How Schibsted is trying to improve ads from its London hub
In 2014, Schibsted opened up the doors to its so-called London hub. The office in the British capital is one of four Schibsted hubs.
Smashdig got in touch with Daniel Wentz, VP Advertising Platform Operations, to learn more about Schibsted’s work in London.
Can you tell me a little bit about what it is you do at Schibsted’s London hub?
Schibsted’s newly established London hub is our main Product and Technology hub for Schibsted’s core platform development, which are Marketplaces Platform, Media Platform and Advertising Platform across Schibsted as a group. The Product Management and Engineering efforts are set-up to mirror each other much like the classic technology driven organizations like Google and Facebook. Our CTO Rian Liebenberg oversees daily operations in London.
One of Schibsted’s Swedish newspapers is Aftonbladet. How have you worked to improve Aftonbladet.se?
The evolution of our major Nordic news sites (like Aftonbladet in Stockholm, Sweden and VG in Oslo, Norway) will more follow the evolution and development of our Media Platform, both in lines with how we develop content and the product as well as how we design the future user experience of the brand. Especially as increased personalization and video content is becoming key ingredients of the future user and brand experience, scalability is the key.
London is the place where you develop ads. What kind of ads are you working with?
London is our main hub for developing new advertising products that scales across the group. Today, we engineer three core products to our advertising platform:
– A Self Service solution for small and medium sized advertisers (which has been launched in France at LBC)
– An Audience Targeting Engine, which in practice is our proprietary Data Management Platform (DMP) fueled with data segments from our data science department
– Campaign reporting tool, to provide our advertisers and agencies customers with accurate reporting on campaign performance
In addition, we are working closely with our platform partner AppNexus Product Management to evolve new formats and offerings both through programmatic channels as well as guaranteed and hosted campaigns.
What do you see as the next big trends in ads?
This is a big question and there are several important trends to consider:
– Increased focus on automation from both buyers and sellers
– Evolution of Branding metrics like in-screen
– Evolution of new formats like Native and Video
– New capabilities with new devices, as well as cross-device campaigns
– More precise and relevant targeting and better overall experience (for the user that is)
– The whole ad-blocking area is an important trend that shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to designing the future advertising formats and products
– On the Infrastructure layer we will also see a squeeze of middle-sized and smaller advertising technology players to the benefit of the big platforms (i.e. Google, Facebook) and we will likely start to see the strategic value of the infrastructure layer as well.
In Schibsted’s video about your London hub you talk about the development of ads and how it moves from being developed for desktop to be more and more adjusted for mobile. Can you tell me a bit about how you work with this transformation?
Well, when we design our products we are having a channel agnostic approach from the get-go. We are not designing specifically for Desktop but rather implement a design that works well for Mobile as a starting point. More than half of our advertising volumes comes from Mobile today why it’s key to have Mobile as the main proxy and device when engineering products. This is as much a general mindset as an engineering and product management effort.
How important is it to find new ad ‘‘solutions’’ in this day and age where people are consuming a lot of different media on a daily basis?
I would say it’s very important to remain on top and relevant as a trusted partner for advertisers and agencies. As the evolution within the space is extreme, our evolving offerings must be on pair or close to the general evolution to remain competitive, or our customers will go somewhere else. It’s very dangerous to stand still and adopt a wait-and-see attitude or just not iterating fast enough. The delicate balance lies in-between what buyers want and what our users actually think is a delightful experience. This balance is very hard to get right and I do not think anyone has solved it yet.
This article has been slightly edited for clarity and length.SchibstedSchibsted LondonDaniel Wentz