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6 Things Publishers Need to Know When Working with Third-Party Ad Servers

As the online advertising ecosystem has matured, ad servers play an increasingly important role. While publishers manage ad server scheduling, inventory and yield management via first-party systems, many brands utilize third-party ad servers to track delivery and performance across properties, manage creative rotations and schedule flighting, among other things. As a publisher, here are six details to keep in mind when working with a third-party ad server to ensure a successful experience:

  1. Know your contacts – Do you know the contacts that handle campaigns at your third-party ad serving partners? Having quick access can make a big difference if one of your advertisers (or campaigns) runs into unexpected problems.
  2. Know your ad server is certified – Various third-party ad servers offer different types of measurement and certification options for your shared brand/agency clients, allowing them to track information like viewability and invalid traffic detection. As ad fraud has become a growing concern for advertisers, these types of reliability and verification services have become all the more important for publishers.
  3. Know your campaign metrics – How is your advertising client tracking their campaign performance? Whose reporting will be used to finalize their payments to the publisher? Know what’s being tracked, and by who, to ensure success.
  4. Know about reporting standards – Each third-party ad server tracks campaigns a little differently. Some might automatically deliver reports, while others will require you to first be given access to campaign statistics. Knowing how this process is handled can save time (and headaches) when it’s time for reporting.
  5. Know What’s Working – More than likely, you’re already monitoring campaigns to make sure your client’s campaign goals are met and pacing is on track. Nevertheless, it’s worth reiterating the importance of constantly reviewing performance against the campaign metrics.
  6. Know What Quality Looks Like – Your client is in charge of providing creative assets that meet your site’s specifications. You don’t want poor quality video interrupting the user experience on your site any more than they want grainy and pixelated ads showcasing their brand. Consider asking if your client has a distribution partner who’s equipped to handle the complexities of transcoding creative for different formats and placements.