Team Spotlight: Steven Jongeneel

Team Spotlight: Steven Jongeneel
News intro: Steven Jongeneel is an Angel Investor, brand mentor, and founder of Social Embassy, one of the first and the largest social media marketing agency in the Netherlands

Steven Jongeneel is an Angel Investor, brand mentor, and founder of Social Embassy, one of the first and the largest social media marketing agency in the Netherlands. Social Embassy sold in 2013 – leaving Jongeneel free to pursue his passion for building and mentoring brands. So, when he joined the Adcombi Advisory Board in 2018 – we couldn’t have been more proud.

Over the last 8 years, Adcombi has grown into a major and innovative AdTech firm, delivering technology solutions to some of the world’s largest advertisers. Our people, like Steven Jongeneel, have supported that growth.

In this blog series, we’d like to highlight those people – bringing their skills, personality, and the unique ways they contribute to the company to the forefront.

Getting started in marketing

Steven entered FMCG marketing at the end of the 90s, taking on his first role in Quaker PepsiCo, where he learned a hands-on approach for international and strategic brand management for FMCG.

“When I was studying in the 90s, it was the era of big marketing brands – think Coca Cola and Nike – the sky was the limit and there was just so much magic in what you could do with advertising. It was the big idea, you create something massive, and you translate that to a campaign. Advertising doesn’t work that way anymore, but it still taught me how to build brands and I still use that today”

That experience led him to a new role as marketing director at Telefort – where the dot-com bubble, combined with opportunities for moving business online, introduced Steven to his new passion: digital media. By 2005, Telefort was already making 70% of its sales online.

“When Telefort sold, I decided to follow my heart, I was intrigued by online advertising and the rise of social media had my particular interest”

He launched Social Embassy, one of the first social media agencies in the Netherlands – effectively leading the curve on helping big brands to adopt social media.

“We helped organizations do everything: branding, strategy, and implementation. We’d set up the social platforms and then our community managers – people who would engage brands for other people – would take over. We invested in brand loyalty, increasing customer satisfaction, and giving the consumer a voice – and that’s something a lot of brands didn’t want at first – but it really took off. We had something like 80 top 100 businesses. “

Social Embassy sold in 2017, leaving Steven to pursue his other passions, innovation in technology and media.

Meet Steven

Steven Jongeneel is an Angel investor, brand mentor, and marketing lead with years of experience in M&A, branding, and advertising. He's also a husband and a father of two children – one of whom he intends to visit in China – on his first sabbatical from work since graduating university.

“Traveling is my favorite thing, my job has really allowed me to do a lot of that, but I’ve always been too busy with career to take a really long trip, now, I’m going to do it and drive to China.”

He’s also passionate about art, mixing his love of deals and trading into art auctions. And, a true child of the 90s, he listens to bands like Prince, U2, and R&B like Macey Gray.

Helping organizations grow

“In 2017, I started looking at what was going on in new technology and media. I invest in a lot of agencies, especially as an advisory member of the IAB. I’m particularly interested in advertising and marketing communication technology. That’s how I got to know Adcombi, I started out with branding from the advertiser side, then switched to agency side, then became an investor.”

Steven is also the owner of Belle Epoque, a rose nursery dedicated to bringing back and sharing forgotten rose varieties.

“I also invest a lot in biodiversity, it’s one of my passions, but I really got into roses during the pandemic, I live in an area with an old rose garden and when I moved in, it was falling apart. I thought it would be wonderful to restore it to its original condition, but I didn’t know anything about roses. So, I looked for someone to help”

Steven eventually found a nursery owner who had something like 200 variety of roses, and together, they restored the garden.

“In the mornings, I’d have calls with stressed entrepreneurs who were facing issues because of the pandemic, then, for the rest of the day, I’d work in the rose garden, I loved it and I wanted to bring that passion to more people. So, I bought Belle Epoque and started bringing it online”.

Of course, as an investor, Steven’s primary role is making deals. His expertise spans mergers and acquisitions, brand positioning, and helping brands to enter new markets through acquisitions, positioning, and selling businesses. He's also an investor in Pymwymic.

“My favorite garden is a rainforest, it’s so beautiful. I once took a trip to Costa Rica, and it really intrigued me how they build a business model around nature. Most countries demolish it – they protect it, and it attracts tourism that enables them to preserve that nature. That trip to Costa Rica was what originally inspired me to invest in sustainability and biodiversity”.

Investing in Adcombi

“When I had a social media business, we worked with brands like Vokswagen, Porsche, Albert Heijn, Jumbo, etc. One of the frustrations there was that there’s a huge business potential at a point-of-sale level – but we couldn’t service them because it was too much work. It cost more to hire the agency than they could afford to spend on media. So, Adcombi really caught my interest by providing a solution to that.”

“Automation is a major trend in digital advertising – programmatic – do it yourself – so many big brands are leaning into bringing things in-house. There will always be a role for media agencies – they bring knowledge, expertise, and infrastructure, and big companies need infrastructure to function – but increasingly, they also need local reach.”

