Jargon & Dealing With Ad Networks

Dealing with ad networks that contact you out of the blue can be confusing. Online advertising unsurprisingly uses an intense amount of jargon, of which we have tried to use as little as possible when explaining it (and we apologise that we haven’t been able to get rid of it entirely!). It’s basically harmless up until the point when someone tries to sell you something, and that’s when you need to learn to be good at dealing with ad networks.

The way online advertising works when you are not signing up to a service yourself is that at first charming idiots are sent to befriend you. They won’t know what they are talking about really so they will use as many complicated and fancy sounding terms as possible to convince you that it is you in fact who don’t know what you are talking about. As these people are charming, you will have no idea that it’s happening, and might even come to believe that this virtual stranger is fact the only one on your side and has your best interests at heart (and you might even believe they know what they’re talking about).

It’s a confusing charm offensive that has been honed over time, and is difficult to resist. The simple solution for site owners is to know that there is actually very little variation across the industry, and that almost no company can do anything that is very special or very different. Some have better management, sales teams or publisher support so can be a better company to work with, but that is all – there is no miracle company that will make you much richer than any of the others.

Of course all companies will claim to have the best management, sales, support and technology. Having the best technology is in fact the biggest lie of them all – no company’s tech is that significantly better than any others, or even just regular human endeavour, no matter what they tell you. So believe none of them, but trial them all to see what works for you.

It doesn’t really hurt you to give a new network a go, and if they aren’t performing after three months (enough time for them to show you what they are worth) give them the boot. You can limit the number of ad impressions you send them, you can tell them what you expect from them, and you can listen to their excuses and promises (and maybe even get some good hospitality out of it), but never believe them over the actual results that you see. It is an industry full of snakes, but they don’t actually have any hold over you unless you let them, so be bold, try things out and don’t believe the hype.

Warning: You should remember that when you deal with an ad network, as much as they tell you how important you are to them, they actually probably do not care about you at all unless your site earns them a lot of money. Therefore if you become a nuisance to them, by contacting them too much or having a weird setup which causes them too many problems to solve then they will probably take a dislike to you and stop sending the best deals your way. If your site lets them down too often, then the salespeople at that network will probably stop mentioning you to agencies and although you may get a reasonable amount of money through them, you will diminish your own returns. It is therefore best to just let your site do the talking and only contact them when ABSOLUTELY necessary. Many publishers seem to think that if they keep tinkering with and contacting their ad networks they can increase their revenue, but in fact you are just wasting your ad network’s time, and probably alienating the people who work there (and therefore losing yourself money!).


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