Interview with Ane Carlsen
is on a mission to make advertising in offline media as simple as it is online. For decades, most adtech has focused on the digital space, leaving the rest of the industry in a vacuum and leading to lack of competition, poor transparency and an inefficient buying process - whether for billboards, in print, on TV or just to sponsor an event. And that's where we come in.
Hi Ane! Could you please introduce Adbooker and what led to your becoming the CEO of the company back in 2017?
Ane: Hello, my name is Ane. Jørgen: And I'm Jørgen. Ane: So I'm the CEO and Co-Founder of Adbooker. Adbooker is a platform where you can buy and sell ad space across multiple media channels. And what made me come up with this idea was basically that I worked in another startup, TV Channel Startup and I realised that it is a jungle out there when it comes to different opportunities where you can actually market your product. You don't only have to choose Google and Facebook. There's actually a lot out there.
What are some of the main challenges faced by publishers looking to fill their available ad spaces? What are some of the main challenges for advertisers?
Jørgen: Well, some of the main challenges for publishers trying to fill up their spaces is that they end up spending a lot a lot of time and money trying to reach out to small and medium-sized businesses. We've seen companies having huge call centres with hundreds of people calling out to random advertisers every day to try to get them to buy ad space from them. While on the other side, we find these advertisers struggling to navigate in this market, they don't know what their options are, it's complicated to know what price point you should pay. And also they get all these phone calls from these publishers. So they don't really know what to do with all this information. It's it's a jungle out there and we're clearing out the jungle, and making everything transparent. Like a window!
What are some of the main misconceptions the general public has regarding Adbooker's operations? Do they find the concept of using an online marketplace for offline ads confusing?
Ane: So, Adbooker is an online marketplace where you can buy both online and offline media space. And to many, it might be confusing to actually go online to buy offline ad space and that is because this industry has not changed in a long time. It works the same way as on 'Mad Men'. You have the Donald Drapers, who buys ad space for the big players and then you have the small advertisers that have to do all the work themselves. That means email, phone calls, etc. We just want to make it easier for them to navigate them to select and get in contact with the right media.
Who have been some of the biggest clients of Adbooker? What is your main user acquisition channel?
Jørgen: Well, when we first started Adbooker we sort of had to fight on both fronts and it was tricky to get both the advertisers and the publishers with us because if you don't have all the publishers in the region on the platform the advertisers wouldn't be interested and vice versa. So now in Norway, we got every single publisher with us and we were building up the same portfolio here in Germany. And for the advertisers, we've gone through some pilot projects with the DMV, the largest bank in Norway, TGIF Friday's, Scandinavia has been buying ads from us and a dental clinic has been buying ads from us. And those are basically the three cases that we've been working with. And now we're working in dialogue with a few performance agencies and some sort of medium to large/heavy undisclosed advertisers in Norway.
What's next for your work with Adbooker? What are the main projects, partnerships and formats you'll be focusing on now that it's 2019?
Ane: So we just received a grant from Innovation Norway and we're now part of the Next Media Accelerator, here in Hamburg. So we are ready to take Adbooker international and we're ready to commercialise the product. What we're going to work on next is to build smart technology, use artificial intelligence to give advertisers even better suggestions on which media they should look at and where they should place their ad money.