Based in Braga, Portugal, Multivector is a software developer that specializes in solutions for advertisers and publishers. Since 1998, it has earned a reputation for innovative software that helps property agents and car dealers reach hundreds of thousands of customers. A long-term Microsoft® Partner, Multivector recently adopted the software-plus-services approach to implement a solution called AdClip. Advertisers continue to host Multivector software, but they only need to post their advertisement once on their local management software for it to become available on their own Web sites. And from there, to a global audience of publishers who can tap in to new revenue streams by embedding pages of advertisements within their own Web sites. Due to this flexible approach, Multivector revenues have grown by 50 percent.Situation
Formed in 1998, Multivector develops software used by property agents and car dealers to manage classified advertising. Its team of 48 people, including 20 developers, work with more than 1,800 customers to help them publish 500,000 advertisements that are updated daily.
The company’s goal is straightforward—to provide an application that brings together advertisers, buyers and publishers in a way that is mutually beneficial.
As simple as it sounds, this presents a huge challenge. Most online classified advertising models have never quite succeeded in balancing the priorities of all the main participants. Advertisers, for example, want three things: more exposure, lower fixed costs, and clear reporting on their return on investment. Customers, looking for products and services, want up-to-date, quality information from advertisers. Increasingly, they expect a fast response to their queries and to see content in their own language.
The challenge facing online publishers, including newspapers, is well documented. They urgently need to tap in to lucrative advertising revenue streams without alienating their customers who visit their sites primarily for new content. In addition, publishers are looking for an alternative to classified advertising that draws visitors away to the advertiser’s own Web site.
The starting point for Multivector is its relationship with advertisers. It originally developed software that was deployed and hosted on the advertiser’s own IT systems. These businesses used the software to create advertising and then broadcast this content to Internet portals.
Alípio Oliveira, Co-Founder and Administrator at Multivector, explains how the company’s software delivery model evolved: “When we started the business we provided an Internet portal where advertisers could insert classified ads. But many of our clients told us that inserting this information themselves over the Internet was expensive and time consuming.”
Multivector developed a management application where clients only needed to insert advertisements once before they became available on their company Web site. Alípio Oliveira says: “Following this, we also signed protocols with several Internet providers so that customers’ products were presented in multiple places. But still our clients wanted more.”
In other words, advertisers wanted to do more than simply buy an application that they had to host and manage themselves. Above all, they wanted more business opportunities.
The previous business model was preventing Alípio Oliveira and his colleagues from expanding their business as rapidly as they wanted. “To begin with, we were seen by the market as a software company, providing solutions that help businesses manage their advertising. We wanted to foster more strategic relationships with advertisers but to achieve this we needed to find a new software delivery model that brought together advertisers, customers, and publishers much more effectively,” Alípio Oliveira says.Solution
Multivector has always worked with Microsoft® technologies, using Microsoft development tools, programming languages, databases, and operating systems to bring its software to market. It is also a Microsoft Certified Partner and this relationship has given Multivector insights into new technologies that further support its goal to become what Paulo Fernandes, Co-Founder and Administrator at Multivector, describes as “the worldwide link between buyers and sellers through classified advertising.”
In early 2008, the company started working on a new concept that takes advantage of the software-plus-services approach. Paulo Fernandes says: “When we first spoke to Microsoft about software-plus-services it quickly became clear that this was the ideal way to resolve many of our challenges and those of our customers.”
The solution, called AdClip, offers advertisers the opportunity not only to manage their businesses and their advertising, but to reach a vast audience of customers. Paulo Fernandes says: “AdClip is a fully hosted Web service that integrates with other Multivector software that resides on our customers’ computers.”
||Using AdClip, a publisher can transform any Web site or blog into a search engine for classified advertisements in a matter of minutes.
Paulo Fernandes Co-Founder and Administrator
Says Paulo Fernandes: “Real estate and vehicle advertisers use Multivector software to track their inventories, create advertisements, and post advertisements to their own Web sites. But now, once they’ve created an advertisement it will also appear on many other portals. This AdClip services component, which connects hosted software with a vast Internet audience of publishers and customers, is what differentiates Multivector from the competition.”
AdClip also transforms the company’s online advertising relationship with publishers. Says Paulo Fernandes: “Using AdClip, a publisher can transform any Web site or blog into a search engine for classified advertisements in a matter of minutes. All they need to do is cut and paste a short piece of HTML code and embed it into the relevant section of their Web site.”
In addition, AdClip can be used by any company or individual to place classified advertisements based on a wider range of categories, including bikes, aircraft, and boats.
