MediAvataar interviewed Moustafa Mahmoud, Founder & CEO of Cognitev and here is what he had to say:
MediAvataar: “Making ads beautiful again.” What is you motive and process behind making this happen?
Moustafa: Many people don’t stop to think of this, but advertising is actually what funds the Internet. All the free content and services we use today (Google, Facebook, CNN, YouTube, and thousands more) use advertising as a revenue model. Without ads none of this free content would exist.
However, people hate ads because they are irrelevant, intrusive, etc. If we are able to make people like ads (or at least not hate them!) we would be taking a huge step forward towards solving this problem which, in my opinion, is sprialling out of control (with the advent of adblocking). Making ads beautiful (as in relevant) would ensure that advertisers, content creators, and users are all satisfied.
MediAvataar: How brands should approach online advertising?
Moustafa: It will be great if they can understand the vast difference between offline and online advertising. When thinking of online advertising, brands need to focus on performance and partnering with companies who focus on providing that. Branding and awareness is obviously important, but without a strong ROI that is demonstrated through performance it doesn’t make sense. A lot of the budgets being spent right now are still going to non-performance channels.
MediAvataar: What according to you is the essence of Cognitev?
Moustafa: Making the Internet a better place for businesses and for their customers. Making connections between them.
MediAvataar: Why did you think a rebranding was needed?
Moustafa: We started out with a product that served the MENA region. However, we eventually realized that what we are working on could have a much more global impact. And that the core of our value proposition was not reflecetd in our brand. The rebranding is meant to reflect our global ambition and the core value proposition we offer.
MediAvataar: What is your vision for the company?
Moustafa: I want us to eventually become a platform, which other people use to build their own products on top of. Right now we have our own products, but I want us to move from being a product company to becoming a platform company.
MediAvataar: Tell us more about Cognitev’s various applications?
Moustafa: We currently have two core products: AdRelated and Instascaler. AdRelated is targeting media agencies and large brands. Instascaler is targeting small and medium businesses.
MediAvataar: What is InstaScaler and why advertisers should look out for it?
Moustafa: Instascaler is a product we are extremely excited about. It is meant to automate advertising for small and medium businesses, and automate their traffic acquisition. We call it “Traffic as a Service”. A lot of online businesses struggle with driving quality and relevant visitors to their websites, and they’re expected to navigate a very complex world of online marketing in order to achieve this which isn’t really their main concern, working on their business is. Instascaler solves this problem. All customers do is just give us a URL, that’s it, literally. And Instascaler will drive quality and relevant traffic to their website, every day!
MediAvataar: Your thoughts on the digital media scenario in the region
Moustafa: It is definitely evolving. Our knowledge in the region has evolved significantly over the past few years when it comes to digital media after being predominantly offline based for a long time. This presents opportunities and challenges alike. For us it’s a great opportunity, however.
MediAvataar: Do you think marketers are leveraging it enough?
Moustafa: Not as much as we should be, but we are slowly getting there. As I said, there is still a process of education that we are going through, on both sides (marketers and customers). A lot of what’s going on is still trial-and-error while both sides try to figure out how to adapt to a rapidly evolving landscape. It’s definitely exciting, but with several challenges that we need to overcome.
MediAvataar: What are your predictions when it comes to advertising marketing technology in the coming five years for the region?
Moustafa: More consolidation will take place, advertisers will move towards automation and AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered solutions, more transparency, and definitely more sophisticated customers.