Adcombi 2021 in Retrospect

Adcombi 2021 in Retrospect
News intro: A lot has happened over the last year, and at Adcombi, 2021 has been a year of growth, expanding our market reach, and introducing new technologies.

A lot has happened over the last year, and at Adcombi, 2021 has been a year of growth, expanding our market reach, and introducing new technologies. This includes new hires and our new CEO, a new website, and new additions to our platform and technology.

New Faces on the Adcombi Team

On April 1st, Adcombi welcomed our new CEO, Auke Boersma to the team. With his guidance, Adcombi has shifted direction towards our ad-tech solutions, completed a rebrand, and launched our new website, Adcombi.io.

We’ve also welcomed other new faces:

  • Martine Zijstra as the new head of Operations & Customer Success
  • Erwin Herber joined the Operations & Customer Success team
  • Eva Roos joined the Customer Success DACH team
  • Roman Druzhinin in the Engineering team
  • Björn Jander joined the Business Dev DACH team
  • Max Miszowski joined the Business Dev DACH team
  • Christian van Loon in Business Dev BNL Team
  • Jeroen Berkhemer in Business Dev BNL Team

This growth will allow us to continue to grow as we move into 2022.

Delivering Ads for International Clients

Our largest success in 2021 has been our projects with clients and their marketing campaigns. For example, in the DACH region, we delivered a first-of-its kind local digital advertising campaign across 7 channels, for 800+ local BVR banks. We onboarded Offerista and AX Regio, as well as taking on large and influential marketing campaigns for food discounters and for the German SPD, which went on to win the national elections in Germany.

In our BNL branch, we onboarded retail giants like Blokker, NVM, Rituals, Toolstation, Bouwmaat, and others. These include connections with new brands like T-Mobile and KPN, as well as connections with Agencies like Dept and large corporates like Dentsu and GHG.

Internationally, we successfully launched our first ICA campaign in Sweden in July. We built relationships with clients, completed projects, and created contacts with IPG, GroupM, and Xaxis.

Tooling and Process

Adcombi is working to implement better processing and tooling, internally, and for our clients. In 2021, that included revamping our roadmap, moving to Hubspot CRM, and GTMHub. These building blocks, which are intended to contribute to operational excellence in 2022, also include standardized documentation across operations and customer success teams. This includes Asana as a project tool to onboard and manage new client projects. These technologies will allow us to offer better documentation and data visibility for clients as we move into the next year.

Our Technology

2021 has been a big year for Adcombi’s technical capabilities. This year we introduced polygon targeting with support for the Netherlands and Germany, which is already on version 3. We also integrated Regional postal code and proximity/radius targeting into DV360. And, for the first time, we onboarded clients directly to Adcombi Technology rather than DV360.

  • Polygon targeting
  • DV360 integration for Regional and Proximity/Radius targeting
  • Extended postcode targeting to Denmark, Finland, and Austria
  • Rails upgrade
  • Infrastructural upgrades in the platform to provide our customers with more reliable experience
  • Improved data report imports for better data access
  • Improved job status feedback for API users

Overall, 2021 was a year of growth and reaching new heights. We’ve set the stage for further growth in 2022, with opportunities to deliver our ad-tech across national and international brands across Europe.

Thank you for joining us for the year and Happy Holidays!

Serve Engagement with Ads Tailored to Real-Time Conditions Like Weather & Traffic

News intro: Drive increases in click-through-rate with always-relevant ads, tailored in real-time by weather, traffic, and other real-world data via our API.

Adcombi’s mission has always been to deliver more ad impact with less marketer investment. That’s why we offer proprietary software to create local digital ads in multi-national and multi-location campaigns. But, serving location-relevant ads isn’t always enough. Sometimes, you have to tailor ads to situations you can’t control. Like the weather. Or traffic. Or major sporting events.

The thing is, no one wants to buy a raincoat when it’s 20C and sunny. No one wants ice cream when temps drop below 5C and it’s raining. Real-world conditions make a lot of difference in what and how people want their products – so your ads should cater to that. And, if you can’t control the real world, the solution is to control your ads.

