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How To Raise Your Ad Buyer IQ

How to raise your ad buyer IQ

The Times They Are A Changin’ and there is an industry-wide focus on supply chain efficiency and a greater than ever demand for transparency. This is supported by the introduction of privacy related regulations such as The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as ads.txt by IAB Tech Lab. As a buyer, you should be aware of typical questionable practices used by dubious publishers. Your absolute best protection is to choose a programmatic partner who is diligent about digging into the quality of a site’s content and its audience in order to protect you, the buyer.


Challenges of digital automation

Digital advertising provides marketers with fantastic precision targeting opportunities and wide-ranging analytics that are hard to find with any other medium. This is why digital is expected to account for about half of all global media ad spend by 2020. Programmatic has become one of the favourite channels of choice for accessing in-demand ad impressions. However, the mechanics that made digital automation so popular also introduced challenges for buyers that do not exist in traditional media. From the start, the potential for subterfuge attracted many operators to this arena, operators with suspect intentions. You’ve perhaps heard about bots or botnets? You might also have heard about domain spoofing? We firmly believe that you deserve to avoid being exposed to low-value human traffic. That is one of our goals. We’ll explain why further on in this article.


You need to raise your IQ as ad buyer

No offense intended! We’re not talking about anybody’s intelligence here! We are instead referring to the concept of inventory quality (IQ). This is a metric closely associated with fighting ad fraud. Since programmatic first emerged around a decade ago, doubtful operators have done their level best to invent bots to boost non-human traffic, or simply to drive traffic to low quality sites. Their aim is to monetize traffic with fraudulent advertiser impressions. Over recent years, the world’s largest advertisers have been working hard to keep the digital ecosystem and it’s supply chain as clean and trustworthy as possible.

Non-human traffic

Since brands now spend an increasing percentage of their ad budgets on digital, they demand greater transparency. The definition of quality has also evolved. To increase IQ means being much more selective about the value and quality of the visitors who are consuming your ads. It is abundantly clear that human traffic is preferred over non-human traffic – computer-generated activity that inherently delivers fraudulent ad impressions. This is also known as invalid traffic (IVT).

Low quality market places

It is always highly desirable to avoid ad impressions that, although viewed by human users, are misaligned with other content that is of low value, or set in a context that is not especially valuable to advertisers. Today, while brand advertising spend continues its rapid shift to digital, branding campaigns often become harder to measure. If your brand is served on the “wrong” sites, you neither get the right brand lift or the intended associations with your brand. Of course direct response advertisers can much more easily measure the success of campaigns through their commensurate sales results, for example.

At first glance many sites can appear to be legitimate publishing concerns. However on closer inspection it can usually be seen that they have high bounce rates (when users bounce because of the poor site experience) and they include content that is without named authors or with no real contact information for example.

Invalid traffic that is also sophisticated

There are many other shady tactics used by cunning operators such as domain spoofing, ad injection and other similar practices. These are designed to increase ad revenue in ways that buyers might perceive as legitimate traffic and could be both human or non-human activity. For the inexperienced, such traffic is difficult to detect and requires advanced analytics, multi-point collaboration/coordination, or significant human intervention etc to analyse and identify bots masquerading as legitimate users, to identify hijacked devices or hidden/stacked ad serving and so on. This is where Emerse comes in.

Learn more about how Emerse works to secure quality and see the checklist how to raise your ad buyer IQ here.

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