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Targeted Advertising: Does it Actually Work?



While scrolling through Instagram, I recently stumbled on an advertisement for a hoodie. But it wasn’t just any old hoodie—this one was special. Emblazoned across its chest were the following words: “I’m Proud to be a University of Reading Grad in Berlin.”

There is a slim chance of an apparel company catering solely to alumni of a regional British college living in the German capital. Although I wouldn’t back it on Shark Tank, it could exist—in theory.

More likely, though, a firm bought data from Instagram parent Meta (formerly known as Facebook) and advertised to me a product based on my Facebook profile. I promptly headed to the social media platform and stripped my profile of 99 percent of its data points.

Thinking about that incident leads me to this question: for marketers, is targeted advertising even worth it?

Marketers shift their stance on targeted ads

In ancient times, such as in the 1990s, the best way to market a product was on television, radio, or highway billboards. Then, in 1994, the first banner ad appeared on the website of WIRED offshoot HotWired. Targeted advertising began the following year, but it wasn’t until 2006 that social media platforms, suddenly privy to unthinkable datasets, pushed targeted ads into the mainstream.

Today social media comprises most of the $455 billion spent annually by digital marketers worldwide. Almost 92 percent of companies with over 100 employees advertise with social media, which offers targeting so precise it often falls foul of regulators.

That’s no surprise, given marketing divisions are operating increasingly on a shoestring. According to researcher Gartner, marketing budgets have fallen to their lowest recorded level, dropping to 6.4 percent of company revenue in 2021 from 11 percent in 2020. Targeted ads are supposed to offer better value for money, after all.

But new data also shows that perhaps social media is no longer the end-all and be-all of ad spending. Instead, marketers have begun to diversify their advertising channels, which means the return of mediums like linear TV and direct mail.

The logic behind targeted advertising—the more I know about you, the better placed I am to sell you something—makes sense. And for years, it suited big platforms to sing the praises of CPMs based on data they were collecting. But times are changing, and that’s partially due to the reliability of the average click.

Attack of the bots

Ad fraud occurs when bad actors put out bots—automated, fake users—to click on ads many times, fooling companies into thinking their ads are working and therefore putting more money in the pockets of advertising firms. According to security company Cloudfare, “Bots comprise roughly 50 percent of all Internet traffic. As much as 20 percent of websites that serve ads are visited exclusively by fraudulent click bots.”

Online ad fraud was worth $30 million in 1996. By next year the market is projected to be worth $87 billion. Using analytics tools, marketers should watch for sudden traffic spikes to their website; bounce rates—the number of users who hop on, then immediately off, your site—approaching 100 percent; and a near-nonexistent session duration.

If any of these are prevalent, have a conversation with your ad provider. Ad fraud prevention tools also exist, including AppsFlyer, Adjust, and Perform.

AppsFlyer EMEA and LATAM general manager Gal Ekstein says data collection is critical, but brands also need to go further. “Marketers also need appropriate tools that can process and analyze the data so that they can get the most value out of it. These solutions, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated, are fast becoming a key component in any marketer’s tech stack.”

“In addition, particularly in light of Apple’s update to iOS 14.5, privacy is moving to the forefront of ad targeting,” he adds. “There’s a growing preference for aggregated data over user-level data, and as a result, we’re seeing a rise in contextual, cohort-based targeting, as opposed to targeting based on the behavior of specific, individual users.”

Consumer awareness increases

The jury is still out on just how effective targeted ads are. However, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the January 6 Capitol riots, and a host of electoral frauds worldwide, users’ eyes are now open to the ubiquity and perniciousness of “surveillance capitalism.” Consequently, the FTC and, to a much greater extent, the European Union, have railed against online data collection in recent years. The EU has even tabled plans to ban targeted advertising altogether, prompting fears that such a move would undercut business models and even harm media expression.

In 2018, a Harvard Business Review report asked how targeted ads can be most effective in an age of increased customer awareness. It cites two major problems marketers must address when considering targeted advertising. Firstly, people don’t act logically regarding their privacy: we’ll tell strangers our most intimate details while keeping secrets from our nearest and dearest. The more personal the data (think sex, health, and finances), the less comfortable people are about others knowing it.

