Ad networks business has grown into a highly complex world marked by the proliferation of a high number of networks and increased demand from customers to come by more “universal” solutions. Picking the right ad network seems like a daunting task, as the options are numerous and their features not always clearly understood by either party in the process. In an age in which ad networks go up against social media, their quality is what distinguishes them from the competition, particularly when the client’s options are as abundant as they are today. All of this warrants going over the features by which you can separate the quality ad networks from those who merely pose as experts in the field while offering nothing substantial in return.
Dedication to Transparency
One of the hallmarks of a quality ad network is its dedication to transparency. We live in an age in which ad network’s fraud accounts for billions of dollars lost and the problem is only expanding due to increasing variety in perpetration of these nefarious activities. This leads to a more pronounced atmosphere of mistrust among both publishers and advertisers, leading some experts to claim that as much as half of the $50 billion digital marketing industry is impacted by fraudulent practices. These include the use of bots that spread malware and create fake clicks and impressions. Perpetrators also tend to attack ad networks by infecting them with pages that have low quality ads.
Therefore, one of the key features of a quality ad network is the ability to demonstrate accountability and transparency in relation to fraud, as means of combating these highly damaging practices. Professional ad networks will invest a lot into convincing their potential clients that their enterprise is protected by a set of transparent measures and indicators of exemplary business practices.
Clear Record of Good Payment and Pricing Practices
[RevenueHits bills the advertisers and networks itself, allowing pros to spend that extra energy elsewhere] Image Credit: RevenueHits
Another feature separating the sheep from the goats in the world of ad networks is the ability of an ad network to prove its transparency in the field of payments as well. This often acts as a veritable crucible in which a customer’s loyalty to an ad network is rigorously tested. According to recent reports, as much as 69% of polled publishers demonstrated readiness to leave an ad network on the grounds of payment issues. The most common issues involve payment are being late, funds not being received at all, or too frequent situations in which problems between the parties arise. For example, one of demanded features offered by more responsive and professional ad networks today are early payments and transparent reporting on change of payments status.
Pricing transparency has been another concern of late. For example, an ad sold on an average CPM could end up being shown on a large number of low-demand impressions with a smaller number of premium impressions added for balance, thus cheating users out of their “premium” purchase. Quality ad networks wanting to build their name and brand are recognized by offering features that enforce the client's’ perception of their transparency and accountability.
Keeping It Sharp & Clear
Ad networks that want to stand out from the rest of the crowd also tend to avoid ambiguous technical and business mumbo-jumbo jargon that serves only to confuse their clients. You can study, for example, their definitions of important terms such as those relating to “premium offer” or “offensive content” which should be presented in the clearest manner as possible. This serves to strengthen the trust of the client, while avoiding ambiguities as per their meaning in the context of interaction with an ad network. The same goes for the definition of targeted audiences, as these groups can be loosely defined from the start (for example “health and fitness enthusiasts”), making it obligatory for a responsible ad network to provide a clear definition regarding which persons qualify as members of those targeted populations. If they are able to provide quality reasoning behind using such terms, this certainly proves that they have both experience and sufficient data to present such an offer to their clients.
In essence, using plain old English and clear-cut terminology in terms of defining the network’s offer can be indications of good intentions and rich experience in working with clients on the part of the ad network. Focusing on clarity of expression in descriptions of offered features is bound to leave clients with a clear picture of what is offered on the plate, securing their loyalty to the network for the future.
Support and References Available on Demand
[RevenueHits Support Center offers plenty of content in easily digestible forms]
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Respectable ad networks are usually more than ready to provide case studies, white papers and previous references if asked to do so. They use it as a seal of their performance and achievements, as well as a marketing tool. While some networks do have a better reputation than others, even new ones are usually aware that referential materials can be a great tool to strengthen the clients’ trust. This is particularly true if the network faces numerous questions regarding its own appraisal of current business performance, most important issues and other inquiries. An ad network that avoids giving this information usually signals that it has something to hide, making it automatically a less appealing choice for business dealings.
In addition to this, quality ad networks are distinguished by responding to clients’ needs and keeping their communication and support channels open all the time. RevenueHits, for example, comes with a strong Support page that offers a quick answer to some of the most common questions, as well as easy direct communication via various channels (Facebook, LinkedIn or on-site form). It also comes with a “Success Stories” page where potential customers can find others that worked with them and learn from their experiences. In an era of increasingly complex marketing tools, ad network clients need to be provided with adequate support to assist them in keeping track of all relevant data, interfaces and features. Readily available documentation on this as well as dedicated support teams are one of the best indicators of the ad network’s readiness to proactively remove as many hurdles as possible in its interaction with the users.
The days of when only a dozen or so ad networks dominated the world wide web are long gone, having followed similar internet trends of increasing sophistication and technological complexity. Ad networks operate in an already saturated market, which they try to offset by offering a myriad of features and services as they slowly transform into something resembling a full-fledged agency. Consequently, the ability to distinguish amongst these features to separate quality networks from “pretenders” becomes a valuable tool in their evaluation as well as an asset in itself.