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How a Geelong Entrepreneur is Disrupting The Digital Advertising Landscape Globally!
By Julie Lam
Welcome back to another episode of the “Perfect Pitch Show” where Brandon Burns, Head of Community – Runway Virtual, interviews small business founders / entrepreneurs about the secret sauce to their successful start-up journey.
Today we are excited to introduce you to one of our own in-house scale-ups and tenants, Simon Larcey. He is the co-founder and CEO of Viztrade and is an industry leader in the media sector. He’s spent over 20 years in the field, including telecommunications, advertising, sponsorship, and work with broadcasters in Australia and in the UK. Simon’s latest venture, Viztrade, offers an alternative to the sometimes questionable and often opaque practices of the digital marketing industry.
How Does It Work?
Simon developed Viztrade as a solution to the issues that are strife in the digital marketing industry. Traditionally, business owners who wanted to display their ads in premium media outlets could not communicate directly with the publishers. Instead, advertisers had to go through a convoluted supply chain which involved third-party agencies each taking their own cut. This resulted in less revenue and return for both the business owner and the publishers. Viztrade is an end-to-end digital marketing platform that entirely cuts out the middlemen. It functions as a transparent self-service digital advertising marketplace that connects business owners directly with regional media outlets.
The development of Viztrade drastically improves accessibility for advertisers with regional media outlets in a way that was previously not possible. Any small start-up can use the Viztrade platform to find relevant, highly targeted media environments for their digital adverts.
Viztrade is a unique programmatic platform that provides advertisers with a fixed price for guaranteed exposure. Other programmatic platforms, such as Facebook and Google function like an auction. Advertisers often must compete with other advertisers, where they must bid to reach the same target audience. The result of such intense competition is reduced display for elevated costs. Viztrade offers a straightforward, transparent process that allows advertisers to know how much and exactly what they are paying for. Viztrade alleviates the often-confusing practices of other programmatic platforms with a simple four-step process to start an advertising campaign.
Viztrade has quickly developed an extensive reach among regional media networks, having partnered with hundreds of regional newspaper and radio sites who offer their services on the Viztrade platform. Simon believes that regional areas offers an immense potential for advertisers. Australia’s regional areas is home to one third of Australia’s population, whilst the regional market is rarely targeted for advertisements. As a result, business owners can reach a large number of people at affordable prices.
Despite the extensive digital reach Viztrade has already managed to accrue, Simon does not plan stop there with plans to continue expansion into billboard advertising, and audio platforms as well.
Ethos of Complete Transparency
Simon developed the business model of Viztrade on the foundation of complete transparency. The company name reflects this belief, where the term VizTrade has been inspired by ‘visible trading’. Unlike large digital advertising outlets, like Facebook and Google, Viztrade does not need to collect third-party cookies to allow for targeted ads. Third-party cookies allow such digital advertising websites to obtain demographic information from its users, but with the growing the controversy and concerns for privacy in recent years, many sites including Google now plan to phase out third-party cookies within the next two years. The digital marketing landscape will have to completely change and rethink their current approach. Since Simon has steered clear of relying on third-party cookies, Viztrade will not experience the same upheaval and readjustment period.
Simon developed Viztrade with the simple goal of connecting the advertiser directly with the publisher, which is beneficial for both parties. By minimising the middlemen in the process, the advertiser can secure a cost-efficient method to display their advertisements, whilst the publishers are able to generate greater revenue. The result of this cross-beneficial relationship is the overwhelming support James has received from regional media outlets. These media outlets have helped to promote James by featuring Viztrade on their respective newspapers and websites.
Simon is adamant that the one key thing all small starts require is access to funds and lots of it. When it is time to scale it is essential to secure investors. His advice is to personalise how you reach out to them. Ideally, if you have an investor in mind, contact a mutual friend who can offer an introduction. Otherwise, he suggests writing a letter instead of an email. Unlike emails, letters are more likely to be read. In addition, they offer a personalised touch and indicate to the reader that more effort has dedicated. When you meet the investor, Simon reminds you to know your value proposition, be prepared to answer difficult questions and always have an agender. He also advises that securing a high-profile or influential investor is more important than equity. Bringing on board an influential investor early on in your business is critically important as it provides instant credibility to other influential people.
You can contact Simon using the following links:
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