Digital Publishing
6 mins read

Interview: Rewarding Users for Their Ad Engagement

KnowledgeView has been working with news publishers for more than 20 years delivering publishing technology solutions. Over the past decade, publishers have not only witnessed a significant drop in print advertising revenues, but also the rise of social media networks, a shift in news consumption to online and especially mobile, and recently a  rising threat by adblockers. All these challenges call on publishers to rethink their monetizing and advertising strategies by adopting an innovative consumer-centric approach.

Considering the value of users, KnowledgeView has introduced “Rewardisement “an advertising technology that engage users and reward them for their engagement. It’s a triple win solution for all parties involved: Publishers, advertisers, and consumers.

WNIP caught up with Reiner Mittelbach, CEO, KnowledgeView to find out more…

Q1: In contrast with the heightened Internet penetration globally, we have witnessed a challenge in the digital advertising market to pick up the wave and compensate for the print loss. Any explanation for this gap and how can publishers and news media overcome it?

For a long time the value of online ads was considered to be low compared to print ads. Thus it was difficult to justify prices that could fill the gap the loss in print advertising has caused.  With the rise of online usage there were also new competitors, Google to mention just one, fighting with very innovative offerings for the advertising Dollars. Today it is widely accepted that there is a value in online advertising but now this value is threatened by adblocking. While publishers realised how important user engagement is to retain readers, I think it is equally important that publishers realise that information given by users while interacting with ads have a value, too.  Users who interact with ads expect to be rewarded for their engagement. The good news is that with Rewardisement this could create a triple win solution for publishers, advertisers and users.

Q2: Tell us about “Rewardisement’ technology and why you find it a unique advertising solution compared to what’s offered in the market?

The idea behind Rewardisement is pretty simple. We want to encourage users to engage with ads in an easy while exciting and entertaining way and to reward them for their engagement across print and online platforms. The information given by users is tracked and shared with the publishers. By registering with Rewardisement users agree to their information being shared but in return are entitled to rewards as agreed between publishers and advertisers. The combination of collecting and sharing user data with publishers and rewarding users for giving this information is what makes us unique. Furthermore,Rewardisement comes with the best engagement toolbox you can find in the industry.

Q3: How does “Rewardisement” work with end users?  advertisers? publishers?

Rewardisment is cloud based and needs no installation. Publishers can access it once they purchased a licenseand usethe entire engagement toolbox for easy campaign planning. You can describe Rewardisement as a cycle. Publishers sell the idea of Rewardisement to advertisers describing all the benefits advertisers would get including direct leads.  Publishers and advertisers agree on a campaign and plan the campaign using the engagement toolbox. Already after two to three hours of training publisher’s team can start with the first campaigns. Rewardisement ads are clearly identified by an icon that comes with the ads. Print users can access Rewardisement ads by using the Rewardisement scanner app which can be downloaded from iTunes or GooglePlay at no charge. Scanning the ad opens the engagements on the mobile device. Users who want to access Rewardisement ads online just click on the icon instead of using the scanner. Users engage with the activities, register and collect points. Points can be exchanged with prizes or entitle to prize draws. The information given by the users when doing the activities are being shared between publisher and advertisers. The result is that users are happy because, besides having fun with the activities, they get rewarded for their engagement. Advertisers are happy because they receive information about those who interacted with their ads which adds value to their ads. And publishers are happy because they increase user loyalty and, by charging a small upcharge on the ads, increase revenues. As a consequence all three parties will continue to use the system.

Q4: According to the “Worldwide Digital Advertising: 2016-2020” study, researchers urge publishers to develop new strategies that engage millennials with their ads. How does Rewardisement score with engagement in that sense?

Digital natives who have grown up with Social Media companies like Facebook or with online shops like Amazon are used to register for purchases and for services while making a clear selection on what data they provide. Rewardisement is mobile in the first place. It is developed in a way that all engagements happen online with a strong focus on smartphone devices. Even if you access Rewardisement from print the actual engagements happen online on a mobile device. Wehighly value the information released to Rewardisement and as a consequence to publishers and advertisers,and therefore users get rewarded. And we, of course, use state of the art security tools in order to ensure proper data protection while giving users access to their account at any time.

Q5: There has been a rising global threat by adblockers in the industry, how does Rewardisement defy this threat?

Adblockers already today cause a huge financial damage to any publication on the web. However adblockers are just an answer to intrusive ad formats which kept hitting readers when they did not like being hit by ads. Also they are an answer to absolutely non-contextual ads which could and can be observed so often. So lets face it, adblocking is a reaction to an undesirable development in the advertising as well as the publishing industry. Rewardisement is different here. First, users who see a Rewardisement ad know that if they engage they get rewarded for their engagement because publishers have informed them about this new form of ads and its benefits. So users can decide if they want to activate the adblocker or not. Secondly Rewardisement ads can easily be designed as non intrusive ads and users still click on them because of the rewards.

 Q6: What type of analytics/reports does Rewardisement offer?

Well we need to distinguish between registered and non-registered users. As a standard report for the non-registered users you can see how many users clicked the ad, which activities were done and which answers were given, and which interests were communicated. If a user registers you will receive pretty much the same information but now for an individual person. It is especially useful if you combine the campaign with a call to action in which case you get valuable customer information and in several cases even very concrete leads.

Q7: How does “Rewardisement” contribute to digital revenues? Any monetizing model?

In principal we offer two monetizing models. One is based on CPC and CPA rates, the other one is based on fixed campaign prices. In the negotiations with advertisers the model aims for a win-win solution meaning if the ad is successful both parties benefit. We expect an increase in revenues from Rewardisement ads of up to 10% of the current revenues. And all of that goes to digital.

Q8: Does“Rewardisement” require a big investment? How long does it take to implement this technology? Is it user friendly? Does it require a certain IT knowledge?

It is our aim to create a win-win situation with our partners from the publishing business which means we want to share the risk of Rewardisement ads. Therefore the license fee is very low and we take a share of the success of the Rewardisement ads. Publishers only pay for success. Many clicks (CPC) and many actions (CPA) mean money for the publisher and for us. No clicks mean no money.

New partners need a few hours training which will be provided by us and then they can use the engagement toolbox and create campaigns. There is neither an installation needed nor does it require any IT knowledge. Everything is hosted in the cloud, you just log into your account and start.

Thank you for your time.


About Reiner Mittelbach, CEO, KnowledgeView.
Reiner has lead IFRA then WAN-IFRA, 2001-2009, to serve the digital publishing transformation in Europe and globally for hundreds of the largest publishing houses, later building Geopolitical Information Service AG, a Liechtenstein start up in the field of specialty information before joining KnowledgeView. KnowledgeView’s founders have expanded into key consumer-centric products with the establishment of technology startup Rewardisement Ltd. Rewardisement Ltd was established with the vision of disrupting the advertising space by putting the consumer first. To enable consumers to control better how advertising serves their needs, Rewardisement seeks to make advertising a dialogue between consumers and advertisers and reward consumers for participation, on mobile, Web and Print.