The Customer is a fast growing, RTB-enabled, Ad Exchange Network that wanted to move beyond ad delivery, verification and post-impression analysis to provide product differentiation through pre-emptive brand safety and improved transparency for its customers.
RTB ad tech platform with over 20 billion impressions monthly (“Customer”).
The Customer had gained considerable traction and market share since the initial launch of their platform offerings. However, to continue their revenue growth rate, the Customer had to demonstrate meaningful steps to alleviate brand safety concerns across their platform.
The Customer identified several issues related to brand safety that were critical to adding new and larger advertising customers, as well as retaining existing customers, including:
|Ads being placed on inappropriate websites – such as adult, pornographic and malicious or compromised websites. As websites become more and more dynamic, with content changing more frequently and sometimes continuously, ads were increasingly being placed on websites with inappropriate content.|
|Granular taxonomy – required for a broad range of category lookups for URLs being targeted for ad placement.|
|Malicious URL detections – because of the constant state of flux of malicious sites (they can change rapidly from “clean” to “,inflected”) ads were being placed on infected sites, unbeknownst to The Customer, while sites that had been previously flagged as malicious and had since cleaned up were not being targeted because of delays in getting updated data on these sites.|
|Coverage and accuracy – due to the explosive use of the internet, along with vast amounts of highly dynamic content, extensive coverage of the web, as well as accuracy for web content classifications, are essential to maintaining brand safety.|
The Customer believed that successfully addressing these critical brand safety issues would provide a significant competitive advantage.
“Our existing platforms didn’t have the URL database support required to perform pre-emptive categorization look-ups at the volume of impressions our business required. Further, we had very limited visibility to objectionable or malicious website data or any way to perform real-time validation of a URL being clean or infected at the specific time we were looking to run an ad. These were the features our advertisers were telling us they required.”
– VP Business Development, Customer
Once the Customer made the decision to focus on developing and emphasizing pre-emptive brand safety, they identified the need for a high-performance URL database with granular content categorization including objectionable and sensitive categories like porn, terrorism, violence, etc., as well as malicious detection. Additionally, the ability to distribute the database across the dozens (and growing) of servers on which the platforms operated was important. After identifying zvelo as a possible vendor, the Customer undertook a thorough investigation of the following:
|Coverage & Accuracy – an evaluation of the zvelo’s URL database coverage and accuracy for the Alexa global top 1 million list. The Customer also conducted a test of specific adult, pornographic, violence and other websites that had been sources of brand safety issues in the past.|
|Malicious Website Detection – an evaluation of the vendors’ coverage and detection abilities of malicious websites was performed, using a range of internal/external sources for websites identified as hosting spyware, malware, phishing, or other threats.|
|Website Revisit and Recategorization – a test was performed to determine how often websites with changing content were revisited and their content categorization updated.|
|zveloDB Distributed Deployment and Performance – the zveloDB was tested for ease of integration and deployment across the servers operated by the Customer, as well as the ability of the zvelo to successfully meet the high URL query volume requirements forecast by the Customer.|
|Category Mapping – the Customer tested zvelo’s ability to create specific category maps for use by RTB and DSP platforms, as well as support for the IAB Tier 1 and Tier 2 category sets.|
The Customer finalized the relationship with zvelo after determining zvelo was able to successfully address each of these requirements.
“We were able to put zvelo through the paces on our requirements and they stood up to the testing very well. Their coverage, accuracy and malicious website detection gave us confidence that we could indeed target a superior brand safety offering with zvelo. Further, the flexibility of the zveloDB to be deployed across the dozens of servers that support our platform systems, combined with the outstanding responsiveness of zvelo from initial contact through testing, integration and launch, convinced me they were the right partner for us.”
– VP of Technology, Customer
Customer’s DSP and RTB Platforms in Action:
The Customer finalized implementation of the zveloDB across their servers, using a “primary” zveloDB SDK to communicate with the zvelo’s cloud network for updates, and zvelo Instant Protection™ (zIP) – a real-time malicious and phishing URL detection feature. The primary zveloDB also acted as a conduit for providing updates to the distributed databases on other servers.
zvelo’s ability to harness the collective web activity of all of the URL queries and users provides the basis for the extremely high coverage and dynamic changes of the websites, domains, malicious websites and more. Each additional customer and user increases the breadth of websites visited and categorized, thereby further increasing the coverage and malicious website detection for all of the collective users.
The Customer was able to secure new customers and advertisers through aggressive promotion of the pre-emptive brand safety messaging, backed up by successful results in testing and ad campaigns. Additionally, the Customer was able to significantly reduce the time and energy spent on damage control due to ads being placed on inappropriate websites. The positive brand safety messaging and positioning are supporting the Customer’s continued rapid growth trajectory.
“We have been able to successfully target an opportunity in the market for a differentiated, pre-emptive brand safety message and offering by virtue of integrating the zveloDB URL database. We have big growth plans and zvelo is a considerable part of supporting these efforts.”
– CEO, Ad Exchange