Interview with Jordi de los Pinos from Smadex
Jordi de los Pinos is co-founder and CEO at Smadex, acquired by Headway in 2018. With business and engineering degrees from MIT, Telecom Paris, and Polytecnic University of Catalunya, his entrepreneurial journey has evolved from designing cell phone and airplane chips to building the leading mobile-first DSP. He is an established figure in the growing Barcelona ad tech community and frequently shares his expertise on the topics of AI, machine learning, brand safety, and entrepreneurship.
Get to know more about him!
Quick Quiz Jordi de los Pinos – Smadex
Jordi will join us on Friday 7th of June at the W Barcelona Hotel. Do not miss the chance to learn from him!
1. How and when did you arrive in the mobile industry? Why did you decide to stay and work on this sector?
I started out in engineering, designing chips for mobile phones and planes. After a few years, I began to see a lot of opportunity in mobile advertising. It was an incredible mix of technical challenges, unsolved problems, and potential for growth. I eventually co-founded Smadex in 2011 to develop a mobile-first demand-side platform (DSP) with the vision of becoming the technological core of a new kind of mobile app marketing platform.
2. What project are you working on now?
My current focus is 100% on growing Smadex. The industry needs high-quality ad tech that has real machine learning intelligence and that can deliver high-performance results. I want to see Smadex’s technical superiority reflected in our success, so my goals are very high.
3. What is the most important professional quality an app marketer can have?
App marketing requires a mix of creativity and logical thinking. The industry has never been more numbers driven but it still always requires a flexible imagination capable of thinking of new ways of growing and scaling impactful engagement with their app.
4. What KPIs do you control every day? Which ones are the most important?
Some of my KPIs are those that most businesses would relate to. I watch Revenues vs infrastructure costs and Revenue per employee. But I also watch the average conversion rate that our algorithms can achieve for campaigns to see how can we scale up the business.
5. What problem do you face in your every day as an app marketer?
My constant challenge is finding how to scale: the business, clients, campaigns, teams, etc.
6. What is the best option to monetize a mobile app?
We work every day with apps looking to scale user acquisition, in-app purchases, and subscriptions. Each app is made different, but for those looking at monetizing with advertising, the best way to scale monetization is to figure out how programmatic really works and configure well your SSPs. For those looking at in-app purchases, the real key is to figure out your attribution models for your user acquisition partners. Most companies get this wrong.
7. What advice would you give to a company or startup before launching a mobile app?
Master the market. Understanding the needs of your target market means you can predict where things will head. You should use those needs to decide where you want to fit into the existing landscape and stay focused.
8. What are the biggest challenges facing the mobile app industry?
Attribution is the biggest challenge in the industry because the technologies are currently flawed. Progress is being made but there are still massive issues regarding how to give merit to each advertising partner while the broken attribution system allows partners to steal conversions from each other.
9. What trends will mark 2019?
Advertised user acquisition is going to see continued improvements in fraud control and attribution. Working from inside a DSP, I am confident the industry is progressing in the right direction and that the technological advances need to improve the ecosystem are just around the corner.
10. How do you keep up to date with all the news in the app marketing industry? What sources do you consult?
Adexchanger, Bloomberg, IAB, MMA, blogs from our partners, and the Mobile Mastermind community.
11. To finish, what apps or games have surprised you in the last year?
I will preface my answer with a “nerds only” warning, but I’ve been using the Researcher app and I am very impressed with how they are increasing the nonacademic world’s access to the latest papers and journals. Although there is a ton of content behind paywalls, they have an open access section that allows anyone to keep up to date with advanced machine learning and computer science journals… for those who would want to anyway!