Maintaining Brand Consistency Across Hyperlocal Digital Ad Campaigns

Maintaining Branding Across Local Digital Ad Campaigns
News intro: For national brands, hyperlocal digital advertising introduces new challenges in branding and consistency. Here's how Adcombi deals with those challenges.

When big national brands like franchises, chains, and corporates advertise, they more and more often do it locally. That can mean handing digital advertising power and budget over to the points of sale benefiting from foot traffic. For many big brands, that creates risks in the form of inconsistent branding, with ads and offers that could take on completely different formats if left to individual brand managers.

Adcombi delivers hyper-local marketing technology, helping brands to target zip codes and sales areas of individual points of sale across their network. Optimizing that marketing means improving how you build campaigns across individual brand locations, and that means creating a uniform brand experience, no matter which location your customers go to.

Use Central Campaign Management

The more locations you have, the more difficult it is to maintain a central brand image. Keeping individual brand owners and marketers from using their own creatives can be a challenge. Delivering campaign creatives, asking everyone to use the same technology, and measuring everything through a central platform helps to mitigate this risk.

For example, Adcombi allows you to set up unlimited line items on the DSP, enabling any of your local brands to utilize budget and technology access. And, with our API, you can bring that technology into an existing brand platform. When Coca Cola wanted to drive foot traffic to local points of sale, they did just that. The Adcombi API was used to connect our technology to their platform. Then, brand managers and owners could simply set up campaigns inside of their existing platform and push those to the DSP.

If you don't have your own platform, you can still set up all of your campaigns via a centralized platform in the Adcombi tool. That helps to ensure brand and quality control remains in place, no matter how many points of sale you have.

Distribute Campaign Assets

If location owners can simply pull from a list of creatives designed for their location, or use national creatives, which are then customized at point of delivery, you’ll create a more uniform customer experience.

Often, this will mean either developing individual creatives per point of sale upfront. For example, big advertisers like the Jumbo and Plus often create banners with discounts and sales – which local stores can then choose to use or not. That allows those individual brand owners to opt into which discounts they're using for better customization – without having to develop their own creatives.

For example, when Adcombi was selected as the technology platform for BVR to distribute ads for more than 800 member banks, they requested relevant data including bank logos and branding upfront. Then, those logos were inserted into videos. When the ad campaign ran, we pulled relevant content based on the location of the viewer – enabling real-time relevance. But, because campaign creatives were developed and customized by the national brand, everything retained a uniform look and feel.

Customize Creatives

Building custom creatives per point of sale can allow brands to share their own sales, discounts, and products. However, simplifying campaign creation is also an important thing to ensure that costs and timelines stay on track. In this case, using API and real-time data insertion with rich media can offer the location customization you need – without having to develop individual creatives per location.

For example, Adcombi's technology can pull location-specific data like route planners, addresses, and even number of items in stock. That will allow you to display custom content with information like the distance to the point of sale, making the ad relevant to the viewer.

If you're looking for ways to make your national brand campaign more relevant on a local level, without losing brand consistency, we're happy to help. Schedule a call to discuss how we can help.

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.

Team Spotlight: Martijn Hamann

Team Spotlight: Martijn Hamann
News intro: Martijn Hamann is co-owner and partner at Endeit Capital, with a decade of experience helping software companies succeed, so, we're proud to have him on board

Martijn Hamann is co-owner and partner at Endeit Capital, a venture-capital firm investing in growth-stage European companies, former member of the Executive Directors team at television producer Endemol, and board member, brand mentor, and contributor across numerous Dutch and international startups. So, we’re especially proud to have him as one of our Advisory Board members.

Adcombi has grown a lot since our first launch. Today we’re delivering AdTech innovations on an international scale, to some of the world’s largest advertisers, and with brands like Heineken, Coca Cola, Honda, and many others. We owe that success to our people and our teams. In this blog series, we’d like to highlight those people, their skills, personality, and the unique ways they contribute to the company.

