Pathmatics: Ad Transparency, Trump, and Data

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Transparency is a hot topic in the advertising space. The ANA’s took it up a notch with an expose’ of sorts on agency kickbacks. While it isn’t the main transparency issue plaguing the industry, it is indicative of the broader issue of not fully knowing what’s going on in the back-end. The ad tech landscape is a convoluted confusing mess. Here’s a brief overview from the Pathmatics website:

“…When a user visits a web page, they simply see their browser loading a number of advertisements. In fact, what happens behind the scenes is much more complicated: to load a single ad, the browser may contact as many as five or ten different parties. Each of these parties – ad servers, ad networks, ad exchanges, SSPs, DSPs, yield optimizers, data providers, etc. – is essentially invisible to the user, but plays a key role in delivering the ad to the user. PathSource™ captures information on each of these parties, from publisher to advertiser, providing a more complete view of a site’s advertising operations.”

Pathmatics (fka Adomic) is a long time friend of Radix Collective and recently became a client. As we have some digital marketing and data nerds over here, we kept an eye on their development over the years. Their mission is to bring transparency to digital advertising and they go about it in a compelling way. Pathmatics works with all facets of the eco-system which places them somewhere in the Switzerland category.

Their data, and accompanying platform and dashboard, provides digital advertising intelligence to the world’s largest advertisers, agencies, publishers, and ad tech providers. They’ve grown a healthy data set with real-time, global data covering more than 36,000 advertisers, 32,000 publishers, 600+ ad service providers and more than 13.5 million creatives.

Pathmatics PathSource™

Agencies and brands use Pathmatics to see where competitors are spending to inform media buying strategies – and to keep agencies and partners honest. There are still issues with daisy-chaining inventory and Pathmatic’s Pathsource™ Technology tackles that head on. Each ad impressions path is laid out, in detail, from end to end – from publisher to advertiser.

“…These Paths provide valuable detail on the route by which an advertisement was delivered to the user. For example, they can help identify how inventory is being sold (e.g., whether an advertisement was served via reservation, a network, or an exchange) and how user data is being collected.”

Pathmatics Industry Reports

If you’re interested in digital marketing and the inner workings, aka, how the sausage is made, you’ll appreciate the detail Pathmatics provides.

Pathmatics has access to an immense amount of data. They regularly publish reports examining various areas of the industry – including verticals.

The most recent looks at what ads Democrats are running against Donald Trump. The numbers re-enforce his lack of spending, relying on earned media instead vs Hilary who’s super-PACs pocket books are flowing.

Prior to the Olympics they looked at Nike vs UnderArmour (a brand making aggressive strides on the marketing/branding front). The data looks at digital advertising strategies  –vehicles they use, how each is buying (direct vs. indirect), and which sites they are targeting.

Also recently issued is the Q2 top financial services advertiser across display, mobile/tablet, video and content. You can download it here.






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