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  • We see display ads all over the internet - but how do they get there?

  • It's not magic. Usually they get placed there after a lot work has been done by an advertising

  • agency. Agencies specialize in helping companies market their business.

  • Many businesses don't want to take valuable time away from what they're doing to focus

  • on how to market their products. That's why many of them hire specialists at ad agencies

  • to do the job for them.

  • It's important to note that some companies *do* want to manage their own advertising.

  • In the advertising world, this group is called marketers.

  • Right now, we're going to focus on agencies, since they're more prevalent. But whether

  • it's an agency or a marketer, the basic steps in launching an online display campaign are

  • the same.

  • Let's say an advertiser has created a new product and they want the whole world to know

  • about it. The advertiser will let the agency know about the product and request a new ad

  • campaign to promote it.

  • Once the agency agrees to launch the campaign, somebody has to figure out where they should

  • run the ads, what the creative tone should be, and, of course, how to get the ads on

  • the websites.

  • It sounds like a big undertaking - and it is.

  • So, who does what?

  • Let's start with figuring out where to buy ad space. This is the responsibility of a

  • Media Planner -- sometimes called a Media Buyer.

  • They have to create a list of sites where they want their ads to show. They pick sites

  • based on where their audience spends time online. This list of sites is called a Media

  • Plan. The Media Planner negotiates with each site to determine how much it will cost to

  • show their ads there.

  • While the media planning is underway, the ads need to get made!

  • The creative team - sometimes from a creative agency, sometimes from the same agency as

  • the planner - comes up with a concept and design. Then, they build the ads. In this

  • industry, people call ads Creatives. So, we'll be using both terms from here on out.

  • After the ads are approved by the advertiser, they need to get uploaded to an ad server.

  • This is where a Trafficker comes in. The trafficker goes into the ad server, uploads creatives,

  • and assigns them to run on sites from the media plan.

  • Once everything is set up, the trafficker generates ad tags. Ad tags are little pieces

  • of code that allow websites to request an ad.

  • These ad tags get sent to the publisher who sets them up in their web server and the campaign

  • is ready to run!

  • At the end of a campaign, the agency pulls a big report to show advertisers where their

  • money went and what they got out of the online ad campaign.

  • This is time well spent. The advertiser wants to make sure they're spending wisely, and

  • the agency wants their client to be happy so they come back for the next big campaign.

We see display ads all over the internet - but how do they get there?

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