Nikolai Mentchoukov knew from his experience in creative technology and advertising, that monetizing websites was becoming more and more difficult. In 2010, along with his partner Jim Rowan, Mentchoukov came up with an idea to provide immediate revenue for websites through a great new idea. The duo created the LIQWID ad.Inject platform, and it quickly allowed websites to make money they otherwise missed out on.
Mentchoukov has accumulated more than three decades in the advertising industry. A widely recognized innovator in the field, Mentchoukov created the first ever webmercial in 1999. Since then, Mentchoukov has stayed on the cutting edge of Internet advertising as a creator and entrepreneur.
Totalprestige Magazine recently caught up with Mentchoukov to learn more about LIQWID and just how websites can earn revenue by using the ad.Inject platform.
Nikolai, can you please tell us about your brand LIQWID?
LIQWID is an award-winning, ad broadcasting technology that, via its original library, injects display, skins, and video ads into the viewport of the viewer’s browser programmatically, without the use of manually predefined in the webpages banners. We provide websites and blogs with an easy and entirely automated monetization option based exclusively on the virtually positioned ads targeted to the specific parts of the content or a specific logic and rendered only when it’s scrolled in view and only when the ad can be viewable by humans. In just a few minutes digital publishers of any scale can be enabled for an entirely incremental revenue stream via programmatic and traditional media demand, without any changes to the existing websites and with no technical expertise required. LIQWID essentially enables the market to buy, sell, and run only 100% viewable ads without any disruption to the viewer’s experience, eliminating the concept of “below-the fold”.
Please tell us about the ad.Inject and the ad.Inject Library, how does this works?
Digital content is becoming more creative and complex in its technical implementation. It’s also becoming responsive and longer on a myriad of different screens and devices, it looks different for each user experience. The ad.Inject Library is essentially a library of presets that are programmed to inject additional markup and stylesheets needed to render ads and manage their positioning and appearance within a custom creative webpage design, using single-word placement parameters – a perfect tool to monetize infinite-scroll and lazy-loading pages, responsive layouts, long listings, long articles and rails, even the content of the footer – all based on the ultimate viewability on desktops, mobile and tablets. It allows for a precisely managed way to accommodate existing content even with very sophisticated layouts. Publishers can convert the unused or previously considered undesirable space into the most premium viewable advertising inventory automatically with no changes to the website, and enhance their site viewability rating. The ad placements will create and clone themselves intelligently based on the opportunities determined on each individual viewer’s screen, maximizing the revenue potential.
Nikolai, please tell us what makes LIQWID unique?
These days people think of online ads as boring banners predefined in the markup of the pages at the same location on most websites, regardless of the design and layout of the content. LIQWID ad.Inject allows publishers complete control on which type of ads can be injected into any specific part of the scrolled, in-view content, and publishers are now enabled to manage monetization of these dynamically created, on-the-viewer’s-screen inventory opportunities via direct sales or programmatically with no limitation to the creative formats. Proven, in-practice ad.Inject library allows for ultimate creativity in terms of dynamic viewable inventory creation with no limitation to the placements or units ideas. With LIQWID, the internet user experience is closer to a magazine where advertising lives with the content in harmony as a stand-alone content by itself. Nobody is trying to strip ads from the magazines or to install adblock.
Tell us how LIQWID began and what some of the highlights have been.
We, my partner Jim Rowan, and me founded LIQWID in 2010. The continuing, 20-year discussion on what can be considered as a premium offering in the online medium and how and why it should be different from traditional print advertising models influenced our idea and challenge to create and offer to the market a totally new structure for content and advertising on the Internet. On the surface, there is a main difference that was obvious – nobody sells the same size leaderboards or banner boxes by shoveling them right into the auditorium of magazine articles in the same location on every page. So here are we are today, LIQWID is a global provider of digital viewable inventory via an array of technological solutions and advertising formats enabling the market to sell, buy, and run premium ads and monetize creative web design easier than with a banner using a common ad server.
