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MFAs Are Only Part of the Story for Advertisers Seeking Precision

The digital advertising industry has recently become hyper-focused on made-for-advertising sites, which waste reach and divert advertiser spend from higher-quality publishers. 


Without a universal standard for defining and removing MFAs, most advertisers are left with either a scalpel or a sledgehammer. Buyers can take DoubleVerify’s “scalpel” approach and screen out sites based on tiers of problematic characteristics. Or they can take Jounce’s “sledgehammer” approach and rely on a cut-and-dry master MFA list. 


But there’s one thing both of these system-level approaches miss. Getting rid of MFAs alone doesn’t guarantee that an advertiser will succeed in a post-cookie world. MFAs are just the tip of the spear when it comes to developing greater precision. 


To target their audience accurately, advertisers need to go beyond ruling out MFAs and screen out all irrelevant content. And to do that, they need to go beyond the system level: they need to dig into each segment, one by one, and rule out any site that doesn’t make sense for a given campaign. 


Advanced Contextual enables advertisers to rule out not only MFAs but also all other irrelevant content. 


Because while some sites may not meet the criteria for being an MFA, they may still score low on attention or be too general to deliver results for a campaign. 


Let’s say a pharmaceutical brand wanted to advertise both a type 1 diabetes medication and a type 2 diabetes medication. Type 1 diabetes may have common ground with type 2 in terms of domains and topics, but there’s a subtle distinction between them. And failing to capture the distinction between the two will lead to underperformance and wasted reach. 


Plus, there may be some sites that system-level MFA audits will fail to catch but that just aren’t relevant to a diabetes medication campaign. For example, a general health website or the Yahoo health channel aren’t MFAs. But if a pharma company trying to promote a diabetes medication advertises on them, the company will reach thousands of irrelevant audience members.


It’s possible to capture nuances like this, but it needs to be done with a precision that working at the system level — or only accounting for MFAs — doesn’t afford. That’s why Advanced Contextual enables advertisers to evaluate all irrelevant content. Because without getting that granular, advertisers won’t be able to screen out low-performing content effectively — let alone reach their ideal customers with precision and efficiency in a cookie-less world. 


MFAs are just the beginning of advertisers’ post-cookie targeting problems. And getting targeting right requires evaluating the proper sites for each individual campaign at the segment level.

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