When youâ€™re looking at joining an exchange, ask these questions:
1. Does it work in real time? Using historical data is like checking yesterdayâ€™s weather to predict what to wear today.
2. Is it neutral? A neutral exchange simply provides a technology that allows for buying and selling, and doesnâ€™t attempt to hold all the relationships with the buyers and sellers.
3. Is it scaleable? If your site goes from 100,000 to 100,000,000 impressions a month, will that exchange be able to handle that volume?
4. Is it secure? How does the exchange protect you as a publisher? (This is key: It isnâ€™t as easy as you may think.)
5. Is there open competition? Does the exchange allow non-members to compete with exchange members?
6. Is it a community? Sure, thereâ€™s competition, but are there also forums so that people can communicate with each other and form partnerships?
7. Is it a technology platform? Is it open, with APIs that anyone can connect to?
8. Does it have publishers, advertisers AND networks?
9. Is there a solution for me? Does the exchange offer a solution for both enterprise and non-enterprise publishers?
10. Are there strings attached? What else does the exchange require you to do?
In my opinion, not everyone claiming to be an ad exchange today really is one. So the questions Jerri lists are definitely interesting to ask across all the companies who say they are operating an ad exchange today.