This means that customers can browse through thousands of classified advertisements on a publisher’s Web site. What’s more, customers never leave the publisher’s site. When they choose “classified ads” from the main menu, customers go to a new page within the site that displays the advertisements but retains all the main navigation menus.Benefits
Taking advantage of software-plus-services has transformed the way Multivector works with advertisers and publishers. This approach also shows how a hosted Web-based service can provide the foundation for rapid, worldwide business growth. Multivector can also regularly add new features to AdClip, which means that advertisers get a more sophisticated service without needing to deploy another version of the software every time additional features become available. Advertisers also get a better rate of return on their investment because they only pay when a customer clicks on their highlighted ad or makes contact with the advertiser directly. Publishers benefit from a source of advertising that can be embedded in their own Web sites.
Unites Advertisers, Customers, and Publishers
By building a new classified advertising solution based on software-plus-services, Multivector can bring together a global network of advertisers, customers, and publishers. Paulo Fernandes calls it a “magic bullet” for the online classified advertising industry. Paulo Fernandes says: “You only need to post a classified ad once for it to become available on thousands of sites all around the world.” Placing an advert is free and advertisers simply pay per lead with an option to pay per click. “Our promise is simple. If we can’t deliver leads and help your business grow, you don’t pay us,” he says.
Customers also benefit. “AdClip brings the advertisements to the customer, not the other way round. In the past you had to branch off to one Web site after another. Now you just click on the ‘classified’ link on your favorite Web site and you can see dozens or hundreds of advertisements that are relevant to you,” says Paulo Fernandes.
The solution, based on the software-plus-services approach also offers publishers a quick and easy way to tap in to new revenue streams. In only a matter of minutes they can be hosting content that generates income every time a customer responds to an advertisement.
Supports 50 Percent Annual Growth
Thanks to AdClip, Multivector is expanding rapidly. Alípio Oliveira says: “We don't distribute advertising—we distribute content. And we share the revenue with everyone taking part. Using software-plus-services, AdClip works at a worldwide level. It has been developed for use in any country, in several categories, and more than 12 languages.”
Each country has a regional manager responsible for business development who earns a share of all the revenues generated in that country. “They provide online support to their users and undertake public relations with their publishers in the market. We have tools for this so it’s a very straightforward job,” says Alípio Oliveira.
This approach is also supported by a new revenue model. Because AdClip hosts all the advertising and all transactions pass through its servers, it can also manage billing and payments. Advertisers present their credit card details when they first upload advertisements, but they only pay when a customer clicks on their highlighted ad or when a lead is generated. The advertiser is typically charged between €1 (U.S.$1.40) and €3.50 (U.S.$4.90) for every lead and this is divided between AdClip, the publisher, the content provider, and the regional manager.
Builds Strong Business Relationships Worldwide
||At the beginning, we were seen by the market as a company that developed and sold software. But when we added the services component all that changed. Advertisers now regard us as a business partner
||Alípio Oliveira, Co-Founder and Administrator at Multivector
By adopting the software-plus-services approach, Multivector has also transformed its relationship with advertisers and publishers. Says Alípio Oliveira: “At the beginning, we were seen by the market as a company that developed and sold software. But when we added the services component all that changed. Advertisers now regard us as a business partner. We no longer just help manage their companies, we also help them attract new clients and support the expansion of their businesses.”
Advertisers are also attracted to AdClip by detailed reports that show exactly how well each classified ad has performed. Paulo Fernandes says: “If you’re a property agent, for example, you can see how well each flat or house advertisement has performed. We can drill down from the total number of views, through unique views, to the total number of enquiries. We can also break this down by country or region.”
Offers Secure Software Roadmap
Paulo Fernandes is also extremely confident that by working with Microsoft his company will be able to offer even more innovative and efficient services to clients. He says: “This relationship has been crucial from the beginning. Support from Microsoft, such as training in technologies, means that we can always offer the next best thing for our customers. Multivector also gets insights into the benefits of Microsoft software as soon as early releases become available.”
Paulo Fernandes believes that mobile technology will eventually offer businesses even more flexibility when it comes to managing their classified advertisements. In addition, he is also looking closely at the Azure™ Services Platform. “Azure is potentially a very good way for us to distribute solutions to customers. Some areas of our business may expand quickly and we can take advantage of ‘cloud computing’ to support this growth without having to make upfront infrastructure investments ourselves,” he says.
Software + Services
Software-plus-services is an industry shift driven by the fast-growing recognition that combining Internet services with client and server software can deliver exciting new opportunities. Microsoft is dedicated to helping individuals and businesses take advantage of these opportunities. By bringing together the best of both software and services, we maximize capabilities, choice, and flexibility for our customers. The broad software-plus-services approach unites multiple industry phenomena including software as a service, service-oriented development, and the Web 2.0 user experience under a common umbrella.
For more information about software-plus-services, go to: www.microsoft.com/softwareplusservices
For More Information
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For more information about Multivector products and services, call (351) 253 201 450 or visit the Web site at: www.multivector.pt
For more information about AdClip products and services, visit the Web site at:
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