Marketing executives play a key role as the power behind the brands that they represent and additionally wear many hats as an essential piece of the executive brain trust.
As part of XBIZ World’s “Execs of the Year” special issue, marketing mavens of the digital media market share their thoughts on the strategies that drove success in 2017.
This year we have seen amazing success with a basic strategy of utilizing a specific mix of content, advertising, PR and social media to drive more focus around all the benefits of using the CCBill platform. -Laurie Biviano, CCBill
Each of the executives we spoke to below is among the finalist nominees for Marketing Executive of the Year in the digital edition of the 2018 XBIZ Exec Awards.
Which of your marketing initiatives proved most successful this year, and why?
“I find my most successful marketing initiatives were the ones where I positioned my clients in areas where you wouldn’t traditionally find them. Culturally speaking, 2017 has been a year of recognizing and celebrating intersectionality and I believe this shift is reflected in business. When I created marketing campaigns that illustrated the depth and diversity of a client (rather than focusing on an already established facet of their brand), those proved to be the ones that had the most traction.”
“I consider the best marketing initiative that we’ve had this year is the #girlsfromstudio20. That meant using the hashtag on social media, presenting articles that were written by them in industry magazines, featuring them in ads and videos and creating a whole profile for cam models around it, promoting them as individuals under the same name. The #girlsfromstudio20 means a community, a sorority if you want and I believe the best marketing initiative is one that provides genuine feelings and information.”
“ExoClick launched the native advertising format to the industry in March and it was a hugely successful campaign. We educated the industry on how the format works with our easy to use native advertising widget via blog posts, emailed newsletters and media coverage including a column in XBIZ magazine. We also held a workshop for both advertisers and publishers at trade shows and created media kits for publishers and advertisers to show them how they could generate more revenues and conversions with the format. Additionally, we ran a promotion throughout April and May where advertiser clients that spent $1,000 or more on the native format received [a 50 percent rebate on] the total amount they invested to further spend on ExoClick traffic. Secondly, video content marketing has been very impacting for us this year with our regular video show The Additive. The show covers the latest ad tech news and interviews with industry experts and is now getting more than 7,000 views per episode via ExoClick’s dedicated page (ExoClick.com/the-additive/). Thirdly, in addition to our ad network platform, ExoClick launched the industry’s first ad exchange and introduced programmatic RTB. ExoClick also rebranded itself as ‘The Innovative Ad Company’ with the message that there are now three ways to work with us: self-service, programmatic and automation via our platform API. This was communicated via a media campaign, an ad exchange workshop at trade shows and a corporate website revamp.”
“Definitely the iconic Jasmin parties. Since we are industry leaders, we have to constantly innovate, improve, and reinvent ourselves. And these values are immediately recognizable in all our parties, especially from one year to the next.”
“This year we have seen amazing success with a basic strategy of utilizing a specific mix of content, advertising, PR and social media to drive more focus around all the benefits of using the CCBill platform. As the only true Payments-as-a-Service provider in the industry, the primary objective for these campaigns is to generate new business, while further educating our merchant, affiliate and consumer base on the value of our products, features and integrated partner solutions. For our existing markets, the CCBill sales and marketing team launched the ‘Freedom to’ campaign in 2017, presenting a series of powerful, rich visuals, coupled with insightful words, like ‘Adapt,’ ‘Reach,’ and ‘Balance.’ Ultimately, this campaign shares the concept of how CCBill offers our merchants the freedom to focus on both their business and their personal life, while we help with billing automation, growth support and around the clock care for their buyers. To position us in new markets, our ‘Payments-as-a-Service’ campaign introduces CCBill as a leading all-in-one payment platform, built to handle online business growth in a global marketplace. Providing additional credibility, we offer a gated whitepaper in this campaign to highlight the benefits of leveraging Payments-as-a-Service to empower an online business or store. Finally, the ‘CCBill Pay — Log in and Pay’ campaign touts the ease of making payments using our new consumer stored payment option, CCBill Pay. Keeping in step with our ongoing efforts to drive consumer acceptance and trust for CCBill, this campaign works to connect all the dots for buyers who have purchased a subscription, product or service from a website that uses CCBill to handle their online payment processing. The CCBill sales and marketing team spent a significant amount of time prepping, developing and testing creative for all our 2017 campaigns, targeting specific audiences and then building out the proper mix of assets, to best help us achieve our business goals. And, as we continue to receive business market recognition for our outstanding portfolio of global payment products and services, I believe the strength of our campaign creative has worked as a springboard to communicate market expertise, further driving results for our CCBill marketing efforts in 2017.”
