Paola Silano founded Cookies Factory in 2013 with four partners from the online marketing world to focus on the VAS market which has since spawned Cookies Digital, a performance media agency active in Europe, Mena and South Africa.
Here she talks about the challenges and the many opportunities that the pandemic has created for the company and the VAS market and where the company goes next
What does you company do?
Cookies is a media agency 100% focused on mobile acquisition based on VAS and performance. We have been present in the VAS market since 2013 and are recognised by our clients as the number one in Google and Premium channel acquisition. In the past two years the company has also been working towards launching our own product line for mobile users, starting from a new platform dedicated to the esports fans.
Which countries or regions do you feel represent the greatest opportunity for your telemedia services in 2022?
Africa and the Middle East will continue to grow as they have done these past two years. What I hope is that Europe will also be able to grow again, managing to find the right product for such a demanding market
To what extent has the pandemic affected your customer’s behaviour and have you been able to explore new opportunities as a result?
To tell the truth we didn’t see a real difference in behaviour in our customers, especially during the first phase. Probably the impossibility of going out and being able to participate in live events has given a boost to our business, which is all digital, but now that the situation is finally returning to normal, many new opportunities are opening, and we are hungry to seize them.
What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome?
The real challenge was not being able to meet our customers and partners live. Especially for the agency’s business it is essential to establish a relationship of trust with customers.
How do you balance payment flows, operator relationships and customer satisfaction?
I think it’s a natural balance; what I mean is, if you have a good product that makes the users happy, the payment flow shouldn’t be a threat and in the meanwhile the mobile operator will be happy too. Having a “good product” is the real challenge.
What are the biggest challenges for the future?
What major factors do you think will impact the future development of mobile payments and which other payment options represent the biggest threat?
In Europe, the capacity to keep the user journey as easy as possible will be the main factor. The strength of the mobile payment is in the simplicity of the payment flow and if it will become comparable with others payment method that are all more profitable, there will be no chance for it.
At the same time, even where the penetration of mobile is huge compared with the other payment options, the factor that will impact will be to guarantee a safe and trustable journey to the user, it’s not possible to grow without this.
Your words of wisdom: On a more personal level, what is the most inspiring piece of advice that has seen you through a life in business to this day and who gave that advice to you?
What I learnt, sometimes doubting but then confirming with the facts, is that if you work well, and with well I mean: respecting the agreement taken, respecting the clients and the competitors, respecting the rules and the lows, this will be acknowledged and will allow you in being successful in business in the long term. This is the way my partners and I work and what we are proud of.