Five ways to compete for digital marketing spend with the likes of Google and Facebook

Hughie Devine talks Digital Marketing

In this article, we speak to Hughie Devine, Head of Programmatic Partnerships at Mediahuis Ireland as part of our Diploma in Digital Marketing. Hughie talks to us about the five pillars that allows them to compete in for digital marketing spend with the likes of Google and Facebook. Mediahuis is Ireland’s largest publisher responsible for titles such as the Irish Independent and the Sunday World.


Pillar 1 – Targeting

Hughie: The first pillar is to have the great audience targeting solutions. Being able to deliver a really strong and effective campaign for our advertisers allows us to compete with the powers of Google and Facebook, that starts with getting their message to the right audience. Increasingly, the advertisers that come to us are aiming at specific or niche audiences. For example, we recently ran a campaign that targeted women aged 25 to 44 in South Dublin only. Key to this is Mediahuis’s own Insights department which has access to every single detail of our audience.

Moreover, we can assure advertisers that their ads will only appears against relevant content. Their ads will appear in news articles that have safe content, avoiding war, politics or any other sensitive content.


Pillar 2 – Technology and User Experience

Hughie: The second pilar is to have the best websites., Belfast Telegraph and Sunday World are brand new websites where the user experience is excellent. The design is cleaner, faster and easier to use. Less ads appear but the ones that do are far more engaging than ever before.


Advertising with


Pillar 3 – Viewability

Hughie: A huge benchmark in the industry is how viewable your ads are. For an ad to be considered “viewed”, at least 50% of the banner or creative must display on screen for more than one second. When I joined Mediahuis about nine months ago, viewability was around 70% for our ads. Now is in the nineties, which is not only the best in Ireland, but one of the best rates in Europe and beyond. This puts us at the top of the industry.

If we talk about video as well, completion rates on pre-roll ads (ads before the video plays) is also a huge benchmark that advertisers look at. In general, a lot of people click out of the video they are waiting for because the ad begins to play. However, because we have such sophisticated targeting, the ads that we put in front of our users are so relevant to them that we have seen ad completion rates around 95% for some campaigns.


Pillar 4 – Reporting

Hughie: In our industry, reporting is very high level, generally speaking. You will get information on how many people saw your ads, how many people clicked through and on how viewable it was. However, we saw a real niche in the market that we could go to advertisers with more granular detail on their marketing with us. We can now offer information on whether the people that clicked on their ads are in employment, in what employment sector, what their salary is, whether they are renting or looking to buy and much more. Again, this is a huge market differentiator.

Pillar 5 – Innovation

Hughie: The real fifth key pillar is being able to offer new advertising formats to our advertisers. Our aim is to be the most innovative in the market. Obviously, doing so offers brand new revenue streams. Mediahuis also gives advertisers the opportunity to intelligently advertise cross platform, from print to podcasts. Indeed, interest from advertisers in audio is skyrocketing at present. Therefore, we’ve created a brand new daily podcast where our journalists talk about the current events of the day. We’re constantly thinking of new ways to take advantage of the demand out there.

If you enjoyed this article, why not watch Hughie’s full masterclass in our Diploma in Digital Marketing.


Diploma in Digital Marketing

Duration 20 Hours
Price €990 €593
Mode Online
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Advanced Diploma in Digital Marketing

Duration 70 Hours
Price €1,690 €993
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