“By taking my job on the road with Remote Year, the global work program for professionals profiled in Forbes, CNN and Business Insider among others, AE looked to expand the brand internationally, as well as increased potential for mainstream crossover PR. To get a better handle on worldwide trends in the adult industry, it’s important to take a look at what fans are watching in other nations, so we decided to explore the erotic interests of the countries I’d be visiting and how they differ from the U.S. and other parts of the world. Our data reveal the important influences and trends that reflect what’s unique to different countries. Even though our cultures and daily lives are quite diverse across the globe, it’s fascinating to see that carnal interests are often universal. I also hope this will inspire a shift from the traditional office work environment in a new way by working with team members in different regions, learning about their cultures and collaborating in new and challenging ways.”
“BitterStrawberry.com means innovation and performance. In order to keep delivering them, this year we kept ourselves pretty busy with launching new revolutionary tools, publisher platform upgrades and redesign, rebranding, plus few other surprises that will follow until the end of the year. But if I would choose the marketing initiative that was the most successful, it will be our new educational platform. This is one of the most important parts of all our marketing initiatives. Its goal was to raise our brand awareness and increase our ROI, while scaling the use of technology, and as a result, we got numerous newbies on their feet and moving, while making learning an easy and motivating experience, and we partnered with best-of-breed advertisers, publishers, media buyers and networks and helped them understand how the market changes, what strategies work and what tools they need to use depending on the context in order to maximize their revenue.”
“In terms of marketing success, to be honest, I would say the biggest initiative was the alignment of my team members. For quite some time we have been running on overload. Producing more content than we could keep up with as a team. Our managing director, Francois Noble, who is the fulcrum and anchor point of our operation is to thank for this renewed synergy and team spirit. We had to dive in deep together and trim the fat off some processes that were etched into our marketing strategies for a decade or so. It’s ongoing, the work is never over, but we are confident we’re on the right track. This has enabled us to move faster as a unit when we have campaigns to tackle and each individual has ownership of their field of expertise and an obligation to keep everyone in the loop. I’d like to compare it to having a finely tuned band. Brands are like bands after all (a direct quote from one of our VR affiliates, Doug). You need to have the right players in the right positions, and synchronicity at the top level. When you’ve got all that in place, and you’ve dialed in what you do best, then you’ve got the hottest band/brand on the market. Now that goes up to all levels of the organization. We are also working very closely with production, post-production, IT, and sales. It’s just the beginning of a new adventure. In regards to a marketing initiative produced by the team, the design, and launch of www.DDFNetworkvr.com, because we had no knowledge on this sector whatsoever, just a year ago. We’re at infant stages, but gaining ground rapidly and we see VR as a logical step into the future and showcasing our brand on another level/platform. We hold high respect for pioneers like VirtualRealPorn, VRCosplayX, VRBangers, NaughtyAmerica VR and Reality Lovers just to name a few, and we see a hungry market of VR users ... specifically in the gaming and tech communities that will welcome fresh, well produced content. And they are willing to pay for it. A breath of fresh air indeed. None of that would be possible without my band: Ante Cupic, business intelligence/affiliates; David Csordas, graphics/web designer; Eszter Lelovics, graphics/cover designer; Balazs Szep, promotional content specialist; Markus Fahrenberger, SEO copy writer; Cindy Kawamura; Adam Zsuffa, SEO manager; and our newest member, Viktoria Molnar, social media manager. They are the core of what’s developing to be a finely tuned machine.”
Falcon Studios Group
“That’s a difficult one to answer. Falcon Studios Group and NakedSword Network have had such a successful year, but I would have to say that the ‘Earthbound: Heaven to Hell 2’ blockbuster marketing plan we put together was most successful. We developed a special mini-site that included teaser trailers, special character illustrations and additional content slowly released over a number of weeks prior to the official release date. With an amazing team providing me with assets to create a seamless pre-release marketing initiative that fired on all cylinders from the initial buzz from PR and social media to the final release emails and online promotion, this initiative was a huge success. I’m very happy that we could do such a coordinated effort for such a spectacular release.”