Dont Let Programmatic Whitelisting Go Wrong 10 09 2017

Analytics and innovative ad formats make whitelisting a powerful tool that should not be ignored.But that's making assumptions about ad networks, which are not all created equal. Some networks lack transparency on the cost of media, or a full spend breakdown. Networks move to increase profit margins by prioritizing themselves and their own business, vs. the advertisers’ creative and reputation. Ads are allocated to non-premium, and at times, harmful sites. But the campaign results read differently.

How do you find a transparent partner for creating valuable insights and enabling ads to reach the full potential (targeted) market? It starts with understanding the current media environment.

For starters, iOS does not allow third-party cookies, which is one of the largest challenges for marketers. In the U.S., that means about half of customers can't be cookied.

There is also the dying banner ad, which still makes up a large percentage of overall publisher inventory. That small space allows little info to be presented, so publishers see low engagement rates for a high-volume product. That hurts business. As a result, content creators are slashing production costs: writers, editors, producers. It's a race to the bottom of who can produce the most traffic in the shortest amount of time.

That race is why we have clickbait, and why consumers are more interested in lists than real journalism that matters. But brands aren’t putting large spends behind small banners. They want to invest in more dynamic formats. Brands want to know they're getting return on investments.

They also want to know where their creative goes. Whitelisting has given birth to blacklisting, as it becomes a mad scramble to avoid being associated with the latest political controversy. Social and niche interest sites are no longer safe havens. Brands are even avoiding news altogether, regardless of which side of the aisle it may appear on. The risk is too great, and that can create a risk for programmatic whitelisting.

A real, targeted strategy can help cut through the danger, though. Brands and publishers should be specific when talking to advertising and technology partners. Ask questions: How am I going to capture an audience of X number of users in a given geography? What percentage of the marketplace could still be receptive to specific brand messaging, and where is the best place to find those consumers?

Larger brands, innovative debuts and unknown (new) products don't just attract attention -- they create new markets to capture. Top-of-funnel campaigns with high engagement rates create relationships. But it's also useless to waste those “big” brand moments on tired ad formats.

Programmatic whitelisting works when there’s transparency and a priority on real consumer engagement. Unique advertising formats that produce quality yield rates on traffic aren’t just placed anywhere. They’re placed with trusted publishers. It’s a stepping stone for better content (no more lists and clickbait!) and an improved user experience.

Don't be scared of programmatic ads or whitelisting, but be conscious of what you’re buying into. Programmatic doesn't have to mean the transaction’s blind or careless -- it’s just that some bad actors allow that to happen.

Source: Media Post Social