What Marketers Need to Know About Premium Media

April 18, 2017 — by Julia Welch    

So far, 2017 has been the year where advertisers have really put their foot down about where their ads are appearing. And they should!

In response to threats to brand safety and fraud, brands are now demanding greater accountability about the context in which their messages appear from all corners of our ecosystem. Ask yourself this…does the content align with your brand? And is your audience consuming that media? Now more than ever, media quality is key and advertisers need a transparent and safe supply source with the ability to block sites or content promoting illegal activity or distasteful rhetoric. As a reaction to an increasingly convoluted open RTB market, where intermediaries interject themselves in the ad waterfall without providing any value, marketers are shifting more of their spend to “premium” media — matching high-value audiences to high-quality media.

When MediaMath talks about premium media, we have a very specific set of criteria in mind to increase reach against your best audiences and maintain access to these premium media placements. It may cost more, but it will pay off in better performance, particularly for campaign types that target high-value audiences. Consider the following questions to ask yourself about premium media:

  • Is your audience there?

The best media is the media that will give marketers the highest reach against the most valuable customers that you’ve identified. Clearly, there is not a one-size-fits-all site that has the most valuable customers for every vertical, but there are pools of media that will allow marketers to reach more of those top customers than they could across all open inventory.

  • Are you getting to the media directly and transparently?

Digital advertising has been plagued by intermediaries that waste spend and deteriorate end-user experience without providing any value. Ensure that you can see the URLs your ads are appearing on as well as work with SSPs and exchanges that will ensure that there are only three parties in the transaction: the publisher, one exchange and the DSP.

  • Is it protected from fraud?

Reputable publishers should be vigilant against fraud on their site. Smart advertisers will trust, but also verify. Platforms like MediaMath have extensive in-house fraud detection tools and filters and use additional verification from third-party filters.

  • Is it safe for your brand?

Advertisers need to understand the context in which their brands appear. What is the purpose and reputation of the media that it buys inventory on? Advertisers need to think about brand safety at a publisher-level and a content-level and need to utilize third-party tools to ensure that the content an advertiser appears next to on the publisher is acceptable to the brand.

  • Is it quality content?

Often when talking about quality content, we focus on the previous two points; fraudulent traffic and dangerous content. What we tend to ignore is that some user-generated content, while not dangerous or damaging for your brand, is of low quality. Premium media should favor produced content over user-generated content.

It’s tempting to think of the renewed focus on premium media as coming full circle, arriving at the point in which media-buying decisions are made by a human, based on their judgments. Judgement is required, so is common sense, but we are now at the point in which we can use data to make better decisions to inform what we’ve always known—not all media is created equal.