How to Purchase Ad Traffic from a Buy-Side Platform

Buy-side platforms and real-time bidding have completely revolutionized the world of mobile and desktop advertising. Real-time data helps marketers segment by more than interest, honing in on users based on specific qualities uncovered by competitive research. In addition, these platforms offer targeted traffic from multiple networks. The amount of inventory means that you need to approach your campaigns with a focus.

Fortunately, there is more than one way to purchase targeted traffic from one of these ad exchanges. Choosing the best route comes down to your budget, resources and knowledge.

Full-Service Solutions

Full-service options are for advertisers who either lack the resources to manage a campaign in-house, or have a budget that allows them money for scaling . The process begins with reviewing your competition and performing some analysis on your targets. You work with a team who helps formulate some realistic goals based on your campaigns, and then they take your ideas and optimize traffics sources based on the targets you are trying to reach.

There are two distinct advantages to this approach. The first is that you can set and forget your campaigns, focusing on other aspects that require your micro-management. The second is that you can take even a moderate amount of competitive analysis and turn it into something productive.

New comers to the scene tend to forego this approach because it has a high barrier for entry. It’s common for full-service solutions to require a deposit or an extended commitment. People in this category may prefer a more hands-on approach.

Buy-Side Platforms

Platforms that offer a buy-side option cater to individuals looking for a self-serve approach to advertising online. With this kind of setup, you set your budget and the interests that you want to target. Inventory is already broken down into categories, so you can select the qualities that best fit your audience and work on bidding for position. All data is fed to you in real-time as well, which differs substantially from the delay found in PPC platforms that may obscure reporting by up to a day.

The primary draw is the self-service nature, but don’t expect to get far without proper research on your side. These platforms rely on your input, and offer substantial traffic. If you leave your campaigns open to receiving too much traffic, your budget will spend too quickly and you will fail to accumulate actionable data. Buy-side platforms are also excellent for expanding campaigns that already work well, because you can use targeting data from other platforms to inform your efforts elsewhere.

Bio: For over ten years, Ted Dhanik has used display advertising to boost traffic for businesses. Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR, and is an active mentor at the startup accelerator Start Engine. Ted Dhanik publishes advice on how to utilize mobile and banner advertising to Ad Age and Venture Beat.

How Communities Help to Police Click Fraud on Desktop and Mobile

Click fraud exists, and is fast becoming a widespread problem we should all be prepared to identify it if it happens. Click fraud is a community wide problem. It drives the costs of keywords higher than they should be, creates a false economy around poor performing keywords and costs all of us money. It also means that your market segments aren’t seeing the ads meant for them.

Mobile marketing relies heavily on location-based targeting, and so is susceptible to phony location data. Here, we look at how communities help address this problem by protecting themselves.

How Location Data Works

Locations on a smartphone are pinpointed in a number of ways. Some apps will ask for a user’s location address. Chrome on Android does this, and will use the phone’s GPS unit to pinpoint a user. Most of this location data is accurate up to 100 feet. It’s not easy for sites to spoof this data, but it would require them to send a request to your ad as though they were using a mobile device in the ZIP code you were targeting.

To be clear, this is a rare occurrence. What’s important is being able to understand what is happening to your campaigns. If this helps you rule out location fraud, all the better for you to concentrate on making your campaigns perform better.

The Importance of Location-Based Targeting

Location-specific advertising is supposed to generate users from specific zip codes. When advertisers notice their ads underperforming, it is possible that spoofing is to blame. Ad exchanges test these findings internally to help mitigate the damage of location-based fraud. In this way, ad exchanges preserve a level of trust based on factual reporting and a continued dialogue with the advertisers they work with.

It’s also possible to analyze clusters of devices that seem to be operating out of place. Location data is expected to travel, but not by great distances all that frequently. Searching for clusters helps root out devices that exhibit this rapid-fire movement, and eliminate click fraud.

Final Thoughts

Mobile click fraud is just as real as desktop click fraud, but ad exchanges remain the safest way to purchase traffic because of the safe guards put into place. Because of the testing and vigilance performed by these networks and their communities, ad exchanges are able to find and deal with these problems. The result is a secure network full of quality traffic.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the CEO and co-founder of engage:BDR, which offers a buy-side platform where advertisers can purchase premium traffic. Ted Dhanik has a background in display advertising, having sold engaging advertising for before founding engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik is based out of Los Angeles, California.

What is Programmatic Ad Buying?

Programmatic ad buying is something you’ve probably been engaged with for years. It’s so second nature to you, that you often don’t consider the process that drives it. Understanding programmatic ad buying is a big advantage to advertisers. Knowledge is power, and you should know where your traffic comes from and how you can increase the quality of your ads based on that traffic.

Programmatic ad buying is a term that encompasses all forms of automated traffic, including highly targeted and hyper-local display advertising.