What has been your most rewarding professional experience?
When I was acclaimed as the “Father of Viewable Impression”. I described the methodology that later led in the core of a new standard, viewable impression, and in 2009 brought the viewable impression technology through the audit for the first accreditation by the Media Rating Council (MRC). Today, most agencies require high viewability criteria for their client campaigns – advertising made much more effective – and I am proud that my professional contribution has been proven and is in demand these days.
How do you find inspiration?
I think I actually do not have to find it. I think I have an opposite challenge. I have too much inspiration already and need to slow it down somehow, because there is no way to implement everything that I am already excited to work on. I guess I just like what I do.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
The measurement of the success. One the one hand, we are in the internet technology industry where people naturally expect an innovative and disruptive approach to a new product or offering on the market. One may think logically, you need to be more innovative to be competitive. But on the other hand, the experience shows that a mainstream approach is successful in most cases. So, the key is to learn how to slow down and wait when your innovation will cure, so to speak, and be considered on the market as a mainstream, or at least not disruptive, so you can actually sell it to people.
What is next for LIQWID?
Today, publishers are being forced to limit their advertising inventory to locations at the top of the webpage, considered as “above the fold”, because they arguably have a better opportunity to be viewable when the page is loaded. This obviously is a tricky concept, as the “fold” will be different on different screens. Once the webpage is scrolled, everything that was initially in view, including the “above the fold” ads, leaves the viewport of the browser, and the content that was located initially “below the fold” will then come into view with no opportunity to monetize with advertising. Websites concerned with their “viewability ratings” are being forced to reduce the number of “below the fold” ad slots. This is challenging for publishers, but ironically, it is equally challenging to advertisers and creates an additional expense associated with “verification” which informs essentially on what has already happened with no opportunity to make something better.
Well, an old saying has been confirmed: any great new thing is most likely a forgotten old one. With LIQWID, publishers can finally start pricing, structuring and selling advertising the same way they have in traditional media for the last 50 years. Agencies will be enabled to have a bigger pallet than a banner, so we’ll see the superball or magazine quality ads on the digital properties.
Were you ever influenced by other entrepreneurs?
Sure. Probably because of my background I was mostly influenced by business minds in the creative fields. For example, my favorite is Charlie Chaplin. People think of him as an actor, but he was a co-founder of the distribution company United Artists.
What is a day in your life like?
I am trying to plan my daily life based on little projects that could be achieved in the same day. If I have a project that requires more than one day, I cut it in my mind into pieces each of which can be implemented the same day. I do it that when I wake up in the morning that way I have a very clear idea of what will be implemented today. That makes every day interesting and different, and I have many things done over the course of the month or a year, even if I do not see it in that long of a perspective.
What makes you smile?
Pets and kids. I have four kids and they come with two dogs, two cats, two ferrets, a snake, a rat, and a tarantula just ran away recently – right after the other snake ran away. So, I have a lot of moving parts chasing each other and they all make me smile.
What scares you?
If my children will not learn how to work hard. This is something very difficult to teach.
What is your greatest achievement?
What is your secret talent?
Optimism. I can keep myself cool even if I have a reason to be seriously frustrated.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Nikolai, do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I love to cook. It does not mean I am good at it, but I cook almost every night. I use all sources of recipes I can find online, so my family members never know what they will eat the next day.
What are you never without?
I’m never without a dream. This is different from the goals, this is something I cannot achieve just by myself and that is very inspiring.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes?
“No-one needs cheap advertising, everyone needs effective advertising.” – me
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
How do you define success?
When you do something you really like, and you are getting paid to the level when you can live comfortably.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new business?
I have two recommendations from my life experience. Firstly, don’t be afraid of the risk, but think about the risk as a real risk all the time. One of the parts of that approach will help in any situation.
Secondly, to build a small business and to build a big business is equally difficult and takes the same effort. So, why don’t you start building big business from the start?
For more information on Nikolai Mentchoukov and LIQWID, please visit https://liqwid.solutions.