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Programmatic AND Multicultural: Joinville’s Niklas Nikolaidis Discusses The Need For Sophisticated Niche Audience Targeting

Niklas Nikolaidis is the VP of Sales & Business Development and founder of Joinville, a Stockholm-based niche audience buying platform operating globally.

Here Niklas gives an overview of Joinville’s proposition in Europe and North America, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform they are currently building and the opportunity for online performance and brand advertisers around multicultural segment targeting and programmatic buying.

First, for people not familiar with the terminology, what exactly is multicultural marketing?

The marketing practice of multicultural marketing goes under (too) many names – ethnic marketing, diversity, intercultural, minority marketing and more. It essentially takes into consideration the cultural background and preferences of a certain demographic group. This group can be people from the same country of origin, belonging to the same religion, speaking a certain dialect or language or feeling connected to the same community as other people. Of course the most common denominator is that people are from the same country of origin and have migrated to a new country and share specific cultural traits that distinguish them from the mainstream population in their new country.

Can you give readers some overview on Joinville’s platform in the digital advertising sector? Are you an agency or a network?

Neither. Joinville started as an ad network selling ethnic website publisher inventory (publishers with a site language different than the country’s language) where we manually selected publishers for specific campaigns and handled everything on a site-by-site basis. Since our approach was not that common in Europe we quickly saw demand coming for target audiences that we did not have supply for so we had to source it from different channels. That’s where the programmatic buying started – with our extensive database of ethnic publishers and the ability to follow click streams to expand inventory lists for each minority we use niche and mainstream partners for buying multicultural audiences. With the arrival of our new SaaS ad platform, Mundo, we are expanding this via integrations with ad exchanges and private marketplaces (PMPs) where we can allow certain advertisers to buy and pinpoint their desired niche audiences. It’s all coming together now and looking pretty darn great, I you ask me.

Joinville has 3 main legs:

  1. Joinville Managed Services – Managed campaigns for global clients where Joinville’s ad traders handle campaign optimization for clients.
  2. Mundo self-serve ad platform – Smaller agencies and marketers use this for setting up and running their own multicultural campaign with Mundo doing the ethnic targeting for them.
  3. Joinville Publisher Network – Website monetization in overdrive. Our Publisher managers help global publishers increasing their yield and site revenue from diverse networks, SSPs and direct clients. Our newest product but one that has a lot of potential already.

Any other products in the pipeline? Anything you can share?

Well, apart from Mundo, there’s a free data tool on ethnic populations worldwide and country-specific for media planners coming, new channels will be added to the Mundo platform to expand the offering and we will also break into data segment selling in 2015. Right now, new product ideas is not the issue. Our biggest challenge is to find time and resources to push through fast enough since the industry is moving fast and user trends are also moving faster than before. Iteration is key in order to launch fast to see potential and from there develop the next version fast.

What kind of trends are you seeing in the display market?

Pretty hard to avoid mentioning programmatic buying and data targeting as it’s coming on all fronts now. Joinville started buying programmatically in 2011 and from there we have been experimenting and doing it in over 40 countries worldwide by now. The US market is more mature, for sure, but we also see great dynamic in the UK and Canada for RTB. Performance-driven metrics are much more common now, which is great and just shows how much sophisticated many clients have become.

We also see many advertisers going full circle and wanting to run manual-RTB-data-contextual campaigns in order to find that desired audience. For those types of campaigns it’s important to know the bidding sweet spots and being able to minimize discrepancies and cookie loss between platforms. Overall, we see 3rd party platforms performing better than 2 years before, at least.

We see a lot of competition from agency trading desks in the area of data-driven media buying. How is Joinville differentiating itself in the market?

We see very few players in this field buying the way we do and even fewer buying this way for niche audiences. Having a trading team that speaks 8 different languages helps of course, as it enables us to go straight to local publishers when needed. I guess that’s also where we see our unique value proposition – “to boldly go where no man or woman has gone before” [joke]. The fact that our clients come back with more and more complex campaign briefs proves we are doing the right thing. Or things the right way.

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Written by Niklas Nikolaidis

Niklas Nikolaidis is the founder of Joinville; a trading desk and SaaS ad platform that powers digital multicultural campaigns via direct and programmatic media buying.