How to choose an ad tech vendor

Selecting the right ad network or tech vendor for your client can be a complicated process. There are hundreds of vendors, most of which sound and look the same when you visit their websites. But in order to sift through the cornucopia of technologies for your client and make the best decision possible, here are steps for choosing the most appropriate vendor for the campaign.

  1. Your first rule of thumb should be to take a step back and consider the brand’s objectives. What is the client trying to achieve? That goal dictates the next questions you want to ask to find the right vendor. For example, is the campaign about brand awareness? Does the client want to promote a new service? Are you trying to reach a specific target group? Firming up your objectives is the first step in vendor evaluation process.
  2. If you’re an agency working on behalf of a client, find out what requirements they have, whether that is a site transparency list, a specific type of targeting, etc. While you have your own thoughts in mind, ultimately the clients’ needs will point you in a specific direction.
  3. What services are you looking for with this campaign? Work with your client to determine if you’re looking for a network, exchange, DSP, DMP or a combination of services.
  4. Not all vendors are alike. Determine if you’re looking for a compliant vendor, one with high impressions, both or neither. For example, some are IAB-certified and others are part of ComScore’s Top 20 Networks. The former are ad networks and exchanges that undergo training, conduct an internal audit and assign a compliance officer to maintain the IAB’s Quality Assurance Guidelines receive a compliance seal from the IAB. The latter are larger, have much higher impressions and reach than other vendors.
  5. Most vendors offer several different cost structures, but depending on your goals, there may be a pricing model that makes more sense. For example, CPA works best for advertisers/marketers who only want to pay for the customers generated as a result of an ad. It works well for risk management purposes.
  6. Is there a specialty you’re interested in? For example, if your client is in the b-to-b market, you may want to evaluate a few networks with that focus.
  7. What features do you require from a vendor? Targeting is extremely important for most campaigns, and different vendors offer different kinds of targeting. You should determine if there’s one type that trumps others for this campaign. That might include retargeting, geographic, audience, contextual or demographic.
  8. How important is site transparency? Site transparency is when an advertiser/media buyer knows the exact websites, pages and placements where their advertisements will appear. Not all ad networks or ad exchanges offer site transparency, so determine how important that is to you.

You can use to find out detailed information about the ad tech vendors in the U.S., so once you’ve made your decisions, sign in to find the vendors that fulfill your client or brand’s criteria.

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