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life in adtech

Life in AdTech: How Platform Quality Analysts Add a Human Touch to Programmatic

In our blog series “Life in AdTech” we showcase incredible StackAdapters. From client-facing Account Executives, behind-the-scenes Data Scientists, or our Product team at the forefront of innovation, everyone plays a vital role in providing the best product and service to our clients.

This month features Julia Bricknell, Platform Quality Analyst at StackAdapt. In this post, we will get an inside look at what her role entails, the importance of reviewing and auditing campaigns before launching, and what trends she’s seeing in programmatic advertising.

What is the main focus of your role as a Platform Quality Analyst?

Our main mission as Platform Quality Analysts is to guarantee a brand safe environment for our clients as well as a positive ad serving experience for the end user. We do this by providing curated human reviews of our client’s campaigns to make sure that all ad operations and ad policies are followed. We are the watchful eye that spots any potential errors that could be costly to a campaign before it goes live. 

We review simple things, like checking that the ad clicks through, and we review functions like impression trackers and engagement pixels. We also ensure that campaign details and ad creative comply with exchange specifications, industry regulations, and applicable local law. Keeping this watchful eye is a busy job—on average, we approve 3,000 ads every day.

My team also works to help protect the platform from any suspicious activity or fraud, and apply our standards to our inventory approval process. As a result of our efforts, our clients can be confident that their campaigns are running on secure domains that are brand safe and fraud free. Like the name says, we prioritize quality and we regulate it on the platform.

Why is it so important to review and audit campaign details and ad creative?

First impressions matter! Beyond the risk of inefficient campaign spend, certain inconsistencies and errors in a campaign have the potential to be detrimental for the client and their brand’s perception. A prospecting programmatic ad could be the first point of contact a consumer may ever have with a brand, which is why the platform quality team conducts a meticulous human review of each campaign. 

It can be surprising to learn that even minor details, such as excessive text overlay or whitespace on a native image, can negatively affect campaign performance and spend. Through the human review, we are able to experience what the end user will be served so we can be confident that the ad is operating and communicating as it has been intended to. We make sure the brand will be perceived favourably once out “in the wild.” 

What trends in programmatic do you think we’ll see take off this year?

With digital audio quickly gaining popularity, without a doubt, I think programmatic audio will be a key strategy this year. Audio stands out because, compared to other channels, it’s unique. You can use audio ads to blend into the user listening experience, and really capture the attention of those listeners. There is power in auditory brand recognition! Audio is also the perfect addition to a multi-channel campaign because you can reach your audience on any tech they’re using.

It has been so fascinating to review audio campaigns because I get to see what creative ideas are coming through in that format. I pay close attention the the feeling that a sound clip might create in a listener, for example, a police siren might create a negative feeling. It’s exciting to uncover these unique nuances when I’m reviewing audio ads.

What is the most rewarding part of being a Platform Quality Analyst at StackAdapt?

As a Platform Quality Analyst I am able to experience the intersection of many different parts of the programmatic campaign process. Whether it be client assessment, creative strategy, targeting strategies, or ad policy compliance, I get to see the result of so much time and effort from multiple different teams funnel into the final result before going live. It is so rewarding to work with people who genuinely want to help each other and the client succeed.

From a creative perspective, I take interest in seeing what strategies brands use in their campaign execution and creative execution. Since I look at so many ads a day, I have a thorough understanding of many different industries. Each one is unique in their strategies and ad policy requirements. 

Having audited over 80,000 ads in my one year here at StackAdapt, I’ve developed a more critical eye when looking at what’s served to me when I browse the internet. I often find myself mentally auditing different programmatic ads that are served to me!  

In each new addition, we will be highlighting our teams and employees in our “Life In AdTech” series—stay tuned for more!

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