Mergers and Acquisitions at Endemol

Martijn graduated from the Erasmus University with a Master's in Business Administration, briefly taking on a role in a merger and acquisition firm, before being hired for M&A at Endemol. Here, he would play a leading role in the television producer’s growth, via more than 50 acquisitions, participations, and start-ups.

“I wanted to do something in a dynamic world, work in an international and disruptive industry, and in those days, the media industry was that. The big monopolies were breaking apart, big publishers and tv stations had been very state owned and it was breaking up into competitive industries – and that was very interesting to me”

Emdemol became one of the most successful television producers in the world, with shows like The Voice, Big Brother, and others competing with the (previously) dominant Hollywood television.

“U.S. content was ruling the world at the time with soap operas and scripted TV and gameshows. When we started rolling out local media in Europe – like Dutch game shows, films, soap operas, it was the first. It was the first creative industry in Europe to go head-to-head with the U.S., and that was interesting from a career perspective. It was cool to have successful international hits coming from this tiny country, the Netherlands. Of course, you see the same now with Netflix, which is having great success with locally produced content – but I think we were really pioneers in liberalizing content in the 90s.”

Martijn worked with Endemol as head of Mergers and Acquisitions for just over 5 years before moving into a role as Director of International Operations, where he was directly responsible for managing subsidiaries, developing and starting new businesses, and rolling out to new markets.

When Endemol sold in 2,000, it was for €5.5 billion. Martijn would stay on with the company for a few years longer, helping to take the company public again in 2005.

“Selling Endemol was a personal triumph because we worked so hard on globalizing the company and with such a young group of people. We were a relatively small company in Holland, and we sold it for €5.5 billion, it was unbelieveable, it was an international business going head-to-head with the biggest competitors in the world – I thought it was proof that with the right spirit, you can actually become a top 3 player from anywhere – and we achieved that. It felt like anything was possible.”

Who is Martijn

Martijn is a husband, father of two teenagers, and as invested in growth, disruption, and entrepreneurialism in his private life as in his business life.

“I like autobiographical books – like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs – they make such a big impression on me, starting with nothing and creating companies that are game-changing for humanity”

Martijn is also into sports, ranging from skiing and sailing to ice skating and – since the pandemic – golf. He’s also passionate about flying, taking on the challenges of flying in Amsterdam’s crowded airspace.

“It was always one of my dreams to go flying, so when we sold Endemol, I took some time and I learned how to fly. I earned my pilot license for small planes. It’s always such a surreal experience for me – when you go flying you are completely reliant on the plane and your skill using it – and you can’t really get that same experience anywhere else.”

Getting started with investing

Martijn started investing, in internet startups like Paylogic, Advance, CIC and many others. When his long-term colleague, Hubert Deijmers started Endeit, a venture capital firm investing in growth stage European companies, he joined that as well.

“It was a new step in my life, selling Endemol meant I could do more with private money, and try to achieve that success again from a different angle”

While Endeit’s portfolio is diverse, it primarily focuses on internet startups.

“It has to do with the spirit of disruption. If you invest in young entrepreneurial companies, they’re open minded, willing to break the rules and break into markets – they have nothing to lose. And that’s specifically what I love to invest in and to try to help them create this disruptive environment in the economy.”

“That’s what’s really great about the current world – young people with limited resources and money can still do a lot in the digital world. That wasn’t the case in the 90s, you needed a lot of money to build a small piece of software and now, anyone with an Amazon account can start a company, it creates a lot of disruption and I love that.”

Today, Martijn is invested in helping growth stage companies to grow.

“I’m working on buying and selling companies, helping entrepreneurs, and helping them grow. One thing I really love is helping companies move to the stock market – going public. I’ve worked on two of those projects and it’s a really complex process, but it’s really rewarding, because it’s the ultimate way of helping a company to become independent. People believe in your company and your story, so they invest, and it’s impressive when entrepreneurs can get that kind of buy-in for their ideas”.

