Vudoo CEO Nick Morgan: Why Australia needs to act on its “hunger for innovation”
Aug 24, 2023
Aug 24, 2023
In September last year, Vudoo brought their product to market in partnership with Vogue, Moet & Chandon, and News Corp. Since then, it’s been all hands on deck for the interactive video and content commerce platform.
Earlier in the year, Vudoo landed in France for the annual Cannes Lions Festival alongside News Corp.
Mediaweek caught up with Nick Morgan, CEO and Founder of Vudoo, on their return to chat about Cannes and the current state of the industry,
Attending the event with News Corp – “hand in hand with our very valued collaborator and partner,” Morgan said – Morgan points out that it’s not all fun and games in the south of France (although there is definitely some of that, too).
“It was incredible – it’s an amazing event, very eye opening. Surprisingly, though, with all the frivolity and everything that goes on, there’s a lot of actual business being done. It’s just manic, the amount of meetings.”
It’s been a big 12 months for Vudoo, with Morgan describing the company as “on the precipice of some major scale.”
“Cannes Lions is the top of the top, right? It’s where key decision makers are and business is being done. We’re a category defining product, and we are playing a very critical role in commerce media and being positioned as a leading technology in a growing commerce media space.
“For me personally, it was about understanding where we fit, who’s who in the zoo, and where we fit in that food chain. It was really eye opening and great validation for us that we are really well positioned to offer something very unique, but at the same time, very needed by publishers, agencies, and brands.”
Back home on Australian soil, when asked where he believes brands should be focussing their attention over the next 12 months, Morgan’s answer is very straightforward: “Right in front of them.”
“With optimising their budgets, they’ve got to get as much out of those budgets at the moment as they can – advertising budgets are being squeezed, there’s been some retraction, it’s tight.
“I think it’s about optimising and consolidating some of their efforts. You have probably heard the phrase collapsing the funnel, this idea that we can actually create all of that awareness, but then drive it really clearly and efficiently to a conversion. Connecting content to commerce is a really exciting way of doing that, and products like Vudoo allow you to achieve that.”
Despite describing the squeezing of advertising budgets, the economic landscape isn’t the biggest challenge that Morgan said the industry is currently facing.
“One of the biggest hurdles for publishers and agencies in this market, I find that they have a level of hunger for innovation but they stall with the adoption. That’s a contrast to what we’re experiencing overseas in with our European publishers and our US customers as well. It’s a much faster adoption cycle.
“News Corp Australia is an outlier – Paul Blackburn and Pippa Leary are futurists, they are so far ahead. That was validated when we were in Cannes, they really lean into this. It’s hard to move a big ship like News Corp in a direction rapidly, it takes some time to move the wheel. They’ve done that, they put the hard yards in, and they’ve focused their abilities to provide this level of innovation – and it’s delivering.”
Looking ahead, Morgan and the Vudoo team have their work cut out for them over the next 12 months.
“We’ve just opened a London office to really support and grow our business across EMEA, and we’re in deep conversations with some operators in the Middle East. We’re definitely scaling our business globally now – it’s great to have a globally unique product, which fits so well into a need right now.
“From a product perspective, we just delivered our Multicart feature which has been received extremely well by our customers in the market. Then we’ve got some really exciting announcements coming up in the next quarter.”