Second, people don’t like gossip. A large portion of the data used by targeted advertisers is third-party information gleaned from other websites. This type of data is frequently simply junk. Last July, Analytics, an ad analysis browser extension, considered fewer than one in one hundred targeted ads relevant. The Harvard Business Review authors found that users targeted with third-party data were 24 percent less likely to express interest in a product.

“There is definitely a ‘creepy line’ for targeted advertisements,” says technologist and writer Robert Quinlivan. “We’re being slowly conditioned to accept privacy invasions as inevitable, but people are still creeped out by the ‘surprise’ factor.”

When it comes to targeted advertising, it’s best to assume that data collection is creepy— and work back from there.

Relevance matters

According to Katie Arena, director of product marketing at dynamic ad startup Clinch, digital advertising should be less about knowing everything about a user and more about providing them with relevant digital experiences.

“When advertisers shift to a mindset of relevancy and seek out ad technologies that foster it,” Arena adds, “they tend to find it easier to avoid the creep factor.” To avoid that creep factor, marketers should bear three points in mind:

  • Trust. Be open about ads, which may manifest in an AdChoice button.
  • Give users the ability to choose which data they share.
  • Explain to users why the use of their personal data is important.

“When it comes to ad personalization, there’s a fine line between creepy and delightful, so it could be tempting to conclude that the safest approach is to keep people in the dark,” the HBR report states.

In the short term, this might work. In the long term, however, it will harm your business. “An off-line analogue may be useful here as a guide: You might gain a temporary advantage by deceiving a friend, but the damage if the deception is discovered is deep and lasting,” the report adds. “Relationships are stronger if they are honest.”

In short, get clever—because Internet users already have. Targeted advertising can seem a complex, Rube Goldberg machine of data points, bots, and bad information. In truth, it’s more a case of choosing the right technology platforms to fight the industry’s many pitfalls. There was a time when targeted advertising was the only future marketers could imagine. That may already be changing.

Via Contently


The Next Generation Z and The Marketing Focus



The Generation Z: The Internet Age

Marketing trends always change with time. Modern marketers need to focus on age brackets so that they may customize the products to reach the audience where it is highly demanded. Generation z is the generation that was born from 1997 to 2019 having age groups 9 to 24 years. This age group is mostly young having some specific priorities for buying any product.

Before buying the product they conduct Internet research and decide to buy the products. They search for competitors to know which product is affordable, economical, and durable. They decide to purchase the product when they are sure that this product is the best in the market after reviewing all others and consulting with friends and Experts.

Marketing Trends and Strategies

Most marketers focus on the general marketing strategy ignoring the features, specialities and interests of Generation Z thus such a marketing plan is destined to fail given the circumstances.

Marketers should focus on specialized categories so that their campaign may have a massive influence over Generation Z ultimately increasing sales and revenue.

The advertising campaign must have brand ambassadors from a specific generation so that it may attract the youth to purchase that product or service from the company.

It is pertinent to mention here that marketing trends always tend to change and Marketers keep exploring new ways to reach prospective customers. They use multiple platforms such as TV, Radio, Digital Media, Internet,email, printMedia, Newspapers and magazines etc. They implementvarious strategies to develop their marketing plans.

Marketing Experts do recommend that adopting the best consumer trends especially focusing on Generation Z will have a positive outcome and the outreach may be massive given their addiction to various social media channels, apps, websites etc. This generation is tech inspired by the craze for Smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

The research on the products by reading comparative reviews regarding the companies on Capterra, Trust Pilot, and G2etc. as well as on social media.

Marketers need a prudent approach in targeting this generation since they are educated, and well aware and the techno generation has infinite internet browsing habits and the Social Media craze or sensation. 

To focus on Generation Z, the bands, and Agencies marketers need to tailor their strategy by keeping their focus on these points which will add value to their marketing campaigns.