“A lot of people say advertising is becoming more complex as media becomes more fragmented. But, if you look at what we’re doing with Adcombi, how things like flyers are being replaced by digital, you’re not just getting digitization you’re getting flexibility and simplification– we advertised flyers in the Netherlands and the fastest brands took four weeks to put flyers together and could only differentiate to 8 regions – tools like Adcombi allow you to create dozens of simultaneous campaigns in real time, set budgets on every level, and have a truly dynamic local campaign”

If you’d like to learn more about Steven Jongeneel or his other investments, visit his LinkedIn.

Why so many regional online campaigns are ghost ships

Why are regional online ad campaigns ghost ships?
News intro: Modern technology makes it possible to control local advertising pressure with relatively little effort. Despite that ease, it’s rarely been done so far.

Modern technology makes it possible to control local advertising pressure with relatively little effort. Despite that ease, it’s rarely been done so far. This gap between technological capabilities and reality is often because of a fatal silo approach to offline and online advertising.

Online campaigns often aren’t targeted

Let's imagine for a moment that a media agency is planning an out-of-home advertising campaign.

Advertisers looking at the DSP might spot a few favorable locations that happen to be available. Those locations are normally automatically selected, just because they’re there. With no target group or even environment analyses to speak of, the ads are simply booked.

A print ad agency that acts in this way would quite rightly be quickly out of business. But, the absurd thing is that in the online world, digital local campaigns are often operated exactly in this fashion. And, no one really seems to care.

Indeed - I'm talking about online. In other words, the medium in which everything is supposedly measurable, and where advertising can be precisely targeted down to the smallest detail. The truth is, however, that many online local and regional multi-location campaigns are flying blind. They are ghost ships and it is pure coincidence whether they arrive where they are supposed to arrive.

How can this be? It has to do with programmatic booking mechanics - or more precisely, an outdated understanding of them.

Programmatic ads target metropolitan areas

The current programmatic booking mechanism, of choosing ad space based on where its cheapest, often means ad space goes to one type of location. That is, metropolitan areas. People in less densely populated areas often see little or nothing of programmatic campaigns.

Yet, just under 17 percent of the German population lives in cities with more than half a million inhabitants. What a waste of target group potential.

Theoretically, online campaigns are planned according to relevant advertising areas. Unfortunately, with everything ultimately combined into one campaign, programmatic logic means a disproportionately large portion of budget is dumped into precisely those metropolitan areas. Local advertising pressure is neither controlled nor reported, nor evaluated.

Instead, whether and how local target group potentials are reached remains largely a matter of chance.

Outdoor advertising and print already do better

Examples from the offline world, namely outdoor advertising and print, show that things could be better. These publishing mediums already have years of experience financing comprehensive offline data, including geoanalysis and planning tools. Thanks to them, we know which target group potentials exist in which regions. Campaigns and budgets can therefore be planned efficiently down to the individual OOH point. That also allows waste coverage to be avoided – which is how optimum local advertising pressure is determined.

There is actually no logical reason not to use these findings and geoanalyses for online planning as well. However, it is hardly ever done. And that is grossly negligent.

What is the reason for the discrepancy? Is it arrogance that so few online planners look beyond the edge of their relevant dashboards? After all, they can supposedly measure everything. Is it because anything from the so-called “Dusty” offline era doesn’t deserve a place in modern digital media planning? Or is it simply a lack of knowledge? Do planners with a purely digital background lack an understanding of local campaign management beyond click and performance KPIs.

While it’s probably a mix of everything, this silo mentality is one that customers will eventually pay for with their advertising budgets. Yet, it is so obvious to combine the best of both worlds. Today, even programmatic campaigns can be controlled at a hyperlocal scale without much effort. Welcome to the 20s of the 21st century.

The antagonism between paper ads and digital has always been nonsense. Today, it is even more so. Anyone who wants to plan and manage cross-media campaigns must remove those blinkers. Hyperlocal campaigns can be implemented online and offline and ideally by combining both. In this way, omnichannel becomes more than a buzzword, it becomes reality.

Is There a Gap in Your Customer Journey?

Is There a Gap in Your Customer Journey
News intro: Organizations spend billions on local advertising, but without digitizing it, those ads don't provide value anywhere else in the advertising or marketing chain.

Digitizing Local Ads to Track the Full Customer Journey

For millions of businesses, local advertising still fulfills a critical and crucial role in the customer journey. Retailers, quick-service restaurants, auto dealerships, and even banks largely rely on local foot traffic for sales – and that means advertising locally. Historically, brands have done this through paper advertisements, with locally distributed banners, posters, flyers, brochures, and catalogues. While costs are on the rise, with paper costs estimated to rise by 400% between 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2022, there’s little difference in how advertisers spend their money. In Germany, ad spend on paper catalogues is still hovering at €2,039 million euros per year – with just a 0.2% decline from 2021.

Meanwhile, nearly every other aspect of advertising has digitized, moving online to programmatic, automation, and central management. Omnichannel advertisers can track every click, hover, and second spent viewing the ad, allowing marketers to optimize ads for interaction in ways that have never before been possible. For local advertising, where ads are often stuck in flyers, brochures, and product magazines, that isn’t the case. Instead, advertisers hope their ads are being seen – but with no way to track that data and no way to link it into omnichannel marketing – there's no way to be sure.

