By: Austin Dicharry
Programmatic advertising is a specific type of digital marketing that automatically triggers certain campaigns and actions based on consumer related events. Also usually referred to as automatic advertising, one example of this might be a situation where a user has abandoned the virtual shopping cart on a retailer’s website. When that action occurs, a programmatic retargeting campaign could kick in and serve ads to that person on other websites based on the products that were left in the virtual shopping cart.
When dealing with programmatic advertising, one topic that all marketers need to fully understand has to do with choosing ad servers. Ad serving is a term that is used to describe the service that is responsible for placing advertisements on certain websites. They are one of the most integral parts of any digital marketing campaign and must be accurate to achieve the highest possible return on investment. Choosing the right ad-server is important for a number of different reasons.
For starters, you’ll always need to choose an ad server that aligns with the goals of your business above all else. Remember that choosing an ad server is more than just hiring a service – it is more along the lines of picking a partner that will help with some of the most important parts of any campaign. As a result, you should be as upfront as possible regarding the amount of money that you have available to spend and the results that you’re expecting to see before choosing any type of ad server for your organization.
Secondly, you’ll need to choose an ad server that is capable of meeting all of your technological needs for the performance of the campaign. Most ad servers provide the same basic functions, but not all of them may include options for certain types of display mechanisms, pay per click campaigns, email marketing, mobile platforms and more. Make sure that the ad server that you choose lines up with these portions of your campaign so that you can achieve the type of performance related results that you’re after.
Another reason why choosing the right ad server is so important has to do with the way that technology is constantly evolving. If you’re only looking for standard display formats like Adobe Flash-based video or animated GIFs, for example, every ad server available will essentially be able to meet your needs without much concern. If you’re in need of rich media, however, you’re looking at a completely different story. Rich media is quickly becoming one of the best ways to actively engage your target audience and you’ll need to pick an ad server that is up to those challenges.
If the creative aspect of your marketing campaign relies on high definition video or dynamic banners, for example, you’ll need an ad server capable of delivering on those requirements. All ad servers will likely offer a certain level of streaming service, for example, but not all will be able to provide high quality video streaming in true high definition.