This is a joint post of Susanne Flug and yours truly. We’ve compiled a list of criteria for choosing an ad server, and we hope it can be useful.
AdServer differs quite a lot in terms of features and service. To select a suitable partner, we have to be first clear on our needs and objectives. The best way to address those needs is a “Request for Proposal” (RFP) asking the questions pointed out in the defined criteria. So, why are those criteria important?
Publisher Database: There is no need to team up with a partner that cannot provide the market and target group defined in the companies’ needs and objectives. The publisher database going along with a certain amount of service is the starting point for a successful campaign.
- For the purpose of the campaign, one should find the necessary inventory in the presented ad servings spaces.
- Large and niche availability is a must.
- What about a list of references?
- Time is money. How many points of contact do we have?
- How flexible is our partner? Can we change cost models easily?
Trafficking: An important part of trafficking is the combination of automatic and manual tasks organized in-house or outsourced. Those processes have an immediate impact on costs as well as operations.
- What are the requirements?
- How easy it is to use?
- Does the AdServing company offer staff platform education?
- Is there automatic publisher tagging?
- Is there an opportunity for ad rotation?
- Is there an outsourced trafficking model?
Serving: After solving infrastructural and organizational issues, a company has to think about serving criteria, which are part of the operations. Important aspects are if the partner’s technology can meet the targeted (segmentation) questions? How (ad formats, ad delivery)? At what price (costs)?
- What is the pricing model (CPM, CPC etc.)?
- What is the variety of ad formats spaces?
- Can we segment ad serving to different users and tailor-make the ad feed accordingly?
- Can we manage ad serving to sequence?
Tracking: Served ads have to be tracked to be measurable and of benefit for the overall companies’ success. For this reason, the partner has to meet certain metrics defined in advance covering the methodology, the format and the timing.
- What’s the tracking methodology?
- What type of data can be tracked?
- Is it compatible with our marketing database?
- Does tracking rely on cookies?
Reporting & Analysis: After running a campaign, reporting is essential to measure success or improve future actions. An important part is that the defined metrics are included and presented appropriately.
- Can we review the standard reporting sample?
- How fast is the report extraction time?
- Which types of analytical tools available?
- Is it secure? – i.e. no access to it by competition and scalable access by employees.
Planning Tools: Key parts of the service provided are the planning tools and how they interact with each other. There is a need to run certain actions mentioned above in a most convenience and effective way.
- Is there a reach/frequency predictive tool in place?
- Is there RFP automation available?
- Is there recommendations option available based on opportunities noticed?
- Is there interoperability of the tools within the platform?
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