Digitizing Local Ads

Adcombi’s hyperlocal advertising technology enables marketers to build local ads, targeted to a single zip code as part of a larger national campaign. The technology uses a combination of polygon targeting and geolocation to refine how location targeting works – enabling more precise zip code targeting, cutting off ads at geographic markers, or better splitting regions between franchise locations.

This enables marketers to target locations in hyper-specific ways, such as putting cutoff points at a river, following the contours of a neighborhood, or advertising on one side of a freeway but not the other.

Adcombi also enables multi-location businesses, such as banks, dealerships, franchise restaurants, and retail chains to create large national campaigns with national assets and then integrate local campaigns with local budgets and stakeholders. We use automation to set up individual lines on the DSP, enabling every location to quickly and affordably set up their own campaign for control of budgets, assets, and local-specific information – while retaining national-level asset control and central management.

From there, every location can push ads to its sales regions, showing relevant, local, and location-specific ads to customers.

Local advertising faces numerous hurdles in moving to digital. These include factors such as:

  • The need for hyperlocal ad presence based on sales areas (normally defined by zip code)
  • The need for custom assets and information per location, with local addresses, offers, etc.
  • Limited budgets and assets – with many point of sale stakeholders not being marketing experts
  • The increasing shift of target users away from paper media and towards omni-channel formats like social media and display ads

Adcombi solves all of these with a combination of hyperlocal polygon targeting, individual campaigns per location as part of a larger national campaign, central asset management, and ongoing support from our in-house team of marketing experts.

Bringing Local Data into Your Omni-Channel Marketing

Digitizing even a part of local advertising saves costs on paper, enables more dynamic ads, and enables real-time data such as stock, live data feeds, etc., as part of the ad. But, it also means that local advertising can integrate into omnichannel marketing. This means that, for the first time, in-house marketing experts can contribute to creating and optimizing local ads with knowledge gained from those omnichannel strategies – and vice versa.

If local ads start generating data, like time spent on the page, visibility, click rate, etc., advertisers can start using that data to make better decisions for those ads. In addition, you can use simple testing to improve ads over time – optimize ads per specific location and take that back to any ads you retain in print. And, with local advertising as part of your overall omnichannel advertising strategy, you can integrate that data into the full customer journey – tracking visibility between national campaigns at top-of-funnel and conversion at a local level.

As everything shifts to programmatic, your wealth of data on customer behavior, ad interaction, target groups, etc., can come into play for your local advertising. And, that will enable you to make better targeting decisions, to actually target beyond “just” local, and to drive more clicks and footfall with hyperlocal and hyper relevant ads. In fact, our data shows that even adding local data like addresses and route planners can increase clicks by 60%.

If your local advertising is still completely analog, it may be time to consider testing digital and programmatic as part of your local advertising strategy. If you’re interested, contact us to have a discussion, we’re happy to help.

Delivering hyperlocal advertising with adtech as a service

Adcombi Features & Roadmap
News intro: At Adcombi, we've always been excited about what we can do with our hyperlocal ad technology.

Adcombi Features & Roadmap

Adcombi’s hyperlocal ad technology is in use by some of the largest advertisers on the planet, with brands like Coca Cola, Heineken, and others leveraging our ability to target individual zip codes with a precision not allowed by most DSPs, alongside our automation technology, allowing you to set up a nearly unlimited number of line items on the DSP – saving as much as 80% of time over manual setup.

We’ve expanded on that significantly over the last year, with a shift towards a software-as-a-service delivery model – which will allow us to offer a more modular feature-set – so our clients can choose the features they need and use.

Hyperlocal Advertising – Our Current Feature Set

Adcombi’s platform allows you to set up ads on the DSP, linked to a custom location or Point of Sale, and pulling custom resources and location-specific data per area. Our automation feature allows you to set up these line items in a fraction of the time of doing the work manually, while polygon targeting means you can target ads to zip codes and sales areas with much more precision to avoid wasting budget.

Location management

Location management allows brands to upload their point-of-sale locations, complete with data such as address, route information, custom brand logos, and custom resources. Here, you can import data from an existing PoS document or ask brand owners to log in and upload data individually. Adcombi can also advise and assist you on pulling content from the web, so that every location has the same data.

Location management also allows you to grant access rights, set min/max spends per user, and to define environment, pricing, and duration of ads per location.

Polygon targeting

Brand owners can set a location range per point of sale, with either a standard location radius or a location polygon. Here, you choose the zipcode you want to advertise in, which Adcombi translates to the DSP using a series of small radii to cover as much of the zip code as possible –without overflow. This can reduce ad waste by as much as 30%, because you aren’t bidding for ads that fall outside of the zip code location.

Ad resources

Every PoS location gets its own creatives – either pre-made graphics and video or custom locations, route data, or real-time data feeds. Ad resources allow unique locations to display unique ads, complete with their own local pricing, offers, and discounts. That allows for customization based on what the location is offering, unique route and location data, and even local traffic or weather.