Make your Brand Mobile Friendly

Tech-inspired Generation Z is born with exploding digital World and the age of 4G and 5G Speed. The Marketing Plan should be fast, focused and Mobile friendly so that it may reach the target effectively. The Mobile-friendly brand has more chances of popularity given the ever-increasing number of smartphone users around the world.

Availability for multiple Platforms:

The Marketing focus should touch all the platforms such as TV, Radio, DTH, IPTV, Internet, Mobile, print and Billboards, Banners, Google Ads, and Video Marketing through Social Media platforms such as YouTube and Short Video services through Facebook Reels, Tiktok and YouTube shorts. All these contribute to tremendous success in marketing campaigns. The marketers, Brands and agencies can utilize multiple platforms and reap the benefits. Generation Z prefers social Media, Smartphones so companies must have mobile applications on the Google play store for online shopping such as KFC, Mcdonald’s, Amazon,Walmart,Food pandaetc.

Social Media Presence

Generation Z prefers to stay connected through Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter,YouTube,WhatsApp and Instagram. The brands and agencies must consider the social media platforms for wider social marketing without spending any penny as social media marketing has been a very strong tool to market your products to a wider audience, The customers between 13 to 24 years of age prefer to stay in touch with brands through social media. Therefore, social media platforms can be instrumental in crafting your next generation’s innovative, specific and tailored Marketing plan to base their outreach to this Generation Z.

Video Marketing Strategy that generates Leads

Video Marketing has been a top-notch preference of Marketers, especially Internet marketers. The Visual effects have a strong and impressive impact on the people. The video has the message, results and engagement features that keep the viewers hooked to it from the start to finish. Hence Marketers should adopt a video marketing strategy for both TV and Internet-based campaigns. The leading Marketers are of the View that a video message has more effectiveness than a dull textual message. The sites such as YouTube, Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook can be great platforms to market your products to massive social media users who can be your prospective customers. It is estimated that Over 70 to 80 per cent of people use these platforms

New horizons for engaging the customers

Social Media Influencers will play a key role to take your brand marketing to next level as the companies should keep exploring new ways to engage these youth to purchase the products and services on offer by the Companies. Social media influencers with millions of fan followings can be your brand ambassadors and recommend your products and services to their followers.

Corporate Social Responsibility

According to an estimate, about 80% of people expect that the company contributes to social good as they believe that those companies having the mission to make money or mint money may not be working on social welfare. Generation z focuses on those companies that contribute to a social cause or have any relation with charity. This gives them the satisfaction that their purchase may help those charities working on any humanitarian issue. Most of the Big companies such as Google, Yahoo, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft have a social good program, especially for schools, children and social organizations.

Quality Management and Authencity:

Generation z always prefers the Authencity or genuineness of products as they do believe that only the authentic and genuine products are quality based. The Marketers should focus on qualitative and authentic products to enhance the brand loyalty and reputation of the companies.

Effective Marketing Focus or Strategy

Finally, after a detailed discussion, it is summed up that our marketing focus should be very specific targeting the age grounds keeping the records of interests, purchasing power, affordability and the favourite platforms social media, Mobile and the Internet as Generation Z  is internet or techno generation having an advanced understanding of products. They first conduct research by reviewing similar products through compare and contrast strategy. They also give importance to customer feedback and reviews to make their Idea about the product and its quality.

Hence, marketers should optimize their marketing strategy for multiple platforms so as the reach prospective customers. The changing dynamics of marketing make it imperative to adopt innovative AI-powered Customized and Tailored strategies to achieve the targeted results. Because sticking to a prevalent strategy may not produce the results. The Marketers will have to think outside of box to devise a networked strategy having the combination of all platforms to get maximum leads and make more sales.

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Best Video Ad Networks for Publishers in 2022




With over 2.3 billion users worldwide, YouTube has proven that video marketing is here to stay. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that publishers are increasingly using video ad networks to reach a wider audience and form a connection through creative storytelling.

In fact, ad spending in the video advertising segment is projected to reach over US$92.29 billion by 2021. Spending has a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.94% between 2021-2025.

However, this has been a long time in the making. In 2016, BuzzFeed stated that more than half of their advertising revenue was generated by video advertisements, with expectations that this number would climb to 75% in the coming years.

