10 things to consider when choosing an ad network

Before working with an  ad network , advertisers should do much more than just read the fine print.  It’s critical to research and vet any vendor when you’re planning to develop a partnership. Here are a few of the considerations to keep in mind and questions to ask as you evaluate vendors to work with on a campaign.

  1. Do your background research. Visit the network’s website and try to decipher whether or not the vendor will be a good fit. Check if they have any case studies available, so you can get an idea how other marketers are working with them. Ask your peers on LinkedIn if they have experience with network.
  2. Find out what differentiates the network you’re considering from the dozens of others out there. Check out the network’s listing in SRDS.com. Review their profile, a short statement about what the network offers, core services and capabilities, pricing models and much more. It’s your vendor cheat sheet and offers a quick way to differentiate between the players in the market.
  3. It’s critical to find out if the network gets its inventory directly from publishers or from other third parties, like smaller ad networks. That will tell you how much control you have over placement.
  4. Site transparency is a hot topic in digital advertising, so find out to what degree the networks offers this service. As in: how much control will you have over the websites your ads may run on? 
  5. Optimization is key for any digital campaign, even when you’re working with a network. Find out about the network’s optimization practices and ask for an example of how they’ve optimized a buy in the past?
  6. Clarification. If you don’t understand something, ask. In ad tech, what may seem like a common term may be defined differently depending on who you’re speaking with. For example, if a sales rep says their network offers premium inventory, ask them what that means. What do you mean by programmatic or premium? Spell out the definitions.
  7. Find out how the network’s technology works. Invite someone from your IT team in on the conversation. That way, even if it is complicated, you’ll have an idea of whether it’s right for your brand.
  8. There are several different kinds of targeting, including contextual, behavior and audience. Ask the network if they offer targeting to help determine if it’s a fit for your campaign’s objectives.
  9. In order to find out if your campaign is successful, you need metrics. Ask the network what reports they offer clients and if you can see examples.
  10. If you’re not ready to jump in the deep end yet, ask if you can run a test campaign with the network. This may prevent major pains and lost dollars while your team learns in a contained setting. Then you can determine if you’d like to expand.

Take your time and be sure to evaluate several networks thoroughly. Finding the best fit for your brand’s media strategy is worth it. Find out more about ad networks and tech vendors when you sign in to SRDS.com. Or if you’re interested in learning more about this database, click here or contact us now.

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