The Way from an Affiliate Network to Mobile Ad Tech Company: Interview with Dmitry Ivanov, COO Tapgerine

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Posted: September 2, 2016

Dmitry Ivanov, Chief Operating Officer, Co-Founder at Tapgerine. He is a mobile marketing professional with 8 years of experience in the industry. Dmitry is responsible for operating the company and implementing its strategic vision. Now he’s concentrating his efforts on building Tapgerine own products and technology solutions.

What is Tapgerine and how are you positioned in the market? 
Tapgerine is mobile ad tech company, we’re focused on creating the most effective system of publisher-advertiser interrelationship with a common aim – to generate maximum profit and reach new audiences.
Today we have the in-house developed affiliate platform with 2,000+ CPI and CPA mobile campaigns for all verticals and geos, both for iOS and Android. We have a large pool of publishers that bring to the table a high-quality traffic that perfectly alines with advertisers expectations when it comes to running their ad campaigns. As for our publishers, we provide access to the best performing offers with high payouts.
Also recently we have built a new tool for remnant and back traffic monetization and so we are constantly developing new ways to monetize mobile traffic.
Tell us more about the path that you and your company had.
We’ve gone  through a lot of things. I started an online business 8 years ago, when the mobile market didn’t exist yet. We started our way in a mobile app industry three years ago as an affiliate network. We saw a huge potential of this industry pretty quickly.
We were a small company with a very dedicated team and ambitious goals, like development of our own platform that would simplify management and evaluation of a performance marketing.
We passed that stage a long time ago. Today we are a rapidly growing product company with the own mobile solution that has been operating successfully for several years. Our R&D department is constantly expanding, both in quantity and quality. We’ve built a set of handy tools for publishers and webmasters for a traffic redirect, back traffic monetization solution and programming tools. We are also have an upcoming SaaS solution launch on our platform, but it’s a topic for a separate interview.
Tapgerine mobile ad tech company

What allows your company to be ahead of your competitors?
Our key advantage is years of experience in the field of affiliate marketing, ads and performance, it allowed us to develop a product that resolves all problems that other companies mobile ad product has and to be focused on both publishers’ and advertisers’ needs.
First of all, we realize that transparency is a crucially important feature of partner programs. Our product features a transparent interface to provide users a full control over their ad campaign performance. Every ad campaign performance piece of data  is available to users in real time.
Statistics, analytics, forecasts, recommendations – our partners have all the cards in hands to experiment, modify their campaigns and to be creative, relying on own experience or to put at work our powerful and smart algorithms. By the way, I would like to stress on the fact that our company is very flexible to a of change, it operates in a rapidly changing and growing market. The current big thing in this market are machine learning algorithms to predict an advertising company success,  to understand an audience habits that are mostly relevant to a particular ad campaign. A smart online trade optimization is yet another essential feature of a quality-oriented marketing company nowadays.
What are your main tips for successful mobile affiliate marketing? 
Of course, no one can really keep up with how fast a digital advertising world evolves. So we often think of a mobile advertising market like Alice from ‘Through the Looking Glass’: “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place”. We need to keep tracking of all the current trends and always try something new because you never know what will work best in the future.
The fact that I just mentioned will make the next statement sounds illogical and odd: step by step – this is the first tip. You can’t focus on everything at a time: all markets, all kinds of traffic, all kinds of products, all niches. This way you can lose focus and loose a high level of performance your partners rely on. Yes, you need to experiment, please do it, but only after you’ve achieved a certain level of success.
Another tip and the most obvious one – any business is based on a trust. You will always go great guns when you clearly understand your partners and foresee their needs. The last but not the least is reputation, to paraphrase “Build your reputation by helping your partners build theirs”.
What challenges do you see mobile developers are facing now?
Not everyone understands how complex an app development process is. It includes hiring of a highly skilled and qualified team, clearly defined goals, strict deadlines, competent management of all software lifecycle processes: design, testing, technical support.
And of course, none of these would take off without a well-thought through marketing strategy. How do you make something unique and viral in this ocean of apps? How can you make sure users will find you? And then how to keep their loyalty? How to achieve a positive ROI? I believe these are the questions developers should keep asking themselves. And we are always out there to help them out!
What kind of people work with you in your team at Tapgerine?
This is my favorite part of any conversations about our company.
I guess it’s a combination of our HR policy and a bit of luck, but somehow we’ve managed to gather a great team of people that you can rely on in any situation.
We’re in a constant conversation with all our team members, idea discussions, opinions, feedbacks. And the amazing part of it is that this conversation is not stopping after three wonderful years of Tapgerine practice.
My team is an unbreakable net of something like 50 self-motivated enthusiasts, who are laser-focused on delivering a high performance for every single customer of our company.
What mobile devices do you use?
Nothing out of the ordinary – a smartphone and a tablet, I use both Android and iOS devices for work reasons. And I noticed I’ve been using my laptop much less lately – I can do all the things I need on my phone.
Will you buy Tesla Model 3? What do you think about electric cars and Tesla in particular?
No, I still prefer a classic v8 engine 🙂
Get mobile advertising best practices and insights from Tapgerine in the company blog.