Mediahuis unlocks market opportunity through new ad product development

By Brian Sheehan

Mediahuis Ireland

Dublin, Ireland


As the largest news publisher in the Irish market, Mediahuis has a strong advertising team that routinely partners with clients to deliver highly effective campaigns that connect brands to engaged audiences whilst delivering results.

Recently, through ongoing client conversations, we recognised an opportunity to meet an emerging client need and unlock an opportunity in the market.

There was a market demand for strong-performing programmatic campaigns that drive awareness and consideration, whilst also demonstrating effectiveness through insightful and detailed post-campaign analysis.

In response, the team collaborated to design and develop a market-leading proprietary solution: Programmatic Plus.

The appeal of Programmatic Plus was clear. It allowed us to offer the highest viewability in the market and provide unique targeting opportunities while painting a detailed picture of who’s engaging with an individual brand.  All of this provides brands with greater context around audience preferences.

The feedback from clients was that it was a game-changer for marketing managers coming under increased pressure to deliver measurable success on programmatic advertising by generating audience insights and return on campaign investment. For brands, it’s also a chance to gain a significant edge over their competition and develop campaign insight into consumer behaviour that can help boost revenue and drive growth.

The development of Programmatic Plus opened the door to many new advertising innovations.
The development of Programmatic Plus opened the door to many new advertising innovations.

An innovation journey

The development of Programmatic Plus represented the start of an innovation journey where we continued to disrupt the market through the delivery of client-centric solutions. We have since leveraged the same proposition design and build process to develop a range of unique client-centric solutions such as Virtual Vendor.

In many cases, the genesis of digital product innovation can come from a conversation with a client and working through a response to a brief.  In the development of Virtual Vendor, the team received a time-sensitive brief from a large electrical goods retailer with a core objective to drive online sales volume.

The team designed a solution to meet this objective whilst also delivering a unique and innovative customer experience of viewing a large product range not usually possible through display advertising.

They had previously developed an advertising solution called Spotlight which had been designed for the retail property sector. Virtual Vendor evolved from its core functionality by placing a rich media overlay showcasing the most profitable products, while in the backend the creative format linked to the API of the client’s product inventory.

This allowed the automatic update of designs, products, and categories. If an item went out of stock, an alternative was automatically displayed. This ensured that the client’s target audience was only served display ads of those items that were in stock and available.

Good for everyone 

Virtual Vendor has multiple benefits for both the client and its target audience. The customer experience is optimised as viewers are only served display advertising showing products in stock and available to ship. From a client perspective there is minimal budget waste in driving demand for products unavailable for purchase.

We simply couldn’t deliver this type of innovation to the market without the amazing team here at Mediahuis. Our digital innovation team comprises industry experts across ad ops, digital creative, product development, and insights, who have worked with leading international brands and publishers.

We work closely with brands and agencies to respond to briefs and solve problems, and our innovative approach is giving us a significant advantage over other Irish publishers whilst creating new advertising opportunities and revenue streams.

About Brian Sheehan

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