Investing in Adcombi

“If you look at my work with Endemol, localized media was always something I’ve invested in, and Adcombi just takes that a step further with hyperlocal”.

“You can argue that some advertising campaigns are wasted when you go nationwide. You have to tailor them to demographics, audiences, neighborhoods. That wasn’t possible until recently, but Adcombi is making it happen. “

“I think hyperlocal advertising is also leading the curve of sustainability and less intrusive advertising. Ad blockers and cookie restrictions are limiting how advertisers can reach you. So, ads cost more, therefore it’s important to find other ways to make them relevant and hyper localization is one way to do that”.

“Adcombi is disrupting local advertising – they're helping big brands like Unilever, Coca Cola, Heineken, which have traditionally relied on flyers, to directly connect to their consumers via software – with the tracking, tailoring, and dynamic ads of digital advertising. But I also really like that the software adds value in bigger purchases like car sales as well – you can target ads to dealerships and retail spaces – using location as an indicator of buying intent – and making ads that much more relevant.”

If you’d like to learn more about Martijn Hamann, visit his LinkedIn page.

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.

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.

Team Spotlight: Diosa Taylor

News intro: Adcombi is its people, with that in mind, we'd like to introduce Diosa Taylor, Ruby on Rails developer and Scrum Master in our team.

At Adcombi, we like to acknowledge that our people are the company. From the CEO and advisory board to the software developers, analysts, and customer sales representatives, it is our people who enable us to deliver what we deliver, to be Adcombi. Their personalities, talents, and dedication make our company, and in this series, we highlight those people and how they contribute in their own unique way.

In this blog, we’re proud to introduce Diosa Taylor, software engineer at Adcombi, who brings diverse experience and artistic vision to her work on our code.

Introducing Diosa

Diosa is a software developer living in Amsterdam. At 31, she’s travelled the world, and moved to the Netherlands following being raised in Dubai and the UK. But, she hasn’t always been interested in software design. Instead, Diosa began her education in Art and Design at Leeds College of Art.

“I’ve always liked art, I consider myself quite a creative person. I dabbled in writing and photography up to a professional level, so that inherent creativity is there. But after pursuing it for a while, I realised I’m not really cut out for it, working in art was really starting to take the joy out of it for me, and I wanted to go back to doing it recreationally”.

Diosa changed focus and studied mathematics, graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Cardiff University.

“Maths and art were the two things I enjoyed the most at school and while studying art I started to get that ‘grass is always greener’ feeling. I missed using the other side of my brain, thinking more logically and analytically., Maybe I felt like I was being pulled in two different directions with my interests.”.

“Of course, now, with software design, I can finally do a bit of both – programming requires a level of creativity, sometimes even design when it comes to front end, but you also have to be analytical, so it’s a good middle-of-the-road for me”.

After graduating, Diosa took some time out to travel the world, eventually ending up living in the Netherlands.

“My parents met in Hong Kong, so I really wanted to get to know that part of the world. I went to China, learned some Chinese, and taught English for over a year and a half; it was a great experience. I liked it so much I decided to keep traveling and saved up to go to South America. I spent four months backpacking there, which was kind of the kick-off for ending up in Amsterdam.”

“I was traveling around South America, looking for what to do with my life next. I didn’t really have  a career per se, and wasn’t tied down in any way – that's both liberating and stressful – and I was shopping around for what to do next. I met a lot of Dutch people on the road and they put Amsterdam on the map for me in a lot of ways. They insisted it was somewhere you could move to as a non-Dutch speaker and have career options beyond teaching ESL or waiting tables – so I went for it”.

Moving into Software Design

“When I moved to the Netherlands, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I had this dual background in maths and art and wasn’t really sure where to go with either – so I signed onto an agency to help me find a career path”.

That agency saw potential for Diosa to bring her backgrounds together into front-end design, and, intrigued, she signed up for training. She started her first role with OnMarc as a Ruby on Rails developer – staying with them until 2018 when she switched to Adcombi.

