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TrafficStars – ad network with 2 billion impressions daily!

TrafficStars – ad network with 2 billion impressions daily!

Firstly, how you got involved in affiliate
marketing? Is that hard to get a job at TrafficStars? That took you four years to become chief executive
officer of one of the biggest ad network. What do you like the most about affiliate
marketing, Peter? It’s now often said that affiliate marketing
as we know it is kind of stagnating. Hi! I’m Roman from ZorbasMedia. We are in Barcelona to pay a visit to TrafficStars,
a super successful online business and advertising network with two billions impressions per
day. They offer popunders, push notifications,
native and other types of online ads. And today we are meeting Peter, TrafficStars
CEO, to better understand how an ad network works from inside out. Make sure to subscribe to our Channel. Here we talk about affiliate marketing and
traffic arbitrage in details. Check it out! Oh! See who that might be. Roman. Peter. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. Welcome to TrafficStars! So happy to be here. Happy to have you. Let me show you the office. Pleasure. Make yourself comfortable here. What do we have here? Here is where it’s getting… Where the magic happens. Yes. That’s quite… quite a lot of people here. Yes, yes, yes. Here we have our different teams. Marketing, Finance, HR, Compliance. It’s my little office. The most beautiful part. Yes. And here we come to the sales part of the
office. I like the astronauts. Astronauts. Yeah, cool. Cool, yeah. Peter, I wanted to start from this. In this year TrafficStars has been nominated
for two awards in the XBIZ awards. Yes. So, you have been nominated, firstly, for
traffic company of the year, and secondly, for progressive web brand of the year. Is that correct? Yeah. So, first of all, my congratulations. Thank you very much. Appreciate. And secondly, could you let me understand
better what these awards exactly is? What is XBIZ? Well XBIZ is a very big industry source for
our whole industry. And this event too is like, you could compare
it to the Oscars of our industry, I would say. So, it’s big honour for us, obviously, to
be nominated for those things, and we actually already won one of those awards last year. All right. Cool. Yeah, that was big success. Did these awards give you any like recognition
or benefits? Does it give you something? It always does, I think. You always… We’re here to achieve things and to reach
new goals and everything. So, it’s definitely nice to be recognized
in the industry and definitely it always gives you a bit of exposure or something, so… Are you planning to be there? I think this year we will not be able to make
it, unfortunately. But we are still trying because our CBDO and
partner Remy got nominated as well for the executive awards. So, it’s three nominations in total? Yeah, it’s three, in fact. Wow! Yes. And he is based in our Montreal office in
Canada, so he is going to try to be there. What are the biggest risk you see as a CEO
for your business, for ad network? The biggest risk is for me not to be ready
technology-wise and not to follow the trends of the market. So, let’s rephrase, maybe what we did right,
for example, the last year when the industry was hit pretty badly by those Google updates,
Google regulations. So, I think everyone was suffering in these
phases. But I think we reacted very smartly to that
and came prepared to it. So, we did not try to fight with Google or
something because we’re not gonna win that war. Unfortunately, we’re not big enough to… Fight with Google. Yeah, in that sense. So, we just said, “Ok, let’s take a different
approach and let’s see what trends Google follows in advertising and everything, which
is video, for example, or native ads, which are perfectly fine for them, and put our focus
on those instead of trying to sneak around their regulations.” So, now, for example, if Google kills popunder
traffic… Yeah. … you will still be ok? We will still be ok because we… I mean, we all hope that it stays around,
I think. I have no issues when the market gets regulated
a little bit because I think when you… Usually on our websites the frequency cap,
so, the amounts of popunders shown by users, is very low. So, it’s not really annoying the user in that
sense, but when you see on many movie streaming sites, file-sharing sites or something when
you have like 6-7 popups in a row. Ok, this is obviously horrible for the user,
and if these things get regulated more, I don’t care because I think we in TrafficStars
want quality advertising. And so, that’s fine for me if it really disappears. We have alternatives for our publishers. So, the video ads being one thing where we
were one of the first ones in the market to work with video ads. So, we are kind of experts in these already,
and I think it’s a very, still very young format for our industry because there is not
a lot of advertisers that started yet to produce proper video advertising for the product. What is converting best for this? We see cams and games performing the best
for now. And for native? Let’s talk a little bit about native. Yeah. Native is certainly a very big focus of TrafficStars
in next year, but it is already. Because I think we are the already the biggest
in the market in terms of volumes of native traffic and we want to strengthen our position
there because I am convinced this is the future over the banner ads. We can see that the CTRs on our native ads
are much higher than on banner spots. And this is, I guess, also because users are
kind of blind already for these banners. They have seen them for years and years now. So, the native is something new, but also
