There is no better way to purchase a massive amount of inventory than directly from publishers/ad networks.When you are buying media, the need for a proper ad server is very important for controlling your ad operations, especially, if you run a high volume of campaigns.
It is important understand how ad servers work in order to evaluate the advantages they offer. There is a common method where an advertiser’s ad server is managing its campaigns across several different publishers. This is accomplished by providing each publisher with their own unique “tag” script associated with the corresponding website.
You may be asking yourself: why would I need my own ad server?
Here are the reasons:
1. Process Control
Giving a publisher/ad network your ad tags to run in their ad server gives you control over what ads are served to which users and how. You have more control over the format of your ads. Your ad server can give you the ability to test different ads.
Tracking your own campaign statistics is the most important reason you must have your own ad server. When you speak in terms of online advertising, you know that some degree of discrepancy is inevitable: so many different tags being served by different ad servers in different GEOS around the world. Without your own ad server, you have no independent stats against the publisher report. Having your own ad server allows you to keep publishers/ad networks collated.
3. Centralized management & Data
With your own ad server, you centralize the management of the campaigns of all the publishers that you work with, aggregating all of your campaign statistics in a single database. The benefit of this approach is immeasurable: one of the strongest arguments for using your own ad server is that you have control over all of your campaign data.
4. Real-time reporting
Publishers have different reporting practices. Some will report campaign results daily, weekly, even monthly…most of the time, it will come in the form of an email attachment. For some advertisers, this delay is acceptable; but unfortunately for performance-based marketers, delays can mean costly, wasted ad spending.
Using your own ad server provides you the greatest possible transparency in the performance of your campaigns, giving you “exclusive” insights that otherwise would not be possible. It allows you to determine what is and what is not working with your campaigns.
Having your own ad server allows you to set custom parameters for tracking, as well as saving all the device’s identificators in order to retarget the same user more than once.
However, despite the benefits offered, creating and maintaining an ad server takes lots of resources from you and your company.
1. Additional Cost
As mentioned before, an ad server will take lots of resources from your company. You need to have skilled people in order to solve all the possible problems may happen. This means people should be available 24/7 just in case something happens. So, salaries should reflect that. Also, you will need to have strong servers all over the world, so if one of them crashes, the rest can take care of all the requests to the server.
In order to compete against strong ad servers that already have a reputation in the market, you will need to be able to certify and demonstrate that your ad server can be as good as any of them. For that being certificated from strong brands is really helpfully.
Server maintenance can be a problem for your ad server. Maintenance must be fast and clean in order to avoid being a problem for your clients.
- Your own numbers!
- Full control over your processes
- Performance insights that might not be visible otherwise
- All campaigns in one place
- Ownership and control over all your campaign data
- Real-time reporting
- Additional cost
- Certification (many publishers require that ad servers must be “approved” or certified by them)