Mihael Mikek is the Chief Executive Officer and a Co-Founder at Celtra. He is a pioneer in mobile advertising having launched the first all-in-one rich media advertising platform for mobile. The Makegood recently spoke with Mihael about his role at Celtra, managing fast growing businesses and the AdCreator.
The Makegood: Mihael, you have co-founded and managed several fast growing businesses in diverse industries, including the Chemical industry and Medical Services. What would you say have been the common elements to managing fast growing businesses no matter the industry?
I have the most experience with early stage ventures, where entrepreneurial principles are necessary and can be similarly applied in almost any industry or even a non-profit organization.
Here are the principles that guide my managerial actions:
1. Talent trumps experience – although experience is very important it is not helping for “out of the box” thinking and challenging “status quo”. Both things in my opinion are the foundation of an innovative company. Experience comes into play later, for turning a startup into a business. In my view talent is the most precious element of the business, and is essential for the success. When I spot talent, I bet on it.
2. Work harder, faster and beyond the comfort zone. This is self-explanatory. Results come only from hard work and persistence. There are no short cuts. In an early stage company every person needs to be able to sprint a marathon.
3. Foster a risk taking culture. Encouraging people to take risk is important. Ambitious startups need to swing for the fences. This also means accepting failure and understanding it as a part of the learning process.
4. Transparency. I’ve always been very transparent with my partners, co-workers, investors and clients. Transparency has many positive effects; it strengthens the feeling of ownership, establishes trust, and improves relationships. Equally important is transparency with external company stakeholders.
5. Play fair. Winning only counts when you play by the rules. Integrity and honesty are the basic values that I follow and also expect from everyone else.
The Makegood: As the Founder and CEO of Celtra, can you tell us about your role and day-to-day?
My main focus today is architecting the organization, which will allow us to scale while remaining innovative, fast and will get things done. I spend half of my time with the senior management in the company working on establishing processes, setting priorities, recruiting talent and coordinating activities between different groups. The other half of the time I spend on the market, by market I mean in front of our clients, prospects, strategic partners, investors, advisors and media. I enjoy going on the frontline selling our product as much as I enjoy sessions with our product and engineering teams.
The Makegood: Celtra recently released AdCreator 3, a platform that provides mobile advertisers with simple rich media ad production. How does the platform work for brands? Are there any early results that you can share?
AdCreator 3 belongs to the new generation of tools which will totally redefine display advertising both from the campaign execution and management process as well as the capabilities. AdCreator 3 is an online ad production platform with built-in ad serving and analytics intelligence. It enormously simplifies the mobile rich media campaign creation process and ad serving, plus it provides deeper engagement analytics about the campaign. Designed for the mobile ecosystem, AdCreator 3 is the most advanced and reliable rich media platform on the market with more than 70 new features that make mobile display advertising more effective while reducing the complexity of campaign execution.
Here’s how the platform works:
1. Designers use AdCreator 3 for building engaging rich media HTML5 ads. It is powerful enough for the most demanding projects.
2. After the ads have been created, ad traffickers set certain ad properties or additional 3rd party tracking and select appropriate trafficking tags.
3. Ads built on AdCreator 3 are hosted and served from Celtra’s servers. They are optimized for each platform (or platform version), device, screen size, ad server and SDK, which runs in the App where the ad is served. Ads are loaded progressively for optimal performance. At the same time the platform is tracking every detail of the ad when it is served.
This integrated approach enables reliable delivery of mobile rich media ads across multiple platforms and the complex ecosystem, which is still in the process of adopting unified standards. Serving mobile ads is challenging, due to variety of devices (hardware and software differences) and various infrastructures.
The biggest benefit that brands get from using Celtra is that they can launch highly engaging campaigns with massive reach and detailed tracking, reliably and cost effectively.
The Makegood: Can you tell us about some recent client successes?
Mobile advertising is booming and rich media ads are a driving force as consumers’ increasingly expect brands to deliver useful experiences. Celtra is benefiting dramatically from this growth. AdCreator is used directly by top agencies, publishers and ad networks in more than 18 countries.
There has been a tremendous uptick in investment by agencies looking to reach their audiences on smartphones and tablets. Celtra embraced this shift and was used for auto, CPG, entertainment, and finance campaigns by leading agencies such as Carat, Digitas, Hill Holliday, Isobar Mobile, Joule, MEC, Mindshare, Mobext, Phonevalley and others. Some of these campaigns can be viewed at www.celtra.com/gallery.
Celtra Ads are also available to run on the leading mobile ad networks such as Addictive Mobility, Jumptap, Mobile Theory, Mojiva, Verve Wireless and others in the U.S., Bell Media in Canada, Adfonic and TAPTAP Networks in Europe, and cyber communications (cci) in Japan.
Publishers including CBS Interactive, Dictionary.com, Miniclip, REA Media, Viacom, The Washington Post and many others domestically and internationally, are also benefiting from Celtra’s advanced rich media capabilities by helping to enhance their mobile web and in-app inventory and improve the user experience.
Celtra is known for its innovation in social media, having developing new ad formats that integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram. Celtra launched the first solution for brands to create rich media experiences for Facebook. Angry Birds, AT&T, Dunkin’ Donuts, Macy’s, Mars Chocolate North America, and Paramount Pictures have leveraged Celtra’s mobile rich media solution for Facebook to better reach consumers on the go and give them an entirely unique brand experience.
The Makegood: Thanks, Mihael.