This post was most recently updated on August 21st, 2019
The process of directly selling your campaigns can often be a long and challenging process but can be quite lucrative if done correctly. When you’ve finally done it, you probably want to give it a substantial amount of time and attention to keep the ball rolling and weed out all the nudniks that you encounter.
What you want to keep an eye on the most, among all the challenges you face in direct-advertising, are discrepancies. The chronic overbooking of impressions to hit contract amounts across publishers have become a common practice. Many publishers set up a 15% buffer on their line items. This can cause significant problems if there isn’t enough inventory to cover such a huge buffer. Even if they do have enough, this is considered a substantial wasted amount of ad inventory due to overbooking.
There are two kinds of discrepancies that you should know about:
Small (less than 5%) – Usually caused by platform latency.
-Drop off are expected because it takes specific ad calls to come from the publisher’s ad server to go to the agency ad server for something to fire.
-Unavoidable because of the nature of the ad delivery chain.
Medium (Approximately 15%) – Caused by tag performance.
-Something that people can optimize.
Agency Side: tags with many trackers/ Too many ad calls.
Publisher Side: failure to optimize ad units/pages.
Large (20% or higher) – Fundamental Failure.
-Not comparing the correct metrics. E.g., Comparing Ad Request to Ad Impression or Ad Impression to Viewable Impression.
-Tag is Broken
-Could be coming from test impressions
-Delivering a third-party tag to another channel
-Possible scenarios: tag provided is being run on another publisher site.
-If you are delivering more than you are capable of delivering, this may be an indication of Ad fraud.
Overbooking is a waste of inventory. Wasted inventory has a huge impact on the revenue as we are talking about premium impressions that do not get sold for their fair value. Overbooking also causes inaccurate forecasting. Because of inaccurate forecasting, you will not have a good view of what inventory you have available in your system. You will be forecasting for the inventory that will never get sold because you are already overbooking them.
Properly managing your forecasted inventory is very crucial. Lousy forecast management can also negatively impact the pacing of your campaigns. Your line items may show low discrepancies, yet have low pacing. If you’re consistently under pacing on a line item, this may mean inventory issues caused by overbooking.
A simple way to avoid overbooking is allowing a small amount of inventory to be undersold. This means you initially allow some impressions in the Remnant zone, which contains in-house ads and low-paying ad networks. This is a safe and straightforward way to avoid overselling. Aim to reduce additional impressions to a level with tiny extra impressions left by monitoring the number of impressions in the Remnant zone and identifying how many extra impressions you can sell in the Premium/Regular zone.
MonetizeMore is a leader in the AdTech industry and has a team of dedicated ad optimizers capable of solving all your publisher ad optimization headaches. If you’re struggling with discrepancies, any other ad optimization issue or would simply want to take your publisher earnings to the next level, contact us for a free consultation now!
Kean Graham is the CEO and founder of MonetizeMore & a pioneer in the Adtech Industry. He is the resident expert in Ad Optimization, covering areas like Adsense Optimization,GAM Management, and third-party ad network partnerships. Kean believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals and holistic optimization as keys to effective and consistent ad revenue increases.
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