Automatically Tailor Ads to Drive Engagement

Adcombi uses an API to link data to your ads. You can then use triggers to decide which ads show based on which real-world data. Some easy examples include our weather app integration. Or, routing and traffic information. Our users have already been integrating live wayfinding into ads for some time – but now you can actually tell customers when they’re likely to be stuck in traffic. And, that’s important for hotels and restaurants, but also for shops selling physical goods while trying to provide a quality customer experience.

Most importantly, Adcombi is here to help you build a custom workflow inside our API. You tell us the data you want, and we’ll help you create new possibilities for your ads.

Push the Ads that Matter to the Consumer … and to Your Organization

Context-driven ad-buying allows you to create better and more relevant ads. For example, a car dealership can seamlessly shift between showing ads for cars highlighting air conditioning and soft tops, to offering free winter tire upgrades to new and existing customers based on nothing more than outdoor temperatures. But, it doesn’t have to be all about the consumer.

For example, we have customers that connect our ad platform to their inventory management. When inventory drops, the platform shifts focus to another product – to avoid advertising something that might run out of stock. That avoids customer disappointment. And, vice versa, when products are overstocked, the program can focus ads on the products in question, helping the store to avoid waste and extra costs. That’s been possible with digital signage for menu boards for some time, but now that same feature extends to digital ads across every platform you serve on. And, Adcombi offers ad customization especially relevant to restaurants, grocery, and quick service. For example, you can combine time slots with weather data to create hundreds of ad variations, serving contextually relevant ads for ice cream, coffee, breakfast, etc., based on local time and weather.

Plus, you can use this same technology to drive real engagement and a sense of need. E.g., set a real-time product counter, showing actual inventory at location for discounts and sale products. The customer will understand the urgency of buying now when stock runs low – and you’ll greatly reduce the risk of unhappy customers who just missed out. Of course, that requires having your Point of Sale connected to Adcombi – but if you’re already using a smart POS, that’s relatively simple to set up.

The Tech Information

Adcombi’s technology makes it easy to create pre-built ads, across all your locations. Every individual location can have its own line item on the DSP with its own budget – while utilizing your resources to ensure national-level continuity across campaigns. You use pre-built ads, linked to location – which are then tailored based on third-party data pulled in by the API, and filtered by triggers set up in a workflow. Essentially, you get hundreds of ad variations, and the API pushes the data the DSP needs to serve them.

Adcombi uses a REST API with a Swagger UI documentation, using JSON responses. While this API is open to use, we advise you to get in touch with Adcombi to define your endpoint usage workflow – which will reduce total development time, and make coding easier for your team. That simplifies the full process, so you can get your API up and running as quickly as possible.

Targeting ads based on factors like weather, inventory, products, time of day, etc., is a powerful factor in conversion. In fact, when combined with a call to action and location data, we've seen ad engagement go up by 60% or more. After all, when you see an ad and it points you to a local shop, complete with directions and traffic advisory, and is contextually relevant to the weather – you have that much more reason to click.

If you want to know more, contact us for a technical demo or to ask more questions.

Why the Paper Crisis will Lead to More Digital Retailer Advertising

Why the Paper Crisis will Lead to More Digital Retailer Advertising
News intro: The paper crisis, pushed by the COVID19 pandemic and the global shipping crisis, is making local advertising more and more expensive. How will that impact ads?

Firstly, congratulations! You are reading this text online, in digital format, perhaps on a computer monitor, mobile phone, or other display.

If this article were to be printed on paper, it could prove very expensive in the future. You see, paper is the new gold, and this is throwing manufacturers and printers into a state of alarm. Publishing in print is threatening to be more costly than ever before, with the price of an offset role rising to 200 euro and more, according to trade specialists, Euwid. There is even industry talk of prices increasing up to 40 percent.

The cause is an increased demand coming from China and, of course, the Corona crisis. The pandemic has broken supply chains. Recovered paper, a coveted raw material, is also increasingly used as packaging for booming, online retailers.

But what has the global market rate of paper to do with local advertising in Germany? The answer is - an awful lot.

Local marketing primarily consists of retail advertising, for which, at least in Germany, tons of paper are still being printed. Retailers invest around a third of their annual marketing budget in brochures, leaflets, flyers, and advertisements. Many still using brochures as the medium around which all other advertising activities are planned. Although the near future will see more budget spent on digital marketing, some retailers, especially in the food retail sector, are still fans of the good-old pullout advertising supplement. According to the EHI institute, the percentage of printed marketing in the food retail industry will have sunk just 15,7 percent by 2024.

The unrelenting popularity of print is rather difficult to explain considering the tight margin calculations used by the retail industry. Even before Corona, leaflets and direct mail drops were dearer than their digital alternatives, and now, this paper crisis will make printing significantly more expensive.

However, even without the current paper shortage, a lot could be said for the use of digital advertising, alongside  a clear and considered cross-media mix of brochure and online marketing. No other area of marketing has such huge, unrealised digital potential as local advertising.

  • Today, large, national advertising campaigns can be “localised” with very little effort. What previously cost media agencies many sleepless nights labouring over complicated Excel lists can now, thanks to smart technology, be done with a few mouse clicks and a well-arranged dashboard. Even the most extensive campaigns can be rolled out swiftly, in thousands of variants, at a local level.
  • It has been a long time since the younger generations could be reached via classic print channels. Media behaviour has fundamentally altered - but the media mix of retail advertising hasn’t. Why is that?
  • Printed direct mail advertising is being pushed to its limits by the many mailboxes which now sport stickers requesting “no advertising” or “no free newspapers”. The owners of these mailboxes are therefore no longer being reached. On the other hand, modern geo-targeting tools allow retailers to aim their campaign programs precisely and efficiently at local audiences.
  • The food trade is increasingly focusing on the subject of sustainability. All the big retail chains are promoting ecological and regional products. But how can this new positioning sit alongside the printing of high volumes of paper, plus the effort and expense of distribution, for advertising that will often land in the recycle bin unread?

This is not an argument against printed advertising in retail, which certainly fulfils a need, especially in the case of sales campaigns. This is a plea for more digital advertising at a local level. All the printed catalogues, brochures, advertisements, and direct mail drops would have a bigger impact if they were more closely and better linked to accompanying digital measures.

Perhaps the current price increase in printing costs will lead to a digitalisation of retailer advertising more quickly than expected. After all, more programmatic planning and less paper in marketing must, eventually, be the way forward.

How Does Adcombi Handle Geotargeting Post GDPR?

Tackling Geotargeting Challenges Post-GDPR with Adcombi
News intro: How do you tackle geotargeting challenges in a post GDPR world? Here, we share how Adcombi maintains accuracy to keep lead quality high despite anonymization

Tackling Geotargeting Challenges Post-GDPR with Adcombi

Pre-GDPR, geotargeting and local advertising was one of the fastest growing marketing mediums. 2 years post-GDPR, geotargeting has become a significantly smaller focus for many ad tech companies. Ad tech is shifting away from targeted ads, even as business demand rises. Location-targeted ads were predicted to grow at a rate of 24.5% CAGR for 2020, but now, that rate has slowed to 17.4%. GDPR is definitely a culprit, resulting in higher cost per click and reduced efficacy of geotargeted ads. Advertisers also face wider location regions and have more difficulty assessing location before buying data.

While tackling the challenges of geotargeting in a post GDPR environment is certainly difficult, it’s far from impossible. Adcombi continues to deliver, with geotargeting advertising using tools like double verification and dynamic fallback ads to ensure ad mismatch remains at a minimum, advertisers always see value, and consumers are always matched with the most relevant ad.

Double Verification for Improved Location Targeting Accuracy

Accurate location targeting is key to driving value with geotargeting. Adcombi uses double verification to improve the accuracy of matches.

