Digital advertising has a transparency problem.
Brands have a difficult time gaining insight into what they’re paying for or where their ads are being placed.
On top of all this, the cost of digital ads overall has increased by 12 percent within the last two years, meaning brands are paying more, yet still don’t have a better look into how ads perform or where they appear.
This problem is not going away. Major ad providers like Google are working to address where ads are placed, which is a positive development. But third-party networks and providers have done little to make digital advertising more transparent.
Brands are the ones who lose in this environment.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Ad intelligence solutions provide clarity in an unclear advertising ecosystem. In fact, if your brand is running significant numbers of ads online, ad intelligence solutions are absolutely critical to getting the best return on your investment.
How Ad Intelligence Provides ROI
First, how can ad intelligence software give your business real results? There are three big ways.
1. Competitive Intelligence
Using ad intelligence software is like looking over your competitor’s shoulder. You’ll be able to evaluate exactly where your brand’s competitors are advertising, the ads they’re running and how much they’re spending. Those insights can be used to inform your own ad strategy, compete more aggressively or exploit undiscovered advertising opportunities.
2. Ad Transparency
Ad intelligence software is also used to give you more transparency into your own ads. You’ll be able to determine where your spend is allocated and how it’s allocated (direct and indirect). This information can give you leverage when dealing with ad inventory providers.
3. Better Brand Strategy
Overall, ad intelligence platforms give your brand real insights that produce real results. You’ll be able to see how different channels, creatives and placements perform. Those insights can then guide brand strategy to produce the best possible outcomes with the least possible spend.
What Are the Key Features of an Ad Intelligence Platform?
An ad intelligence solution is a software platform that tracks the advertising activities of brands. The best of these platforms provide data on how your brand, your competitors and other companies in your industry spend money on ads and where they spend it.
For instance, Pathmatics tracks the advertising spend, impressions and creatives for thousands of brands in every industry in near real-time. In the screenshot below, you can see a breakdown of how top advertisers spent on mobile ads from April to May 2017.
Pathmatics breaks down top advertiser activity, direct and indirect, by spend and impressions.
Ad intelligence platforms can track data on how brands advertise across desktop, mobile, desktop video, mobile video and content. This information includes how much brands (including your own) are spending on various channels and the impressions these ads are generating.
What’s more, this data can be broken down by individual industries.
Ad intelligence platforms can display the purchase channels used by advertisers, including direct, ad network, DSPs, exchanges and SSPs.
It can also be compared between any individual brands in the ad intelligence software’s database.
Ad intelligence platforms allow users to compare ad spend data between any brands within the platform’s database.
In addition to ad spend and impression information for brands, ad intelligence platforms detail this information for individual sites.
Top sites are displayed based on advertising spend and impressions.
Ad intelligence software can even provide insight into advertising creatives.
See which ads your competitors are running and how much money they are putting behind
Finally, ad intelligence platforms can show you how brands are advertising on specific sites...
…and display the ad paths of specific creatives, showing you exactly how each ad is being served.
Together, the various data provided by ad intelligence software platforms can give brands incredible insight into their own advertising activities—and the activities of competitors. These insights give brands a significant competitive advantage.
Want to learn more about how to leverage ad intelligence? Check out the related reads below.
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An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.