WIA Profile: Laurie Biviano

WIA Profile: Laurie Biviano

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.

One of the internet’s most-shining examples of success is CCBill, the pioneering global payment services platform that, since 1998, has provided online companies noteworthy support and empowerment to make critical choices.

We have built the CCBill platform to support the needs of our merchants, their affiliates and, most importantly, their consumers.

Certainly, one of the key individuals who has helped keep sales and communications efforts on track and moving forward for CCBill is its longtime vice president of marketing and PR, Laurie Biviano.

Biviano, this month’s WIA Woman of the Month, is well liked and seen by many in the industry as the consummate professional who carefully and masterfully finds the right solutions for challenges presented to her.

And she has the knowledge, passion and drive that, along with the many of the other talented CCBill team members, keep the processor one of the most relevant payment gateways serving the industry, facilitating an amazon-like number of clients (CCBill has more than 30,000 websites worldwide).

While CCBill is the bread and butter for parent CWIE Holding Co., the company, in its constant bid to lure and retain clients, ingenuously decided 17 years ago to hold The Phoenix Forum, now one of the longest-running online adult trade shows.

Biviano, who plays an important part with the annual spring event, said that the conference is one of the best possible springboards to help market the payment services platform and all of the solutions in its playbook.

XBIZ recently sat down to chat with Biviano to learn more about her position at CCBill and how she helps keep the platform on top.

XBIZ: What’s a typical day like for the VP of marketing and public relations at one of the internet’s most successful and longest-running companies?

Biviano: Wow, well “typical” is probably not the term I would use to describe my day; “dynamic” is probably a better way to describe my daily regimen. Like most people with careers in fin-tech or IT, if I am awake I am online working.

We have U.S. and E.U. marketing, product, project management and support teams, so usually by 5:30 a.m. in the morning I am online trying to catch up and address collaborative planning, production and QA activities with our European teams from home.

We have an 11-year-old son, and my husband travels on a regular basis for his position with a golf equipment company, so I am usually working from home until mid-morning. I juggle emails and conference calls while simultaneous sending my son off to school.

Fortunately, my position with CCBill offers me the flexibility to work from home for the first part of the day, and then head to the office for higher profile or working meetings with our U.S. teams for the balance.

I do try to be in the office by 10 a.m. on most days in order to handle a mix of marketing, channel, sales and product meetings, as well as production and strategy sessions. At some time after 6:30 p.m., I head back home for dinner, homework support and then some late-night communications and production work before bed. Yawn.

XBIZ: What prepared you for what you are professionally doing now?

Biviano: From my first taste of marketing classes, I had a passion for learning about products, businesses and markets, and the combination of creative thoughts with stimulating visual and messages to stop traffic and drive positive reactions and results.

Honestly, marketing was such an easy career choice for me, as it offered me the luxury and flexibility to steer my career through multiple industries based on what I found interesting and lucrative at the time.

From marketing fashion brands to business development marketing to the psychology of creating in-store POS for retail stores — even producing large-scale events for The New York Times Best Selling authors — I have tried to follow the industries that caught and kept my attention, while staying alert and open to market opportunities.

That really is how I landed at CCBill. In the late 1990s I began to envision moving away from retail marketing and towards a career in the online space. I was based in the Midwest, working for a wholesale merchandise mart, and in 1999 I spearheaded a project to create an online version of our physical market, as a way to drive new orders from brick-and-mortar retailers. When I began work on that single project, I knew I wanted to cross the chasm from physical to digital.

Then, in 2000, when the opportunity presented itself with this Tempe startup online payment processor … a company that was leading the way in growing and successfully servicing and supporting online e-commerce markets, offering a bundle of processing, web hosting and adaptive software solutions, I jumped.

I have been part of the family of CWIE Holding Co. (the parent company of CCBill) ever since. We have an amazing group of fresh, smart business minds working at CCBill.