In the interim, she’s followed up with further education, pursuing coding bootcamps, earning a Scrum Master certification, and diversifying her experience there.

“I didn’t choose my career, it kind of chose me, and I’m really lucky in that regard”.

At Work and at Home

Diosa lives in Amsterdam with her boyfriend, but she’s lived in Dubai, Cardiff, Ningbo (China), and spent time traveling. That love of adventure remains even though she’s been in one place for 6+ years, and Diosa spends much of her free time bouldering and rock climbing.

“We have a boulder gym next to the office, I like everything about climbing. I’ve noticed that a lot of people from STEM-based fields tend to like bouldering, maybe because to some degree, the routes are like giant puzzles you have to solve. It requires a bit of creativity whilst being physically and mentally challenging, and there’s a really nice sense of community”.

Diosa also likes to relax with thrillers and psychological thrillers, citing Alfred Hitchcock as a favorite. When she wants to relax, books like Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”, and “Everything is Fucked” are currently on her reading list.

“I was surprised how much a lot of it resonates with me, it makes you think a lot”.

“As a developer, I try to embrace the uncomfortable, something that’s quite difficult to avoid in my role anyway. The software development landscape is constantly changing and evolving so there’s always something to learn and the feeling that you’ll fall behind if you don’t.. At the same time, the way you do anything is the way you do everything –  and I do see parallels in my life between climbing and coding. I constantly put myself in uncomfortable situations when I’m climbing, and I have a lot of broken bones and torn tendons to show for it. I’m afraid of falling and I’m afraid of failing, but at some point you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable or you’ll never move forward, and that applies professionally as well. ”.

Working with Adcombi

Diosa onboarded with Adcombi in 2018, taking on a role as a software developer, where’s she’s been ever since.

“We didn’t have that much hierarchy to begin with, but last year the company had another re-structure where things were flattened out even more, so we don’t have junior or senior roles anymore. We’re all just developers, which is nice. No one has to feel bogged down with titles and arbitrary progression. In this line of work, your code speaks for itself. ”.

In 2021, Diosa also started working as Scrum Master at Adcombi, taking the exam and offering her insights in the team as Scrum Master, supporting the Product Owner.

“As a developer, there are always a million things to do. In such a small team where we have no real specialisations, we all do everything. Front-end, back-end, dev-ops, etc. We all get to do a bit of everything and challenge ourselves in a multitude of areas. This definitely keeps it interesting and at times humbling too. But I’m lucky to have talented people around me to learn from and develop with and everyone brings something unique to the team.”

Working Towards a Better Future

“Let’s be honest, outside of the industry, no one is a huge fan of digital advertising. If we can do our part to make it less of a pain, and more personalised on a location-basis, those ads will be less intrusive and more relevant, and that’s a plus in my book”.

“I think Adcombi fills an interesting niche, and the fact that we run as a sort of plug-in for any DSP makes it interesting for almost any company looking to automate their programmatic campaign set up. That also means we have to constantly update our tech to keep up with the DSPs and ever-changing industry standards. One thing is for sure though, online advertising isn’t going anywhere and I’m glad I get to be a part of an industry that shows no signs of slowing down.”.

If you’d like to learn more about Diosa, see her LinkedIn here.

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”.

Team Spotlight: Björn Jander

Adcombi Team Spotlight: Björn Jander
News intro: Adcombi is proud to highlight our people and in this post, we introduce Björn Jander, our Business Development Manager for the DACH region, who brings his diver

Adcombi has grown a lot over the last few years and that’s in large part thanks to our people. This series highlights those people, their personalities, and how they contribute to Adcombi as a whole – showcasing what makes Adcombi “Adcombi”. In this blog, we’re proud to introduce Björn Jander, our Business Development Manager for the DACH region, who brings his diverse experience across marketing, media management, and advertising to the organization.

Getting Started in Marketing

Björn was conscripted into the military under German law at the time, serving a mandatory 10-month service. That training and work turned into a 12-year career – as Björn took on a role in administration and HR. His work in the military was mostly quiet, including a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.