During the bid phase, we use our GeoSafety feature to improve location targeting despite GDPR. With GDPR in place, all but the last digits of an IP address are hashed. You can’t see more location data until after you win the bid. That’s why Adcombi’s technology re-checks the location and then updates the local resources attached to the ad – or delivers a fallback, generic ad when the location doesn’t match after winning the bid.

Our Roadmap

A lot is going on at Adcombi and we’re proud to share our roadmap of upcoming features. The first and most important of these shifts is that we are moving towards a Software-as-a-Service delivery model, which will allow our software to be used in a modular fashion. You pay for the features you need and nothing else.

We’re also working on:

  • Google Business Extension – Integrating Google Business Data allows advertisers to pull existing data from Google Business. This includes location, photos, logos, route, etc., which will save even more time over setting up locations manually.
  • PoS Reports – It's important that brands be able to deliver custom reports to brand owners at the Point of Sale. That’s why we’re working on a new PoS report format to ensure you can deliver necessary and relevant data to those brand owners.
  • Ad Triggers – Our platform already integrates real-time data feeds, so it makes sense for us to use rule-driven logic to update ads in real-time. That’s why we’re working on an If This Then That integration, to allow marketers to set custom display rules around weather, traffic, time of day, queue length, or anything else you have a data feed for.

We’re also working on new partner integrations, which will allow us to offer more and better customer data to our users, although some of these are available on a limited location basis. For example, in the Netherlands we’re partnering with Resono, so marketers can see which areas (zip codes) customers are coming from. That data should allow you to make better decisions regarding targeting, budget allocation, and audience. Other partnerships will allow us to enhance our zip code databases with targeting data, customer profiles, and data on average resident household size, income, etc.

Adcombi is working to enable localized and personalized advertising on the DSP. Our goal is to enable personalized, hyper-local programmatic advertising, with our feature-set, our roadmap, and our internal expertise.

If you’d like to learn more or would like to set up a call to discuss features, roadmaps, or possibilities, get in touch.

Leveraging Hyperlocal Digital Ads for Local Recruitment

News intro: Hiring is getting harder, with labor shortages, paper cost increases, and other problems. With Adcombi's hyperlocal advertising, you can move local recruitment

For most businesses, people are a critical part of business, serving customers, moving product, making product, and keeping stock organized and on shelves. When you have shortages, you have to make hires, and that means putting up ads and waiting for people to send an email or make a phone call. Unfortunately, while much of advertising has moved on, some remains local. With no means to incentivize travel and no way to afford bringing people in, entry level employers like grocery stores, quick service restaurants, warehouses, and retailers must advertise locally.

New barriers to successful local hires

Historically, most of that advertising has been handled with signs at store entrances and on websites. You might also choose to solicit at high schools or colleges – when allowed – but for the most part, you wait for people to come to you. Unfortunately, that’s less and less effective – while costs rise.

Labor shortages – Across the EU, some of the world’s largest economies are facing labor shortages. Those shortages hit hardest in low-wage, entry-level jobs, where recruiting must be done locally. This means that even large retailers are short-staffed, and that staffing issue cuts into margins, increases employee turnover, and increases costs.

Increasing Ad Costs – Local advertising is traditionally done using flyers, posters, and signage. The cost of doing so has increased exponentially over the last year, with the cost of paper more than doubling in some markets. Print experts predict total rises will more than quadruple total costs to print – which greatly increases the cost of the local print ads.

Changing Demographics – Today’s young people are more and more often not paying attention to paper ads and posters, they don’t receive flyers at home, and they may not even go to a grocery store. Targeting this audience in a storefront doesn’t work. Instead, ads have to be digital.

Targeting local prospects with hyperlocal digital ads

Adcombi’s hyperlocal advertising technology allows retailers to create digital ads targeting specific local areas using zipcodes and radius targeting. These ads, which are served over a DSP, are as flexible, traceable, and dynamic as any other programmatic ad.

Hyperlocal hiring on a national scale – Adcombi's platform allows retailers, quick-service, and franchises to set up advertising campaigns as part of a larger national campaign. Local ads pull local resources, addresses, available roles, and route information to direct prospects exactly where they need to be. But, branding and hiring information remain the same across the campaign. However, each location can pull from its own budget.

Flexible and dynamic ads – Paper ads take at least 2 weeks to send to a printer – by the time you get the ads back, you may have filled some of the roles listed. Digital ads distributed through programmatic are dynamic, real-time, and easy to update. Adcombi’s API allows you to link real-time data, like your HR system, to dynamically display ads only for available roles.

Personalized Ads – Create dynamic ads with route information to show how long it would take to get to work. Or, personalize ads with zip-code or point-of-sale specific information to create a better initial experience. That might include advertising for cashiers, specifically targeting people in fitness for jobs that require movement, etc.

Track and test ads – Digital advertising allows you to track metrics, see success rates, and see exactly how your ads are working. That gives you freedom to A/B test, optimize, and improve how you advertise open roles over time.

The local advertising space is the last ad space to digitize, but it is happening. Adcombi offers a tried and tested hyperlocal advertising solution, complete with everything you need for local recruitment. And, it’s already in use by top brands like McDonalds, Albert Heijn, ElectronicPartner, Young Capital, Plus, Jumbo, Heineken, and others. Multi-location brands use our technology to run tailored recruitment ads per location – giving them the flexibility to showcase open roles to the specific people most likely to be hired.

