The Ad Server
When you visit a website and see ads, some of those ads are in an "ad tag." This ad tag gives the ad-ops team lots of data. We share this data to campaign managers, clients, etc. -the data is used to improve future campaigns and underestand online users' behaviour.
Here's the process:
- Client talks about goals, new products, new offers, etc. and will be promoting via online advertising.
- Creative agency creates the ad banners (aka "creatives"). The media buying agency buys the ad space.
- The ad-ops team creates the ad tags (in the ad server).
- The websites (publishers) receive the ad tags and place them on the ad space.
- Campaign is live.
Particularly, I'm focusing on the ad server, which is where the ad tags are created, where campaign data is tracked and reported, and where the ad-ops team troubleshoots all issues.
Why do we need ad tags?
Ads can run on their own without ad tags. However if agencies (representing the clients) would like to have more control, we use ad tags. When the publishers place these ad tags on the websites, the agencies can update the campaign as much as they'd need to without resending assets to the publishers. We can make revisions on the ad server (which updates the ad tags).
With ad tags:
- When banners are updated, we update on the ad server. We don't need to alert the publishers.
- Reports can be pulled instantly on the ad server. We don't need to wait for the publishers (especially when the report is needed at 11PM at nights).
- When landing pages are updated, we update on the ad server.
- When the ads aren't running, the ad server will know.
What is the process for creating ad tags?
- Either of this happens:
- Campaign manager creates "placements" on their system (ex. Prisma), and push these placements to the ad server.
- Or, an ad ops person creates these placements directly on the ad server.
What reporting can we get with ad tags?
- Total number of users who has seen this ad.
- Total number of users who clicked on the ad.
- Both of the above, and during a specific period of time.
- All of the above, and by date.
- User location.
- User browser/device.
- Did they finish watching the video?
- Did they interact with an expanding banner?
- How many users clicked on banner A vs. banner B.
Standard tags vs. Impression/Click trackers
Standard tags have creatives (ex. Flash banners, static images, etc.) running inside the tags.
Impression/click trackers do not have creatives running in them. (Read more here)
When do I use this?
- Custom ad (NOT rich media creative)
- Site-served creatives
- Sponsored blog posts
- Email newsletters
- Facebook ads (click-track only)
- Sites that do not accept pre-roll VAST tags
- YouTube TrueView
How do I create this on Prisma?
- Create new placement on Prisma
Dimensions(under Basic Info) to "1 x 1"
Placement Type(under Traffic) to In-Page
- Include "1x1" or "Impression/Click Tracker" in the name.
Ad Ops Tip: The ad server only needs one placement for impression and/or click tracker. You do not need to separate them.
Do I need to create two placements?
Nope! One "1x1" placement can be used as impression and click tracking. It can also be used to track impressions without tracking clicks, and vice versa.
Still to come.
If you encounter Prisma errors, can you send them to me (so I can make a giant collection of Prisma errors)?