XBIZ World is pleased to present “Execs of 2016: The Year in Review” — a special showcase of the thoughts and strategies of 2016’s most influential and motivational leaders as they offer their take on the year’s top trends.
Each of the executives we spoke to is among the finalist nominees for the Online Industry edition of the 2017 XBIZ Exec Awards.
Catering to seasoned media buyers and high volume premium publishers, we’ve been able to serve both sides of the market with a large amount of success. Both publishers and advertisers are extremely happy with our personal approach to doing business. -Bako Kaye, Etology
The following question about the year in review was asked to those running for the Chief Executive of the Year Award:
XBIZ: What strategies fueled your company’s success this year?
“Quantox continues to grow because we prioritize people above all else. As a web development company, it’s easy to become fascinated by new technologies, immediate profits and other distractions, but we are well aware that our long term success will always be a function of the relationships we establish with our clients, and our ability to enhance the relationships they build with their customers. That’s why we invest so much effort into hiring the best people and focus on working with the best people. In 2016 we did a good enough job to earn an XBIZ award nomination, and this success motivates us to continue doing even more to exceed client expectations during the years to come.”
“For Falcon Studios Group and NakedSword, the strategy this year that fueled our success would have to be the vertical integration of the two companies. Since taking over the Falcon Group in January, my main goal was to unify the two groups that make up AEBN’s gay division. Now the two companies share resources and talent in a way that was never possible before and as a result each team member is now working and rooting for the success of the entire group as opposed to just the studio brand they worked on. In addition to internal changes, we continued to expand our product offerings into independent gay features on NakedSword while working with new directors to create movies that continue to push creative boundaries.”
“We are continually introducing new innovations to the adult market. Back in March, we confronted ad blocking with our own technology solution, NeverBlock, which bypasses ad blockers so that publishers can recapture their ad revenues. We analyzed the ad block traffic of one of our clients with NeverBlock code installed on their site. They saw their global impressions increase by 39 percent and their global revenues grow by 18 percent. In June, we launched our in-stream pre-roll video ad format. We are the first ad network to offer this to the adult industry. It has the highest CTR of all digital ad formats in mainstream at 1.84 percent (Business Insider), while adult is even higher at 15 percent. And in October we launched Fluid Player our advanced HTML 5 video player. Many publishers are still using Flash and old tech video players, which are not optimized for today’s demands. It’s free to use, fully customizable and it works seamlessly with our in-stream video format.”
“It’s been a challenging year, as we launched TrafficStars in a very competitive environment. There were already several big traffic networks sharing most of the business in our industry, so we had to make a difference. To do so we chose to create some serious buzz: our exclusive partnership with Xhamster has been very helpful in that way, providing us with global visibility. The drawback of such a partnership is that we had to learn how to run before walking. It’s so much traffic that we had to quickly develop strong and reliable technology to handle it. Fortunately, our IT team is composed of some of the greatest programmers I have ever met, and they’ve been doing a fantastic job at it. Technically speaking we’ve caught up quickly with our toughest competitors. At the same time we had to hire several key account managers, support and compliance managers to provide the best services to our growing advertiser portfolio. That’s why I chose to open our sales office in Barcelona, Spain, which is a growing digital hub in Europe, filled with highly skilled people from across Europe. I’m really happy with our recruitment so far and we’re definitely building up a dream team here. Our company has grown by 100 percent during the past 12 months, and our objective is to maintain the same trend in 2017. Our goals now are to become the most innovative ad network in the industry and to start aggressively acquiring new publishers.”
“We have always been a company driven by technology. Our main driver this year has been our internal optimization engine. We have deployed this in all of our activities: media buying and particularly programmatic bidding, product, and performance redirects. This changed the way we are working and opened new mainstream business areas.”
Director and Vice President, ICM Registry
“Focus, drive and goals. We continue to push boundaries, engage with projects that offer returns for ourselves and our customers, and are never afraid to try new and different approaches. Growing a successful business and not being comfortable with the status quo is what makes us who we are. All the team at ICM are driven and motivated to make a difference and to be a major player in a crowded world, and we like to set the standards others try to follow. 2016 has been another great year and I’m sure 2017 will throw its challenges and opportunities, all of which we welcome and look forward to.”
“In order to succeed in the crowded traffic marketplace, Etology has positioned itself apart from the standard ad networks. Catering to seasoned media buyers and high volume premium publishers, we’ve been able to serve both sides of the market with a large amount of success. Both publishers and advertisers are extremely happy with our personal approach to doing business. That methodology coupled with a never-ending drive to serve our publishers and advertisers well and make them money has been the underlying driver for our success.”