Not everything we see or read on the internet is true. The idea of fake news is obvious; an untrue story created to increase traffic, or in many cases, ad revenue. The problem lies in understanding who is publishing these articles and how we can filter what is true versus completely made up.

At The Exchange Lab, we take appropriate measures to protect a brand’s online presence. We use our platform’s ability to actively assess and block potential cases of fraud or non-brand safe environments. We also continually refresh white and blacklists to ensure that your brand is shown in the right environments.

“A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa”- Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder

A filter bubble is the result of website algorithms selectively guessing what a user prefers to see, based from their online profile (previous search history, click behavior, location etc.) Consequently, users become disengaged with content outside of their viewpoint or typical search queries- essentially isolating them into a “bubble”. The bubble effect is most prominently seen on Google search or Facebook social streams, where users get less exposure to conflicting viewpoints or news stories.

To be considered Artificial Intelligence (AI), a machine needs to exhibit intelligent behavior.  Programmatic clearly isn’t there yet.

While algorithms learn, AI can do it faster. This means AI will succeed and fail faster, increasing the speed of learning. AI is unlikely to replace the work of humans in advertising, but deep-learning and connected-learning technologies will begin to replace “traditional” programmatic methodologies and algorithms. This will likely drive increased performance in direct response (DR) and provide the ability to identify your target audience through a deeper understanding of your consumers.

Over-the-top, or more commonly known as OTT, is any television or video service that you receive over the internet. It is no surprise that services and apps like YouTube, Netflix, and streaming on Apple TV are disrupting traditional cable TV and subscription services, but how is this affecting programmatic advertising?

OTT services allow viewers to stream TV content online, providing the marketer with user-specific information: interests, web history and log-in information. The Exchange Lab can make sense of this information and deliver clients data-driven insights for their programmatic campaigns.

There have been many proclamations that programmatic TV is here over the past couple of years, however, to date there hasn’t been the true scale of inventory made available—yet.

As more on-demand content is streamed through services, advertisers gain another channel to reach targeted audiences. What’s really interesting is The Exchange Lab’s ability to offer a single buying point across TV, desktop and mobile. This allows marketers to get a holistic view of all channels when it comes to their media buying, creating a more strategic and cross-channel communication with customers.

The real-time bidding (RTB) auction refers to bidding for users who fit an advertiser’s target market. RTB is not like a traditional auction, where you accept the next highest bid by raising your hand. RTB works on a second price auction (where the winning bid pays one cent more than the next highest bid). When a user impression is sent out to the exchanges in the bidding process, every DSP is given the choice to bid for the impression. This bid only happens once. You either win or lose the impression.

Ad tech is complicated. Data is everywhere and when it comes to data driven marketing, it’s important to understand the differences.

1. First-Party Data

First-party data is advertiser data. This can include data from behaviors, actions or interests demonstrated across the advertiser website(s) and data within the advertiser CRM. The Exchange Lab can get actionable first-party data in two ways:

A client direct market place (DMP). In this situation, the client plugs their DMP into The Exchange Lab’s suite of platforms
The Exchange Lab places a pixel on the advertiser’s site
2. Second-Party Data

The Exchange Lab defines second-party data as optimization data. This is the data that The Exchange Lab collects throughout the duration of a campaign regarding specific trends towards conversion or click, be that publisher information, time of day, day of week information or path to conversion information. The term second-party data is relatively new term to the online world, so other definitions do exist.

3. Third-Party Data

Third-party data is an aggregation of many different types of data, for example website data. External companies (hence the term 3rd party) collect data from multiple sources including but not limited to publishers, websites and credit agencies to allow buyers such as The Exchange Lab to apply them to online campaigns and aid targeting. Typical data can include demographic, audience, HHI or shopper intender information.

A third-party ad server allows advertisers to serve their creative to various websites or media buyers (such as The Exchange Lab) and to track the different metrics associated with online activity, such as impressions, clicks and conversions. As a multi-platform solution, The Exchange Lab favors this approach as it ensures we can track conversions separately across different platforms. In cases where a client does not have a third-party ad server, The Exchange Lab can supply one. While common in North America, Europe and Australia, they are less prevalent in the Middle East, Africa and Pacific. Lack of third-party ad serving (3PAS) capability can be linked to shortage of programmatic inventory.

Not at all.

More and more premium publishers are embracing programmatic and making their inventory available. Since the dawn of digital, premium inventory has been sold to clients via direct sales teams with guarantees surrounding placement and positioning. Today, premium inventory is also available through open exchanges and private market places meaning that a site’s home page, or a popular and high quality section of a site, is also likely available through programmatic.

Remnant inventory, sold after premium inventory has been pre-sold by a direct salesforce, was once the traditional fair of networks. The rise of programmatic has managed to disprove the concept of “remnant”, as one bids on the user, not necessarily on the site. In doing so, the value of the impression is whatever the value of the user is, not a pre-defined low cost, bulk buy to achieve inventory fill. At The Exchange Lab, we have access to your audiences across the sites and devices Brand safety – do you know where your ads are?

Brand safety has always been a hot topic and at The Exchange Lab there are a number of processes in place to ensure all campaigns run in brand safe environments.

These include:

1. Blacklists? Whitelists? Which is which?

The Exchange Lab has a blacklist of sites that are not suitable or appropriate for your campaigns to run on. These blacklists are regularly updated with the URLs of sites deemed inappropriate and we ensure specific exclusions are made based on the brand safety sensitivity of individual clients. Whitelists consist of activity on inventory that has already been vetted by the advertiser and The Exchange Lab welcomes any whitelists that the advertiser wants to run on. Note, whitelists can lead to availability issues and increased CPM.

2. Content verification…meaning?

The Exchange Lab uses market-leading content verification technology and works together with exchanges to proactively exclude and block bots, toolbar publishers, hijackers and other sources of bad or unwanted inventory prior to evaluating bid opportunities. The Exchange Lab can work with any content verification partner that our clients already have a relationship with.

3. Platform-level screening and the importance of the human eye

The Exchange Lab believes the automated processes used by Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) and exchanges to screen different site content requires a human element to work in tandem with the automation. The philosophy we employ to safeguard brands means we don’t just rely on technology and algorithms to deliver a brand safe environment, everything passes human eyes to ensure all specifications are met.

Transparency is one of the most complex topics within digital media today. There are multiple facets and key performance indicators (KPI’s) to consider which are primarily based on stats and financial implications. At The Exchange Lab, we are committed to supplying our clients with full reporting based on the metrics of their campaign. If you have specific questions relating to transparency, we encourage you to engage your representative at The Exchange Lab directly.

In a complex marketplace, ads that have actually been seen by consumers are paramount. The difference between a viewable and a served impression is, with a viewable impression, a consumer actually saw the advertisement; whereas with a served impression this is not guaranteed. A viewable impression, by definition, means at least 50% of its pixels are visible for at least one second, compared to a served advertisement that may have been unseen by the user. The guarantee that your brand is purchasing viewable impressions is vital to ensure campaign quality and a return on your investment.