How it works:

  • Advertiser (you) sets a geofence.
  • Publisher uploads ad inventory to the DSP
  • Adcombi checks the location in the BIT request
  • If location matches a campaign, bidding starts
  • If the bid is won, the location is re-checked
  • If the location matches, the local campaign is shown
  • If the location doesn’t match, a fallback ad is shown

Adcombi’s multi-location technology means every location in a franchise or distributor owns its own campaign, with its own budget. Every campaign is linked to a line item on the DSP, with a geofence. When we win the bid, we check the distance from the consumer to the location and only display the ad if it’s within the set range. We bid on ads based on initial location, verify the location of the consumer after winning the bid, and then show a dynamic ad with either local, national, or fallback content depending on verification results. Fallback ads might comprise a national campaign or another ad (e.g., World Health Organization) is displayed instead. And, ads are displayed in real time so everything remains GDPR friendly.

Getting More from Geotargeting with Adcombi

While geotargeting has a lot to offer, it’s still a costly form of advertising. GDPR has only driven costs up. Yet, over 87% of advertisers using geotargeting report a positive impact on campaigns. Geotargeting is a powerful way to connect to consumers and drive traffic to local distributors and franchises. Successfully navigating the market means reviewing options and making choices that suit your organization and its needs. Some of the most important include geotargeting range, content type/source, and target.

Range – Most advertisers normally want to narrow their range as much as possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a good idea. For example, Adcombi data shows that mismatches increase as range decreases. Hyperlocal campaigns using mobile gps data normally see a mismatch of 2-6%. This means 6 in 100 consumers might see an ad that doesn’t completely match their location. This ratio decreases as you widen the range. It’s also important to consider that mismatches heavily depend on business. Industries like auto-sales, which have wide geofences mapped to specific postcodes, will see significantly lower mismatches than quick-service restaurants relying on hyper-local advertising. At the same time, with 40% of our inventory coming from GPS targeting, hyper-local is completely possible and largely accurate. However, the smaller your range, the lower the bid-inventory and advertising opportunities.

Location Source – IP address masking means that IP data is significantly less precise than mobile GPS. IP location targeting sees an average of 10-20% mismatch within a 15km range. IP is popular and cheap, and it makes up about 60% of all available inventory. Mobile vs Desktop – Most advertisers currently prefer desktop ads. However, this isn’t always the best choice. Desktop is currently more expensive than mobile. But, that is changing quickly. Mobile is famous for misclicks, but users are becoming more tech-savvy and mobile purchases are increasing. You might prefer mobile in several scenarios.

  • Is your product/service an impulse buy
  • Is your website/landing page optimized for mobile
  • Are your consumers millennials or younger?
  • Are you asking users to perform an action or sign up?

Eventually, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, even for single businesses. Most benefit from running multiple campaigns with different targets, to benefit from both wide-availability inventory and hyper-local inventory.

WIFI data only ever comes into play during verification or when mobile data and connections are excluded. This may be important because GDPR measures mean the last four numbers of the IP address are hashed to zero, reducing accuracy. At the same time, there are benefits to both, because mobile phones use a broader GPS location, which might increase mismatch and fallbacks.

Local stores and shops heavily rely on local advertising. However, if you were to limit advertising to geolocations within a few hundred meters, you'd hardly bid on any ads. Creating a second campaign with a geofence set to within a kilometer radius of your store would increase bids, while reducing precision. You’d see trade-off but would get results from both. Of course, your product or service needs to be an impulse buy (affordable, food, etc.) and your website or landing page need to be mobile friendly to make either of these targeting options work.

Larger chain stores, dealerships, and franchises can win more bids with a wider network. Adcombi offers location-specific targeting perfect for dealerships and franchises with postal-code limitations. Our process, which includes double verification, reduces mismatch and advertising outside your location as much as possible. Unfortunately, we can never guarantee a 0% mismatch, because eventually, we’re working with broad data from other publishers.

