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6 Questions to Ask A Digital Media Vendor Before Signing Contracts

6 Questions to Ask A Digital Media Vendor Before Signing Contracts

There are a growing number of companies that are sprouting up claiming to have the latest and greatest technology and data for digital advertising. As a marketer it may be difficult to determine who has the best site access, audience data and ad units. In reality there isn’t too much of a difference on the technology side of digital advertising, what separates most media companies comes down to just a few things like how campaigns are set up, team experience and optimization strategies. Here are a few questions to ask a media vendor before you partner with them!

1. What is your Team Experience and Individual Certifications?

When evaluating vendors or when taking responses to RFPs, consider the expertise of the team that will actually be running the advertising campaign for you. While the sales rep may make tons of promises and tout the great data their firm has access to, the real magic happens behind the scenes on the ad operations side of the house.

  • Are the media campaigns actually run by their team or outsourced to a third party?
  • What is the experience level of the operations team? Are they seasoned experts or recent graduates?
  • Do they have individual IAB certifications or at the very least Google Ad certified?
  • What is the average order or campaign size for the media company?

2. Is your company TAG Certified?

In order to solve the challenges of fraud, malware, piracy and transparency facing digital advertisers today, legitimate companies need a way to identify responsible, trusted players across the entire digital advertising ecosystem – to ensure that they are working with trusted parties at every step of their ventures. The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) created such a registry of independently audited digital media companies that meet the requirements to be considered a trusted digital media vendor.

3. Is your organization a member of the IAB?

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) sets the standards and best practices for the digital advertising industry. The IAB is comprised of the leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns.

Working with its member companies, IAB develops technical standards and best practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising, while educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing.

The organization is committed to elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. The  IAB advocates for its members’ interests and promotes the values of the digital advertising industry to legislators and policymakers.

4. How do you account for Bot Traffic and ad Fraud?

Bot traffic is essentially digital ad fraud where real humans are never seeing or clicking on digital ads and instead these ad impressions are being captured by a computer. According to industry experts, bots account for 9% of display ad views and 21% of video ads. The Orange142 ad platform has been independently audited for bot traffic and deploys a number of tactics to counter ad fraud including:

  • Cluster analysis - a foundational data analysis technique that involves grouping data points together based on key similarities. Cluster analyses helps us find suspicious commonalities between impressions generated by shady traffic sources.
  • Co-visitation - a method of identifying overlaps in traffic between different web sites, which helps us establish links between sites getting questionable traffic from the same sources.
  • Honeypots - a method by which we draw bots into the open by creating a fake site and then sending traffic to it from suspicious vendors. We can then analyze for signs of non-human visitors.
  • txt - an IAB-approved text file that aims to prevent unauthorized inventory sales. These text files are put on the publisher sites we access and ensure that the ad inventory on the page is legitimate and following industry best practices.
5. Does your company actively Black List sites and networks?

We bar from our marketplace domains that violate our prohibitions against hate speech; piracy; pornography; gambling (in applicable jurisdictions); guns, explosives, and ammunition; advocacy of terrorism, graphic violence, utilization of non-human web traffic and sites that engage in deceptive acts (a category that can include “fake news”).

Orange142 has been aggressive in enforcing its quality standards. It was one of the first advertising technology companies to remove and from its marketplace and has moved aggressively to blacklist other domains that violate our standards.

To date, over 300,000 domains have been blacklisted, and we continue to remove offending domains from our marketplace on an ongoing basis. We also establish constant blacklists and whitelists, and work with third-party verification services to ensure additional brand safety.

Programmatic ad serving can be a powerful tool to help advertisers reach their audience and encourage a consumer response. Technology only can go so far and without a human element there will be room for controversy and error. While it may sound cheesy, “We put the human eyes on programmatic buys” has been our motto since the rise of automated ad serving technology

6. How transparent are your campaigns and reporting?

One of the most common concerns from advertisers is over the lack of transparency from their digital media vendors. Recently Proctor & Gamble rocked the digital advertising world when they pulled ad dollars away from their ad agency due to the lack of transparency on where their ads were being placed and the content being associated with their messaging. When dealing with an intangible object like digital, it can be difficult to determine the where, how, and when associated with digital ad placements.

Orange142 and other reputable media companies are transparent with site lists, audience targeting and reporting. We want to show you where your ads are running, how much the real-time-bidding is costing and what optimizations are being done to improve a campaign. A real-time reporting dashboard is provided with every campaign to show results so there is never a question on where a campaign is pacing or what ad creative is performing best. Legitimate media companies want to have everything on display because through collaboration and transparency, media campaigns will be most successful.


With so many media and marketing companies out there, it is difficult to determine who to trust and who will make the most of your ad dollars. After hearing everyone’s take on data, ad units, creative and other differentiators, it may be difficult to pick which vendor is best. Asking these questions will help to find the stand outs and the partners that will work not just towards fulfilling a campaign but to generate a positive return on ad spend as well.

Contact Orange142 today if you are looking for more than just another vendor and want to have a partner and extension of your team.


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