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Improve Digital CEO Joëlle Frijters on global monetisation

How best to capitalise on global audiences has long been a conundrum for publishers. Many UK media owners have significant and growing worldwide online audiences, yet they are often fragmented and overlooked commercially.

With advertising planning and buying within the UK focused on local or national campaigns, there has been little interest in buying overseas. 

But is this about to change? With more publishers now finding new ways to unlock worldwide revenue streams and specialist international agencies springing up to fill the void, will the commercial potential of overseas audiences finally be realised?

AOP's Forum on 8 July, entitled Going Global - Monetising your International Audience will feature speakers from Bauer, Carat Digital, Improve Digital, Sky Digital Media and the Wall Street Journal - Book your place online.

Joelle Frijters
Ahead of the event, Joëlle Frijters, CEO and Co-Founder of Improve Digital gave us her thoughts on how UK publishers can capitalise on their international audiences:

Why do you think so many UK publishers are failing to fully commercialise their international audiences?

Fully commercialising local audiences is already a huge struggle for most publishers so, naturally, international audiences become a lesser priority.

Furthermore, there are resource challenges such as the cost and time requirements for operating local in-house sales teams or in managing multiple sales houses and ad networks.

Is the attitude of UK advertisers and agencies contributing to the problem?

As a result of the many languages in Europe and the fragmentation of audiences, managing pan-European campaigns and their creatives is a hassle for media agencies, especially given the small volumes and budgets involved.

It is not surprising if they prefer to focus on domestic traffic. However, according to recent research by the EIAA, advertisers are now spending around 16% of their online budget on pan-European campaigns and, although the research did not say where they spent it, it is a start.

Do you see this situation improving in the future?

More transparency is key. Advertisers are seeking cost reductions and the growth of pan-European ad networks, while ad exchanges and optimisers will all help publishers’ ability to monetise their international audience and provide a more reasonable yield for lower costs.

How can publishers determine the potential returns of their international traffic and ensure revenue outweighs any costs?

You should treat every single market as a separate P&L, with various sources of income, fixed and variable costs, which are dependent on volume, reach and the maturity of the markets you are in.

What selling options should publishers be considering?

First, publishers should be focusing more on selling pan-European campaigns from the UK office. Secondly, where the volume is high enough, engage a local sales house or develop a dedicated in-house team.

Finally, any remaining traffic, should be vested in an ad network optimiser to manage costs and make sure you are connected to all best performing local networks.

Which publishers are getting it really right and are the ones to watch?

The publishers that are sharp are creating local monetisation mixes through an understanding of local ecosystems and various related sources of revenue. It all comes down to calculating things back, reviewing and improving over and over again.

Also speaking at the event will be:

  • Louisa Wong, Head of Network Advertising at Sky Digital Media
  • Luisa Bright, Group Associate Director, Carat Digital
  • Tristan Leaver, Director of Business and Audience Development, EMEA, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
  • Kurt Edwards, Head of Digital Sales at Bauer Media, and Chair of the AOP Commercial Committee will chair the event
  • Read more about our speakers

Thanks to Improve Digital for sponsoring this event.

Date: 8th July 2009
Time: 14.00-17.30
Venue: Olswang's offices: 90 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6LJ

Tickets are: £40 + VAT for members and £80 + VAT for non members.

Book your place online now

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