MarTech Interview with Adrien Menard, CEO & Co-Founder at Botify

Simplification is key to the success of any organization. How SEO solutions are helping uncover those missed opportunities and turn them into profitable outcomes.

A unified organic search data model is essential for increasing the crawl budget, optimizing search results, and minimizing missed opportunities.

1. Can you tell us more about yourself and your career before Botify?
Before founding Botify, I was the Head of Sales at iProspect France. It was there where I first learned the challenges of establishing a digital presence and became convinced there was a better way to optimize for organic search. Since moving to New York City, where I live with my family, I like to spend my weekends being bad at soccer with a bunch of French guys who think they’re still in their twenties.

2. Could you tell us more about Botify and what was the inspiration behind starting this company?
Before co-founding Botify in 2012 along with Thomas Grange and Stan Chauvin, we all worked together in a digital marketing agency where we collectively identified a major flaw in how companies were addressing organic search. They focused too heavily on procuring costly keywords, not giving much thought to the impact Google and other search engines’ crawling capabilities had on content visibility.
The fact is, on average, almost 50% of large enterprise webpages are not crawled by Google. When a page is not crawled or seen by Google, it will never rank in search engines, and therefore cannot drive traffic or revenue. This is why Botify was born. We recognized a huge opportunity to empower enterprise organizations with the necessary insights and recommendations to be found by Google, helping to increase their brand authority in the process.
Botify entered the US market in 2016, now our single most profitable region, accounting for more than 60% of our revenue. Some of Botify’s first customers included eBay and Expedia, and we’ve since grown to service Fortune 100 companies, including Barnes & Noble, L’Oréal, and The New York Times.

3. What’s your favorite part about working in the industry?
I’m a true believer in the role of organic search as a powerful performance marketing tool, and right now the industry is at a tipping point. Rising costs of paid media, less third-party data, stricter privacy regulations and growing economic uncertainty have led marketing leaders to recognize the need, and opportunity, to amplify the impact of their investments by establishing greater balance between paid and organic search efforts. How we approached performance marketing in the past, is no longer the way to protect and sustain growth today. Building brand authority today, and in the future, means prioritizing the long-game of modern marketing.

4. Can you shed some light on the solutions that Botify offers?
At Botify, our clients want to assess their organic search performance in an integrated and holistic way, to make more informed decisions and implement strategies faster and more cost-effectively. To be more specific, utilizing three key elements: analytics, intelligence, and activation, our platform and solutions suite help marketers drive more revenue by refining their search marketing funnel:

By enabling organic search teams with the insights, the recommendations and the tools to implement changes in minutes, not months, we’re bringing organic search capabilities into the modern era and affording our client’s greater agility. Automation and machine learning have played an integral role in making organic search more versatile, improving customer experience and brand awareness, protecting and growing traffic sustainably, and increasing revenue impact.
What’s more, we recently partnered with Semrush, a market leader in the online visibility management and content marketing space, to ensure our customers get the utmost value from their data. This integration arms marketers with the ability to easily analyze first- and third-party data from Semrush within Botify’s centralized platform. By gaining real-time visibility into competitors’ organic search performance, our client’s can outpace the competition and gain a measurable content advantage. Strategic partnerships such as this are integral to Botify’s value proposition and we look forward to growing our ecosystem and offerings steadily over time.

5. According to you, how is it vital for digital marketers to innovate current offerings by adding SEO into their marketing strategy to stand out from competitors?
Marketers are under increasing pressure to demonstrate a clear connection between their marketing investments and business results. By leveraging organic search as a performance marketing tool, they can significantly amplify the outcomes of their digital marketing investments and establish a sustainable competitive advantage.
Prioritizing a portion of advertising budget toward organic search to drive both short- and long-term results is how sustainable brand authority is built. While this may seem fairly straight forward, as a significant portion of online presence is built using organic search, you’d be surprised to discover it’s still a vastly untapped resource.

6. Can you brief about the changed modern internet, and why the deployment of a unified data model is critical for enterprise retailers to create automated prescriptive insights?
The modern digital landscape remains ever-changing. As a result, the path to driving visibility and engagement, let alone predictable, profitable and scalable growth, isn’t always clear.
Missed content equals missed opportunities. An estimated 77% of pages on the average website are not garnering organic visibility, often the result of a website’s architecture, functionality, and content not being optimized for search.

A unified organic search data model is essential for increasing crawl budget, optimizing search results, and minimizing missed opportunities.

By ingesting, processing, and analyzing first- and third-party data, a unified organic search data model provides enterprises with the information needed to ensure their websites are fully optimized for search. At Botify, we leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver powerful recommendations based on real-time unique insights to deliver exactly this.

