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Pathmatics Blog

Digital Creatives: Why You Need to See the Path to Delivery

April 26 2018 by Ken Roberts
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Do you know the paths your online ads take to reach your consumers? If not, you could be losing money.

Advertisers lost an estimated $7.4 billion to ad fraud in 2016, according to Forrester. This multi-billion-dollar scam happens when agencies, platforms, and buyers dupe brands into paying for useless online advertisements. Whether it’s reporting fake bot traffic numbers or ineffective ad placement, transparency in digital advertising has become a real issue.

To keep your brand from losing money to ad fraud, you need to know how and where your online ads are reaching the consumer. Here’s why.

1. Ad Paths Ensure Brand Safety

When you know how your digital creatives are being delivered, you can ensure your brand appears next to appropriate content. Programmatic advertising has stripped brands of their control over placement, relying instead on algorithms. These algorithms are designed to publish digital creatives efficiently on high-traffic sites.

Programmatic advertising may seem like the most efficient way of advertising your brand online, but these algorithms are designed to only look for sites with high engagement—they don’t account for the type of content driving traffic. This means your digital creative could appear on a site containing racist and hateful content. Talk about a PR nightmare.

By viewing specific paths your digital creatives take, you can ensure your brand doesn’t promote unfavorable and inappropriate content.

2. Ad Paths Create Budget Transparency

Remember the $7.4 billion lost to ad fraud in 2016? Well, Forrester projects that number to hit $10.9 billion by 2021 if left unaddressed.

In one instance, after reviewing agency contracts, Procter & Gamble found that some of its agencies had been receiving rebates from media companies. These agencies were secretly paying online publishers less money than P&G had given them.

The ability to see exactly where your digital creatives are delivered prevents this from happening to your brand. Middlemen hide behind hidden ad paths and skim off the top of your budget. When you have viewable ad paths, you have transparency from purchase to placement. This helps you justify spending and can save your brand money.

3. Ad Paths Improve Strategy

Lack of visibility into your digital creatives ruins your ability to gauge effectiveness.

How can you improve your strategy when you don’t know what sites your ads are appearing on? Knowing the specific paths your digital ads take allows you to track performance. It gives you the ability to use ad intelligence tools, like Pathmatics, to analyze how many impressions you’re generating, the channels and devices that perform best, and the total spend. All are crucial to building winning campaigns and keeping a competitive edge over the opposition.

What Can You Do?

Get more transparency into the paths your ads take and where they appear.

Tools like Pathmatics can show you exactly where your ads appear, the types of ad buys, and which sites your purchases are published on.

Install the AdRoutes extension and use it to click into any site and see the paths an ad took to get there.

This real-time, all-in-one action allows brands to monitor and ensure transparency during the digital advertising supply chain.

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About Author
Ken Roberts

Ken Roberts has been immersed in marketing and technology for over a decade, merging creative strategies with the latest technology, to bring products together with the people who need them. With degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and an MBA, Ken’s background in product management, marketing, sales, analytics and technology lends to his ability to attack product challenges on multiple levels. Ken began his career developing software solutions for medical records before transitioning to marketing. Ken focused on building marketing departments and operating in-house agencies. Ken’s experience with digital platforms, internet based marketing, lead scoring and business intelligence, and reporting, as well as a keen market understanding, are a welcome addition to Pathmatics, only matched by a leadership philosophy that encourages high creativity and ownership from his team.

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