Exec Seat: Q&A With StarEdition's Alex Lecompte
Alex Lecompte is proud working in the adult space. In fact, the three-year adult biz veteran says he can’t even imagine working in mainstream anymore.
StarEdition’s marketing manager says that the industry has allowed him to be himself and be direct. And he loves it. But, in particular, Lecompte has an affinity for StarEdition, a growing mobile adult company that has an increasing global presence.
XBIZ World recently sat down with Lecompte for this one-on-one Q&A to learn more about StarEdition’s Star-Advertising and mobidea and his feelings on working in the biz.
XBIZ: How did you get involved in the industry?
LECOMPTE: After a double master’s degree (foreign languages for business and advertising), I’ve been multiplying work experiences to figure what I wanted and what I didn’t want to start a long-term career.
I’ve been a journalist for two years (radio and newspaper), joined the French Airforce in their public relations department, and I’ve worked in an online advertising agency and a gambling company.
I didn’t plan on getting in the industry, but three years ago an adult ad network offered me a job to take care of its best advertisers. I was a bit skeptical about dealing with porn, but finally I jumped in. Since then, I’m pretty happy with the move.
I can’t imagine myself getting back into mainstream.
Maybe it is because of the content itself, or because it’s a small friendly group of people, or maybe both. But I think that, thanks to several factors, we can mix efficient business with great fun.
I have never been so direct in my negotiations with clients and partners, and that’s one of the points I love most about working in adult: You can be yourself and be direct.
I really appreciate that, in my opinion it helps build a strong and lasting relationship.
XBIZ: Tell me about StarEdition. How many work for the company, and where are you located?
LECOMPTE: StarEdition is our parent company based in Luxembourg. It was founded in 2007 by Antoine Moreau, who built the company to focus on mobile advertising and monetization technologies. The main activity back at that time was media buys for video-on-demand and dating.
Thanks to his smart vision, Antoine decided to focus on the technology needed to provide a better media buy experience to marketers; this is how StarEdition launched Mobidea and Star-Advertising.
I joined StarEdition about a year and a half ago and was excited about the potential of the projects and the corporate ethics of the CEO. As a direct result of intense teamwork over the past year, we have been growing a lot, improving and developing new projects, hiring great new people. The company now counts 30 dedicated members working over the world in four different offices : Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and Cyprus, as well as three delegated representations in Italy, Ecuador and Brazil.
Two of my favorite projects at StarEdition are Star-Advertising and Mobidea, I take a deep pleasure seeing how our companies are evolving and how our partners are satisfied with our services and tools.
I think that our vision of business and work philosophy is a strong asset. In a nutshell, we want to make clean, efficient and long-term business deals aiming for respect and quality.
XBIZ: What exactly does Star-Advertising do with mobile traffic to make clients money?
LECOMPTE: Star-Advertising is an adult mobile advertising network.
We buy mobile banners, popunders, interstitials and redirects from selected publishers, and we sell it to key advertisers who want to push their offers online.
Our added-value to this service is the adserving technology itself.
The platform is completely self-service and transparent, and advertisers can select which spot on which site at what time of the week they want to buy impressions. They can apply filters developed in-house by country, operating system, ISP and frequency capping in order to target the best audience possible.
These technical features in addition to the campaigns managing tools (budget alert, volume monitoring, etc.) and the relevant tips from our support and account advisors help both advertisers and publishers to make money in the long term.
XBIZ: And how does Mobidea work?
LECOMPTE: Mobidea is totally different from StarAdvertising and the rest of StarEdition projects. Its only common goal is to provide a technology for partners who wants to monetize adult traffic coming from a mobile device.
It’s a mobile monetization platform that webmasters and media buyers can use to convert their 3G and Wi-Fi traffic.
Mobidea has evolved a lot during the past six months. On one hand, we have worked heavily on opening new country markets and at the same time on another hand Mobidea developers have sharpened to the maximum the automatic optimization algorithm.
For affiliates, making money with Mobidea is very easy: They can do it through a white label (we help them to build custom mobile portals in a few clicks) or, thanks to a smart link (optimized redirection), both solutions are connected to Mobidea’s proprietary technology.
According to country, device and operator, the mobile user will directly see the most efficient payment offer available for his profile.
In most cases we offer the user payments to be directly charged on his phone bill. This is one of the reasons why our affiliates are happy.
Today, we successfully convert mobile traffic from 60 key countries and our team is highly motivated to provide new services in many other places in the near future.
XBIZ: Where is most of your business coming from?
LECOMPTE: It depends on which company you are referring to.
For example, on Star-Advertising mobile adnetwork, most of our best traffic is coming from English-speaking countries, Western Europe and South America.
With Mobidea, we see high performances in several key markets where mobile advertising is booming, including in Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Spain, Argentina, Guatemala, Germany, The Netherlands, Thailand, Brazil, Colombia, South Africa, Norway and India.
Both projects are worldwide and it’s very interesting to see how the advertising demand is different coming from web sources and the mobile ones.
We operate everywhere, but basically we focus on where the demand is and readjust the strategy daily according to global trends and forecasts.
Most of the time a good trend is defined by billing solutions and volumes of traffic available. Among other factors, this is what we analyze to identify key markets.
XBIZ: What’s a typical work day like?
LECOMPTE: Turning on Skype defines the beginning of a new day. Since our team works from seven different places around the globe, almost everything goes through instant message software to coordinate and track data.
It’s nice to see how Internet threw away borders and decreased culture shocks.
My day usually starts with a global “adult” and then “technology” press review so I can stay tuned with the numerous and quick changes in our virtual world.
Then comes a long — but so needed — time dedicated to answering email and planning for the day and the rest of the week.
Once emergencies or hot topics have been handled, I plan our next marketing/communication actions and collaborate on new business development with matching teams.
XBIZ: When not thinking about the biz, what do you like to do?
LECOMPTE: This is a very interesting question. I think it’s hard for us as online professionals to be able to disconnect from time to time.
Unfortunately the Internet has no official time zone and public holidays, which makes it hard sometimes to log out.
But when I finally turn my computer off I really enjoy the most basic things: Spending time chilling with my wife and family, reading, watching TV — those very little simple things that makes you happy to get time for yourself, you know?
At least I really can’t complain about how hard it is not tmobido think about business or work. I work in a great company doing things I love, and I’m next to very cool people — colleagues, partners and clients — and getting paid for it. I hope at a certain point everyone could feel like this.