Leading Operations Online
As anyone who has had to pull data from rich media providers knows, the process can be tedious and error prone and the reporting interfaces tend to be cumbersome. Many Ad Ops teams wait until the end of the month to reconcile serving discrepancies. Unfortunately that means that any significant discrepancies or errors may cost a publisher revenue, resources, and time.
I decided to invest some time trying to simplify the process and see if I could automate the process of pulling the data. Developing custom reports wasn't an option since I wanted to store the data in a central location and be able to query it ways that some vendor tools cannot.
The main vendors we use are PointRoll, Unicast, Eyeblaster, and Atlas and by focusing on them, I would be able to collect almost all of the data I wanted. Eyeblaster and PointRoll have data services teams and are very easy to work with. With Unicast and Atlas, I had to do some work-arounds to get the data I needed.
The code is simple and if it helps you, please...
The end of the year brings with it a ton of online advertising industry events. I looked forward to this year's crop with the goal of finding something that ad operations professionals from publishers could use to bring value to their companies. It seems to me that the majority of the innovation in our space is on the brand, agency and network side and not on the publisher side. In fact, many of the innovations coming to the market may only add to publisher woes by lowering effective CPMs. My hope was to find something that would help bring some balance back to the equation.
What I found were a number of telling statements that I feel publishers need to hear and spend some time developing a response to. I'll apologize upfront that I'm not a reporter and there's no transcript for me to check to make sure I got these statements right word for word. I think, however, I've captured the essence of what was being said and I hope those whom I'm quoting forgive my paraphrasing.
Data is the New Currency
As we all know, display advertising can be operationally difficult across numerous elements. For advertisers, complexities arise in buying inventory, reaching the right users, and understanding the effectiveness of campaigns. With the proliferation of ad networks (over 600 globally), it’s not getting any easier. And the media industry continues to become increasingly fragmented. Just five or six years ago, you could buy on three publishers and reach most of the web; today, those 3 sites are only 23% of page view traffic. On the other side of the equation, some publishers are left with up to 80% of their ad space unsold. It’s like airlines flying with their planes mostly empty. And for the ad space that they do sell, publishers have to deal with the complexity of managing thousands of advertisers and campaigns.
Display advertising needs a solution that connects buyers and sellers when they’re looking for one another without even knowing it; one that provides consistent, transparent, and consolidated data to gauge the impact of campaigns;...
We’re all familiar with content tagging; it’s a way to categorize content based on the topics it relates to. For example, this post uses tags such as semantic web, content, content tagging, metadata, ontology, semantic tagging. Using tags in this basic way helps optimize your site for search engines and gives users an idea of what the content is about. Let’s say you were reading this post and you wanted more information about ’semantic tagging.’ Clicking on the content tag ’semantic tagging’ at the bottom of the post would bring you to a list of other articles on this blog that use the same tag, if available.
Semantic tagging is the next step in our quest to give deeper meaning to our content by making it easier for machines to understand. Semantic tagging also represents a common format for tagging Web content. This is important because the benefits of content tagging to date have been limited. For example, if we wanted to tag an article about New York City, we might use multiple tags like nyc, newyork, and...
If small budget advertisers are complaining about the number of clicks reported by your ad server not matching with their Referring Sites report in Google Analytics, it can be addressed by one of two ways: change the CTU (Click Through URL) and advise the client of what to look for in Google Analytics or suggest client to supply a new CTU built in Google Analytics’ URL Builder.
Append a Publisher Specific Query String in the CTU
Depending on the type of ad tags (JS, iframe, etc) and creative (image, flash, 3rd party tags), clicks on ads from your site may have your domain, ad server, or none as referrer. Additionally, there are other technical reasons why a click report would not match a referrer report. For advertisers who are not internet saavy this can be very confusing and can endanger the sale. So, instead of letting the client focusing on referrer reports, you can use a unique CTU, and then advise the client to check page views for that particular URL.
This quick and easy approach requires...