Knowledge Bank


Burning programmatic questions answered by our experts.

What the marketing world often refers to as AI is actually a separate discipline known as machine learning. The two terms have become synonymous with one another, but it is important to recognize that they are not interchangeable. The principles of AI revolve around the creation of technology that enables machines to function in an intelligent manner, and encompasses all devices that are capable of perceiving their environment and executing actions to achieve a specific purpose.

The term ‘artificial intelligence’ refers to a computer’s aptitude to autonomously carry out processes without programmed instructions.

Machine learning is a related – but separate – field altogether. Rather than creating devices that are capable of acting without instruction, machine learning focuses on achieving desired deliverables.

Read more in our article: Stop Talking AI and Start Talking Machine Learning

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. The Exchange Lab is able 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 strategic and cross-channel communications 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.

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.

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.

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 blacklists and whitelists, content verification and platform level screening (which we cover below).

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.

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