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Kean Graham

Mission: Empower ad-monetized publishers

Core Values:

  • Reliability: Do what you say you will do. A team member’s word is the most valuable thing they own, and they must recognize this. Promises should be made very carefully, and time estimates must be made deliberately.
  • Enterprising: Each team member must be a resourceful and creative problem solver. Each of our team members is considered an ‘in’trapreneur (sic) and is expected to own their responsibilities. This higher-level perspective toward a team member’s responsibilities incites more deliberate behaviour and holistic thinking on behalf of the company.
  • Kaizen: This is the ideology coined by Toyota that believes that everything can be improved and deserves to be improved. Each of our team members strives to improve themselves at least a little bit every day and everything around them. Each team member looks at every facet of the company and has the top-of-mind question in their head at all times, “How can this be improved?”

Tell us about yourself?

I originally fell in love with the online industry when working for a large online classified network. The job was an immense learning experience, but once the recession hit, the company decided to lay off the marketing department. I lost the best job I ever had, but I was determined to turn the bad into something great.

After an inspiring backpacking trip, I decided to start MonetizeMore and use my old employer as a case study. How could I increase their revenues in a measurable way? I was able to make them additional millions, proving the business model we use today.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

I would get more expert consensus when making important tech and product decisions. We’ve had a lot of recent success from involving more relevant internal stakeholders in big decisions. If we had done that two years ago, we could have built our tech faster and more reliably, and it would have offered more value.

What problem does your business solve?


MonetizeMore solves the below problems with technology:

  • No idea what parts of their publisher business are most profitable: The PubGuru revenue attribution report provides revenue stats for each traffic source so they can decide where to invest more.
  • Publisher ad inventories tend to break often: PubGuru Ad Inspector crawls their page in real-time and uncovers any ad setup issues and how to fix them.
  • No clue how to increase ad revenues: Custom notifications can be found in PubGuru to specifically recommend what to adjust on their site step-by-step to increase their ad revenues.
  • Unintentional invalid traffic: This can cause getting banned by ad network accounts like Google and losing all unpaid ad revenues overnight, ruining some publisher businesses. Traffic Cop proactively blocks invalid traffic from viewing or clicking any ads.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

After I lost the best job I ever had with the online classified, I found myself on a plane to South America to go on a life-changing trip. Four months into my backpacking trip, I was on a four-day trek through the incredible Inca trail toward Machu Picchu. By the end of it, I was sitting on top of Wayna Picchu, reflecting on my experiences throughout my trip. I have had the most fulfilling time of my life, and it finally clicked:

I will work and travel when I want, where I want.

I have to start a digital business to enable this autonomous lifestyle. Seven months later, I started the digital business called MonetizeMore, which now offers this autonomous lifestyle to every member of our team. This type of lifestyle is no longer just a dream.

What is your magic sauce?

Too many ad tech partners are stringent, inflexible, and don’t focus on long-term value. The four biggest aspects that make MonetizeMore stand out from the alternatives:

  • Ad Inventory Ownership: While many of our competitors force publishers to use their DNS, ad server, and ad network accounts, we provide flexibility to run all of those to have full ad inventory ownership.
  • Transparency: While some competitors are fairly transparent with stats, it isn’t possible to be 100 per cent transparent without having access to a third-party ad server, and ad network account to verify stats with.
  • Custom: Every publisher setup is different. Cookie-cutter setups leave money on the table and lead to bad user experiences. MonetizeMore provides custom setups to get the most optimal ad tech setup.
  • Performance: Some competitors only offer tech. Others only offer manual ad optimization. MonetizeMore offers the best of both worlds and combines both to achieve the best results in the industry. We have been able to prove time-in and time-out via split tests against alternatives.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Five years from now, we intend to achieve a 25 per cent market share of the top 1,000 ad-monetized publishers in the World. To do this, we plan to:

  • Release ad layout optimization tool
  • Sell Enterprise Analytics to 100 enterprise publishers
  • Grow internal publisher portfolio to 20
  • Offer PubGuru University as a re-seller program
  • Make Traffic Cop compatible with Supply Side Platforms and Demand Side Platforms
  • Make PGAI the number one ad tech sell-side Extension in the Chrome Store
  • Empower ad-monetized publishers within mobile apps, CTV, and video games

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Since the beginning of 2013, we have had a partnership with Google where we had the keys to their most powerful advertising platform for display advertising demand for publishers. It was exclusive to very large websites or partners like MonetizeMore. As a result, we received a lot of demand from publishers to become a client and get access to the best-performing ad exchange in the industry. This partnership dramatically grew our business.

In January 2014, our largest client received a spam attack. One of their competitors sent a plethora of traffic that was meant to click on their ads multiple times with the purpose of getting them banned on Google. They were successful because this publisher was getting huge amounts of traffic, and they sent such a huge attack that it created an investigation on our master account with Google. About three weeks later, that investigation resulted in a whole master account ban. When you’re banned by Google, that means that they revoke all unpaid ad revenues. The unpaid ad revenues were all our revenues for December and January. That was the highest gross revenue months we’ve ever had. $2.2 million and 99 per cent of our revenue for those months were revoked.

Since then, we bounced back via injection of personal funds into the business to make sure everyone was still paid. We learned from this by implementing the below:

  • Fraud traffic detection and suppression tech we built in-house
  • Very stringent site screening
  • Diversification of our revenue streams

As a result, we have grown the business sustainably, and we’ve never been stronger. We also were able to strengthen our partnership with Google to become a Google Certified Publishing Partner.

How can people get involved?

To speak with our team to learn how to increase your ad revenues or solve some of your ad inventory headaches, sign-up below: