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Exploring the Primary Pains of Direct-Sold Reporting

If Your Data Is Hurting, so Is Your Advertising

When executed correctly, direct-sold-campaign reporting can empower your operations with quick and accurate comparisons of your premium inventory performance. Unfortunately, there are a number of obstacles that can prevent your organization from getting the most out of your data. Direct-sold-campaign reporting is designed to save you time, money, and effort while helping you lock down your best producers. To accomplish this, you need to assess the health of the processes surrounding and running through your entire reporting setup. Identifying and analyzing the top reporting pains will allow you to remedy problems and optimize your data.

Manual Processes

At the root of many direct data problems is manual reporting. Regardless of the degree of diligence, it’s virtually impossible to avoid errors with manual reporting simply due to the law of large numbers, it’s bound to happen. In addition to the error-prone nature of manual reporting, it’s also extremely time consuming, taking away from other vital operational responsibilities.

Not only that, but many of the major benefits offered by aggregated reporting, such as data visibility for a complete picture of individual campaign and overall advertising performance, are simply too complex and cumbersome to achieve via manual processes. For example, one of the fastest, most efficient and accurate ways to tie ad server data together is to leverage tag data. Advanced tag mapping simply isn’t possible manually. Without an automated mapping engine, you won’t be able to connect your data or servers, and you won’t be able to see what occurs throughout the delivery chain.

Scattered Reports

Disorganized, widespread reports make it difficult, if not impossible, to make any comprehensively meaningful analysis of your data. For example, a standalone report may provide data that suggests your campaigns are optimally paced, leading you to think no buffer adjustments need to be made. However, another isolated report may show different numbers for the very same campaign, displaying grossly over-buffered impressions. A failure to compare both reports side by side could lead to seriously wasted inventory. Manually aggregating, gathering, and organizing scattered reports takes time, potentially draining multiple hours every day from your busy schedule.

Disjointed Data

One of the most powerful components of direct-sold-campaign reporting is the ability to deliver all your data to a single location. A centralized source grants the most efficient and effective means of comparing all the data coming in from your marketing and advertising. These comparisons facilitate enhanced, more accurate decision making. The opposite is true of disjointed, chaotic data sources such as scattered reports. Comparing disparate sources leads to inaccurate conclusions due to siloed data.

Your marketing and advertising are affected by myriad influencers—they do not exist in a vacuum. Interpreting an isolated data source as the whole picture of your campaign(s) will inevitably exclude vital considerations. With disconnected data, there’s no way to tie any of it together. For example, without centralized reporting, you can’t connect ad servers, ad-quality vendor servers, or order management systems (OMS) to other ad servers. That makes it virtually impossible to monitor and reconcile discrepancies. It also makes end-of-the-month billing a grueling process.

Maintaining Optimal Data Flow from Your Agencies

A chronic underlying problem throughout direct-sold reporting stems from the inherent challenge of establishing and maintaining reliable relationships with agencies to effectively close the data-communication loop. Publishers require a steady and dependable flow of data from their agency partners in order to optimize data.

Enjoying full cooperation from all the agencies and partners you work with, receiving every login you need, is rare. Even if you’re able to enjoy this infrequent scenario, keeping track of all your agency logins quickly gets complex when running multiple campaigns. Without logins, you’re denied access to the server data you need, which prevents you from generating priceless discrepancy reports. Missing even just one login can equate to significant losses.

No Visibility

Disjointed data, scattered reports, and missing agency logins combine to prevent any useful visibility into your operations. This campaign blindness leads to highly inaccurate forecasting, severely hindering your ability to maximize performance and optimize revenue. Without sufficient visibility, you could waste a significant amount of inventory by over buffering. Under delivering on your campaigns can be equally damaging, if not more so since it requires you to respond with makegoods, which can create a vicious catch-up cycle.