It only takes a few clicks for a consumer to build a profile with a digital advertiser. It’s called programmatic advertising—an algorithmic system that runs like a stock exchange in which websites auction off targeted ad space to bidders who want to present a message to a specific audience.
It’s efficient. It’s data-driven. So why aren’t Internet ads better?
According to OpenX CEO Tim Cadogan, technology won’t solve for a lack of creativity—and the world needs high-quality advertising. “It’s fundamental,” he says. “Otherwise you’re just wasting money.”
OpenX is an ad exchange that began about a year after Apple released its iPhone—a time when consumers were spending more time on mobile devices. “Now, even TV is going digital, and we have to scale fast and have high standards,” he says.
In a data-driven digital world, companies are more particular about how they spend ad dollars and focused on guaranteeing their ads appear in front of potential customers who might be genuinely interested in their product. That’s why OpenX “evaluates every seller who comes to us,” Cadogan says. “We check their site or app and make sure it’s in the right category.” (The wrong categories? Hate speech, violence, alcohol, tobacco, and firearms.)
Watch the video above for more from Fortune’s interview with Cadogan.