Microsoft and mobile advertising platform InMobi are partnering to provide artificial intelligence-based marketing insights to customers.
For the Bengaluru-based InMobi, this will be a totally new revenue stream. It has till now been focused on the advertising space – dominated by Google, Facebook and increasingly Amazon – where it has built an over $400 million business.
Co-founder Naveen Tewari described the partnership as a formidable one that can change the landscape of advertising and marketing. “Enterprises have customers across devices and platforms. We will provide them with software to manage this complex system and provide actionable insights. And they will also have our media buying (advertising) platform,” he said, adding that marketing organisations in enterprises are expected to be the biggest buyers of software in the coming times.
The new marketing platform will enable marketers to get a much better view of every customer – combining their own internal data with those of InMobi (which reaches some 1.6 billion mobile consumers) – uncover insights, and help design better customer engagement solutions, measure impact, and respond to customer feedback from disparate channels.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said companies are seeking new ways to engage customers where they are, with connected, personalised experiences. “The combination of Microsoft Azure (cloud platform) with InMobi’s marketing platforms will deliver new intelligent customer experiences and business insights to organisations around the world,” he said.
InMobi gets access to Microsoft’s vast base of enterprise customers and to its advanced technologies, especially those related to AI and blockchain, said Tewari.
Microsoft India president Anant Maheshwari said they have been working with InMobi for over a year on the new marketing platform. “It’s a deep technology integration. The capability that InMobi has in mobile, digital and advertising is kind of unique,” he said.
The new platform will first be available in the US, India, Australia and parts of Asia, and soon in China.
InMobi is one of the first Indian startups to touch a billion dollars in valuation. Earlier this year, it acquired Los Angeles-based AerServ, a company focused on mobile video ads and on delivering ads programmatically, which means clients don’t need sales forces to negotiate ad purchases or provide manual insertion orders.