And, it seems it’s already paying off as they’ve seen a 3X increase in Facebook in-stream ads between June and December 2018. Similarly, The Washington Post, Forbes, CBS, and larger publishers have begun exploring alternate video advertising avenues, a.k.a. top video ad networks.

What are Video Ad Networks?

Simply put, video ad networks help both publishers and advertisers trade video ad impressions at scale. Video Ad Networks connect advertisers with publishers who want to sell ad space.

According to a Five Minute Marketing report, 85% of content consumed on the internet by 2021 will be video. As a result, 96% of marketers have invested ad spend on video, with another 61% planning to increase their budgets.

A strategically placed video ad can make you between $9 and $20 per 1,000 impressions based on location, niche, and other factors.

And, as a result of these factors, not all video advertisers will make the same amount of money.

There are many ways digital publishers of all sizes can take advantage of this by generating their own unique video content and monetizing it through programmatic demand.

Alternatively, you can utilize different partners that will actually produce the video content for you, so you can reap the benefits of video ads without creating them yourself.

Instream vs. Outstream video ads: Which is right for you?

In-stream video ads

Publishers who already have video content on their websites can run ads and their existing content. This is called “Instream video ads.”

The most reliable and frequently used system for placing video ads within a relevant video context, instream video ads allow advertisers to get into the thick of consumer video content.

However, they can also be somewhat limiting, especially if an advertiser’s audience isn’t active on their advertising channels.

Outstream video ads

Publishers without video content can place video ad units the same way they would an image or text ad, called “out-stream video ads.” Outstream is a somewhat new addition to the world of video advertising. Still, it offers a massive advantage since it can deliver video ads anywhere, anytime.

Whether a publisher chooses instream or out-stream ads, they still need to connect with buyers to run relevant online advertising campaigns.

Video ad networks allow publishers to connect with thousands of buyers so that video ad impressions are transacted. The best video ad networks also provide publishers with the technology required to run, report, and optimize video ad campaigns.

Which is the most popular platform for video ads?

Before delving into the most popular or the fastest-growing ad network, it’s important to know that as a publisher, you should select an ad network that offers technical support and the expertise needed to fight against fraudsters.

We have compiled some of the best video ad networks in the ad space so that publishers can compare and choose from our comprehensive video ad networks list.

13 Best Video Ad Networks for Publishers

1. Primis

Primis is one of the best video discovery engine platforms. Primis is the original Video Discovery platform built to increase revenue for publishers by helping their users discover high-quality video content.

Their Video Discovery technology is used by 100s of digital publishers worldwide, empowering 300M uniques with an engagement-based video experience that recommends video content they love, automatically skipping content they don’t interact with.

Every month, Primis makes 4.8B recommendations of 3.4M pieces of content across 30 verticals leading to the monetization of over 4.5B video impressions.

Primis holds itself accountable to the highest industry standards in digital advertising. The network is safe to use and protects users against fraud.

This ad network describes itself as an endless library, as it allows publishers to exert complete control over categories, channels, and keywords that prompt the display of relevant video ads. Meanwhile, the ads are carefully selected to maximize RPMs and improve video monetization.

2. Facebook Audience Network

Publishers can join the company’s in-stream video ads system and use their original content. Since most Facebook users are on mobile devices, it’s more suitable for mobile video ad inventory. You can opt for mid-roll or pre-roll ads with FAN, as the platform does not presently support post-roll ads.

With assorted video ad formats, Facebook is a compelling addition to this list. While Facebook Audience Network is an excellent option for the video ad format, remember that CPMs depend on various factors, including bid density and location. You’ll also need to configure SSP or ad server to deliver video ads.

3. AdPlayer.Pro

AdPlayer.Pro is an outstream video ad solution, which enables publishers and content creators to generate ad revenue by monetizing editorial content, regardless of whether they have on-site video inventory or not. This platform allows publishers to display in-app and in-page video ads.

This network provides additional ad revenue with no interruption to your current ad stack through video monetization tactics.

