5 Steps for Taming your Discrepancies Monster!

originally published on LinkedIn Pulse

For anyone of us who has been in Ad Operations or Ad Tech, whether on Buys side or Sell side, has experienced the bane of ‘the evil discrepancies’. No one is spared from the wrath of impressions and click discrepancies. So much so that Publishers, Advertisers and Marketing ecosystem in general have made writing off upto 10% discrepancies rule to make living with discrepancies easier. Most folks think… better to look that other way than to deal with it till it becomes really painful and starts eating into revenue or budget spend.

But that’s no solution! The ‘discrepancies bull’ needs to be taken by the horn! Here are some ways to manage and control the discrepancies pain, if not completely eliminate it:

  1. Define the discrepancies monster: Discrepancy may hold slightly different meaning to different entities. Hence Publisher, Advertisers, Agencies when signing contracts should clearly agree on the definition of the term ‘discrepancies’. This way all the parties are on the same page and when push-comes-to-shove there’s no confusion regarding what ‘discrepancies’ means.
  2. Measure discrepancies: Once you have defined what discrepancies mean, the next step is to define the methods and frequency at which discrepancies will be measured. This way, you are not scrambling at the end to trying to pull all the data together. Just like with any other measurements, measure accurately, consistently and measure often. This is the only way to identify the issues and begin the resolution identification process. Determine the tool of measurement as part of the contract itself.
  3. Measure what matters: Which means the first thing to do is define what matters so that you can balance time and efforts associated with the measurement process and its business benefits. Here are some business considerations that can help you determine:
  4. Stop bleeding first and then perform surgery: When it comes to discrepancies, preforming analysis and trying to understand the cause may take days in not weeks or months. Hence, as soon as the discrepancy is identified, begin tracking it take preventive measures such as:
    • As mentioned in #3, assess the impact of discrepancies first
    • Adjust goals if necessary to account for discrepancies
    • Inform Advertiser / Agency / Publisher (avoid last minute surprises!)
    • Assess if budgets can be shifted to other inventory sources or if the budgets can be pushed out

    Once you have taken these basic steps then being the process of deeper analysis.

  5. Prevention is better than cure: This couldn’t be truer for discrepancies! In case you are working with multiple partners for inventory monetization or getting audience reach, then the bare minimum you can do is get weekly, if not daily reports from your partner. Followed by performing weekly analysis to identify if there are any discrepancies and trends associated with it. Or instead of spending your, already stretched, teams’ precious time and effort on finding the needle in the hay stack, leverage someone like YuktaMedia, who provide:
    • Out-of-the-box integration with the partner of your choice for daily collection of discrepancies related reporting data. This helps in rapid and accurate data collection and processing.
    • Proactively identify and track discrepancies trends, not only at site level but at placement, ad unit, ad size, geo or combination of any of these or any other attributes, at a very granular level.
    • Get alerts based on custom settings for discrepancies related to placement, ad unit, ad size, geo or combination of any of these or any other attributes of your choice.
    • Suggestions for adjusting Campaign, line items goals / budgets based on historic discrepancies data.
    • Perform advanced analytics and discrepancies predictions based on historic data to negotiate better deals and account for discrepancies at deal level stage it-self.

Are you discrepancies monster challenged? Happy to help!