Why Ad Taxonomy is Still Relevant & How to Master it


If you have been in the marketing game for any length of time, you know that trends come and go in the blink of an eye. Things that were crucial to a successful marketing strategy just a few short years ago are no longer even relevant today. But that isn’t true of all marketing methodologies.  For example, ad taxonomy has been around for while now and it is absolutely here to stay.

Then why is no one really talking about it?

I know, you just googled Ad Taxonomy 2019, and came up with articles that are at least 3 years old.  That totally makes it seem like it’s off the marketing radar.  I promise you it isn’t.  
Here’s the thing, Ad Taxonomy has become a basic fundamental for display marketing. Which means for many of us it’s a given, an unspoken rule.  Simple for those of us who have some tenure in this crazy game we call marketing.  
However for those who are just jumping in, Ad Taxonomy, as an actual practice and methodology can get lost.  How are newbies supposed to know this unspoken rule if nobody every talks about it?

Which is exactly why we are going to dive into the world of Ad Taxonomy, right now!


What is it?

Why is it important?

How do you master ad taxonomy best practices?


What is Ad Taxonomy?

In short, Ad Taxonomy is a multi-tiered collection of categories in which to organize groups and subgroups. Basically a well executed taxonomy creates a more robust data classification.  Which enables effective strategies for your display marketing. This structure plays well into creating personalized content and Kinetic emails which enhance your customer engagement.

Why is Ad Taxonomy Important?

As we just discussed, Ad Taxonomy is crucial to your marketing efforts. To put it simply, is it the backbone of your digital marketing strategy.

Why is that?  

Because it correlates directly to the way we classify and segment messaging. Which all marketing professionals do  to match our personas and messaging.  

Without a well structured Ad Taxonomy, you cannot have a successful display marketing plan, targeted content strategy, or personalization implementation.  Which will directly effect your customer engagement rates and of course, your bottom line. 

A good taxonomy structure is crucial to every marketing strategy. It is even more important to content-focused organizations, like publishers.

However, many publishers refrain from revising their ad taxonomy to suite their current needs. Why is this you ask. Many view it as a tedious process that can jeopardize their current campaigns. Neither of which are true. 


In fact,

Revising your ad taxonomy isn’t complex or risky when performed properly. Upgrading your taxonomy should be done regularly. Doing so will refresh your ad structure and  ensure flexibility in launching multiple campaigns within a short time period.  

Don't to take our word for it. Go give it a whirl.

Below are the 10 best practices for revising your ad taxonomy strait from our AdOps experts.

Follow these and your new, more precise taxonomy will be the gift that keeps on giving. 

10 Best Practices to Follow While Revising Your Taxonomy:

Audit the Current Taxonomy

 Validate its ease of use, flexibility and efficiency. Talk to different stakeholders such as AdOps, Sales and Tech and document their challenges.

Refer to the Standard Ad Taxonomy Options
See the handy checklist below:
  •  Page Type Targeting
  •  Position Targeting
  •  Ad Dimension Targeting
  •  Section Specific Article Targeting
  •  Topic Based Article Targeting
  •  Single Article Page Targeting
Create/Revise the Taxonomy Document

Sketch out the proposed taxonomy.  This will provide a high level view of  all targeting flexibilities. It will also assist in finding resolutions to current challenges.

Document Proposed Changes

Highlight the ad unit and key value for each page type, slot, position etc. Indicate the specific changes for each. The key is to highlight/identify the differentiator!

Implement the Responsive Design

Conclude the minimum viewport sizes for each device type and implement the appropriate responsive ad design.


Discuss the proposed new ad taxonomy with all stakeholders. It is important to create an open forum for feedback from all relevant teams and team members. 

Share the Final Taxonomy Document

Walk through the document with your Sales and Trafficking teams. Essentially to review a final time before launch.  This is crucial for identifying errors and inconsistencies. 

Generate Ad Tags

Create your GPT codes with ad units, key-values and dimension combinations.

Put it to the Test

Implement your new taxonomy in a test environment. Create test lines in an ad server and validate the functionality of the GPT codes. Tis will resolve any issues before you go live.

Go Live

Copy your live campaigns and revise the targeting to match your new ad taxonomy. Now you’re ready to go live!


Implementing these best practices along with constant monitoring and regular reporting will ensure that your new ad taxonomy is successful. Remember, it is important to regularly evaluate and revise your ad taxonomy to align with your current marketing strategies. Although the task may seem daunting, it can be quite painless if executed properly.  When in doubt, seek out a partner who can assist you in success. 

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