Ad server can be used for delivery and performance measurement of Internet advertising. Both the physical server itself on which an ad server is running, and the server software, can be described as ad server.
Internet Advertising stands in contrast to other mass media advertising in particular by the fact that the reaction of the target consumers can be measured directly and promptly evaluated. The ad servers control and measure contacts and evaluate the delivery of advertising, and they are database-management systems for the care and management of advertising space on the Internet. They ensure that the right advertising is displayed at the right time to the right audience, and optimize your advertising results. Of special importance in this reporting, the logging and analysis of advertising success is based on ad impressions (how many times a banner is displayed) and ad clicks (how many times is clicked a banner).
Objectives of ad server technology
Through targeted delivery of Internet advertising wastage is minimized, as they occur for example in print advertising, where the advertisers communicate their advertising message maybe to consumers who do not fall within the target group. Ad servers allow targeted delivery of advertising by so-called targeting options. In addition, they provide centralized planning and control of campaigns and allow an optimization of the use of advertising space (yield management).
The advertiser must also have an overview of the response to its advertising campaign, what may be the basis for a settlement of internet advertising (eg number of ad impressions, ad clicks).
In-house and outsourced ad servers
Ad server demands high use of hardware, as they usually answer a large amount of requests in a short time and need to be recorded. The software used must be mature and smart programmed to achieve the best results with minimal use of existing resources.
Larger companies have sufficient capital for the necessary large investments in software and hardware to put on a in-house solution, so a solution is to use your own server and their own licensed or ad-server software.
Smaller and medium-sized enterprises often opt for outsourcing, so to rent ad server resources with another provider. Here, hardware and software can be used against a rental fees, with their own purchase and own maintenance accounts.