I can honestly say that working with the likes of our CEO, Ron Cadwell; our managing vice president of sales, Gary Jackson; Gary’s sales team; my marketing team; and all of our product development, operations and support professionals is just a total and complete blast for me.

XBIZ: In a nutshell, what does CCBill have to offer online businesses?

Biviano: CCBill has definitely evolved through different phases into an all-in-one, “payments-as-a-service” platform. In the competitive global marketplace, online merchants need all the resources they can access to capture every opportunity to maximize their revenue, minimize their costs and keep their customers happy.

We have built the CCBill platform to support the needs of our merchants, their affiliates and, most importantly, their consumers.

From helping our merchants reach global audiences instantly to drive sales growth; to creating a seamless and PCI secure payment experience for buyers; and to building billing, integrations, mobility, marketing and reporting automation solutions to help keep our merchants’ businesses running smoothly CCBill brings a total business solution to the table for most any type of business model.

Ultimately, we offer online merchants the freedom to focus on their business while we handle the heavy lifting for them — with the years of expertise to support their goals. Add in every way possible to connect our merchants with partners for automation of their product, traffic or technology needs, and you start to understand the value of the CCBill platform.

XBIZ: What are some of the most effective marketing and promotional strategies you’ve put into play?

Biviano: Well, of course, that would be The Phoenix Forum. The Phoenix Forum has offered us the best possible springboard to spotlight our CCBill sales and marketing efforts. I am not sure if attendees of The Phoenix Forum know this, but CCBill is the hands-on producer of the Forum, 100 percent with in-house CCBill staff.

Not only do Gary Jackson and I work tirelessly to strategize, co-manage and produce all of the pre and post events with Kathi Stout,but we also use the show to launch new CCBill campaigns and further support and fuel our most valuable business relationships with industry partners such as XBIZ.

I am proud of the work our team does to maintain this very vital, direct connection to CCBill with our industry — and the work is done on top of their regular work running a billing company. This strategic investment for CCBill drives incredible results for our business and helps fuel our adult market sales pipeline for the balance of the year.

In the mainstream markets, we have seen much success in leveraging our channel and business development relationships into our sales, marketing, PR and product strategies. By aggressively developing channel relationships and aligning ourselves with complementary mainstream technology and business service providers, as well as targeted business and trade media, we have further created a differentiator for CCBill as a payment-as-a-service platform.

By working to integrate our product, sales, marketing and PR activities with many of these providers, and continuing to launch new services such as CCBill Pay, our simple “log in and pay”’ consumer stored payments service, we are now getting noticed.

Over the past year, CCBill has received a lot of mainstream media attention, spotlighting that we have become one of the key providers in the global payment gateway market, alongside Amazon Pay, PayPal and Stripe.

XBIZ: What is the one characteristic that office mates totally dig about you, and the one that drives them insane?

Biviano: I believe they like that I am low-drama, low-maintenance and open to change, as long as it benefits the business. In addition, I am a notorious problem solver and wordsmith … so I am a good “go to” resource for many areas of our business.

If I were to take a step back, it probably drives them insane that I try so hard to balance work and home … but for me, that is nonnegotiable. It keeps me sane and passionate about our business and our organization.

XBIZ: What’s your favorite quote, and why?

Biviano: My favorite quote is from Eleanor Roosevelt — “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

One of the greatest gifts in my existence is my resilience to negativity and the power of positive thought in order to pursue personal growth. Having a vision for my life and allowing myself to formulate ideas to achieve or even make adjustments to that vision, is rewarding and supportive for what I consider to be a healthy and happy state of mind.

XBIZ: Outside of work, what do you like to do?

Biviano: No. 1 — To hug my kids as often as possible.

No. 2 — To power through an eight-mile run … independent of the weather.

No. 3 — To eat delicious food and sip on a good glass of wine.

No. 4 — To learn something new and interesting each day.

No. 5 — Read XBIZ daily.