Selecting Ad Network or Ad Product

Neal Bram

February 27th, 2014

Anyone have experience picking an ad network?  We've recently come up with a new concept product and tested it with a contact at a large news publisher.  The feedback was very favorable and we're meeting with the head of Ad products and revenue.  The things is, I'm not very knowledgeable about the decisions that go into picking ad products and came up with the idea because of how it helps the advertiser.  The product is a new format online advertisement that offers significant but non-traditional value to the advertiser and therefore should generate more revenue for the publisher.  

Anyone have thoughts on key selling points for ad products or ad networks?  Any been on the buy side of that decision?  Any insights appreciated.  

Grant Hosford Co-Founder & CEO at codeSpark, Inc

February 27th, 2014

I started and helped run eHarmony's publishing business.  In two years we went from nothing to running 5 ad supported sites with over 1B ad impressions a month.  I also ran a brand called Jazzed for eHarmony with a $4M marketing budget so i have been both on the buy side and sell side of ad product and ad network decisions.

Questions the Publisher Will Have:
  • What brands are advertising in your network?  Do I respect them?
  • How do you protect me from malware, phishing and other malicious elements
  • Is my revenue guaranteed?
  • What are your pricing tiers? (ex. remnant vs targeted)
  • What data or services can I provide to make more money?
  • How much volume can you fill?
  • How do you allocate campaigns and ads throughout your system?  What would get me a "preferred" status?
  • Do you fill above and below the fold?
  • What ad units should I be able to accommodate?
  • What targeting do  you offer to advertisers? 
  • What reporting do you have?  Is it real time or near real time?
  • Can I quickly block offensive ads?  Are ads manually screened for appropriateness?
Questions Advertisers Have:
  • Can I pay on a CPA?
  • Can you guarantee me above the fold placements?
  • What targeting options do you offer?
  • Can I control what sites my brand appears on?  How many sites are in your network?  What is the complete list?
  • Can I control what content my brand appears on? 
  • Can I control what other brands appear with my ads?
  • Do you offer unique sizes or tech with higher than avg performance?
  • Can I quickly turn off or optimized underperforming campaigns?  How do you help me track success.
  • What reporting do you offer?  
  • If something is working can I get more inventory right away?
I hope this is enough to be useful.  As you can see the themes are money, optimization, brand protection, reporting and flexibility.  Good luck!


Bernard Desarnauts Entrepreneur, Advisor & Mentor

February 28th, 2014

Grant is right on. In addition I am happy to chat w/ you about it offline. this is a very complex question and without a bit more background on what you're offering hard to suggest paths forward.