MobileAppDaily had the privilege of interviewing one of the most inspiring and influential tech entrepreneurs, Rocks Xu. Rocks is leading SocialPeta since 2016 as its founder and CEO. Under his leadership, the company has accomplished quite a lot, which is very impressive looking at the competitive landscape of the IT industry. In this session, we got to know about Rocks’ thought process and how he overcomes his corporate challenges. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, entrepreneur, student, or someone looking for inspiration, read this interview to have some amazing insights from the perspective of Rocks Xu.
1) Hello Rocks, thank you for joining us for this interview today! How are you doing?
Hello, nice to meet you! I am good, thank you!
2) So, after onboarding SocialPeta, what is the most memorable corporate challenge that you came across and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge happened after the Covid-19 pandemic started, it's obvious that most companies dropped their digital marketing budgets, which means less spending on campaign tests. However, there isn't any tool that could provide service related to campaign costs at that time. After a long conversation with a client, the idea of developing cost benchmarks came up.
Then, we've had tested several algorithm models to get the most accurate countries’ benchmarks of CTR, CPM, and CPC. Finally, we made it. And users are able to set a proper budget for their campaigns in no time without wasting money and hours.
3) What does your usual day at SocialPeta look like?
In the Morning
Early in the morning, typically, I prefer to check files, conversations, and emails first, then plan my daily work. Around 10:30 AM, I will have a regular meeting with our technical team to discuss unsolved technical problems.
In the afternoon
After a short lunch break, sometimes my day consists of networking and connecting with other peer CEOs and industry leaders somedays. While on Wednesdays and Fridays, it is followed by a video call with salesforces from offices in different countries. Then, I will have an in-person meeting with C-lever executives at four to five PM, which is a little bit late because we have time differences with some of the remote working employees.
When I am not occupied with meetings and files, it's necessary to encourage the team and introduce myself to new members. Even though I am not the kind of person, that's what a leader has to do. :) Besides, reading industry-related reports/surveys is also noted in my weekly to-do list.
In the evening
After dinner, I usually choose to spend the time with my family, by either watching a movie or exercising with my kids.
4) How do you work on maintaining or improving the client retention rate of SocialPeta?
Good question! It's quite important for a SaaS company. In my opinion, I think there are three aspects that we should really care about!
Make the product unique and unreplaceable
There are so many Saas tools related to advertising creatives, however, SocialPeta is the only platform with a 1.2B database, covering 72 countries and 90 networks including local networks in Asia. There is nothing similar to our cost intelligence feature that is based on the unique big data algorithm. Meanwhile, continuously optimizing the product and seeking more advanced breakthroughs technologically is important as well.
So much churn is directly related to users experiencing a lack of service and support. To avoid this situation, our customer success team is able to help 24/7. Moreover, they will contact users once in a while just to say “hi” or see how they are doing with the product. In this way, it shows the users that we care beyond the money - and we actually want to help them achieve their goals.
Meet customers' expectation
It's not hard to understand that clients will leave when they find out that your service doesn't meet their expectations. To solve this problem, it's quite essential to tell customers what exactly they will get after they sign up. We don't bluff for what SocialPeta is capable of, also we provide a free trial for the companies who are interested in our products so that they are able to have a clear recognition of the platform.
5) What do you like the most about your corporate life?
My favorite part of my corporate life is the sense of accomplishment that was brought by helping my clients to save the cost in global user acquisition.
Some of our clients said SocialPeta helps in boosting marketing efficiency, exactly reducing the time in preparing ad creatives by around 48%. Garena even commented that SocialPeta greatly helps in monitoring competitors to adjust game publishing strategies and saves time and money in achieving efficient marketing campaigns. When we receive those feedback, it means everything! And all the hard works and sacrifices were worth it in the end.
On the other hand, as a leader of a team, I need to create a culture and rules which are joyful while sustainable and could be cherished by the team and employees. During the process, it gets me to the next level.
6) What are your opinions on the continuously evolving technology?
Well, it's no surprise that technological advancements in both hardware and software have significantly contributed to the rise of the mobile gaming market globally.
Technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have transformed the gaming industry. VR has led to new concepts like VR gaming lounges and slot machines, which are more immersive. These technologies have helped to make online casinos more real.
Another technology fuelling the rise in mobile gaming is HTML5 mobile gaming or instant games. These games are available through messaging apps. Gamers don’t have to go to the App Store or Play Store to download an app. Instead, they can instantly access a variety of top-rated games. Players can also invite their friends to play.
Also, more female gamers and game designers will join in making the industry grow even further. Mobile gaming is not a passing cloud; it is the future of gaming.
7) To grow SocialPeta in markets that are still unexplored, have you planned any goals for that?
Yeah, SocialPeta's long-term goal is to be the leading advertising platform, supporting customers' business through value-adding products and services， especially in improving marketing efficiency and controlling the marketing budget.
In a short-term plan, we will focus more on the MENA market, and we hope to serve over 2000 enterprise clients globally in 2025. To make this goal realistic, we plan to hire more employees like sales, marketing, and technology specialists to optimize the products, raise technical barriers, and provide service for entrepreneurs in Turkey, Canada, America, and other European countries.
At the end of the year 2025, the total number of employees is estimated to reach 350. Moreover, although we're having sales team in Vietnam and India, we plan to set up branch offices with more employees in the SEA in 2024.
8) Do you get inspired by any of the business tycoons? If yes, who?
Yes, Serge Brin, co-founder and board member of Alphabet. Serge Brin and Larry Page created the online search engine Google, one of the most popular sites on the Internet.
I remember he said a phrase, “Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.”
I am still deeply inspired by his spirit of innovation, which invokes me to develop a tool that could really help my clients.
9) Would you like to advise anything to aspiring entrepreneurs who are planning to start their corporate journey?
Sure thing! Taken from my own experience, entrepreneurs ought to focus on two points before starting their business journey.
Find a unique and functional concept
Firstly, you need to think about a unique and functional concept for the services or products that you plan to offer.
Next, it's necessary to do marketing research. Gathering info of the target markets like reports or white papers, and access in what sectors you may be of help to meet consumers' requirements. Identify the consumers' needs, and come up with viable solutions.
After collecting enough data on the markets and consumers, you might be able to find the section of the market which remained unexplored, or over-explored. Then it's possible to find your unique sell point and make the first step.
Make a plan for your business idea
Every entrepreneurial journey starts with an idea, but the problem is how to bring your visions to come true?
Take some time to make a rough business plan, and anticipate the challenges you’ll face. Let's take the fitness App for example, which are a big hit during the last two years because of the lockdown in pandemics. Before you start processing the project, you need to consider the logistics behind the design, how you will manage to meet the needs of this target market, and last but most importantly, insert the monetization thoughts into your design.
With too many factors to think about, it's impossible to get all of the answers at this stage. However, making a mind map and outlining the process helps you create a primary business plan. At the same time, a fantastic team of partners would be essential, like in SocialPeta, we have a big group of active and passionate members, that is the reason that we can keep moving and greatly expanding our business globally.
10) How can MobileAppDaily be helpful for the growth of SocialPeta?
MobileAppDaily is one of the leading magazines in terms of the mobile app sector, and I believe that being featured on your site would help SocialPeta drive brand awareness and reach more target audiences globally. At the same time, I hope it would attract more talents to join SocialPeta.
- Identify the consumers' needs, and come up with viable solutions to grow in the market
- Every entrepreneurial journey has to have a plan with possible challenges and their counter-strategy included
- A fantastic team of experts is crucial for growth in the competitive landscape of today’s world
- Continuously optimizing the product and seeking more advanced breakthroughs technologically is important as well
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