they can select between different things that might actually interest them and not only
mislead them to some offers that they didn’t even want or something because you can choose
between a picture, a headline, a brand that you can name there. So, it’s a few elements that you can put together
to get the click, the right click of the right user for you. For what kind of offers do you see it as being
good fit? The best fit what we saw so far is for dating
and for neutra products. And what kind of creatives are good, you know,
for dating, for example? What is mainly used by advertisers? It’s, it’s… What’s mainly used is the typical pictures
of a lady or something that, yeah, you would think of, but it’s actually surprising that
sometimes completely contrary approaches work well because it’s something where the user
is like, “Wow, what is this? I’ve never seen that before.” And he’s more likely to click. So, there’s… I cannot really give the perfect advice here
what to do. For me it’s a lot of A/B testing if you wanna
run on native. But I can only encourage everyone to start
working with native asap because for me it’s the future. Editing this interview I have got an idea
to see for myself what results can be achieved on native. I have asked my friends from AdCombo network
to run a massive test to see exactly what converts best on TrafficStars. Today I received this spreadsheet. Let’s check it out together. Here we have offer ID, offer name and country
code. Let’s take first one as an example. It’s called Forex, but it has nothing to do
with an exchange market. MY means Malaysia. Here is a number of leads received for just
two days. This is real approve. And here, the most exciting thing, creative
pairs. Basically, the best combinations of pre-landing
pages and offer pages. In AdCombo, they have tons of preloaded creative
materials. I will show you how that works. So, here is our offer. All the information about offer can be found
here. I really like new design, by the way. It’s very fresh. This is the list of landings and here are
pre-landings. There are quite a lot, as you can see. Let’s find our winning combination. This is offer page, you can have a look on
it here. Then we need to select pre-landing. They are connected now, and our link is updated
accordingly. We are ready to send traffic to it. Check it yourself. It’s simple, and already proved to be converting. How it’s different to just like classical
banners? It just that it looks more natural or something
else? Yeah, it also looks much better with the site. Also, it is less annoying. So, it’s actually the quality of the clicks
is usually already better because now then the user has a broad choice of… Normally, we, I don’t know, our widget can
show 10 different ads, for example, in a footer typically. And the user has a big overview of things
that he could react to and he picks one of the ten already, which might be your campaign,
and then you have a really good click already on your website. But I think that there is still a long way
to go for us. For us the native already, I would say, outperforms
most of the banner spots, but I’m not sure if we already understood for our industry
how if you… what is the right way to use the native because
most of the people just use it the same way that they use a banner – they sent a click
to the same landing page that they used for a banner. And I think that there should be different
approaches that we should test. Do you believe they should change entire flow? Yeah, I think the user flow has to change,
and this could even make those results better. So, I’m working closely with a few clients
already that we try to coach towards this direction. Something like, “Nice, please, try different
landing pages now, try different approaches with reviews of your product, for example.” Closer to what we have seen in in the mainstream
already. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. For good few years the same kind of offers
have been converting. What I can name is pin submits, dating, neutra
kind of offers, sweepstakes, perhaps. And as far as I see it pins are nearly dead
because of the regulations, dating is not converting as good as it used to be, and I
see that people are getting tired from nutra. Firstly, do you agree with me? And secondly, do you see any new kind of offers
starting to pop up? Well, I think I don’t fully agree with you
because I think this whole new approach of the user flows with native will probably change
a bit the way that dating converts as well. And neutra, we see much better conversion
rates already. For nutra? Nutra and dating. And also I have to say that some our of biggest
advertiser, maybe the biggest vertical for TrafficStars in terms of what advertisers
buy is dating still. Still dating? Yeah. So, I could not say that it stopped converting
or anything. In terms of what I see in the future, I think… I think everything… I have a feeling that it is very exciting
time for our industry because everything becomes more mature, I have a feeling, more professional. And I think that bigger corporations will
start looking into our industry more and more now. So, we already had inquiries from very big
gaming companies that want to produce very professional games, for example, that are
fit for us. Like, kind of adult games or just..? Yeah, yeah. Ok. So, but it’s really big corporations that
are looking into this. Yeah, this might be a great opportunity for,
like, advertisers, for affiliates, you know. Exactly. So, I… everything that we see now, the whole
advertising and also the products and everything, I have a feeling that we’re maturing. And about pin submits kind of offers. Do you still have some advertisers who run
them? Yeah, yeah. We do have that, and also everyone says, like,
