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Q&A: ExoClick's Kelan Stone Focuses on Adult Dating Market

Q&A: ExoClick's Kelan Stone Focuses on Adult Dating Market
Rhett Pardon

Meet Kelan Stone, who leads ExoClick’s members area business.

Stone, who has been with the Barcelona-based company for six months, is digging his gig working for one of the premiere leaders in the ad technology space.

Anyone who has worked with ExoClick knows that our network offers full transparency and realtime statistics to enable advertisers to make the right decisions in order to maximize their ROI.

He was tapped for the position to develop ExoClick’s new business segment related to membership site traffic and email marketing that, under his watch, has been integrated into ExoClick’s portfolio.

This new traffic source allows publishers of membership sites to have an additional revenue source via CPM ad spots while giving advertisers the opportunity to target their offers to this lucrative traffic.

The main vertical is dating membership sites from Tier 1 English speaking geos. ExoClick already has several partnerships in place including with top dating program Traffic Mansion — considered to be one of the best-converting traffic sources for advertisers because users have already paid for a dating service.

Stone told XBIZ for this article that there’s “never a dull moment” at ExoClick.

“We don’t get complacent and we’re constantly innovating and finding new ways to improve our platform with new features and tools,” he said.

XBIZ recently sat down with Stone for this Q&A to find out more about his focus at ExoClick and what drives his success.

XBIZ: Kelan, tell us about how you became interested in the online marketing business and your shift into the dating space?

Stone: One of my first online marketing jobs was with a start-up business that launched an online ordering system for floral deliveries. It was a really interesting project and we did well, but it wasn’t long before I took notice of the other opportunities in the online space. Then I moved cities, changed jobs and within a couple years I shifted my focus to the dating market.

XBIZ: Tell us about your role as head of members area business?

Stone: My role is to acquire and manage membership publishers and their traffic in order to help them grow their membership business. I am in charge of building up this new business segment for ExoClick. It is a win-win situation because I help membership site publishers maximize the monetization of their traffic and give advertisers and affiliates direct access to this high-quality dating traffic. I work closely with ExoClick’s sales and marketing teams to develop strategic pushes to promote this unique traffic source.

XBIZ: What are your selling points to publishers to help optimize their membership traffic?

Stone:  We are using a proven strategy to help our members area publishers generate net new revenue without impacting their internal sales revenue or interfering with the user’s online experience. Considering our industry experience, our innovative technology and the fact that we have the largest network of advertisers we ensure that members area publishers get what they need.

XBIZ: What are your selling points to advertisers wanting to convert this membership traffic?

Stone: For advertisers with dating offers, this traffic is highly targeted for them, especially as 85 percent of the traffic is for English-speaking territories allowing them to target the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. We have an exclusive deal with Traffic Mansion’s network of membership sites, with more exclusive deals to be announced shortly.

Advertisers have two options to buy this traffic, firstly, they can purchase CPC email blasts that go directly to a user’s email in box. Secondly buying ad space with a range of ad formats that are displayed within the members area of a site. This traffic is available to our network of advertisers via direct deals through ExoClick’s account managers or via ExoClick’s self-service platform.

Anyone who has worked with ExoClick knows that our network offers full transparency and realtime statistics to enable advertisers to make the right decisions in order to maximize their ROI. If advertisers implement pixel tracking on our platform they can see a range of data from each click including the date, hour, county, region within a country, device, OS, browser, language, carrier, offer and campaign.

XBIZ: How big is the adult dating market compared to other verticals, and is it a growing and thriving segment?

Stone: The adult dating market is one of the largest, if not the largest vertical in our industry. It’s been growing year after year. More affiliates are pushing dating offers, dating networks are releasing new sites on a regular basis, there has been consolidation in the dating market and the potential to earn residual income as a publisher or advertiser is thriving, especially in specific niche-driven dating.

XBIZ: There must be a lot of wheels in motion at ExoClick to build up business. What’s a typical working day like for you at ExoClick?

Stone: I’ve been with ExoClick for just over six months now and there is no typical day and that’s one of the things I enjoy most about my job. We don’t get complacent and we’re constantly innovating and finding new ways to improve our platform with new features and tools. There are a lot of wheels in motion, and so one day we might be working towards improving our technology and the next we could be working on sales and marketing strategies. Never a dull moment.

XBIZ: The world of online entertainment has dramatically changed in the past 10 years. Adult companies grow and evolve just like mainstream ones do. How important is it to change with the times?

Stone: I’ve always been a big believer in the saying “adapt or perish” and that could not be more true in online marketing, especially in our world of online entertainment. It goes without saying that ExoClick is the industry leader as a traffic company, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn about how truly innovative ExoClick is and the initiatives we have in the pipeline — very exciting stuff.

XBIZ: What will the world of online and mobile adult commerce look like in two to three years?

Stone: If I knew the answer to that, I would sit behind a crystal ball and charge people for the answer! We’re constantly tested with new obstacles such as region-specific advertising laws, Google changing their algorithms and expectations for publishers and advertisers, etc. All we can do is continue to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing world of online commerce.

XBIZ: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

Stone: I am most proud of the relationships I’ve built up throughout the years. I always try to provide the best possible service, work ethic and respect for my contacts.

XBIZ: Do you have a favorite quote?

Stone: I do have a favorite quote, although it’s nothing famous (as far as I know). It was my second year playing varsity in college and I remember telling my head coach that he was pushing our team too hard and that the players wanted to quit. I expected him to be shocked and reduce the workload to ensure we didn’t have any athletes leave the program but instead he told me, “If you don’t want to quit at least a couple times a year, you’re not working hard enough.”

XBIZ: When not thinking about the biz, what do you like to do?

Stone: I’ve always been a very active person, and so I try to keep myself moving. Now that I am a dad and have a baby girl in my life, I am trying to keep her just as active as I’ve always been; so far she hasn’t beaten me at anything but she’ll get there.

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