The Essential Features Ad Trade Platforms Must Have Today!

Nearly 4.66 Billion people, or 59% of the global population, were active internet users in 2020. 

The COVID 19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns implemented by governments worldwide led to a surge in the digital economy. More consumers today depend on digital channels for almost all their essential needs, from grocery shopping to entertainment. People are spending more time online, and buyer behavior has changed under these new influences. With the ubiquitous digital media penetration, it has become super-important for businesses, big or small, to adopt impactful digital marketing and advertising strategies. 

As a growing number of brands focus even more on digital advertising than ever before, it has shifted the spotlight onto the dual issues of efficiency and effectiveness. Brands want to ensure that they become visible to their target audience in the most appropriate forum and don’t spend too much to achieve that visibility. This is where ad trade platforms and programmatic advertising have become a central component of every organization’s advertising plans. The right ad trade platform will strategically orchestrate the path to better digital conversion for the business. 

An ad trade platform or a Demand Side Platform (DSP) serves as an intermediatory between publishers and brands having an ad inventory. The platform intelligently places the right ad for the right audience at the right publisher to ensure valuable conversions and drive-up visibility for the brand’s messaging, offers, and campaigns. Ad trade platforms eliminate a great deal of inefficiency by autonomously ranking publishing spaces and ad inventory and ensure that a great match is provided for every ad inventory. Such platforms reduce wasted ad spends and optimize ad inventory placements, this improving ROI for brands and revenue generation for publishers. 

More digital publishing and content generation is bound to happen in our uber-digitized world, magnifying the promise as well as the challenges of managing digital ad strategies. In light of the new circumstances, let us explore the key features that ad trade platforms need to offer to ensure a sustainable and competitive ecosystem for publishers and brands. Here are our top 4 picks:

Contextual Analytics

By relying on sophisticated algorithms and leveraging the power of AI and machine learning algorithms, modern ad trade platforms can run powerful analytics on different ad inventory and discover the specific customer context that works best in different publishing channels. Brands can use these insights to pick the most efficient publishing networks and develop the most contextually relevant ads to improve user interactions. 

The platform needs to connect ads and the most relevant and informative content to ensure that visitors get a seamless ad experience and meaningful value from the content they get exposed to. The better the ad context, the more likely the users are to enjoy engaging with the ad. Ad engagement works in favor of both publishers and brands. Both get an opportunity to improve their relevance, impact, revenue streams, and ROI. 


Ad platforms that enable seamless ad inventory utilization must empower advertisers to propagate brand messages to users with specific preferences in geographies. Of course, in the online world, knowing the geographic location of the consumer is not hard. What is hard is ensuring that the right message reaches the right consumer. This is where intelligent ad trade platforms will have to play a role. 

For example, a retailer might want to launch a particular product only in the Northern Indian states where Hindi is the primary language. The ad trade platform they deploy must have the capability to ensure that their ad inventory is made available only to publishing networks having a user base from the aptest locations that meet these criteria. This will allow brands to craft specific, ultra-relevant messaging, playing into local themes, and driven by campaigns and messaging visible on the ground. In India’s context, this is even more crucial given the language and cultural dynamism that is prevalent. Such specificity improves the likelihood of more conversions from such precise marketing campaigns.

Device Centric Ads

In 2021, Android phones are expected to occupy 85% of the global smartphone market share, according to IDC. But different markets have different choices. Even though iOS-based devices have a lower global share, their market position in dominant and prime markets such as North America is on par with Android. However, most studies show that cheaper Android phones are much more numerically standard in India. For brands, this offers a meaningful way to distinguish between audiences.

The point here is not about the market share of popular mobile operating systems but about the ad trade platform offering device-based targeting capabilities. Some brands may want to target a segment that, due to its preferences, is more likely to be iPhone users, and another may want to target a mass market made up of more Android users with cheaper phones. In 2021, businesses will wish to ad trade platforms that allow the seamless delivery of ads to users of specific operating systems, specific screen sizes, and other smartphone elements. 

Customer Journey Tracking

Engaging potential customers would require a deeper understanding of their shopping or browsing behavior on publisher networks. From the number of visits they made or the specific items or categories within a publishing website that they spend the most time on, several insights can be extracted from a user’s behavior on a website. Modern ad trade platforms should offer contextual mapping, journey tracking, and re-targeting capability for such customer journeys to improve conversion ratios for advertisers.

Ad trade platforms have become a key component of today’s digital advertising and marketing strategies. By incorporating advanced AI and machine learning-driven monitoring, management, and disbursal or exchange of ads, modern ad trade platforms look likely to create unprecedented value for advertisers by helping both publishers get additional revenue and brands achieve their marketing KPI’s.