If you’d like to learn more about our success with using hyperlocal ads for local recruitment or about our hyperlocal ad technology, get in touch.

How can Franchises Target Ads by Location in National Campaigns

How can Franchises Target Ads by Location
News intro: Franchises must balance local advertising with maintaining a static, national brand that drives trust across every location.

Franchises must balance local advertising with maintaining a static, national brand that drives trust across every location.

Franchising allows businesses to benefit from a national-level brand and brand trust. The franchise or dealership brand then invests in advertising on a national scale, driving awareness and sales to each of its franchises. That advertising works best at a local scale – with local data like addresses, local specials, and recognizable locations.

The diverse nature of franchises has historically made that difficult to scale. Local franchises wishing to use their own budget to advertise have normally done so using digital resources delivered by the national brand. That results in paper ads and brochures, digital ad campaigns, and even television ads based on the national branding – but often slightly diverging from it. Even if locations are directly using resources, they still have to add their own text, local deals, and local information – which can result in a significant diversity of advertising approach and application.

For franchises wishing to maintain control of branding and advertising at a national level, while advertising at a local level, digital ads are key. And, with Adcombi’s hyperlocal technology – combining the ability to set up unlimited lines on the DSP with our unique polygon targeting – the parent brand stays in control of branding. Plus, with individual lines on the DSP, national advertisers can run those unique, local advertising campaigns on local budgets and ad spend.

Using Polygon Targeting to Precisely Advertise in Franchise Areas

Most franchises have specific franchise and advertising areas. These are normally defined by zip-code, with many franchises operating inside a single zip code. When those locations want to advertise, they can share ads, paper brochures, and other media – inside their franchise area.

Meeting those needs with traditional GPS targeting in the DPS has always been a challenge. For example, if you use traditional location targeting, you set a radius from a point. Therefore, there are always overlaps and areas not covered.

With Adcombi’s polygon targeting, you can use a multi-sided shape to better map advertising ranges to zip code borders. That makes it easier to target customers specifically inside the franchise's advertising area. And, that holds true where advertising areas are broken by geographic changes like rivers, valleys, mountains or highways. For example, if a quick-service restaurant is on each side of the river, simply using radius targeting might mean they advertise to each other’s customers. Switching to polygon targeting allows you to recreate the actual service area using small polygons to cover the full area.

Individual Lines on the DSP

Adcombi’s ad technology allows you to run those ads from a national account, with national-level branding, and targeted based on franchise location. With digital advertising, brands can add data like local addresses, routes, local specials or deals, and even traffic information. Most importantly, you can push ads from a central brand account, with each franchise having its own line on the DSP. Our technology automates this, allowing for nearly unlimited lines on the DSP. Therefore, every location can have its own campaign, its own budget, and its own tracking data.

National-level advertising campaigns make it possible to create consistency in branding and messages across every location. It also allows national franchises to use budget to drive sales directly to local businesses, based on the number of people in their region, quarterly sales, etc. It also allows brands to take over their own advertising and budget, while directly utilizing the resources and materials offered by the national brand.

For example, Adcombi ran a local campaign for The National Association of German Cooperative Banks (BVR) . The campaign consisted of over 800 member banks, each of which shared its own address and logo in the ads. The campaign budget was pulled from the national organization – which funded the campaigns based on quarterly sales.

In another example, Adcombi offers hyperlocal advertising to brands like Coca Cola, which allow local retailers to use their own ad budgets. So, they use their line on the DSP to leverage Coca Cola’s branding and advertising materials with their own budget to drive local sales as part of a national campaign.

If you’d like to learn more about Adcombi’s polygon targeting and how it allows franchises to deliver local ads at a national scale, get in touch. We’re happy to help.

Team Spotlight: Gerrit Reinders

Team Spotlight: Gerrit Reinders
News intro: As an early innovator in the retail media and programmatic ad space, he’s passionate about seeing companies digitize their local ads and we're proud to have him

Over the last 8 years, Adcombi has grown from a tiny technology branch of a digital marketing agency to an innovative marketing tech firm, trailblazing hyperlocal digital marketing and delivering solutions to some of the world’s largest brands. We owe that success to our people, innovators, decision-makers, marketers, software engineers, strategists, and support people, who contribute to the company in their own ways. In this blog series, we’d like to highlight those people – bringing their skills, personality, and the unique ways they contribute to the company to the forefront.

Gerrit Reinders, Adcombi’s founder, has obviously been with us since day one. As an early innovator in the retail media and programmatic ad space, he’s passionate about seeing companies digitize their local ads.

Getting started in sales

Gerrit studied International Marketing Management before starting work at De TelefoonGids (DTG), the Dutch version of Yellow Pages. At that point, the telephone book giant had already begun to digitize, and Gerrit took on a role in sales and business development.

Gerrit learned how to sell products and was introduced to local advertising. Yellow Pages offered SME ads, directed at a targeted and local website. Gerrit and a colleague began innovating there, recognizing opportunities for new products and ads.

