“Tags”. “Ads”. “Third-party”. “Ad server”. Getting complex? Chill first. We shall go step by
step to understand what ad tags are, their functionalities, how they are used, why they are needed in the first place and what are their benefits to the users.
Simply put, ad tags are a snippet of codes that are to be placed on an advertising
placeholder on digital property, such as websites, applications, and others. It is like a
container and designed to communicate and draw from the advertising server the relevant advertising materials. These are displayed to the users immediately. Do we see the advertising material at every pixel of the digital property or pre-defined spots? Yes, “pre-defined spots” is the correct answer. These spots are containers and advertising material goes in and out based on the ad server’s targeting and setting logic.
Let’s give a simple example to understand the ad tags, third-party ad tags and the entire
digital property. Imagine that you laid a table for two and planning a romantic dinner
tonight. What is there? Snowy white tablecloth and ribboned napkins. Two comfortable
chairs. Of course, a candle. A nice bottle of wine. Wine glasses. Some flowers. Cutlery. Salt and pepper. And finally, the plates. Did you realize that everything on the table will remain still except the meal coming in and going out on the plate? Everything on the dinner table is digital property’s assets, and the plate is the ad tag. Ad tag must contain something, right? Plate, in other words, the ad tag here will contain the food.
Now, the next question. Where does this food come from? Did you cook it yourself and will limit the meal to merely home-cooked food? If yes, then your ad serving technology will be limited to serving only what you have cooked. Once you are out of food at home and the guest is still hungry, either you will need to replenish it or order more.
Ordering is from a restaurant or a food outlet, isn’t it? And they will send you the food with delivery personnel. You will place the ordered food on your same plate. Your action of allowing ordered food to access to the plate is like allowing a third-party ad tag on an ad placeholder. If you have expected before your guests have arrived that your guest would not be full of your food, probably you would order some food earlier and make it ready to serve immediately once you ran out of food in the kitchen. The same logic goes to the ad tags, third-party ad tags, and ad serving technologies.
Ad tags are placeholder scripts that you can add-on items on top of it like LEGO pieces,
without touching the rest of the digital property. These tags allow embedding media
elements on top of them. Advertisers always look for creative and high-performance
solutions and it is of paramount importance to streamline the processes, all at the
advertiser, publisher, and technology ends. On top of that, there are binding requirements, such as ensuring transparency, respect for user privacy and white labelling any personally identifiable information. While the digital properties are serving the ads (or the food in the above example), they must depend on an in-house ad server (your very own kitchen) and/or ads from a third party, such as an ad exchange or another ad server. (Ordered food)
The simple example above explains ad tags, third-party ad tags, and how ad servers are
involved. Are the ad servers there only to push down to requesting ad tags the first come first served advertising materials? Not at all. Ad servers have capping, precise targeting, campaign priorities, pricing, actions, and other capabilities pinpointing and serving the exact ads to the desired user profiles. A comprehensive ad serving technology has hundreds of filtering and targeting capabilities, but not necessarily every advertising campaign to be so specific or able to handle additional expenditure that further targeting introduces.
If a digital property has many ad placements and cannot serve the materials promptly, the medium will encounter high bounce back rates, have declined page visibility and increased page loading times. Therefore, it is highly necessary to balance the number of ad tags and placements on any digital property. For a table of two, you would place only two plates on the dinner table, remember?
For advertisers, ad networks, publishers, trading desks and others, analytics is an essential feature. Ad servers that are successfully operating round the clock nowadays are indeed quite diverse and considerably complex. While the ad server can run cross platforms and handle sophisticated advertising campaigns by delivering a wide range of ad formats, an enormous amount of delivery report dat
a is concurrently generated. These reports capture users’ responses, profiles, platforms, most viable time of the day and etcetera. Financial and performance metrics such as eCPM, CTR and etcetera are also available for the advertiser to evaluate their campaign’s effectiveness. One advantage of utilizing an ad server is that the campaign setting can be saved and applied to the advertiser’s similar or repeat campaigns in the future too.
With the ad tags, being placeholders and having capabilities of hosting additional scripts
(third-party ad tags) with no interruption to the digital property’s performances, advertisers do not need to knock the doors of individual publishers to get their scripts embedded on the publisher’s website. Working with a trusted partner, such as Osprey Media Lab will open the doors to a massive avenue of opportunities accessing premium digital properties and will ensure seamless operations. Planning, forecasting, deep targeting, automatic and manual optimizations, real-time reporting tasks are the key scopes of advertising campaigns. When global ad networks, ad exchanges, premium publishers and compelling advertising elements are concerned, it is imperative to understand the progress of the campaigns and be able to make changes on the go. This is one of the key advantages of working with third-party ad tags. It offers not only seamless integrations and allows access to a vast base of inventories but also ensures amazing flexibilities to the advertisers making changes or modifications to their advertising campaigns. All these happen with disrupting no other running processes, all
at the advertiser end, publisher end, ad server end, ad exchanges and ad networks end.
“Dinner is ready. I ordered some food for you.”
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