The world is full of paperwork and the digital advertising industry is no exception. From ad proposals to IO contracts, there are multiple forms to fill out and agreements to create.

When an advertiser agrees to purchase ad space on a publisher’s platform, a contract needs to be put in place to guarantee that the campaign will be executed according to agreed terms. This is known as an insertion order, or IO, and it can help to ensure that the terms of the deal are adhered to.

IOs are important because they serve as formal agreements that delineate essential campaign details, including start and end dates, ad dimensions/placements, the target audience, the number of impressions, pricing structure, and more. This mutual reference document averts confusion and mitigates conflict by ensuring that both parties understand the specifics of their respective campaigns.

However, IOs can be time-consuming to prepare and process because they require constant intervention from human resources. One person prepares the IO, another approves it, and then the advertiser and publisher have to sit together to negotiate specific details about the deal. These added steps slow down the process and can be inconvenient for both sides.

Regardless of their drawbacks, insertion orders are still an essential tool for advertisers and publishers to use in order to manage budgets, evaluate generated revenue, and keep deals organized for all parties involved. Though it may seem like an extra step or even a hassle, IO marketing is crucial for the success of a well-monitored business.