The Internet lets you be dynamic and add more content and websites at the blink of an eye. The biggest advantage it offers end users is the diverse range of places they can go to spend their time. That is also the biggest problem – with the exception of a handful of websites, few can offer the kind of audience that justifies a marketer’s engagement to reach the readers.
Whether you’re a marketer or a content publisher, a blog or a large portal, ad networks come to fill in this need – by acting as an interface between publishers and marketers, they help provide easier access to money for the publishers, and access to scale in the audience size for the marketers.
While the choices were very limited in early days, today, there is a plethora of networks which serve a variety of needs, and can be used with ease. Often, you can have more than one in operation on your content site, and of course, as a marketer, it makes sense to be present in multiple shelves as well.
Dilip Da Silva, CEO, Tribal Fusion - Ad serving networks act as a layer between the advertisers and the publishers. We create clear targetting channels based on a number of factors from content to geography to profile, and offer scale beyond what any individual publisher can offer. Through the use of technology we are able to contextualise the audience and give the marketer a lot of useful information they may not get if they directly advertise.
Different networks focus on tight niches, or on performance advertising. Tribal Fusion’s online video serving platform, Firefly, is based on an engagement model, on cost per minute. It offers a far more transparent quality inventory, and harmonises technology, data and performance.
USP: The biggest advantage is that it offers a Brandsafe guarantee – using the same technology which is used for context search, to determine if the content being showed on the publisher site is appropriate and not detrimental for the advertiser’s brand.
Yuzdi Badhniwalla, VP - Sales and Marketing, Ozone Media – Choice means users consume less pages, across more sites. This fragmentation was advanced by search engines and social media, and so we act as a unifying entity for advertisers – they can reach the abundant audience without fragmenting their own spending. Because we are present across a cross section that no single website can reach, we also have a better understanding of how the user is spending his day on the Internet, and following a chain of clicks. This data can help advertisers make informed choices.
USP: As a long time exponent of the field, Ozone has a lot of data about user behaviour, and our channels are most focused, providing the marketer with an optimised plan to beat the planned reach at the desired frequency.
Nitin Chowdhary, Business Head, India Tyroo – Acting as an aggregate ad space for marketers, the network reduces the administrative overhead for the advertiser substantially and enables selection, negotiation, ad placement, monitoring, invoicing and payment for all publishers through a single point of contact.
USP: Evolved networks such as Tyroo differentiate themselves by running campaigns in a highly optimised fashion such that the ROI of marketing spend is increased through careful use of learned data, technological optimisation and through using technology to create and deliver the best final product.
Debadutta Upadhyay, VP - India, Vdopia – A strong focus on rich media differentiates this network, globally serving around 1 billion rich media and 150 million video impressions in a month across web and mobile. Unlike a simple banner ad, video advertisements are quite effective and build a quick emotional connection with the user. The company has interactive services for response as well; once a connection is built, the formats bring in user engagement, letting them interact with the brand.
USP: Vdopia leads the online video advertising industry with an 80 per cent market share. With the largest online video inventory, Vdopia serves over 100 million video impressions every quarter; reaching over 10 million unique users across 120 publishers on an exclusive basis. We are the only player to monetise all live streaming sport events till date, an extensive ad network, comprising premium publishers like NDTV, MSN, Web18 Group, India Today Group, Sify, Bollywood Hungama, Daily Motion.com, ESPNStar.com, Zee Group, CricketNirvana, Metacafe and Mochimedia, among others.
Our take: There are now a huge number of networks, bringing in almost the same problem that they purport to solve – superabundance of choice. Which networks are you best suited to? Should you have a presence on all of them? If you’re micromanaging so many accounts, then why not just do that directly with the sites?
Tyroo, with Yahoo’s backing, has been one of the quickest growing brands in the area, while Komli is another highly successful Indian player. Google’s AdSense program is still perhaps the most well known. Each comes with their own USP, and their own pros and cons, and as a marketer, you have to see which one platform suits your needs the best. Sometimes a combined approach is required – they target audiences in different ways, which means that you might even end up being on two different networks serving ads to the same page of a publisher for two different reasons.
As publishers, the same issue is true, but even more so because competing services can’t be used at the same time. So, for example, you can run Tyroo and AdSense at the same time, since they use different ways to contextualise the ad, but this means your options are even more limited. The best solution is to look at the other sites served by the network – see where they are similar to yours, and how they differ from you, and use that information to determine if the network is a good fit for your content, and your audience.
The fact is though that anyone who is serious about making money off the Internet knows the importance of the networks, and so no matter which side of the fence you’re on – marketer or publisher – you’re going to have to use services like these.