Remember the old days when advertising meant creating pretty boxes that would hold up newspaper stories, and you’d hope the story on your page wouldn’t conflict with the ad?

That’s a distant past now.

Now you can track tiny movements in customer search history, figure out how long it’s been since a former buyer browsed your site and recommend products like those seen on other eCommerce sites. While newspaper ads are still relevant, the ability to track online habits and sales and reactions are a boon to savvy marketers.

For a marketer, day at the office can easily be spent in day-to-day tasks, getting ad collateral online, tracking user visits, tweaking ads, optimizing and analyzing performance.

How do you pick a tool to get you managing online ads like it’s 2017?

  1. Come up with a strategy. You always, always need a strategy first, and the tool second. Coming up with a strategy to fit the cool tool is a fool’s errand.
  2. Find the tool that works with the channels you use. Don’t buy the “everything” package if you’re a small business looking for social media ad platforms. Likewise, don’t limit yourself to a tool with a few thousand ad impressions if you’re looking to automate a very large process.
  3. Measure your successes, and tweak failures quickly. Get a dashboard that feels comfortable to you and your team. Make sure you can track what matters to you (Advertising loading speed? Conversions?) and that you and your team can truly assess your success. All dashboards are not equal — think about whether you need very visual tools, or something very flexible to build for the future. Whatever you do, don’t keep the stats on a spreadsheet you think you can manage. That process belongs to the age of the fax machine.

Following are tools that can fit your online advertising plan.

 

Nanigans is multi channel automation software. It is a subscription-based product designed to automate and scale campaigns across today’s most valuable digital channels. The software automatesa customer acquisition and remarketing campaigns with cross-channel programmatic media buying, predictive revenue optimization, and real-time business intelligence tools. Features include multichannel, cross-device, universal bidding and optimization; a platform for ad management, creation, bidding, budgeting, testing, optimization and deployment; a Predictive Lifetime Value based automated bidding and optimization algorithms; and Real-time business intelligence tools offering unmatched transparency into cost, ROI, bids, and performance data.
BEST FEATURES: Real-time reporting and analysis on 100+ parameters.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

Sortable’s Ad Engine works behind the scenes using machine learning to optimize ad impressions. It analyzes millions of impressions daily and makes real-time decisions on which networks should fill ad space. Route your ad impressions to the partner who is most likely to fill at the highest cost per thousand. By making algorithmic decisions about your ad deployment, Sortable will decrease the time it takes for your ads to load.
BEST FEATURES: With an Ad Engine takes loss into account when routing traffic, ensure your impressions are served to the right partners first.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

Part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Media Optimizer helps manage and automate ad campaigns. Its accurate algorithms for online advertising campaigns deliver precise forecasts and superior optimization, while integration with Adobe Analytics helps reach retargeting and high-value audiences in real time and at scale across web and mobile channels. Features include forecasting models that predict campaign performance for search, PLA, and mobile campaigns, including social ad management for Twitter and Facebook.
BEST FEATURES: Adobe Media Optimizer accurately predicts the impact of changes to search, display, and social ads, then helps manage and automate the campaigns.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

Sharethrough Ad Manager (SAM) enables marketers to promote any content type as native ads in the content feeds of the world’s best publishers. The program offers an optimization engine to deliver the best performance for every campaign. Content Engagement Ads from Sharethrough brands extend stories outside of their creation platforms and embed them directly in the feeds of the best sites and apps.
BEST FEATURES: Video View Ads pair in-feed video with native ad headlines, allowing brands to deliver a key message before the viewer even clicks and maximizing earned view time.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

AdSpeed Ad Server is a comprehensive platform with powerful ad management and ad serving features. The solution helps users to display targeted advertisements on all screens and channels: websites, blogs, email newsletters, mobile devices, and mobile apps. Ad tags keep track of multiple ad metrics and provide reports on ad impressions, clicks, events, revenue, and conversions.
BEST FEATURES: Ad business directory and invoice management are included.
PRICING: Packages start at $9.95 for 100,000 monthly impression credits.

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