mobile subscription offers are are kind of dead, but there is still a few markets around
where it still works, so, it’s, yeah, we all saw it going down over the years, and it was
probably for a reason, but, yeah, it’s still around in some markets. Speaking of your personal achievements and
experience can you tell me, firstly, how you got involved in affiliate marketing? Yes, it all started many years ago already
when I worked for a company called Democo in Vienna. Like, I’m Austrian, so I grew up close to
Vienna, found a job in this company, a sales manager back then, and Democo was the biggest
European mobile payment aggregator, basically. So, I was involved in carrier building from
the start, and, yeah, that’s how I got into this industry, worked for them for a couple
of years and then moved on to another network, Barcelona-based. And since then, I’m since five years I am
in Barcelona. Well, I quickly checked your LinkedIn, and
what I understood was that you mainly were involved in sales and business development
before. And my question is, have you actually worked
with the traffic as an affiliate? I’ve never been a real affiliate in that sense,
but I always was involved in performance marketing within the traffic companies I worked. So, basically my last project that I started
up, we started purely with performance marketing. So, it was ourselves from the start, setting
up campaigns, driving traffic to offers and everything. So, that’s why in this field I have quite
a good knowledge, I think. So, you have experience launching campaigns
yourself? Yes, yes, absolutely. Can you tell me, like, what kind of offers
you were running traffic to? Oh, it was all kinds of offers from dating,
cams, nutra, whatever works best for our industry. Or all the classical stuff. Yeah, the classics, yes. All right. Can you tell me what you read about affiliate
marketing, can you… like forums or chats or books, perhaps? How do you educate yourself in this regard? Well, mostly I keep myself updated with STM
Forum, that’s one that I frequently use. Other than that, it’s more smaller blogs that
I read. Yours, obviously, as well. Yeah, cool. Not sure if we can talk about it, you let
me know, but… Can you please let me know why have you decided
to leave one of the biggest affiliate network and to join TrafficStars? What really motivated you? Ad network, you mean. Yeah, ad network, yeah. So, for me it was always in my career… whenever
I didn’t feel I could achieve more in my position where I am, or I could not take the next step
in my career, I always decided to change something in my life, and the moment I don’t feel like
coming to work, I quit my job. So, and this has always been a successful
thing for me to do. So, yeah… Was it a difficult decision for you? No, in fact it was not. Because of… I think that whenever you feel, we don’t feel
comfortable with what you’re doing at the moment and you don’t have a perspective in
your career and if you’re a very motivated person like I am, then you have to change
something, no matter the position you’re in, no matter the company you work for. Well, that took you 4 years within the industry
to become chief executive officer of one of the biggest ad network? In the ad network industry, yeah. Apart from that, even longer, yes. Yeah. And on your opinion what helped you to achieve
that tremendous result? I think… it was, it already started very
early in my career, when, I mean, you were right when you said my background is mostly
sales and business development, but in my very early years of my career I worked in
real estate self-employed, and I did that for many years, and this really helped me
to understand how you run, even though it was a small business, but how to run a business. And on top of that I think I learned a lot
from all the CEOs that I had the pleasure to work with. I think I’m a fast learner in that sense,
I would say. And I picked out from all these leaders that
I worked with whatever I feel I was lacking and to developed my skills over the years. Generally speaking, what do you think the
main thing to build a remarkable career? The main thing is… I think ambition is one of the most important
things. I mean, you need to really want this. For me it was always clear that at one point
I want to become the leader of a company and to lead people. And the second thing is consistency and never
get comfortable in one position, always keep striving for more. Can you call yourself a hard working person? Yes, I would say. How many hours do you normally dedicate to
work? It’s very hard to say that. Maybe the office hours are not that crazy,
I would say, we have regular office hours and I pretty much follow those. But you know that as a CEO you kind of never
stop. So, whenever I’m traveling I’m checking things,
whenever, you know, before I go to bed, when I wake up, first thing is to check the numbers
and emails. So, it’s… What numbers are most important for you as
for… for the leader? Well, first of all, the overall revenue is
obviously the first thing I check, and the overall volumes that we have. After that, obviously, how our CPM has changed
and evolved in different markets or on different traffic sources. These are the first things I need to check
every morning. All right. I wanted to ask you about motivation. I’ll explain why that interests me. Well, in affiliate marketing that seems to
me that everyone is dreaming to become an affiliate marketer to drive traffic, and those
people dream about making tons of money, but I personally believe that good money can be
also made working for a company, building a career. And can you tell me if, you know, a salary
for C-level or, like, leader in a company can be comparable with earnings that affiliate