“If the military taught me one thing, it’s never to give up too early, you’ll miss out on what you could have accomplished”.

Björn left the military, intent on studying HR, which he’d specialized in during his last few years of service. But, it wasn’t meant to be.

“I wanted to continue HR because I’d been very interested in that and how it’s digitizing, but the program I signed up for didn’t happen. The university contacted me and asked me to move into a marketing course instead and, intrigued, I accepted. Really, what I wanted was to do something completely new after the military, and I was just handed the opportunity to explore something completely new.”

Björn eventually graduated in business administration with a focus on marketing,

“I liked marketing, I liked it a lot, so I wanted a job in it. More specifically, I was curious about digital marketing, which combined my passion for digital devices and the internet with my professional study”.

Björn took on a role at OMS, a German marketer for regional newspapers. The 6 years he spent with the copany gave him a background in marketing management, product management, and managing media solutions – as well as introducing him to many of the problems he would later come to solve with Adcombi.

When, in 2016, he moved to Ströer, the largest German Out of Home and Online Marketer, it was in as a manager of media solutions and then as an account manager for client sales. That work ranged from concept creation to directly building solutions for clients – and he stayed until 2021, when he took on his current role in Adcombi.

Who is Björn

Björn was born in Kamp-Lintfort, Germany, now he lives in Moers with his wife and his son and are looking to buy a house in the region to stay there.

Björn is also very much an outdoors person, “I spend a lot of time outside, walking, going to the beach, doing sports. But, normally I do that with my pet. We recently lost our family dog and it’s heartbreaking – but dogs are so much a part of my life and my family life – I've never really not had animals with me. They inspire you to go outside, to spend time in the woods, and it’s comforting to have a small partner with you wherever you go”.

Björn had his first dog at age 5 and has had one ever since, and he’s confident it won’t be long until he’s ready to introduce a new pet to his family.

In his spare time, Björn walks and spends a lot of time outside. That leaves plenty of room for podcasts, like his favorite, Online Marketing Rockstars.

“It’s very inspiring, sometimes in ways I don’t expect, they often have influencers and they talk about their business and how they took ideas and developed them, overcame challenges, and turned them into a business”.

Björn is also fond of comedy and thrillers, in podcasts and in books.

“The most meaningful day of my life was the birth of my son, and now he’s turning four, I definitely spend most of my time with him. We do swimming, playgrounds, and we used to spend a lot of time walking our dog together. I’m the parent, but often I feel like I’m the one learning. My son taught me so much about patience, I had to learn that everything takes its’ time, everything should take its’ time, and the only thing you can do is stay curious and wait for it”.

“That’s something that’s really changed how I approach work as well, especially in a tech environment like online marketing, there’s so much to learn, so many changes, and everything moves at its own pace. Something that was state of the art last year could be obsolete this year. There’s always so much to learn and you have to ask questions and stay curious. Every problem gives you an important lesson, all you can do is keep learning.”

Björn at Adcombi

Björn moved into his role at Adcombi in the end of 2021, effectively taking over as lead of business development management for the DACH region. His role makes him responsible for the sales cycle, choosing our clients, prospecting, contacting people, and making sure the right people have the information they need to decide whether Adcombi is the right fit for their organization.

“It’s easy to be passionate about my work at Adcombi, because they solve problems, I experienced myself at OMS. In 2011, when we started big campaigns with multiple locations, the project managers were incredibly stressed because it was so much work. Sometimes we’d have to say no to customers making requests, because we couldn’t set multi-location campaigns up in a way that was profitable. We often just couldn’t offer what the client was asking for. And Adcombi just solves all of those issues. “

“At the same time, it’s important for me as a salesperson to not get too excited about Adcombi and what it can do. I have to step back, align our solutions with the client’s problems, and figure out how we can best solve those issues – and that always has to be the focus.”

If you’d like to learn more about Björn, visit his LinkedIn

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.


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