7. What does the future of SEO in retail/e-commerce look like?
The future of organic search in the retail/eCommerce industry, as with any other channel reliant upon performance marketing success, is directly correlated to its ability to 1) drive continuous revenue, 2) measure its profitability, and 3) implement agile changes to remain relevant and competitive.
The biggest e-commerce sites in the world constantly compete to be the most visible. Too often, engineering teams have to focus their priorities on the development back-end aspect for their clients, rather than on optimizing search. With search behavior changing faster than engineering teams can respond, manual organic search optimizations are no longer sufficient to drive the level of visibility required to remain competitive. In order to implement optimizations quickly enough to drive timely visibility and remain competitive, organic search teams require the support of machine learning and artificial intelligence to scale effectively and allow them to focus on less menial tasks.
Organic search is entering a new era that is beyond human capacity alone. Where modern organic search strategies require no code solutions, edge automation, and clear connection to business results – I’m proud to say that Botify is leading the charge for organizations to leverage the best technology to manage their organic search.

8. In your opinion, what are the most exciting topics in MarTech right now? How do you keep up with the constantly changing landscape?
Right now, we’re seeing a renaissance in organic search. There is increasing pressure on organic search teams to deliver greater impact, measure the performance of their online traffic and revenue and demonstrate a clear connection to business results – which reiterates our belief that organic search is now seen as an essential performance marketing tool.
Global organizations are allocating more resources to implement organic search strategies and solutions, prioritizing strategic initiatives that layer in automation and artificial intelligence to explore how these modern technical solutions can streamline operations. Moreover, brands are also seeking advice to improve their strategies, optimize their web pages, and analyze the breadth of data available in real-time to keep pace with shifting consumer behaviors.
Too often, brands, even if they say organic search is important, tend to underestimate what is required to succeed. Post-pandemic, everyone still agrees search provides a valuable opportunity, but now we’re seeing a shift in mindset from brands who are ready to take action and invest in the growth of this channel – giving organic search a central seat at the performance marketing table.

9. Could you give us a sneak peek into the next growth phase of Botify?
At Botify, we are continuing to track Google’s evolution of its algorithm to better improve our customer’s content visibility and ensure our products reflect those changes. As such, we will continue to expand our partner ecosystem across the technology, marketing, and solution space. We plan to build upon the strong partnerships we’ve already forged, to continue creating greater alignment, interoperability, and collaboration opportunities to keep upleveling our customers’ strategies and success.

10. Which motivational quote drives you to achieve more at work?
I’m a huge believer that employee experience directly impacts customer experience – which is why I love this quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” I try to embody this mindset in my approach as CEO as I believe too often, many leaders tend to give orders rather than embrace the value of sharing the responsibility of working with their colleagues. We’re all working toward common goals, and I want my teams to see, hear and feel my support every step of the way.

11. Where do your passions lie? What do you think defines you as a person?
I’m committed to learning something new every day, whether that be professionally or personally. I am a wine connoisseur (or so I like to think!) and am passionate about discovering, and collecting wine, from all over the world. Last but never least, the thing I love most is spending time with my wife and three children – doing sports, cooking and exploring New York City together.

12. What is the most significant piece of advice you would want to give to company leaders?
The most important thing I’ve learned in leading a business, is that it’s all about nurturing your employees’ professional and personal development. Leading by example is one thing, fostering a psychologically safe culture, centered around community, growth and inclusion is another—and something I am very committed to.
It is essential to establish a shared vision where the single most important thing besides showing up and being a team player, is supporting a dynamic and exciting environment where individuals can be themselves and make a big impact.

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Adrien Menard is CEO and Co-Founder of Botify
Adrien Menard is CEO and Co-Founder of Botify, a global, enterprise software company focused on enabling the most ambitious brands to leverage organic search as a high-impact, performance marketing channel. Under his leadership, Botify has secured over $82M in VC funding and incorporated in six countries, now serving over 500 leading global companies. Before founding Botify in 2012 in Paris, Adrien was Head of Sales at iProspect France. Adrien has a degree from the ESSCA School of Management in Angers, France and lives with his family in New York City.

Botify is an enterprise software company that helps brands turn organic search into an efficient, measurable, and sustainable channel for both traffic and revenue growth. Powered by a unique unified data model, prescriptive insights, and automated processes, Botify delivers an end-to-end SEO management solution that enables customers to unlock the true growth potential of their website.

Botify is used by 500+ leading global companies across industries including e-commerce, travel, media & publishing, classifieds, and more, including Expedia, Macy's Farfetch, Marriott, L'Oréal, Crate & Barrel, Conde Nast, Groupon, Github, Carvana, FNAC Darty, and The New York Times. Botify also partners with leading technology and services companies such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, WordPress VIP, Google Cloud, Jellyfish, Chameleon Collective, Foresight Digital, Contentsquare, and iPullRank.

Botify is a fast-growing, VC-backed, SaaS company with $82M in funding and offices in New York, Seattle, Paris, London, and Singapore.

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