marketers usually see? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it also depends on what type of affiliate
we’re talking. Obviously, to become a successful affiliate
is not easy, and it’s hard work as well, as much as it’s hard work for me in my job, in
my career. So, I believe that in… if you work for the
right company, you’re in the right position and you really are beneficiary for the company,
you can achieve a lot of things. And I also want to… I don’t know, you can even if you’re an employee
of ours, you will have very good chances in the future to reach nice profits when you
are accordingly beneficial to the company, for sure. Cool. Peter, can you name me a few books that really
shaped you as a leader? A few books… That’s a good question. Well, the last one I read was quite helpful,
I would say, and that was Tim Ferriss book The Tools of Titans. Oh, I know that book. Yeah. It’s very good. It’s very nice because it’s… especially
it’s not… it’s a massive book, but it’s not something that you need to read at once. It’s a lot of little stories of his conversations
that he had with leaders and successful people in whatever field though. So, there was… it was very interesting because
it’s people from sports, people from economy, people from even military, whatever. So, that was a nice one to read. And the next one I’m planning to read, which
is on my… in my living room already is the New World Ronin which was recommended to me
by a good friend, and it’s about using antique Japanese techniques, basically your wisdom
to… To run a company. …to run a company or your entrepreneurial
business, yeah. We can move trees in this company. Merry Christmas! The atmosphere in your office is so amazing. Can you tell me how do you manage to keep
that? It’s a very good question. I think… it’s just about the people you
hire really. We make sure those people are a good fit to
our team spirit, and for me the attitude of an employee is much more important than any
kind of qualification, experience or something like that, so… So, you would rather take inexperienced person
but with the right attitude than experienced one? Yes, because I’m convinced if someone has
the right attitude and ambition, you can learn anything. And, yes, what we do here requires experience,
of course, but we make sure that with the right trainings in place we educate our employees
as much as possible. So, we just started, for example, the TrafficStars
Academy which will take part every week. This is a training that is mandatory, for
example, for the sales team, but everyone else is welcome to join as well. So, we really want to also have our HR, our
office management, everyone understanding what we’re doing here. That is really cool. And how do you find right people to hire? What is the right process? How do you hire people? Well, we have different ways, different processes
in place. So, we obviously get a lot of CVs from the
job openings that we post on LinkedIn, whatever. But we also do a headhunting ourselves. So, we recruit ourselves. We don’t use a third-party agency because
we think that for us it’s… HR is one of the most important departments
in the company and… because they decide who we let into our company and into our family. So, yeah, we need to make sure those people
fit. Are you personally present in every interview,
job interview? No, no, I’m not personally present in every
interview because I trust my people that they pick the right ones, especially our HR team. But in key positions, obviously, I’m joining
the interviews. Is that hard to get a job at TrafficStars? If you have the right attitude, no. What do you mean by right attitude? What would you consider a right attitude? So, for us we just recently, it’s an interesting
question, we just recently redefined our company values because it was at the time when we
made this move from a startup company to now a mid-sized enterprise, I would say. And so we decided, now is a good moment to
define who we really are and also who we want to have in our company, what kind of employees
we need. So, these company values are very important,
and what I really like, the outcome of this workshop that we did all together is that
our most important value is heart. So, for us it’s very important that everything
you do, you do it with all your heart and that you do it with passion. So, passion would be, like, the main thing
that you can have? Heart and passion, yeah. Heart and passion. And how many people are you now here? We’re close to 30 in Barcelona, and we have
two more offices like our IT team that are responsible for the great technology that
we provide every day, they are based in Cyprus in our office in Limassol, and then we have
another office in Montreal with four people there. Are they just as good as this one? All of them are, yes. Cool. No, we need to make sure it’s… This is actually also a good question. It’s not as easy because when you have three
offices to have the same company spirit spread over three offices, but now we’re really putting
a lot of effort into this, that in every office you should feel the same way, basically. Are you going to hire more employees next
year? Are you going to, like, grow? Yeah, yeah. So, we’re planning to grow. We currently have a lot of open positions,
actually. We have close to 10 open positions. A lot of them are within our IT team in Limassol. So, we need new developers. And here also in sales, yeah, we’re looking
for more talent . What are other perks except for salary that
employees get here in TrafficStars? We have a lot of different benefits that we
offer to the employees, such as private health care or something. But I think the thing that really drives,
I mean, even with those things you cannot, you know, motivate employees a lot. I think the thing that drives them the most