The audience targeting of the video content served to users on the platform provides a better user experience than most ad server networks, so your ads will only be served to the highest quality audience.

4. OpenX

OpenX is a video ad network that is available across all major video ad servers, video players, and integrations, including VAST tags, header bidding, and OpenRTB maximizing inventory value via open auctions and private marketplaces.

It has also proved to be a good option in over-the-top (OTT) media services (i.e., Netflix) and can run both in-stream and outstream video ads. In-content and in-content sticky are some of the top supported formats on this ad network.

This video marketing platform is suitable for users who have access to a good amount of their own video content since it lacks a syndication service.

While it’s a major con, it has more than 50 demand-side partners on the positive side. Plus, it offers a bunch of campaign optimization and custom targeting tools.

5. Magnite

Magnite (previously known as both Rubicon Project & Telaria before the merger) is a reliable source for advertisers, serving over 65% of the global comScore 300 publishers, including big names, like CNN, Bloomberg, ESPN, and The Economist.

Magnite is known as the world’s largest independent sell-side ad platform as well as a curated programmatic advertising marketplace with a global demand to place video ads. Very few video ad networks enjoy the kind of reputation and recognition that the Rubicon video ad network does.

The merger combines Telaria’s strong, connected TV and video management operations with Rubicon’s big programmatic desktop and mobile video advertising.

Unlike other options out there, this one serves all kinds of users including, mobile and desktop users.

You will find different ad formats on this network. Plus, it provides information in real-time and can be a good option if you’re looking to monitor how campaigns are performing at a glance.

This video network also uses the latest video ad technology, including AI, to improve the delivery of rich media. Publishers who use Magnite are said to earn more revenue than publishers who use other ad networks. However, we do not have figures to test the claim.

It has enabled video header bidding, which can be used as a tool to increase competition and generate more revenue via video content.

6. SelectMedia

If you’re looking for a top video ad network in Asia, then your search ends here. This international ad system is best suited for Asian publishers and brands.

SelectMedia offers a variety of formats here, including slider playlist, in-content, bottom sticky, and overlay. 

The network runs outstream video ads and provides a bunch of reliable and user-friendly yield optimization tools to enhance revenue. Another benefit of this ad network is the freedom to micro-direct your own campaigns.

On the negative side, SelectMedia doesn’t offer very high CPMs for video ads since the auction occurs on open exchanges. Plus, unlike some other options out there, this one doesn’t let users make use of first-party data.

7. Unruly

Joining Unruly will give you access to every major DSP and trading desk, in addition to 95% of top brands found in the AdAge 100.

Unruly isn’t like other options out there because the network does not require publishers to have video content to monetize since a large number of video ad units on the platform are displayed within the content.

However, there are options for video content in the form of in-stream, out-stream, and mobile video formats.

What makes this an incredible choice for advertisers is the impressive onboarding process. It follows IAB Tech Lab’s LEAN Principles and the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads. It offers dedicated account management for ease of use.

You will also be able to keep an eye on your video content in real-time to know how ad units are performing.

8.Verizon Media

Originally known as Oath, Verizon Media is among the most reliable names helping advertisers to run video ads. It combines some of the best assets of AOL and Yahoo and is known for offering excellent customer support.

This self-serve platform is easy to use and offers top-notch safety tools. It enables publishers to run outstream video ads by placing a script in different ad formats.

While it’s essentially a video ad network, non-video publishers can utilize Verizon Media’s syndication service. This means you will not need to rely solely on ad revenue.

8. Chocolate Platform

No video ad network list would be complete without mentioning Chocolate Platform—one of the fastest-growing video ad networks for publishers out there.

This platform primarily serves mobile developers and publishers and can be a good choice if you want to target mobile users.

However, we must mention that it doesn’t focus much on mobile sites, as 90% of the demand bids are on mobile apps, and only 10% are on the mobile web.

Due to these limitations may only be suitable for publishers who own or market mobile apps due to these limitations.

9. AdMedia

AdMedia is a unique platform, as it allows users to monetize third-party videos. It seems to be gradually growing in popularity. Still, some users are apprehensive about using this ad program due to how it operates.

