A Principled Approach to Traffic Quality
Posted on Sep 5, 2014 by Eric Bozinny, Network Quality Director, YuMe
From my years of fighting advertising fraud, I’ve learned valuable lessons working with advertisers, publishers and business leaders within my own organization. From these experiences, I’ve adopted a set of principles that serve as a beacon to guide my actions and to help YuMe make the best possible decisions in the evolution of our traffic quality practice.
Advertisers Have Rights
Customers who spend money to buy advertising are of the utmost importance at YuMe. For many customers, online advertising spend represents a significant portion of their marketing budgets. Advertisers have many choices when it comes to spending their marketing dollars, and advertisers have the right to expect a human audience for their marketing campaigns. It’s a paramount objective that YuMe is committed to achieving by combining data + science, experience, knowledge and improved systems in a concerted effort to battle bad actors head on.
Publishing Partners Have Responsibilities
Publishers that participate in the YuMe network have responsibilities to ensure that they deliver only the highest quality of traffic to advertisers. What does this mean? YuMe’s publishing partners, many of whose owners depend on advertising revenue for their livelihoods, need to take care in how they build their audience. There are no shortcuts. Though legitimate traffic acquisition (publishers marketing the quality of their content to consumers) is encouraged, any attempts to increase impression views using bot traffic or other gimmicks that don’t provide human consumers will be not be tolerated by YuMe.
Aggressively Purge Malicious Activity
Trust is a large part of any business relationship. As trust relates to the world of traffic quality, advertisers expect that their traffic is being generated by humans who can connect to their brands. Given the inevitable amount of malicious or invalid traffic that slips through the cracks, trust backed by action is critical. When appropriate, I will lobby for YuMe to pursue legal action against bad actors responsible for malicious behavior. I strongly believe that such action is occasionally needed to send a message that such activity will not be tolerated by YuMe.
Mitigating poor traffic quality is much like an insurance annuity, an investment which provides a return over time, yet also includes insurance in case the worst happens. In my experience, business organizations naturally push back on any programs that threaten revenue; it’s an understandable response where the focus in on the bottom line.
However, I’m thrilled that YuMe’s executive management and its board of directors understand that investing in resources to improve traffic quality will indeed pay off as YuMe continues to build on its market reputation as a trusted partner. By putting a strategic focus on creating a clean and well-lit network, and investing appropriately, YuMe not only helps its customers find the human audience they need, but helps YuMe grow as a business.
These principles are designed to inform organizational structure, business decisions and strategic direction. YuMe’s advertisers and publishers are the biggest beneficiaries of a strong, principled focus, and my hope is that the larger advertising ecosystem will recognize the value of this common sense approach, and choose adopt a similar approach to improving the industry.