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Execs of 2018: Online Business Chiefs Discuss Maintaining a Competitive Edge

Execs of 2018: Online Business Chiefs Discuss Maintaining a Competitive Edge

The most demanding and responsible person in a company must not only oversee every aspect of an enterprise, but must also serve as its vision. The buck truly stops at these head honchos’ desk.

As part of XBIZ World’s “Execs of 2018: The Year in Review,” these top decision-makers share their take on the most innovative developments of the year.

Each of the executives we spoke to below is among the finalist nominees for Chief Executive of the Year in the digital edition of the 2019 XBIZ Exec Awards.

How did you maintain a competitive edge and drive your company forward this year?

Benjamin Fonzé
ExoClick

“Keeping up with market trends is key to staying competitive in our ever-changing industry, for example, this year Google introduced new restrictions regarding annoying ad formats and abusive ad experiences, therefore we launched several new Google-compliant ad formats and we also introduced new features to our labeling system, inside our admin panel, allowing publishers to block non-Google-compliant ads with just one click. Another factor is that we are continually improving our technology and creating new automation features for clients. This year we launched the ExoClick Bidder which allows advertisers to automate the optimization of their campaigns by automatically adjusting their bids for ad zones and blocking underperforming ad zones, depending on the criteria set by the advertiser. It works just like a smart assistant so that advertisers can really scale up their campaigns. We have also increased our members’ area business market share by signing exclusive deals with Traffic Mansion, Dating Factory, WhiteLabelDating.com, and Adult Friend Finder. We also created the Email Clicks ad format to enable advertisers to directly reach dating site members with their offers.”

Vuk Popovic
Quantox

“Reflecting on 2018, Quantox has certainly been faced with challenges and obstacles in its path. Frequently adapting to changes in technology, providing regular education for our staff and focusing on the quality of service that we provide to our clients, is among some of the reasoning as to how Quantox, has managed to remain competitive and still to grow around 20 percent in manpower to become a 200+ person team. While I’m grateful and humbled by my XBIZ Exec nomination as Chief Executive of the Year, without the dedication, efforts, and support of the Quantox team by my side, Quantox would not be the success that it is today. Having reliable, well-educated staff who treat Quantox as if it were their own business, is our fundamental solution to being a step ahead. Quantox is not just a business, it’s a family!”

Mitch Farber
NETbilling

“After 20 years in business, NETbilling is certainly in tune to what our merchants need to be successful. As the adult industry gets more and more competitive from a pricing standpoint, we have maintained our competitive edge by offering high volume-tiered pricing that is extremely competitive in today’s marketplace. In addition, we have introduced many money-making features to help our merchants increase their profits and reduce costs. NETbilling has also been focusing on expansion in several other industries offering merchant account acquiring, transaction processing, and call center services.”

Cathy Beardsley
Segpay

“By listening to our clients and focusing on what they need to be successful. They asked for help with customer retention, throughput, alternative payments, and different processing solutions, just to name a few. Segpay is finishing its 13th year in business and we remain focused on strengthening our core processing system while continuing to enhance our suite of merchant services. This year we tasked our engineers with optimizing some of our legacy code, while also streamlining our entire development process, allowing us to launch new products and features much more quickly and efficiently. All of these steps have positioned us better than ever to respond to our clients’ needs in 2019 and beyond.”

Clement P.
Bang.com

“This year we focused on two key areas to drive Bang.com forward. We paid particular attention to developing and testing new customer acquisition flows — tweaking the route, the offer, and the ways we communicate with our users depending on their position in the customer lifecycle. In addition to that, this year we doubled-down on our efforts to produce the highest quality content. We allocated significant resources to finding new areas of opportunity within the content landscape and partnering with some of the most talented producers in the business. As a result, we successfully launched three new Bang Original Series this year, each with impressive results and feedback from the community. Overall, 2018 was another exciting year of growth here, and we’re expecting an outstanding year ahead!”

Tim Valenti
Falcon Studios, The Nakedsword Network

“Being competitive is a state of mind. I live it, and I encourage it in our company. For me, the most important aspect of being competitive is not just about being fierce but being aware. Being present, listening, learning, and taking the time to understand current market conditions are essential. I always keep an open mind and encourage everyone to do so as well. I drive our team by rooting for their success as well as other companies’ success, which benefits our industry as a whole. Most importantly, never stop imagining!”

Olivier Bourque
CrakRevenue

“It is all about finding the right balance between focusing on what you do best as a company, and keep on innovating at the same time. I guess all executives are challenged with this balance from time to time. If I had to give a piece of advice, that would be that: some people think they need to find new partners and new deals in order to offer something new. On the contrary, I find it a whole lot more efficient in working out & building new projects, with long trusted partners. In fact, this is exactly our vision going forward into 2019: to benefit from our most wonderfully-fulfilling partnerships and continue expanding on new creative ideas with long-time partners we trust.”

Ron Cadwell
CCBill

“As a leading payment services provider, we are well-known for keeping a watchful eye on changing market trends and staying continually connected to our financial, technology and business partners, to project and plan for significant movement prior to our competitors. This process coupled with our ability to update our systems and services to quickly adapt to market changes and emerging business models allow us to anticipate and effectively address new market and regulatory fluctuations. I am proud that CCBill does not miss a beat in protecting and supporting the needs of our merchants, while helping them make more money.”

“We got a jump on our competition this year, by identifying last year that there was growing consumer demand and revenue realization in the merging social media and traditional media business model. Driving this expanding segment of the market were a group of hardworking and savvy innovators: live cam models, talent and direct broadcasters, and these non-traditional operatives were rapidly becoming the media proprietors of tomorrow. So late last year we pivoted our product, dev, sales and marketing resources to develop, package and launch our new CCBill Lifestyle service.”

“CCBill Lifestyle directly supports the market shift towards this new non-traditional, social media-based paysite model, and we placed the performers and talent in control of their broadcast revenue, with an economically friendly and easy to set up monetization package. CCBill Lifestyle is a perfect example of how all of us at CCBill work hard to stay nimble and agile. Being able to plan and execute early for future market and industry changes with valuable back-end and front-end updates like our Rebill Optimization, Card Updaters, Ethoca and Verify services, while continuing to support new business models such as Subscription Retail and Lifestyle, not only gives us a competitive edge in 2018, but also keeps our CCBill merchants far ahead of the pack, for today and tomorrow.”

Mitch Platt
Vendo

“Garbage in, garbage out. Computers work that way. So do leaders. Paysite operators have gotten garbage information about their business and industry. We’re changing that with tools we provided to our clients in 2018. One is the Paysite Meetup which is going strong. The other is our new suite of exclusive, innovative reporting tools. These new tools give Vendo clients high-quality information that they have never had before. Valuable information produces valuable decisions and valuable companies. At Vendo, we are answering our client’s most relevant questions. How do I compare? Where should I focus my resources to generate the biggest return? Where am I challenged?”