is the team spirit… Team spirit, yeah.
… that we have here, for sure. That’s what I see here. Yes. All right. I’m glad you noticed. Yeah, it’s hard not to. Thank you. It’s a, you know, very good place to be. Yeah. I mean, you can just instantly feel that team
spirit and everyone seems to be a friend. Yeah. Good friends, actually. Yeah. You know, for us it’s the… Our CBDO Remy has this… He says that TrafficStars is not a job, it’s
a lifestyle. All right. Cool. It’s now often said that affiliate marketing
as we know it is kind of stagnating, and affiliates are switching to e-commerce, for example,
like drop shipping kind of business. Yeah. Do you think that it is actually stagnating? I don’t think so because what we’ve seen,
there was an interesting trend that I think we lost a few affiliates, like, two years
ago or something maybe three years ago there was a trend that everyone moved to Facebook
ads, for example, promoting, I don’t know, drop shipping products from China to Facebook. Yeah, that was big. Still, probably. Yeah, it’s still pretty big. But what they’ve found is that a lot of them
got rejected by Facebook and have difficulties to run this and that offer or so. There’s a lot of difficulties they encountered,
I think, and many of them came back to the core business that they had initially, and
we see that we have now an increasing number of affiliates coming back to our industry. And how do you see TrafficStars in five years? That’s a very interesting question. So, I see us as the leader in the market. That’s what we strive for. And it can only be number one if you set yourself
a goal, and we want to make sure that we’re the most innovative network, but we never
want to lose our allegiance by being the most approachable at the same time. What do you mean by that? For us it’s important that you as a client
know that you’re valuable to us and you will always be able to speak to a human being on
our end. So, we will not have any checklists, any,
whatever, or any guidelines how much you need to spend in order to be able to talk to a
person actually on our end, so… So, actually, you saying that any affiliate,
even that one who spends, like, $100 a month still can have proper contact? Yes, you will have a personal contact, yes. That’s very important for me because you never
know this affiliate that today spends $100 can become a super big affiliate in a few
years. So, we really try to give everyone a fair
chance to work with us, and then we will see the potential that the client has. Do you check advertisers before they can purchase
the traffic actually? Do you have any check procedures? Yeah, yeah. Our compliance team will check every single
person that signs up with a quick background check, and we have certain metrics in place. Do you have, like, Skype interview or..? No, no, no. Nothing like that. Okay. So, to sign up you just go on your website. It’s very easy to sign up with us. So, you just go to our website, hit the sign
up button and fill in a form and basically you’re done. And you can start purchasing traffic? Yeah. Straight away? Yeah. You have to fund your account and then you’re
good to go. We will edit it out. Yeah. Or probably we won’t. Let’s pretend I’m first. Winning here. What? Are you last? The fact that you are CEO doesn’t mean that
you’re good at computer games, actually. No, not at all. How do you do that? Oh. Well done. Very smoothly. What do you like the most about affiliate
marketing, Peter? What I like the most is… and you’re asking
me questions while I’m doing an important race Yeah, that was for a reason. Yeah, you want to distract me. And what I like most about it is that it’s
constantly new things every day, and no day is like the other, and that’s very challenging,
and I couldn’t imagine living in a slower-paced world and a slower working, in a slower paced
industry. So, always new challenges, new ideas that
you can bring in. Yeah, I would say that’s it. And the people, obviously. And the people. Yeah. Because there’s a lot of people that I’ve
met throughout my career that meanwhile became friends, very close friends. And so that’s why I’m… In every part of the world, I presume. In every part of the world, exactly. And that’s why I love to go to these trade
shows also to meet not only new business partners or old business partners, but also friends
and find new ones. Is the year of 2018 going to be the best for
TrafficStars? Yes. Big international brands are quite reluctant
to place their ads on adult kind of websites. Do you probably know why? Xhamster is still your biggest publisher,
right? Yes. Can you tell me the most effective channels
to attract new affiliates? How do you fight fraudulent traffic, bot traffic? Submit us your New Year’s resolution for 2019. We’ll pick together the top three. We will. And those three will be contacted by us and
receive this training. Subscribe to the channel, and I hope to talk
to you soon or see you soon in the next event, and thank you for watching. Ok, ready? You want to do Merry Christmas one more time?

9 thoughts on “TrafficStars – ad network with 2 billion impressions daily!

  1. 3:58 – How advertising networks face Google regulations

    6:37 – Native – Future over the banner ads

    14:35 – How to built remarkable career in Affiliate Marketing industry

    24:55 – Building and managing the team that delivers a result

    30:42 – Is Affiliate Marketing stagnating?

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  3. Мои планы на 2019:
    Январь еду в Карпаты, отдых от праздников)
    Весь год планирую как и прежде усиленно наливать адалт в фб. Есть большое желание поработать с трафик-старс (как минимум для развития).
    П.с. Буду рад по общаться.

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