How to manage discrepancies with Prebid Analytics by Roxot
Managing discrepancies is definitely on the list of the most annoying parts of AdOps job. Besides requiring hours of monotonous work every day, discrepancies directly influence your revenue. When your ad server reports 40 - 60% more impressions than each of your five demand partners, it's crucial to understand where your potential revenue is slipping through, which source has the most reliable data, and how to repair the cracks. Lost impressions, incorrect setup, fraud traffic, gross bids - whatever the reason for a discrepancy is - you should minimize the effects on the revenue you are paid.
Prebid Analytics by Roxot gives you access to the scarce client-side data that, besides a clear overview of your prebid.js performance, provides you with often hidden nuances of auction mechanics. Use Prebid Analytics to dig down and see what caused a discrepancy in revenue. Was it a discrepancy in impressions? Check lost or "bad impressions". Impressions match but revenue is still off? Analyze how bid prices are structured. Moreover, you will get the data that helps open up the conversation with your demand partners to work together to resolve the issue.
Follow these basic steps to start minimizing discrepancy effect on your revenue
Compare client-side, ad server, and demand partner data
Prebid.js sends ad requests to demand partners, collects their bids, and sends them to your ad server; the ad server process bids from all demand sources and decides what ad to show; demand partners connect you with advertiser's dollars. Ad serving is a complex process, and effective discrepancy management requires constant monitoring of all of its parts.
Use prebid.js v0.26.1 or later
Earlier versions of prebid.js have bugs that affect accuracy of client-side data in analytics tools. Upgrade to version 0.26.1 or later to ensure Prebid Analytics by Roxot processes all prebid.js events happening on your sites.
Segment ad server data by bidders
Make sure you have access to all necessary information to manage discrepancy. If you use DFP as your ad server, define hb_bidder key-value pairs in the system to be able to build reports with segmentation by bidders. This way you will have Impressions and Revenue data for every bidder in Prebid Analytics, your ad server reporting, and a partner's dashboard. Learn how to define key-values in DFP here.
Find out which partners use gross bids
Ask your demand partners what bids they send to your header. Net or gross? Bidders have different pricing deals with publishers, and the returned bid prices may or may not reflect what you will truly receive in the end. For example, some bidders returned the bid prices in gross (before any fee is taken). This artificially sets that bidder's bid (say $1.2) at an unfair advantage, because the bidding price, when bid wins, is in fact not what the publisher will receive. The publisher in fact got paid $1.
Adjust gross bids
When you know which partners send gross bids, use bidCpmAdjustment function to adjust prices to reflect real earnings. This way header bidding auctions become more efficient as bids that make you the most money win more often. Read more information on how to use bidCpmAdjustment here.
Create daily reports
It is crucial to manage discrepancy, at least, daily. The more often you do it, the less effect discrepancies will have on your revenue. Create presets of your reports to optimize your data comparison process and save time on building reports from scratch. Simply click on the "Save preset of the filter" button in Prebid Analytics' Statistics. Next time you need the report you will be able to access it in two clicks.
Adjust all bids to control discrepancy
Besides reducing bids that are known to be gross, you should adjust the bids of all partners who have high revenue discrepancy with ad server and client-side data even if these partners use net bids. Ongoing bid adjustment can help you minimize negative effects of the lost, rejected due to viewability or fraud issues impressions on your revenue. The ad server or header bidding wrapper decides who won the auction, but in the end, demand partners decide what to pay you. Use bidCpmAdjustment function to make sure partner's bids reflect what you are paid.
Work together with demand partners
Your demand partners play a crucial role in your business. Unfortunately, most of their data is hidden in the black boxes that you don't have access to. Your account manager may help uncover valuable for discrepancy management information, such as info on their technical issues or changes in take rates. Also, demand partners often have enough resources to provide you with suggestions on how to improve and optimize your header bidding setup.
Getting started
Request a demo and one of our Publisher Relationship Managers will give you access to Prebid Analytics and walk you through the product.
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