“If someone is looking for a bike repair shop, a big bike brand like Gazelle could buy that ad space and deliver their ad to a pre-qualified and highly targeted audience – it was brilliant. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to make the changes needed to leverage how they could use this new technology”

Gerrit decided to fully make the shift into digital marketing, leaving his role with DTG. He moved into a role at GroupM – taking on sales management and marketing for a new acquisition – Quisma. Gerrit was responsible for sales in the Benelux market, which is when he was first introduced to programmatic advertising – back when it was still called automated trading.

Just a year and a half later, Gerrit realized he could fill a gap in the market, and he left his role with GroupM to launch his first company, Marqeting.

An entrepreneur in digital marketing

“Working with GroupM and seeing where programmatic was heading, I realized I could fill a gap in the market. In those days, domestic companies often didn’t have access to the knowledge, resources, or tools to get started with programmatic. From my experience with DTG, I knew even large advertisers lacked a way to target digital advertising and I realized I could deliver a lot of value.”

Marqeting launched as a digital advertising agency, aimed at making programmatic accessible to non-global brands. At the same time, Gerrit wanted to add on services, to make the technology accessible, and to ensure that the technology fit the needs of the companies using it. Marqeting began developing its own software.

“It was around then we started noticing another gap in the market. Digital marketing platforms weren’t designed for decentralized brands with decentralized budgets – those brands, like franchises and branch retailers had no way to use those platforms in a way that made sense.”

Making the switch to ad-tech and hyper-local digital marketing

Marqeting pivoted its focus, ensuring that platform was fully DSP independent – enabling decentralized brands to integrate programmatic into their local marketing strategies.

“We succeeded so well that our technology is not just being used by franchises and decentralized organizations but also FMCG, retailers, automotive, banking, QSR, and many others.”

Eventually, that ad platform became Adcombi – as Gerrit decided to switch focus to his passion, the innovative side of marketing technology.

“I’m quite proud of the fact that, you know, five years ago we designed a solution on a whiteboard. We drew a visualization between the current tech stacks and what we needed to meet the needs of decentralized advertising. And, although we encountered a lot of hurdles along the way, we never gave up. Today, Adcombi is used by some of the world’s biggest brands and agencies.”

Philosophy and outlook

Gerrit is passionate about work, his company, and his people. But, he’s also a father, a dedicated partner, and always happy to go out to have a good time with his friends and his colleagues.  Gerrit goes golfing – when family and work allow – and relaxes with lighthearted films that provide a break from his busy schedule – like his favorite, Dumb & Dumber.

“Adcombi important to me, but I try to have a healthy work-life balance. I’d like to see my sons grow up and be an active parent for them. So, I have to practice self-control and not spend all my time working like I used to - because at the end of the day, being there for my family is the most important thing”

Gerrit also loves travel, which his entrepreneurial lifestyle doesn’t always allow for, but which has always allowed him to bring new perspectives to work.

“In 2010, my partner and I decided to drive from Amsterdam to Cape Town to see the World Championship Soccer Match. We took a 1965 Volkswagen van and drove there with no plans and nowhere to be. For me, it was incredibly freeing and inspiring, I was in between roles, and I had the freedom to do anything I wanted, and every moment was an opportunity, and I took that inspiration with me when I went back to the Netherlands. “

Looking forward with local advertising

“The vertical, which is called local advertising, is probably the last marketing vertical to be digitized. That’s being pushed by factors like a need for traceability and budgeting, better integrated omnichannel strategies, and more locally – regulation around door-to-door flyers and the increasing cost of paper. Plus, with a younger and younger consumer demographic, people just aren’t as interested in paper ads. So, local advertising has to digitize, and fast. I think that as it does, it will have a stronger position within omnichannel marketing strategies. “

“Of course, there are challenges, both for us and for our clients. One of the most pressing is that many organizations don’t have the people they need to invest in innovations. So, while the market is demanding digitization in the local advertising vertical, the transition won’t be as smooth as I’d like.

“Four or five years ago, no one believed in local programmatic advertising and now it’s becoming more vital. I’m very proud that my team, my company, and all my colleagues – those who have been with us from day one and new people – have been able to join, to believe in this journey, and contribute so much to our success”.

How Hyperlocal Digital Ads Generated Millions of Local Impressions in Germany

News intro: For the more than 52,000 car dealerships spread across Europe, local advertising is a must. Adcombi makes that possible, with hyper-local digital advertising

For the more than 52,000 car dealerships spread across Europe, local advertising is a must. Even national-level brands have to drive sales to local dealerships – where individual businesses have to create trust and make sales once leads walk through the door. Historically, that’s been achieved with a combination of national-level television and print media campaigns combined with local radio, TV, and print.

Today, auto adverts are more and more moving into the digital space, where technologies like Adcombi’s polygon targeting and automation enable truly hyperlocal digital ads – distributed from a central advertiser. That allows national car brands to maintain control of the branding and even to offer budgets – while giving local dealerships customization, freedom to promote their own local deals and offers, and the ability to build local trust.