Most networks connect to video ad exchanges and sell impressions. This is a universally accepted method to display ads.

However, AdMedia, like Google AdSense, works differently and only sells impressions to advertisers who are on its platform.

The platform uses contextual targeting, which can result in relevancy issues. You can, however, pick video content from its partners—making it a preferred option for publishers who do not have their own video ads to display.

10. Teads

Teads distributes video advertising to 1.9 billion people every month across some of the world’s biggest publishers. It’s one of the few ad exchanges that share high-quality video ads with mass audiences globally—much like YouTube.

At the core of Teads’ video ad platform is the goal to produce professionally-produced editorial content that captures attention and catapults viewability.

How does this global video ad network achieve this? Through contextual targeting, branding, and optimized creatives for mobile.

Brands no longer want to spend additional money on mobile advertising, which is why Teads adopts a mobile-first approach to your ad campaigns and supports many different ad formats, including video and display.

According to the company, Teads achieves a 30% increase in reach on target vs. Nielsen benchmarks and scans 100 million articles to understand what 1.9 billion consumers are reading each month to help inform their ad inventory.

While it’s best suited for publishers who own video content, you can still use it if you don’t produce your own, as it can provide thousands of videos for your campaign.

11. Fyber

Fyber offers video ads and a large number of ad formats and is said to be best suited for premium brands. It takes data very seriously and is one of the few ad platforms that offer information in real-time.

This programmatic tool mainly focuses on mobile-first video formats such as VPAID for mobile. You can choose from a number of ad units, including banner, vertical, landscape, and square.

Fyber brings a lot of tools under one platform and even allows publishers to run A/B tests to find what works and what doesn’t. With this tool, you will be able to attract more advertisers.

Such features make this one of the best ads networks for video ads and rich media ads.

12. Undertone

Undertone works with publishers who have an existing video library. You will not find a lot of video ad formats on this platform. However, it’s still in demand due to higher CPMs.

It mainly promotes full-screen takeover ads and offers limited ad and rich media customization options. With the right video campaigns, you will be able to create an ad that exceeds your business goals.

What next?

These were some of the best video ad networks for publishers.

As a publisher, your target should be to optimize every page and earn as much as you can. Learn how to create the right ad to make sure you can attract big brands. The key lies in generating “impressions” without affecting the user experience.

Some networks provide tips on making a high-quality video ad. Look for ad resources and work on your skills to create a successful ad campaign and maximize your video inventory to achieve your goals.

Also, don’t forget the importance of ad analytical tools that offer real-time figures to know how your videos perform.

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PTCL goes solar to conserve energy for a green Pakistan



Islamabad, December 12, 2019: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), in its endeavour to support the Clean Green Pakistan Movement, has initiated a comprehensive project to install latest solar power systems to conserve energy and support environmental preservation at its Headquarter, regional offices and exchanges across Pakistan.

Under this initiative, more than 700 PTCL facilities have been converted so far on solar solution across Pakistan. As part of expanding solar footprint to big installations, a 180KW solar system is deployed at PTCL HQs.

Saad Muzaffar Waraich, Chief Technology & Information Officer, PTCL, said, “As a national company, we are very proud of our initiatives on protecting the environment and reducing the carbon footprint in the country. With the deployment of solar power systems at PTCL, we have a safe alternative to produce energy that can replace current fossil fuels like coal and gas for generation of electricity and reduce air, water, and land pollution, while reducing our dependence on the grid.”

Under the Clean Green Movement, PTCL has collaborated with WWF-Pakistan for plantation of mangrove seeds in Baluchistan and PTCL HQ is also declared a Green Office certified by WWF. In order to tackle issues of low forest cover and poor cleanliness in urban & rural areas of Pakistan, the company has also collaborated with Ministry of Climate Change, whereby, plantation of 200,000 trees is underway at PTCL sites in next five years. To go paperless and save trees, PTCL is providing its customers the option to avail eBilling facility through PTCL website, Touch App and Helpline 1218.

Being a national company, PTCL is playing its role to save the environment and contribute to a greener Pakistan.

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