Geotargeting is more in demand than ever. It offers opportunities for advertisers to ensure their ads are being seen by relevant people. The GDPR makes geotargeting ads more complex, but certainly not impossible. Adcombi has come a long way in tackling these challenges to deliver a truly quality and dynamic geotargeting solution. At the same time, we’re constantly working to improve, to tackle new challenges, and to further close the gap between the demand for local advertising and technical capabilities.

Contact us to learn more.

How Does Local Advertising Fit into Your Digital Omnichannel Strategy?

How Local Advertising Fits Into Digital Omnichannel Strategy
News intro: How Local Advertising Fits Into Digital Omnichannel Strategy

Well, it doesn’t. Does it? Every other form of media is rapidly transforming to digital – but local marketing has been left behind. That’s evident in the thousands of tons of paper used on print media and flyers every year. Everything from radio to banner ads to Out of Home (OOH) has shifted to digital and from digital to programmatic, allowing you to collect data, iterate, optimize, and target to smaller, and smaller niche markets in fractions of seconds. Local marketing just doesn’t offer any of that.

More importantly, despite local marketing taking up a significant portion of most marketing budgets, it’s cut off from our marketing strategies. It’s a black hole in your strategy. Not only can you not see how effective it is, but you also can’t see how it fits into the rest of your strategy or use data to optimize it. Chances are that your digital marketers aren’t even involved.

Tools like Adcombi’s hyperlocal marketing change that, allowing any (inter)national multi-location brand to take its local marketing to digital.

Why Digitize Local Marketing

Taking that step and linking local strategies and budgets into digital means linking that marketing into your overall omnichannel strategy. For example, when you build digital ads targeting geo locations in Adcombi’s platform, you can do so with the wealth of knowledge created from other marketing campaigns. When you do, the data you have regarding your customer, who they are, what they like, and how they like to be talked to on a one-on-one basis becomes hyper-relevant.

Integrating Marketing Experts – Rather than (just) creating and printing ads for flyers and brochures, part of your local marketing budget can integrate your in-house marketing experts. Suddenly, local ads have the potential to be interactional, multi-step, and tightly targeted to specific user demographics. In fact, Adcombi’s technology is so specific, you can exclude certain areas or even specific devices– ensuring, for example, that you don’t alienate long-term customers with signup discounts they can’t benefit from.

Shift the Focus Away from Price – Local print marketing is often little more than a race to the bottom. Sarah receives 12 different brochures from her local home living center – with every store vying for her attention. When she wants a new stove, a new shower, a new tub faucet, and she starts from the flyers – often the only differentiator is price. Digital targeting allows you to connect with customers before they know they need the product, creating brand trust and building motivators for the sale that are beyond “who has the lowest price”.

Programmatic – Instead of committing to local ads in bulk, in flyers and magazines, with ad pricing in the thousands, you can commit to ad buys in quantities of 1 – with programmatic. Digitizing your local ads means automating ad buy, so that ads are only served to prospects who meet the exact location and targeting specifications in the DSP. Whether that’s retargeting to draw Ecommerce viewers further into the funnel or to direct them to a local store, targeting by geo-location when customers are within walking distance of an outlet, or offering situationally relevant ads, such as prompts for a hot coffee when the weather drops below 10c in the morning is completely up to the programmer. You set the requirements and the DSP matches that to inventory before placing a bid.

Omnichannel Data – When you shift to digital marketing, you enable data collection. Most organizations already have a wealth of data, on customers, behavior, ad interaction, targeting groups – the list goes on and on. Most of that data does not integrate into other forms of ads. But, as everything shifts to programmatic, it does become relevant, and as a part of a greater (whole) omnichannel strategy. Here, data collected from television campaigns can be utilized across mobile, radio, and yes, local ads. And, that also connects to DOOH, where digital local marketing can align with out of home, with targeting down to the specific screens.

