Back in November New Mind | tellUs announced an exciting joint venture with CAN Digital Solutions which enables our DMOs to sell advertising space on their websites via the Visit Ad Network.  As a result, over 40 destination sites are now generating significant revenues and more DMOs are coming onboard every week.

Our previous blog covered the phenomenal growth of digital advertising and in this feature we thought it may be useful to demystify how it works and explain some of the key terminology used. 

The moment you click on your favourite website, your location, device and browsing history are transmitted into the internet ether. Don’t worry, none of it is personally identifiable. But it is valuable because your information, when fed into big data algorithms, can give an uncannily accurate portrait of your demographics, income and preferences.

The big data component is not quite there yet, but everything else about the digital advertising infrastructure that underpins the internet is in place. Programmatic advertising – where machines analyse your data in milliseconds and bid in real time for the ad space you’re about to view – has been the single biggest contributor to the growth of digital advertising over the past five years.

At the centre of this infrastructure is the ad server. It operates like digital advertising’s air traffic control – receiving ad requests from websites when users click on a page, and providing advertising based on real time bidding between advertisers or agencies. Connected to ad servers are Supply Side Platforms or SSPs and Demand Side Platforms or DSPs. DSPs are automated platforms that allow advertisers and agencies to target specific audiences, frequently using audience data provided through Data Management Platforms or DMPs. SSPs allow publishers (like DMOs) to make available their inventory and optimise yields.

Digital advertising is sold on a CPM, or cost per mille, basis (“mille” is latin for 1,000) so advertising space (or “impressions”) is priced in units of 1,000. The CPM a website can achieve is based on the quality of its audience, the viewability of the ads and its size and geographic coverage.

Viewability, as you can imagine, is a critical issue for advertisers. An ad is not worth very much if it’s never seen. The minimum benchmark most advertisers look for is an ad being in view for at least 1 second 70% of the time. So ad placement is critical. Websites that place ads in viewable locations – at the top of the page or near the top on the left- or right-hand column – will earn more than those with ads at the bottom of the page.

Connected to these systems are many other parts of the digital advertising ecosystem – retargeting, analytics, verification, trading desks, data suppliers – that all seek to achieve the holy grail of making the right advertisement available to the right person at the right time. This is a very complex environment but has proven highly robust, delivering billions of ads across the internet every day.

The Visit Ad Network links into this infrastructure through the technology stack provided by CAN Digital Solutions, the same technology that CAN uses to deliver advertising services to local authorities across the country. Through its joint venture with New Mind │tellUs, CAN also sells DMO ad space directly to national advertising agencies and brands to ensure partners achieve the highest possible yield.

The size and geographic coverage of a website is also critical. Advertisers want to work with publishers that can reach a majority of their audiences. Small sites, or those that have limited geographic reach, will not attract the high-yield, premium advertising. This is why the Visit Ad Network was created – to aggregate the DMO sites from across the country to provide the size and reach advertisers covet. As the network continues to expand, the yields will grow to the benefit of all partners.

If you would like more information on how you can join other DMOs as part of the Visit Ad Network, please contact your Account Manager.

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