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MarTech Interview with Frans van Hulle, CEO and Co-Founder at PX

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“I believe that to be disruptive, you need to be able to elevate yourself about the situation; it’s very hard to be disruptive when you are intensively involved in the day-to-day.”

Hi Frans, please tell us how you prepare yourself for the disruptive world of technology?

Disruption starts with a very good understanding of the specific industry and its pain points. Part of how I and the company prepared for our current disruptive role in the customer acquisition space is 10 years of hard labor through which we obtained a full understanding of our space. We’ve done it, we’ve lived it and now we know how to fix it. Furthermore, I believe that to be disruptive, you need to be able to elevate yourself about the situation; it’s very hard to be disruptive when you are intensively involved in the day-to-day because you risk not seeing the forest through the trees.

Disruptive technology for me should always be the solution for existing problems or challenges but should never be a goal itself. I am following the latest technological developments but only get excited when it potentially solves something.

What technology drives PX? How do your customers benefit from your product-driven approach to customer service?

We are obsessed with speed. When a consumer fills in his/her information on a web form, we want the information to be verified, filtered and matched with the right advertiser in milliseconds. We are processing over 200,000 consumer requests daily and we are driven by pushing our technology for more speed while being scalable.

AI has been helping us to speed up our platform significantly, for example, in our real-time lead bidding application: instead of verifying with the advertiser what could be the right bid on a consumer request, we use AI to calculate this real-time based on historic data and prediction models. It’s fascinating!

Our technology and products solve real challenges that our clients have been experiencing:

1. We provide them with a true ROI on their media spend per source and sub-source, and provide them with the technology to dynamically bid per lead if they want to,

2. We protect them from compliance risk by real-time data verification processes and to check if the consumer is a real user,

3. We provide them with way more efficiency and tools to scale up their customer acquisition efforts and,

4. Our platform provides them with full transparency, they know exactly where what lead is coming from, among others.

From your vantage point, what have been the most impressive and important changes to your industry and how has it changed the way you work.

There are 3 things:

– Real-time bidding on leads in an auctioning model, called ‘Ping Post’. Although RTB has been going on for quite some time in the AdTech world, in our industry it’s relatively new, especially in combination with actual insights in the ROI. We added the real-time dynamic bidding to that.

– Compliance and user verification. Where we used to generate leads ‘in the dark’, we now have the technology to detect if it’s a real user, if that user was on our form before and with a scoring mechanism we can predict the ‘intent’ of that user.

– PX opened up the ‘black box’ for advertisers. They now see where leads are coming from and which sources are working and which ones don’t. Traditional aggregators and networks in our industry kept the black box alive and treated a lead like it’s just a data record to be monetized. We are disrupting that model: behind each lead, there is a real person that needs a specific product or service and based on that information you can determine the value for that specific consumer and for which advertiser that consumer is a match

The landscape of world economics and human connection has changed significantly due to the rapid spread of Covid-19. What is technology’s role in a return to normalcy?

This is such a broad question but let’s start with the broad real-time communication around the topic and all information that has been provided in such a fast and global way. Secondly, technology allows many of us to work remotely and avoid commuting which is one of the main ways to prevent this virus from spreading and lastly, obviously, technology will allow us to find a cure.

Tell us more about the team you work with? What kind of skills and abilities does one need to be part of your technical product development team?

– Architecturally very strong team. Speed and scalability is everything to us, that requires a special way of working. We have a very sophisticated platform and architecture and it’s an extensive platform with over 2 million lines of code.

– Our development team consists of 20 developers plus QA and support. We are proud of the fact that every one of them is capable of working independently with a great ‘problem solving’ attitude.

Thank you, Frans! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Co-founded PX, the world’s first transparent customer acquisition platform, providing a single marketplace for companies to acquire customers from hundreds of vetted and sought-after sources. The company provides a MarTech solution for marketers to grow and efficiently scale their customer base, and is active in the Home Services, Financial Services, and Insurance industries.

Inspired by other entrepreneurs, driven by creating rather than money only. I love to create and to find the right business models and I am always interested in participating/investing in innovative, international projects in my areas of interest (lead generation, online marketing, affiliate marketing). Generally prefer possible joint ventures, win-win deals and working with other entrepreneurs, as well as launching ultra-successful products and businesses.

Specialties: affiliate marketing, lead generation, insurance lead gen, automotive lead gen, home security lead gen, pet insurance, online marketing, creating and starting up businesses, business development, product management

PX logo

PX is the world’s leading marketing technology platform for customer acquisition, providing large brands with the most powerful, efficient, compliant and transparent lead-generation tools on the market. Processing more than 200,000 leads per day, the company brings programmatic performance and optimization to customer acquisition, creating opportunities for marketers to efficiently find customers and for publishers to better monetize their audiences. PX is active in the Financial Services, Insurance, and Home Services industries. It is headquartered in New York City, with offices Panama, The Netherlands, and Ukraine.

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