email. We do have quite an extensive display reach, but it’s mainly for awareness and exposure for us. I do not see a very strong return in B2B over display solutions.

M7: What role does content play in advertising? Which content format performs best for your platform and why?
ET:
Content is essential for B2B solutions. Good content is a great way for consumers to spend time with your brand, and gives you the chance to give something back to them. I have always appreciated more visual content – infographics, reports and videos and also direct like webinars. Often, I try to put myself in the position of our customers and see what would actually entice me or help me at any point of time. Through this we are able to solve our client’s problems or questions.


Be more creative. Talk to the end consumer, and 90% of the times it will result in a higher ROAS than correctly targeted but boring experience.



M7: What do you believe are the top three marketing challenges taking place in the post COVID-19 era?
ET:
Creativity – It’s quite difficult nowadays to be creative with the tools available and within all the restrictions in place by the market – your ad has to be below 4MB (otherwise browsers block it), it cannot animate too much (otherwise browsers block it), it should load within 1 second. We at Nexd built our solutions on totally new technology that comes from gaming. It creates files that are small enough, fast enough, and load within 1 second. Our job is to give advertisers the tools to keep their creativity unlimited, and to remove the barriers and worries about meeting those restrictions.

Data & Audiences – the accuracy of data is questionable at best. How we use and verify this information is long overdue for a complete overhaul across the industry. How sure can someone be that they’re actually reaching the correct audience? With GDPR / CCPA and browsers removing third-party cookies it’s almost impossible now to find the correct audience, so why bet on it? I believe being in context with the right message is a lot more valuable.

Fraud – Did you know that roughly 5 cents for every dollar you spend on advertising goes to fraud? Using old technologies will make you lose more money year-to-year. We at Nexd have spent countless hours to overcome possible ways fraudulent actors operate, and do our best to prevent them earning money from our customers. There are also a lot of other companies whose sole focus is to ensure security for advertisements.

M7: In the world of Big Data, creativity is getting bogged down. Is there a way to balance both and create better advertising campaigns?
ET:
As mentioned before, I believe data can be used in a very good way, but the opaqueness is still an issue. Advertisers are making the best decisions they can with the information they have available. But are they using accurate data, or is their advertising based on inaccurate data? What I have seen a lot lately is that most of the assumptions are made on the wrong premise, and it ruins the whole message and seriously hurts the effectiveness of their campaigns. The future of advertising depends on finding new ways of engaging with customers, and finding good and creative solutions are time-consuming and costly with standard solutions. It’s the main reason behind my decision to start Nexd.

M7: Words of wisdom for advertising professionals?
ET:
Be more creative. Talk to the end consumer, and 90% of the time it will result in a higher ROAS than correctly targeted but boring experience. Rethink your assumptions about who you are advertising to. Focus your efforts on making sure you’ve nailed the right message and the right form. Test, test, test. Test different creative solutions, messages, forms, and find the combinations that work for your brand. Advertising is constantly evolving and can be challenging at times, which I think is the most interesting part.

ABOUT NEXD

Nexd is the creator of the fastest, lightest, most innovative ad solution on the planet. Nexd is an easy-to-use online tool enabling marketers to create interactive, lightweight ads that actually engage your audience. Unlike competing platforms with complex builders Nexd is based on simple, drag and drop layouts, slashing production time from weeks to minutes. Nexd represents a leap forward in how users perceive and interact with digital ads. Thanks to weight-saving and visually stunning ads, Nexd delivers an increase in performance and a higher RoAS compared to other solutions.
Nexd has a broad client base in 20+ markets on five continents, serving over 3,000 campaigns from over 200 brands, agencies, and publishers.

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Gupshup brings Vertex AI-powered AI chatbots into RCS conversations

PR Newswire | February 26, 2024

Gupshup, the world's leading Conversation Cloud platform today announced that brands on its platform can now offer AI chatbots for RCS conversations, opening up a whole new advanced and interactive experience for their users. Gupshup's Conversational AI product suite, spanning Auto Bot Builder and ACE LLM, are now using Google Cloud's Vertex AI platform to bring the benefits of Google's large language models (LLMs) to Gupshup's customers globally. The integration will enable businesses to deliver more precise and human-like interactions with speed and scale and offer a more personalized and responsive experience. Further, AI assistants on RCS will be able to intelligently respond to unstructured queries, assisting customers across various stages–from product discovery, lead generation to troubleshooting and customer support. "Generative AI is transforming the RCS industry, and we're thrilled that Gupshup is utilizing our latest LLMs on Vertex AI to further personalize and enhance how businesses engage with customers through AI-driven conversations," said Warren Barkley, Senior Director of Product Management, Vertex AI at Google Cloud. "Vertex AI provides partners like Gupshup with a unified AI platform to leverage state-of-the-art foundational models, and we look forward to seeing the ways Gupshup continues to innovate with this technology." "We've always leveraged the latest cutting-edge AI technologies to offer a superior customer engagement platform to our brands. With our Auto Bot Builder and domain-specific ACE LLM now leveraging Google's LLMs, business messages on RCS are set to get a massive facelift, leading to better ROI for enterprises. We are excited to work with Google Cloud to help our brands bring intelligent conversations on RCS that will redefine customer engagement," said Beerud Sheth, Founder and CEO, Gupshup. Gupshup is a pioneer in leveraging domain-specific, fine-tuned large language models (LLMs) to automate the creation of enterprise-grade chatbots with appropriate guardrails. In January 2023, it launched Auto Bot Builder, a tool that leverages LLMs to automatically and effortlessly build advanced chatbots for enterprises. Gupshup's Conversational AI solutions are already live with several clients in India and abroad. The advanced chatbot for Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) - Dubai's largest utility, is powered by Gupshup. In India, several brands such as Tata Capital and Chaayos are using it for brand engagement, product discovery, employee training, and consultative selling.

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