Generating Leads for a Top Auto Dealer

In Germany, Adcombi works with an auto dealer with roughly 160 dealerships in the country. As an automotive retailer, each dealership is its own organization, independent of the motor company itself. So, the brand wanted to incentivize the dealerships by offering advertising budget based on the previous quarter’s sales. Those ads had to be local, but also had to be run from a central DSP and with central branding.

Leveraging Polygon Targeting for Dealership Locations

Advertising inside a dealership's sales region is crucial for many reasons. For example, many areas have non-compete clauses. Many also commit to advertising in specific regions when signing the franchise contract. And, of course, advertising to nearby customers increases the likelihood that those customers can actually get to your dealership to buy a car. That’s important, even with the estimated 52,000 dealerships in Europe. In the U.S., it’s even more important, with an estimated 16,658 light duty franchised car dealerships and over 100,000 dealerships in total.

Adcombi’s polygon targeting – which allows you to fully map a dealership area with small polygons to get full coverage of an area – makes targeting those dealership locations possible. It’s also a massive improvement over traditional radius targeting, which extends a radius outward from a center point. Polygons allow for full coverage of a zip code or other area, without waste and without missing locations.

Building a Hyper-Local Digital Advertising Campaign for 160 Dealerships

The campaign eventually included high-engaging creatives for both lease contracts and for the dealerships themselves. Local dealers were able to choose from multiple car models, share their location, add route planning and their own address, and add their own lease and finance rates to the ad. Adcombi’s technology also allowed dealers to add real-time data like route planning and temperature triggers into the creative.

This freedom allowed brands to allocate budget to their own top selling models, to drive sales in ways they saw fit.

The campaign was set around goals including to drive uptake for lease contract, while engaging local audiences, and incentivizing them to visit local dealerships. And, with Adcombi’s automation tooling, we were able to set up customized programmatic campaigns for each dealership – so each received its own budget, its own ad control, and its own targeting. Those line items are each under the control of the national motor company – but linked to the local dealership.

The Results

Adcombi delivered customized digital ads across 160 auto dealership locations. Each dealer was able to select its own vehicle model to promote for the quarter, with three models to choose from per quarter. In addition, each dealer could set its own lease and finance rates. And, with the option to opt in or out per campaign, every participant had a significant amount of freedom. Adcombi followed up by sending each participant a PDF report of its own ad engagement, budget, delivered ads and clicks.

Adcombi also delivered individually localized in-banner video campaigns. Our integrated media consisted of solutions for Facebook, Instagram, and Google Search. And, with API integrations in the ads, dealerships were able to add route planning and weather targeting.

Since the start of the campaign, some 735,720 different creatives have been served for 160 dealerships.

If you want to learn more about Adcombi’s hyperlocal ad technology or how we can leverage it to deliver local ads at a national scale – get in touch.

A Plug and Play Retail Media Solution

Adcombi's Plug & Play Retail Media Solution
News intro: Adcombi's hyperlocal ad technology serves as a plug and play for off-site and near-site retail media advertising, complete with microbudgeting per Point of Sale

Retail media networks are rapidly becoming the norm for organizations of all sizes, as even small retailers are realizing opportunities. Further, with data from a BCG and Google study showing that early adopters will likely eventually control the retail media market, early adoption is better.

Retail media networks are used to allow brands to buy ad space across your onsite and offsite properties. While retail media has traditionally been an eCommerce channel, it’s gaining traction and relevance to omnichannel as our ability to use programmatic to advertise hyperlocal points of sale grows.

With the combination of high buyer intent on these sites as well as your ability to use existing consumer data, brands are increasingly interested in buying those ads. As a result, the industry is growing rapidly, and so much so that each Amazon and Walmart reported results for their advertising in 2021.

In one survey, the BCG interviewed 50+ retail media leaders to assess the market and growth. That survey predicts the retail market will grow by 25%+ per year. In addition, with other industries such as travel and automotive expected to move in as well, that could reach 35% growth per year.

Most importantly, the largest companies are using retail media ad strategies to invest in their businesses by lowering prices, updating in-store technology, and improving marketing.

Offsite and Near-Site Retail Media are Growing

The largest organizations can easily leverage their own channels, but small and midsize players are increasingly using offsite channels for retail media. Here, offsite offers significant advantages, because it functions to expand the organizations’ reach, typically funnels ads back to your own website and products, and therefore, uses retail media to fund your own advertising. However, both onsite and offsite are important.

The BCG study estimates that the U.S. market for offsite retail media ads alone will reach $75 billion in profit by 2026, with profit margins in the range of 20-40% after media costs and agency and management fees. With a profit margin comparable to that of onsite ads, BCG and Google predict that 30% of all retail media spend will be offsite within 5 years.

Retail Media offers Numerous Advantages

Retail media ads offer increased control to brands paying for ads. That’s especially true over traditional off-site ads, such as trade spending, sponsorships, events, and promotions. This increased control means brands can better monitor performance, better understand ROI, and better adjust spending allocation per channel, location, and ad unit. That’s especially true with increasing growth in digital advertising – including the shift of many traditional local advertising sources to digital.

