Online advertising has revolutionized the marketing industry, equipping brands with a powerful array of tools for audience targeting, customer acquisition, and data analytics. But recent headlines show the potential pitfalls of poorly planned digital advertising – inappropriate ads appearing on clean platforms, or clean ads appearing on inappropriate platforms.
From disturbing images showing up on children’s games to product ads appearing alongside offensive content, marketers are scrambling to combat brand safety violations to ensure that their campaigns not only achieve their key metrics but also safeguard their brands’ reputations. Amid mounting concerns surrounding breaches of brand safety, how can brands erect effective firewalls?
Defending brand safety requires ongoing vigilance, from carefully selecting advertising partners to meticulously planned campaign targeting. Here’s how marketers can implement these fundamental principles.
Also Read: How Brands and Agencies are Affected by GDPR
Choosing the Right Partners
Brands enjoy a wide range of partnership options: Agencies, ad networks, ad exchanges, buying platforms, DSPs, SSPs, and direct publisher or advertiser partnerships. Regardless of which partnership path a brand pursues, it is imperative that brands select partners committed to excellence in their work and who emphasize rigorous adherence to IAB guidelines.
How can brands distinguish the sloppy from the standouts? Every company that offers media buying and selling options should have a policy team, along with technology that will audit and classify any new advertiser, publisher, and ad according to each brand’s needs and specifications. For each new advertisement, partners should scan the text, the image, and the landing page to which it directs users, verifying that there is no misleading or otherwise problematic content.
These monitoring technologies are the first line of defense in the war against brand safety violations, making it all the more important that brands find partners who place a premium on advanced tracking and optimization solutions.
Fortunately for marketers, recent years have witnessed a proliferation of sophisticated tools for optimal audience targeting, enabling brands to filter and segment by demographics, geography, user behavior, and more. Utilizing these filtering options is a tremendous boon in reaching the consumers most likely to respond to a brand’s offers – and also helps prevent objectionable ad placements.
For example, if a premium brand wants to ensure that its advertising campaign does not feature ad placements on adult sites, such sites can be excluded via targeting and filtering. Google, Facebook, Taboola, and other top companies that offer programmatic media buying options do not include adult sites on their platforms. Even still, correct targeting – by location, device, sites, and age – is essential. Some platforms will include options to opt in or out of sexually suggestive content, enabling brands to make judgments about which placements best advance the objectives of their campaigns.
From the publisher side, performance marketing technologies enable platforms to review all campaigns before they go live, to guarantee that no problematic ads are displayed. By harnessing these technologies, platforms can avoid horror stories like the placement of sexually suggestive and violent content on popular children’s video games. Because incidents expose brands and platforms alike to a fierce public backlash, they share a mutual interest in preventing such occurrences in the first place.
Results with Integrity
Leveraging the suite of cutting-edge marketing tools at their fingertips, marketers have unprecedented opportunities for reaching relevant audiences, optimizing campaign messaging, and driving conversions from their digital endeavors. These objectives need not come at the expense of brand safety.
With marketers increasingly attuned to the growing risk of brand safety violations, the market for smart targeting solutions is poised for significant growth in the coming years. Brands that commit themselves now to finding quality partners with access to robust technological tools will position themselves for success in this new world order.