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Speqta CEO Fredrik Lindros Teaches Us How to Say No to Black Box Bidding on PLAs with Their New AI-Based Bid-Optimization Tool Bidbrain™

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Stand out from the crowd by investing in Speqta’s new SaaS tool, Bidbrain™! An AI-based solution for Google Shopping ads that specializes in bid optimization. Developed specifically for the e-commerce industry and dedicated to getting you ahead of the competition by optimizing your Product List Ads (PLAs.)

In the interview below with Speqta’s CEO, Fredrik Lindros, learn more about this smart new tool and how you can bid more confidently and feel more secure about your businesses’ growth.

Please tell us something that not everyone knows about yourself!

Fredrik Lindros: I’ve always been personally driven by innovation and change, obsessed as I was over sci-fi shows like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, both of which instilled upon me an acceptance and an inclination towards new technology and innovation. .

As for my passion for being equally strategic and creative, I have my time as a magician to thank for that. Unorthodox, yes! But I did, in fact, work as a professional magician some time ago. And, after working odd gigs at kindergartens, company gatherings, and various other stages, I developed skills that would later show itself in my business work as a talent for presentation, communication, and marketing.

And how do you usually start your days? (Are you a proactive or reactive type?)

Fredrik Lindros: I would say that I am a bit of both. I have a very particular schedule that I follow to the ‘T’ most days as a result of my waking habits. But, I’m flexible enough that I can deal with the unexpected when they come.

More specifically, every day, I wake up while the rest of my family is still asleep. Usually in the time between 4 AM and 5 AM. I start things off with a cup of coffee and then work entirely at home until it’s time to go to the office to catch up with whoever is there for the day — we’ve done a lot of juggling to account for the global pandemic, but the work must go on.

The rest of the workday is spent hosting meetings, regularly communicating with others through email or Slack, and just working as efficiently as possible so that I can go back home and spend time with my children before the day ends and the routine starts anew.

Please introduce Bidbrain™! What is it? And, how can we use it?

Fredrik Lindros: In short. Bidbrain™ is a SaaS solution outfitted with both artificial intelligence and machine learning. We at Speqta developed it for the e-commerce industry to use for optimizing bids for Google Shopping Ads.

How would you say Bidbrain™ compares to manually bidding on PLAs?

Fredrik Lindros: E-retailers that show a preference over manual rule-based bidding on Google PLAs usually prize control over their bidding strategies. After all, at least then, they won’t have to suffer through Google’s automated black-box bidding strategies.

However, the main issue with manually bidding on PLAs, at least, when compared to BidBrain™, is that it just cannot beat the kind of results that you can achieve with an AI-based system. There’s no question there. Bidbrain not only optimizes your bidding strategies to receive the best outcomes, but it is also capable of product feed optimization in order to increase the quality score of your PLAs. Furthermore, all you need to do to keep it working is to continue feeding it data in order to fuel its intelligence.

I know that there are many e-retailers out there that are reluctant to use new technology like this. But, there’s no denying that compared to those who work manually, those who use AI-based optimization tools like Bidbrain, in the long-run, will always win over their competition.That’s just how technology advances.

How about those e-retailers that already use the automated bidding tools provided by Google? What kind of benefits would Bidbrain™ offer to them?

Fredrik Lindros: One thing that we addressed during the creation of Bidbrain is transparency. Many online retailers that use Google’s own tools can never be fully confident that the program is working for them at 100%. In fact, if you dissect the bids made by Google’s Target-ROAS or Smart Shopping, you’ll find that they are extremely high CPC-bids worth around 30-50 Euros each that result in very few conversions. 

As a retailer, it’s just hard to feel secure with such black box bidding methods. Which is where Bidbrain™ comes in. Unlike Google’s tools, Bidbrain was designed to reveal all data. So, e-retailers will always know where their bids are going, and they can rest easy knowing that the AI is 100% on their side. All while enjoying the extra functionalities provided by our sophisticated product feed optimization tools, the helpful insights given for future campaigns, and so on.

What advice would you give to fellow business owners looking to release their own products?

Fredrik Lindros: Bidbrain™ was only developed to be as dynamic and as insightful as it is today with communication. And so, my advice to fellow business owners is simple: communicate. Talk to your team, talk to your key customers, just talk. 

As a team, we got to know exactly what our customers were looking for and why they were looking for certain things. And this would not have been possible if our work environment had not been conducive to open dialogue. A significant portion of the developmental process of our service also involved just talking directly with our customers. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that these key customers more or less designed Bidbrain together with us. So, the more open you are to understanding the opinions of others, the better.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

Beginner’s guide to ECN brokers: what they are, how they work, and are they right for you?

