3 Ways to Make Sure You're Buying Quality Ads from Ad Networks and Exchanges
Ad networks and exchanges can provide extremely convenient outlets for marketers' messages. But ensuring their quality can be a challenge. Advertising agency heavyweights recently provided their takes on what to watch for in ad networks and exchanges to make sure you get your money's worth.
"Digital is still one of the most accountable mediums out there," says Jade Watts, account director at Boston-based Media Contacts, an interactive arm of Havas Digital. She spoke at SES New York 2011 during the panel discussion "The AAAA Digital Committee Speaks About Quality." She was joined by:
- Stuart Bogaty, vice president of interactive marketing at King of Prussia, Penn.-based interactive marketing agency TrueAction Network;
- Jay Sears, general manager of exchange at New York-based digital media services company ContextWeb; and
- Mitchell Weinstein, vice president director of ad operations at New York-based media agency Universal McCann.
1. Watch for duplication. Weinstein says he'll often find that a site displaying the same ad twice or more is working with more than one ad network. He says the danger there is the same marketer may display competing offers on the same site.
Bogaty says a more extreme example of this quality issue happens when ads are grabbed and placed on sites without permission—something Weinstein believes happens more often with affiliates than with networks.
A couple ways to combat the problem include using ad verification services and attribution to see where the ads are running, say Watts and Bogarty, respectively. Sears adds that a trade association, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), offers marketers a way to report violations of the quality assurance guidelines.
2. Pay attention to context. Watts says her clients want to be assured that their ads will not run next to content about pornography, gambling or religion.
Avoid retargeting the same audience multiple times, Bogaty adds. To facilitate that, He says it's best to pick which audiences to target ahead of time rather than reactively pulling the ad later.
3. Tie all channels into one attribution framework. Bogaty says finding out if search is an introducer, an assist or a closer will, for instance, help marketers know what to do with affiliate and retargeting efforts.
One solution he offers is, of course, to let an ad agency "at least" run the data through its analytics. "If all your channels go through us, they're going to be more efficient, collectively."
Watts and Weinstein agree that the main challenge with that directive is a lot of their clients are siloed and don't want to discuss attribution. There's definitely a lot of room for marketers to grow in that respect, Weinstein says.