First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nedko Nedkov: Well, under the circumstances, we had more time to think and meditate about the important things in life that are the health and family even after post-COVID times.
So we’ve stayed together and helped each other to live through the hard COVID-19 months.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Brandvertisor
Nedko Nedkov: I’ve always been into online marketing since I was 20 years old as a hobby and later the hobby became a vocation.
First, I’ve been keen as every webmaster out there to rank in Google :). So I’ve started doing SEO for my websites and client outsourcing. During the years, I’ve been into various marketing activities: SEO/SEM, paid advertising, email marketing, social media.
In 2013 I co-founded a contextual PPC network. It was a great experience to learn B2B marketing, but at some point, we couldn’t scale as yet another ad network out there.
Then I was constantly researching on how to evolve and work with quality publishers (only websites back then). I came up with the concept to build a profile for every website I wanted to work with upfront, so they would have the interest to optimize their monetization or find them the most relevant brands/SME to advertise with them.
I joined a FI.co pre-accelerator, and a few months later, we had our initial MVP in 2016.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Nedko Nedkov: Since we’re 100% online marketplace for buying & selling digital advertising, the traffic on the website actually grew. So did the B2B leads.
Not like we’ve been focused on closing sales during this period. We’ve mostly focused on staying constructive and building up our platform as there is always so much to be built :).
Also, it was a period for reconsideration for everyone. The period has given us a new online environment where everyone is open-minded to make tests, twist, and not ask for money upfront. So there has been plenty of new great partnerships that we’ve initiated, or we’ve been initiated into.
I believe it’s better to sweat on developing tools and acquire new potential customers now that will pay soon enough after the crisis. If you earn clients’ trust now during hard times, those will sustain with you over good times as well, and that will build a great gravity for your company on the market over the years.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Nedko Nedkov: We’re a small team, and we stuck even more closely during the last 6 months. I believe we had the time to estimate and make strategic choices, which we may not be able to do during the rush sales-bills-expenses regular business rollercoaster times.
The most important lesson I’ve learned and I can see the team is also starting to implement: to depend only on the air – everything breaks, everything changes, and nothing is given. So we need to adapt our business processes on a daily basis if we want to sustain and grow as an impactful brand for the industry.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Brandvertisor in the future?
Nedko Nedkov: The lesson learned from the previous question to adapt and focus on delivery on a daily basis, was the way to sustain our team during this period.
We evolved our team culture to focus on what is our most important concept as a company – to build complexed big data systems into simplified platform solutions, where advertisers and publishers can match, meet, build transparent ROI campaigns and sustain trustworthy long term partnerships.
So we’re focused more than ever to deliver that vision and bring a sustainable advertising ecosystem, that will help the market during challenging periods like the current, as both sides will know and support each other to sustain.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nedko Nedkov: Even the Adtech industry is very crowded, there are very few open for browsing advertising marketplaces out there.
We try to keep the focus on enhancing our core unique differentiations – we are a media buying aggregator on the front end and an open marketplace infrastructure on the backend.
We have a public and very detailed profile for the biggest 100.000 websites with traffic & audience statistics from Alexa, SimilarWeb, Moz, Semrush, Ahrefs, Majestic. We already rank for hundreds of SEO results, and we’re working our way to grow our Google rankings at 15-20% MoM.
The programmatic AdTech industry leaders like Pubmatic, Criteo are already shifting from RTB into PMP (Programmatic Private Marketplaces). Our blue ocean strategy is to focus on the adoption of small and midsize publishers and advertisers through the open, accessible marketplace with matching, direct communication and sales management infrastructure.
Your final thoughts
Nedko Nedkov: I encourage entrepreneurs to use the current few COVID months of their business lifespan to build solutions they currently have in mind and navigate their business’s direction to impact people’s life during hard times like now.
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