Programmatic

Tips For Shrinking The Ad Discrepancy

April 8, 2020 4 min read
ad discrepancy

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Tips For Shrinking The Ad Discrepancy

Reading Time: 4 minutes

One of the biggest issues for advertisers as well as publishers these days is ad discrepancy. A lot of efforts are put in, trying to remove these discrepancies. But the discrepancy has not just stayed limited to advertisers and publishers. At times, even advertiser’s statistics and advertising platform’s statistics face discrepancies. 

It is important to understand that no ad platform, no CRM, no automation system or analytics tool will ever provide 100% perfect data. But that does not mean that you need to make peace with the discrepancies. As a marketer, you are entitled to deliver the best possible results. So you need to evaluate the various reasons of data discrepancy and why the data does not always match up. A marketer is responsible for troubleshooting potential errors and for communicating the reasons of discrepancies confidently. 

How To Be Sure Of Discrepancies?

  • The first step to evaluate if the reports have any kind of discrepancy or not is to investigate two reports at one time. Take one report from your server and one from a third-party tracking system. Make sure to have both reports from the same time frame. 
  • Have both the reports from the same time zone since different time zones can alter results.
  • Compare the contents of the server drive report and the third-party report. In case these objects, like campaigns or advertiser do not correspond to each other, then a review for discrepancies is the next step forward.

What Are The Common Reasons Of Discrepancies?

Difference In Counting Technologies

One of the most common causes of a discrepancy is when the two parties count the impression at a different time. For instance, it could be possible that the publishers made the count during the ad request while advertisers made the count when the ad was delivered. In such cases, if an event like crashing down of a browser or the user navigating to another page takes place, then the impression is not counted in the third-party ad server. 

Different Time Zones

As mentioned above, before evaluating for any discrepancies, you need to make sure that all the reports are of the same time zone. If this happens, impressions in a day can be miscalculated. As some impressions might be added to the next day if the time zones are different. So it is important to have the same time zone for all reports while looking for discrepancies.

Longer Time For Heavy Creatives

If the creatives being used are heavy, they will take more time to load from a third-party ad server. So the chances of a user navigating to another page or closing the browser increase while a heavy ad is loading. So keep an account of the heaviness of all creatives being hosted by a third-party. Also have an idea of the duration a heavy creative takes to load.

These are just a few common reasons why ad discrepancies can occur. Differences in Geo Mapping, a page drop off or a missing cache buster are few more reasons of ad discrepancies. 

Tips To Keep Discrepancies At A Low

Compare Twice And Compare Right

Before spending an overwhelming time in finding discrepancies, make sure there are discrepancies. Compare revenue, ad requests as well as ad impressions after obtaining reports from all ad partners. There is no better way of finding out if the problem of discrepancy is definitely present or not.

The Importance Of Third-Party Ad Verification

While evaluating discrepancies, the importance of third-party ad verification systems cannot be emphasized enough. They can help you understand the general compatibility of the two reports of publishers and advertisers. The third-party systems load the events separately via their own tracking pixels. But also keep in mind that if the site has heavy content, then using a third-party ad verification system may increase the chances of ad discrepancy. 

Have A Whitelisted Site

Publishers usually experience ad discrepancies when their site is not whitelisted. So make it a point to work with ad partners who put you in the whitelist. This indicates that the ad partners are willing to work with you. Because only the whitelist sites will be able to serve the ads.

Try Synchronous Tags

The most common choice for every ad partner has been asynchronous tags. The reason being that asynchronous tags allow for faster ad loading. Asynchronous tags deliver ad creative via a personal iframe container which is independent of all extra page elements. But when you are delivering an ad through an asynchronous tag, you are delivering an ad through a window inside another window. So it can cause ad discrepancies as well as issues with ad creative delivery. Therefore, synchronous tags prove to be more beneficial for generating ad code. 

FAQs:

1. Who is affected by Ad Discrepancy?

One of the biggest issues for advertisers as well as publishers these days is ad discrepancy. However, ad discrepancy is not limited to advertisers and publishers. At times, even advertiser’s statistics and advertising platform’s statistics face discrepancies.

2. How to determine Ad Discrepancy?

  • Take one report from your server and one from a third-party tracking system. Have both the reports from the same time zone since different time zones can alter results.
  • Compare the contents of the server drive report and the third-party report.
  • In case these objects, like campaigns or advertisers do not correspond to each other, then a review for discrepancies is the next step forward.

3. What Are The Common Reasons Of Discrepancies?

  • One of the most common causes of a discrepancy is when the two parties count the impression at a different time. If an event like crashing down of a browser or the user navigating to another page takes place, then the impression is not counted in the third-party ad server. 
  • Before evaluating any discrepancies, you need to make sure that all the reports are of the same time zone. If this happens, impressions in a day can be miscalculated.
  • If the creatives being used are heavy, they will take more time to load from a third-party ad server. So the chances of a user navigating to another page or closing the browser increase while a heavy ad is loading.

4. How can discrepancies remain at a low?

  • Compare revenue, ad requests as well as ad impressions after obtaining reports from all ad partners.
  • Use a third-party ad verification system. They can help you understand the general compatibility of the two reports of publishers and advertisers.
  • Publishers usually experience ad discrepancies when their site is not whitelisted. So make it a point to work with ad partners who put you in the whitelist.
  • Using an asynchronous tag can cause ad discrepancies as well as issues with ad creative delivery. Therefore, synchronous tags prove to be more beneficial for generating ad code.
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