Industry Insights
Direct-Response & Local Ad Buying on ISP sites like Cox, AT&T, Time Warner


Mike Lloyd
Manager of Client Services
NAF Digital



For those of us not familiar with NAF Digital, please tell us a little more about your website and core audience.

NAF Digital services a variety of clients from agencies, client direct, as well as publishers looking to reach their digital advertising goals. We do not limit our clients to a specific industry or vertical, but a large portion of our clients are direct response focused.


NAF Digital is known for direct partnerships with some of the largest directory sites like Whitepages, YP,, SuperPages, as well as many of the top ISP Portals like Windstream, Cox, Time Warner Cable and AT&T. That’s an extraordinary amount of scale across the United States, along with trust that consumers give due to it being the homepages of their internet provider. What are some other differentiators that you think make NAF Digital stand out?

Through our relationships with the online directories and ISPs we are able to deliver premium quality traffic that is brand safe and converts well for our clients. Scale is important in order to  maximize reach for our client’s campaigns and through our partnerships we are able to guarantee our clients that they will only run on the sites we specify. Another key differentiator that sets us apart from the pack is our commitment to ensuring the performance of our client’s campaigns. Since most of our clients are DR focused, we are cognizant of the CPA metrics we are given. We are constantly checking on performance of lines daily and will make adjustments to keep the performance high for our clients.


To the extent that you can reveal, is there any aggregated data from the ISPs on their users, that you are able to integrate into an ad campaign?

When campaigns run on our ISP partner portals, users are high-quality, paid subscribers who pay for their internet access and have verifiable disposable incomes for purchases. A key data segment that we are able to layer on is geo-location. Due to the nature of the TV industry, only certain providers are in particular markets. This allows us to run local campaigns on portals that can deliver scale.


What are some ways in which you use 3rd party data sources like datalogix, Bluekai, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, and Neustar to further bolster the accuracy of these campaigns? What are some best practices for the implementation of each of these data sources into a campaign?

Depending on the campaign we can layer on third party data to help boost performance. We always recommend creating separate lines if similar data profiles are available from multiple sources in order to determine which data segment performs the best. Granted, if you do not have quality traffic sources the data targeting can be irrelevant because of the poor site list.


How do you typically work with local ad buying clients?

When we run with local clients we look at what zip codes, city or DMA they would like to target.  We then identify which publishers have the greatest reach for the targeted local market and identify which programs will work best; whether it is pay per call, display, or a combination of the two.  We work with our clients in identifying new opportunities for them to reach their audience including conquesting strategies, which target their competitors.


You also offer programmatic direct solutions for inventory across premium publisher sites and ISP pages. Can you share a little more on how this type of campaign execution works?

We have various PMPs in place with premium publishers, which gives our clients access to inventory they might otherwise be priced out of.  For many of our clients we run site specific placements in order to achieve maximum returns on the line. When we work with our current or new clients we develop a media plan with the top performing placements and publishers that we have performance data from. We make recommendations about which placements a client should test first in order to see the best possible return rate.


Things in the ad blocking space have recently been heating up, especially with the announcement of the ad blocker Shine with UK carrier Three for network-level ad blocking. How do you think this ad blocking connundrum will play out over the next few months? Is there a permanent solution where it is a win-win-win for all parties?

Ad blocking is very real concern. Publishers and users have to find a place to coexist, otherwise quality content will be placed behind paywalls. We have seen publishers that are beginning to test various strategies in order to stop users from running ad blockers on their sites and hopefully some of these will become industry standard. Thankfully we have not seen ad blocking effect our campaigns, but it could down the line.


It was recently announced that impression volume on AppNexus fell by over 90% after fraud was removed, signaling that there is still a large amount of ad fraud taking place on exchanges. Does this affect private marketplace or programmatic direct deals at all? How do you think we can mitigate ad fraud on the open RTB ad exchanges?

There are only around 100 to 200 premium quality sites for advertisers to run on. Think about it,  how many sites do you go to in a given day or in a given week? It is not surprising to have market corrections like AppNexus had. Unfortunately we will probably see more of it in the in coming months as mergers between SSPs occurs. Again, this is why for a majority of our campaigns we only run on specific sites so we avoid the issues with fraud. As I mentioned previously, site quality is the most important part of planning a media buy, data comes second.


Are there any innovations happening in adtech or advertising right now that excite you the most?

Not really an innovation, but what excites me the most is the rise in users getting comfortable with transacting on their mobile devices.  For our DR advertisers desktop is still king, but we are seeing a slow shift to where mobile is becoming an important aspect in reaching new users.


Lastly, what is your take on the future of local advertising?

The future of local advertising will be mobile. Reaching users that are in your target area is paramount for local businesses. As users spend more time on their phones, local advertisers will need to spend more budget on mobile campaigns. This is also where premium publishers will play an important role in aiding the positive performance of campaigns.



NAF Digital is a digital media agency and targets accounts across multiple verticals.  We focus on national, regional and local clients, delivering the best ROI driven media in the business.  We work with the top portals, broadband ISPs, content sites, ad exchanges and Directory Sites, recommending and delivering the top performing ad placements to our clients.

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