· Retailers already have consumer databases and ongoing relationships enabling personalized advertising and a seamless consumer experience

· Retailers leverage their own databases for targeting, creating higher returns for advertisers without higher investment for offsite ads

· Buyer intent is very high on and in retailer spaces meaning ROI is very high, which further increases advertiser interest

Retail media also stands out in the digital space, because it gives advertisers a much-needed first-party audience, avoiding customer privacy issues. And, while big players currently dominate (Amazon owns an estimated 60% of the market), smaller retailers are quickly profiting from the space as well. Further, experts suggest that failing to integrate into the space will mean losing out to a competitor who does, putting some urgency on adoption.

A Plug and Play Offsite Retail Media Solution

Adcombi’s hyperlocal advertising platform fits neatly into that retail media space, enabling you to use the programmatic ecosystem to advertise stationary stores and point of sale – offering a seamless way to integrate drive-to-store and near-site ads in a geotargeted way.

In addition to enabling programmatic for brick-and-mortar stores, Adcombi facilitates handling micro-budgeted local campaigns. For example, each location can be set up with its own line on the DSP and therefore its own budget. Advertisers can then apply local advertising pressure in a targeted way, based on data, and optimized over time based on results like foot traffic, coupon usage, etc.

Finally, with each location using its own line on the DSP, Adcombi allows for near-infinite ad customization, with route planners, custom promotions, and local pricing per promoted product. That local information creates higher relevance while driving the potential consumer directly to the point of sale – effectively acting as an extension of the retail media network.

Retail media is rapidly growing. That’s backed by major advertising players like Google, which expect to see the industry grow by nearly 30% per year. Adcombi’s plug and play solution is the ideal way to get started and it’s already been used by major brands like Albert Heijn, Plus, Gamma, Edeka, Gamma, and others.

If you’d like to learn more about how Adcombi fills the near-site and off-site gap in retail media, or how we can help you, contact us to schedule a chat – we're happy to help.


Hyperlocal Advertising at Scale – A Focus on Heineken

Hyperlocal Advertising at Scale – A Focus on Heineken
News intro: When Heineken wanted to run a local advertising campaign, focused on driving foot traffic to points of sales across the Netherlands, Adcombi’s Hyperlocal ad tec

When the 2020 pandemic hit, lockdowns across Europe shut down much of the food and service industry. For the world’s second-largest brewer, that lockdown in the Netherlands cut deeply into profits. Heineken wanted to compensate by running a local advertising campaign, focused on driving foot traffic to points of sales across the Netherlands.

At the same time, paper advertising didn’t cut it. Heineken wanted to drive traffic to its supermarket partners – while maintaining control over budgets and ad spend. That means choosing digital. And, Adcombi’s Hyperlocal ad technology made that possible.

Combining Display, Hyperlocal Technology & GPS Navigation Apps

Heineken ran a multi-media campaign across Facebook, YouTube, and Display Ads. The campaign promoted 4 major supermarket chains, with promotions targeting potential customers in a 2-3km radius from the physical store location. Heineken wanted to drive foot traffic to its grocery store partners. Here, they selected some 600 physical points of sale, including Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Plus, and Deen supermarkets.

Each ad targeted the specific beer brand for Amstel, Heineken, and Affligem, offered in a promotion by that local supermarket, with added information including store address, route information, weather, and stock API.

Adcombi’s campaign primarily focused on mobile users, targeting users in a radius from the store based on population density. The ad used our best-practice recommendations including:

  • Standard elements such as copy, images, logos, products, opening hours, and weather. This kept all ads uniform to enable brand recognition, even if users weren’t familiar with the local store.
  • Real-time Data Elements – Adcombi used APi to link to a weather feed and a traffic feed, updating ads accordingly.
  • API stock (where available), sharing real-time remaining stock of beer involved in the promotion to create a sense of urgency to buy now, or to remove the promotion for the specific store when the selected product was no longer in stock.
  • Maps, with route-planners to the store, so customers clicking the ad open Google Maps or another navigation app, with directions to the nearest store with the promotion. Rather than directing each ad to a local store landing page, customers were directed to route planning, so they could quickly go pick up the promotion before it sold out.
  • CTA with a relevant offer or incentive to purchase the product, in this case, a discount.

Adcombi’s hyperlocal technology also allowed every one of the 600+ supermarkets to have its own line on the DSP. That enabled individual targeting settings, unique geographic radius settings based on local population density and competitor density, budget allocation per store from the national campaign, and drive extra awareness for the point of sale, with address and other details included in the ad.

A Successful Campaign with an ROI of 2.0

Adcombi’s proprietary hyperlocal ad technology allowed Heineken to push 600+ local ad campaigns per week, increasing exposure for three of its brands across the region. Adcombi’s technology is estimated to have saved 148 hours during setup over doing the campaign manually. This includes time saved automating planning, automating, and reporting phases – which significantly decreased Heineken’s operational costs and time expenditure. And, with an ROI of 2.0, or a 200% sales increase over the previous week, the hyperlocal ads significantly impacted sales for the target stores.

Finally, with individual store reports, points of sale involved in the promotion were able to see individual insights on a store level – allowing Heineken to offer value back to the participating supermarkets.

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