Don’t Just Digitize Local, Localize Digital

As you begin to look into shifting local marketing budgets into digital, it's crucial that you also move into localizing national ads. That means driving more relevance and interest from national-level ads – that would previously struggle to gain traction or clicks.

For example, our data shows that as ad relevance increases, and national ads begin to contain local data like addresses, route planners, and local brand logos, attention goes up. That can result in as much as a 60% increase in click through rate – a phenomenon near-impossible to replicate across standard digital. Integrating local data is a powerful way to grab attention and attention drives engagement, clicks, and sales.

Adcombi offers hyperlocal digital marketing, with the ability to create hundreds or even thousands of unique line items on the DSP. That gives marketers opportunities to deliver unique ads per physical location – putting context and location-relevant data into (national) ad campaigns. Eventually, that means creating a technology-driven approach to local marketing, in which local ads become optimizable, measurable, and data driven. In other words, digital.

Adcombi's Hyperlocal technology now available as a self-service solution

News intro: Coca-Cola, Heineken and Opel have already adopted the technology

Amsterdam, 16 September 2021 – MarTech platform Adcombi today announced that its patented technology for hyperlocal advertising is now being made available as a self-service solution. To our knowledge, the MarTech solution is the only product in the world that allows advertisers and agencies to independently create hundreds of locally tailored ad campaigns and serve them out programmatically. Brands and retailers such as Coca-Cola, Heineken, Jumbo, Opel and Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken are already using the SaaS technology.

International scaling

In recent years, Adcombi has grown into a leading marketing technology company with offices in Amsterdam and Munich that are jointly responsible for hosting more than 1.5 billion hyperlocal creatives per month. In addition to further expansion in Europe and a possible expansion into Southeast Asia, the company wants to grow even faster by making the Adcombi Hyperlocal technology available through multiple DSPs.

Gerrit Reinders, founder of Adcombi: “In the early years of Adcombi, our focus was mainly on unburdening advertisers, retailers and agencies in local markets. We now work primarily for international brands and advertisers who recognise that the local advertising opportunities our technology offers work exactly the same in the US, UK, Greece, Thailand or Australia. To make our international growth as scalable as possible for both Adcombi and our customers, making our technology available in a self-service way was a logical next step”.

Heineken opts for relevance and convenience

Heineken is one of the advertisers that has now integrated the hyperlocal technology internally. Victoria van de Koppel, Digital Marketing Specialist Heineken: “By integrating the Adcombi technology, we are finally able to very easily deploy the hyperlocal campaigns of all our brands themselves. In particular, the live adjustment and management of assets has ensured that we can now reach and activate our local target groups in a much more targeted way”.

New chapter and new look for Adcombi

The transformation feels like a new chapter for Reinders' company, and according to Auke Boersma, CEO Adcombi, that includes a new look and a new website. The design and functionalities of the website, which went live today, fit well with the international growth that the company is experiencing.

Boersma: “We see an excellent opportunity for the multi-location segments FMCG, retail, supermarkets, automotive and bank branches to start their digital transformation of local advertising. The possibilities and advantages of local advertising, combined with programmatic advertising, data and optimisation technologies, offer unprecedented opportunities as part of any digital omnichannel strategy. In developing the website, we therefore looked closely at what our customers need and how our technology can help them scale their advertising needs and how they can use our technology to scale their advertising needs. The result is a content-rich website with lots of information on hyperlocal programmatic advertising and inspiring content in the form of customer cases, testimonials and blogs”.

About Adcombi

Adcombi provides brands and retailers with hyperlocal technology to deploy ad campaigns across the country, while individual affiliates can create hundreds of locally adjusted campaigns at once using the self-service MarTech solution and serve those local expressions programmatically. In the Benelux and DACH regions, brands such as Unilever, Jumbo, Volkswagen, Heineken, Opel, Coca-Cola, Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken and Rabobank use Adcombi's technology. International agencies such as GroupM, Dentsu, Havas Media, IPG Mediabrands and OMG also work with the Adcombi technology. For more information: https://adcombi.io/en/

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