The Old Ways of Media Buying

When you wanted targeted traffic in the old days, you began with a list of websites that you thought would be good candidates. You then narrowed that list down to who you wanted to work with, then negotiated to fit your budget. Most of the time, you spread your budget to various publishers , securing only a small space on several websites. That’s an awful lot of work just to test a campaign, plus you need to maintain those relationships to keep your rates low and your partners happy. That’s also not counting research, which was harder to come by.

Programmatic ad buying simplifies this process.

The Role of Ad Exchanges

The biggest change that the Web has brought to the world of media buying is the creation of ad exchanges. When you purchase from an ad exchange, you may have the option to target based on demographics like interests or gender. Ad exchanges connect you directly to consumers that want to see your banner advertising for a small fee.

Evolving Ads

This direct traffic changes how we construct ads, and makes the process granular. Ad development is now a painstaking process of testing, where each potential variable is ironed out in search of the ideal formula. Once you have targeted the right kind of user, you can begin honing your message to increase response. All in a matter of days or weeks.

The process of buying media in today’s world is done at a scale that humans are incapable of. Buying from an ad exchange opens you up to a wider array of consumers, and offers you the chance to get new customers outside of your local area.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is a passionate thought leader in the direct marketing industry. Ted Dhanik has been working in banner advertising for more than ten years, branding companies like For information on display advertising, contact Ted Dhanik.

Is Targeting Discriminatory?

The mechanisms that marketers use have some controversial implications for users. The collection of data for the purposes of marketing has always been a practice under some scrutiny, but the Web presents new opportunities to track interactions that were not possible before. Discrimination isn’t just a matter of data collection, it’s also the improper targeting of display advertising. Both what customers see, and what they don’t see. If you’re careful, you can get around these challenges with thoughtful messaging and finely tuned targets.

Unintentional Consequences

Targeting has the wonderful benefit of putting you in touch with your audience. It hopefully increases your audience’s chances of engaging with an ad they find interesting, or at least one they are open to hearing. Where advertising fails, and becomes borderline problematic, is when that targeting is overzealous. When someone gets engaged on Facebook, it’s almost a running gag how quickly they begin seeing ads for wedding related services. The opportunity is obvious, but what’s not always apparent is the user experience. Paying close attention to what happens to the user is extremely important.

Exclusionary Targeting

What about the assumptions we make based off of the data we accumulate? Targeting based on demographic is a great way to cut costs, but it also excludes people that may or may not want to see your ads. Plus, when we exclude targets we also cut our traffic volume significantly. Quite literally, too many cuts will stall your campaigns.

Testing is the only method to get around this form of exclusionary targeting, to get at the meat of your audience.


The key takeaway is to break free of your bubble. Pay close attention to what your customers are actually doing, not just in Analytics. Review your landing pages, click on things, and actually look at what people see when they visit your banner advertising. The more conscious you are of their experience, the higher your chances of avoiding unsuccessful ad campaigns.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder and CEO of engage:BDR. Through direct marketing on mobile and desktop, Ted Dhanik has helped businesses reach new market segments. Ted Dhanik offers advice through his blog, or at engage:BDR.

Engage: BDR Offers Ad Serving Technology

Engage: BDR, an integrated-media advertising company that offers an extensive menu of marketing solutions, is also offering another highly-prized product: ad serving technology.

Ad serving technology has become a hot product in online media as advertisers realize that their ability to manage, deliver, and measure the performance of their ads can have a major impact on how much money they make from their online content.

Blink New Media, engage: BDR’s global ad serving solution is proving just how important ad serving technology is to top affiliate marketers and performance advertisers by offering technology built from the point of view of a direct response advertiser. This means advertisers have access to tools and reporting interfaces designed with performance in mind.

When it comes to reviewing performance, Blink New Media offers a wide variety of tools, including real-time reporting, conversion/revenue stats, hourly statistics, unique click tracking, and third party click macro support. According to the company, these tools make it easier for advertisers to view data in the most flexible way.

In addition to offering granular data in various forms, Blink New Media also boasts the ability to deliver impressions with the lowest latency. How? By using multiple data centers around the world. Other services include ad trafficking, multiple-pane or container ads, a built-in Akamai CDN, in-house tech support, and complete creative control. Through Blink New Media, advertisers have the ability to create multiple ads, create logins for employees or publishers, and access rich media such as in-banner video ads and Flash.

About engage: BDR: Founded in 2007, engage: BDR is run by a team of online media experts, including co-founder and CEO Ted Dhanik. Dhanik serves as the company’s President and Executive Vice President of Business Development. He is responsible for managing strategic marketing, sales and business development, client relationship management, and content acquisition. To learn more about engage: BDR, Blink New Media, or Ted Dhanik, please visit: