• Advertising

How to Solve Common Problems with Programmatic Advertising

Matt Kaplan
Matt Kaplan
Content Strategist
5 min read
Posted on October 04, 2018
How to Solve Common Problems with Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic media buying has been a boon for digital advertising, but that doesn’t mean problems with programmatic advertising are nonexistent. Despite the many benefits programmatic brings to the table - increased efficiency, less human error and less manual effort, for starters - many media buyers are reticent to commit their digital ad dollars to programmatic channels.


But, these naysayers may be surprised to learn that most of the common gripes are easily addressable. Here’s how it’s done.

Problem #1: Lack of Transparency

In a recent survey of media agencies conducted earlier this year, this was by far the top challenge cited by programmatic advertisers. With so many different players involved in getting an ad from an advertiser to their target audience - not to mention all of their acronyms - it can be hard for some to keep track of everyone and determine who is and isn’t involved in a given campaign.

Solution to Problem #1: While this is a common concern, it can be addressed. For starters, we are totally transparent with all of our supply chain partners about what data we collect and how it’s used. We also let advertisers know exactly who they’re targeting and what apps they’re using before a campaign is ever run. And, unlike others, we provide app-level campaign performance in as close to real time as possible. That way, all of our advertiser partners always know exactly what’s going on with their programmatic campaigns.

Problem #2: Brand Safety

This is a fairly recent concern. If brands are not careful, they could find their ads appearing next to objectionable content, and that proximity could lead some to erroneously believe that the brand endorses the content.

For instance, let’s say a brand chooses who they advertise with basely solely on total app users and total web traffic, which means their ads appear on properties owned by top news outlets. But, it’s entirely feasible that unless they’re careful, a display ad could appear next to a news story about something objectionable, like violence or racism. The mere fact that their ad appears next to such a news story could cast them in a highly negative light that significantly damages their brand perception.

Solution to Problem #2: While brand safety is a growing concern, it’s one that we’ve taken many strides recently to address permanently. One potential solution is through blacklisting, in which we make sure that certain apps don’t receive ads, or whitelisting, so that only certain apps get a brand’s ads. We also recently started using an innovative brand safety solution from IAS to guarantee the quality of our app inventory.

Certain ad formats help here too. For example, with fullscreen video ads, you never have to worry about an ad appearing next to objectionable content, since literally nothing else besides the ad appears on the screen.

It’s also important to know that apps are inherently more brand safe than digital inventory. With apps, it’s easier to determine if the environment is suitable in all instances. Take a weather app for instance. There’s an extremely slim probability for a brand safety concern to be present here. The same can’t be said of a news website’s weather section, however.

Problem #3: Mobile Ad Fraud

As programmatic spending rises, it makes sense that fraudsters follow the money. But, as mobile in-app ad fraud grows to new heights, many advertisers are worried that their budgets are being improperly spent and eaten up by fraud.

Solution to Problem #3: Mobile ad fraud may be a growing issue, but we’re rising to the occasion to address it.

Problem #4: Not Enough Quality Data

Concerns about a lack of quality data abound among both those who own programmatic tech and those who don’t. The 2018 survey found that a majority of both groups cited this as a major challenge.

Solution to Problem #4: We address concerns about data quality by collecting high quality insights directly from our own SDK. Not only is our mobile-first SDK data highly valuable, with information including device IDs, location, demographics information and more, but our audience insights are certified by Nielsen. Data quality is an area where mobile in-app advertising blows browser-based digital advertising out of the water.

Problem #5: Lack of High-Quality Inventory and Scale

Ultimately, what does any advertiser want? They want to reach the right people, and get them to actually take action off the ad. They want to reach as many people as possible, and to reach them where they actually are. This is not unique to programmatic, but these concerns are just as prevalent in mobile in-app advertising.

Solution to Problem #5: Compared to other programmatic exchanges, we are uniquely suited to address these concerns, in large part because InMobi is the largest independent mobile in-app exchange, capable of helping advertisers reach up to 1.6 billion people globally. And, our quality data ensures that advertisers can talk to the right people with every campaign.

Plus, InMobi works with many of the globe’s leading app publishers and developers. Of the 22,500 apps that advertisers can connect with via our open exchange, their average app store rating is 4.3 and three-fourths of these apps are not gaming. That way, advertisers can be sure their ads are only running on the very best apps out there.

While issues around inventory, fraud, quality and transparency may persist, they are problems with existing solutions. To learn more about programmatic ad buying and why it may be right for your next mobile in-app advertising campaigns, request a demo of our industry-leading ad exchange for yourself today.


What have you done to make the most of mobile in-app programmatic? Let us know on social media! We’d love to hear from you on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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