You’re Buying Digital Media All Wrong

The solution to digital advertising fraud, like many solutions, is disarmingly simple. The solution is based on one principle and consists of one technique.

The principle: If you don’t know what you’re buying, don’t buy it. If the media:

  • Can’t be described in simple English
  • Can’t be experienced by you before you buy

Don’t buy it. There’s lots of media choices. The only people who ever got rich by developing exotic solutions to common problems are the ones selling the solutions. See financial derivatives as an example of what’s going wrong in the adtech world today.

The technique to making your digital buys work is to always use whitelists. That means don’t let algorithms blindly buy media for you. Test 100% of the media yourself. If you’re convinced it’s real, add it to the whitelist. If not, don’t spend a single penny on the media.

FOMO (fear of missing out) is not a reason to be wasting your dollars on untested media or unproven “audience” schemes pitched by salespeople. If the media works, it will be there tomorrow.

I’m not advocating for moving slowly. Far from it. When you know and understand the media you are buying and the target segment that the media reaches, the quicker you’ll be able to double down and rapidly scale your use of that media.

Takeaway: In 2017, buy digital media like it’s 1987 all over again. And win.

Wishing you all much success in 2017!

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