Managing Bots And The 'Creep Factor': Xaxis COO On Creating Smarter Ads

Bots are here and probably won't go away. But "as an industry, [regulating robots] will make us healthier and stronger," said Nicolle Pangis, COO, Xaxis, kicking off day two of MediaPost's Programmatic Insider Summit with the keynote "Better Creative, Smarter Ads: Making Advertising More Welcome in 2016."

Today's tools are helping advertisers avoid buying fraudulent views, according to Pangis, who later explained exactly how such products work in answer to an audience query.

And as measurement evolves, the industry should "lean in to the trends," Pangis noted. Publishers, for instance, can create experiences on their sites that are more engaging for users. With the concept of ad blindness, she said, the industry can ask, "How do you change the experience for a viewer so that it captures their attention?"



"That's what we need to be doing more of," Pangis said.

On tracking, Pangis said nobody likes to be followed. "This is a case where we took a really good idea and did not do a good job executing on it," Pangis said, adding that retargeting works as a concept, but the "the creep factor" needs to be managed.

"Just don't be annoying," Pangis said. "We're not paying enough attention to this."

Xaxis asks itself when an ad ceases to be an ad, Pangis said. The answer, she said, is when an ad is relevant to interest or needs or "when it becomes content for me." The industry should focus on the engagement and creative factors, as well as finding the useful parts of huge data collections to create something relevant. 

Concluding the keynote, Pangis said, "Regardless of what happens with the proliferation or nonproliferation of ad blocking, we should be focused on creating better experiences for users online." And that better experience has to do with creative, targeting and leveraging tech in a smart way.

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