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Right User, Right Time, Right Place? Monetising the Borderless Web

Improve Digital, Staff Blog, Blog, Tech company, Programmatic

In today’s increasingly globalised society, many online publishers end up, unintentionally in a lot of cases, obtaining users from all over the world. Some publishers are international by nature, giants like Facebook and YouTube being obvious examples, but local publishers can also have a large proportion of their traffic coming from geos that are not their primary focus. The growing movement of people from country to country ensures that this trend will continue to grow.

‘Emigration, forced or chosen, across national frontiers or from village to metropolis, is the quintessential experience of our time.’ John Berger

As one of many Irishmen living abroad, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that up to 30% of volume from major Irish publishers comes from IPs outside the island, with the UK, US, Canada and Australia being the major drivers. However, there are also another 100,000 Irish living across mainland Europe that shouldn’t be ignored. That’s still 2% of the population back at home.

Moving on to bigger numbers, let’s look at Turkey. In Germany and France alone there are over 5 million Turks – that’s more than the population of Ireland – and the online experience of the majority of these people is still going to be shaped by local Turkish publishers. We should also note, that with higher advertising spend and a more developed marketplace in France and Germany, these users are potentially of more value to a publisher than those in Istanbul.

So what does all this mean for local publishers and how should they handle the large numbers of visitors from abroad?

The days of just filling these ad spaces in any way possible, happy to take a low rate as it’s not your focus market, should be well and truly over. Publishers need to make it a focus – start with a publisher focused multinational monetisation provider who can provide geo-specific advertising solutions for your visitors, wherever they may come from. Have a look at how the big local publishers are behaving and who they align with. Think of the advancements in programmatic and the premium rates you could gain from PMPs. Think rich media, 1st party data, highly targeted display or video campaigns. In the age of programmatic trading, resource is not a burning concern in order to make notable gains.

During my research, I looked at the ads on a number of my favourite Irish sites from a Dutch IP. The level of irrelevance of a lot of the ads was baffling. For example, I’ve seen local campaigns that bare no relevance for an ex-pat and should be geo-targeted to Ireland. I’ve seen ads to cure belly-fat, ads for muscle enhancing steroids, ads for teeth-whitening and ads for a quick 6-pack, all running next to what would be considered premium content. Luckily for me I don’t suffer from any major insecurity issues but don’t I, as a user, deserve more relevant advertising? And doesn’t a publisher, a provider of premium content, deserve to profit more from a user who is hungrily hoovering up their content day in, day out?

The answer should be an undisputed YES and the irony was not lost on me when an Irish website recently published a piece with the headline, ‘Can the Diaspora Contribute to Economic Recovery?’

With more relevant advertising, as opposed to an online university offering me English classes, I could’ve contributed while still reading the article….

Senior Business Development Manager