'Aggressive' market push planned by new Ve Interactive MD

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 11 October 2016
Ashley Wales-Brown (L) and Trent Shaw

Global ad tech company Ve Interactive has opened up new digs in Sydney, hired a new MD, bolstered staff and even has former CEO and founder of IPG Mediabrands-owned content agency Ensemble, Justin Ricketts, backing the firm as it “aggressively” targets the Australian market.

The UK-founded conversion rate optimisation (CRO) business, which runs in the same circles as the like of rivals AdRoll, SaleCycle, Yieldify and Criteo, is now headed up by Ashley Wales-Brown who was formerly group business manager at Ninemsn. Prior to that was national head of digital at IPG Mediabrands agency Initiative. He has also worked at PHD.

Former advertising sales manager at eBay-owned Gumtree, Trent Shaw, is also on-board, as well as three other new staff members.

Performance marketing modelled Ve Interactive, which aims to drive new targeted traffic, reduce bounce rate, increase customer engagement and minimise website abandonment, had a somewhat quieter launch in Melbourne back in 2014. It was run by MD John Craige, who is now digital sales manager at ARN.

Example: The FraserSuite right hand pop-up attempts to secure the customer as they try and exit, by offering a free upgrade if they book now

Speaking to AdNews, Wales-Brown says with a new MD at the helm and having moved its Australian HQ in Melbourne to Millions House in Sydney’s CBD, this revitalised launch represents a major investment in the region

“We are less intrusive than our competitors and have more of a native offering,” Wales-Brown says.

“Our plan is to establish solid clients who then turn into advocates – as we know we have the strategy and products that we can prove works.

He added that the business will be “aggressively"  going after its competitors' clients. Wales-Brown says while the overall strategy is aggressive it has planned everything out and instead of shouting how they are number one, he'll leave that strategy to the TV networks.

Some of Ve's tools focus around cart abandonment and tactics that can be used to help keep customers on a brand's site to ensure the sale is completed. This can range from online prompts, messages and triggers to capturing email addresses to encourage people to head back to the shopping basket.

As an example (below), one Ve client, The British Museum, identified a need to address the missed sales that were lost within its e-commerce website’s checkout process. It also wanted to understand ‘where and why’ the British Museum’s website was losing these valuable customers so they could improve the check-out process.

It used one of Ve's basket abandonment solutions, which was a precise targeted email strategy. It saw an average open rate of 69%, a click through rate of 21% and 3.74% email to conversion rate.

Ve's ANZ office is also being supported by former CEO of Mediabrands’ Ensemble and current CEO of WPP’s Agile Content Productions, Justin Ricketts. He is a non executive director and strategy consultant.

While Wales-Brown wouldn't be drawn on the glut of new brands that have been signed in the last two weeks, AdNews understands from industry sources that it has secured one of the leading supermarkets.

In April this year rival CRO business SaleCycle announced its new country lead, former boss of Ensighten Chris Brinkworth, who also said he had big plans to big plans to shake-up the market in his new role.

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