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Choosing the right Forex broker is one of the crucial steps when starting your trading journey. No matter how much you invest in your education, how you monitor the fluctuations of the market, and how well you understand fundamental and technical analysis, at the end of the day, the platform you trade on will influence your bottom line. Whether it’s the spread or the commissions you pay, the Forex broker will, to a certain extent, determine how much you make from trading.

By default, most Forex brokers are STP brokers. STP stands for (Straight Through Processing), which means that they give you all the tools you need to trade and act as middlemen between the trader and the liquidity provider. STP brokers are the most common, and many people who do Forex trading don’t feel the need to replace them with something else. You can definitely grow your wealth by signing up for an STP broker, and if you are happy with your current broker, there is no need to change it just yet.

However, STP brokers do have their limitations, and there may come a time when the trader wishes to negotiate trading positions directly with liquidity providers, without a middleman. And that’s where ECN brokers come in.

What are ECN brokers?

Without getting too technical, an ECN broker gives traders direct access to liquidity providers so that they can negotiate their own prices. ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network – that’s the network they use to facilitate contact between the two parties, without getting in the way. Thanks to this direct contact, you get a series of benefits: you have more transparency, there are better trading conditions, price manipulation is limited, and you can even trade outside of normal hours. However, like most things in Forex trading, switching to an ECN network is a highly subjective choice. Before you say goodbye to your STP broker, you need to understand both the pros and cons of ECN brokers, if they can match your trading strategy, and, perhaps most importantly, how to choose an ECN broker that really stands by its promise.

Pros and cons of ECN brokers

Pros:

Trade outside normal market hours 

Compared to standard brokers, ECN brokers are more flexible, and they allow you to trade outside the regular market hours.

More favorable prices

Usually, with ECN brokers, you have tighter bid-ask spreads, which means that you can execute trades at better prices than usually available. Plus, trades are executed immediately because there is no middle man.

Anonymity 

Although not all traders want to be anonymous, some do – particularly the ones who prefer making larger transactions. ECN brokers can offer that.

The broker won’t trade against you.

No matter if you win or lose a trade, the ECN broker still gets their commission, so they have no conflict of interest to work against you. STP brokers, however, can work against the client’s best interest by manipulating prices. Plus, the ECN broker will also give you access to real-time price information as well as the pricing history, so it’s virtually impossible to be fooled.

Cons:

As beneficial as ECN brokers might be, they have their drawbacks, and these drawbacks will affect you if they don’t match your trading strategy. The most important con you should know about is that all the benefits of ECN brokers come at a cost – and a high one at that. ECN brokers ask for higher fees and commissions compared to regular brokers. These commissions are usually fixed, which can be a good thing, but if you execute a lot of traders, all of those fees can really add up and affect your profitability.

What’s more, the deposit requirements are higher for ECN brokers, and that can be really discouraging. Many traders argue that the ECN platforms aren’t too user-friendly, and it’s difficult to get accustomed to this type of trading, but it’s important to keep in mind that ECN brokers aren’t for beginners. If you’ve only traded for a couple of months and you’re still not very used to it, it’s normal for an ECN broker to look more complicated, which is why, when you’re starting out, it’s best to stick with STP brokers.

Keep this in mind when choosing an ECN broker.

ECN brokers offer favorable terms, but they’re not as easy to find. For example, there are few ECN brokers for US clients, which means that you’ll have to do more research to find one, perhaps even look offshore for options. That’s because the regulatory environment is stricter in the US, and brokers have to abide by harsh terms and conditions. Offshore brokers can offer better terms, even if they’re not regulated in the US.

They should, however, be regulated. The problem with unregulated ECN brokers is that they can be regular STP brokers trying to fool their clients. If you don’t do your research, it’s possible to open an account with what you believe is an ECN broker, only to discover that the trades are very slow and that there are many requotes. A requote happens when the broker is not able to execute the trade based on the price you entered. To avoid unpleasant surprises such as this one, the first thing to do is check whether the broker you chose is regulated. If they are, that means their services are legit and, if you try to scam you in any way, you can file a formal complaint, and your rights are protected by the law. If they’re not regulated, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a scam, but you’re not protected in any way, and there is a chance you might be putting your money at risk. When in doubt, always check online reviews and comparisons. If a broker isn’t what they say they are, users will complain about it immediately, and you’ll avoid a potential scam.

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