You've got a big revenue target, you're short staffed and your to-do list is a mile long: welcome to Q4!

After the summer lull, Q4 always comes around incredibly quickly. Before you know it, the end of the year is in sight and your targets loom larger than ever.

It is always a make or break quarter for ad funded media outlets. And this one will be harder than most to get over the line with the pandemic resulting in major staff shortages and resource squeezing across the board.

But fear not, here are our top three tips for survival during the year’s most challenging quarter...

Tip #1: Monitor your campaigns every day

This sounds obvious - and it is, but it’s also really important and something that can often slip by the wayside when you’ve got a million and one requests coming in from every direction. You need to block out time to do it. Make it the same time every day, mark your calendar as busy, and make sure you’re in a position to focus on the task in hand.

Snapshot of a Watching That report that shows all KPIs

Also be careful with how you appraise the data in front of you as you can end up running off in the wrong direction. Especially if you're under pressure and in a rush. It’s important to look for trends rather than absolute figures.

It’s the recurring trend that is hitting your ad revenues hardest, so that’s where you need to start. And make sure you understand what error codes mean - if you’re left scratching your head at a bunch of codes then you’re not the only one.

We created an explainer on our website in response to people telling us they were struggling to decipher their errors - this will be a useful guide for Q4.

 

Tip #2: Break out campaign delivery monitoring by as many dimensions and angles as you can

The devil is in the detail when building an accurate picture of campaign performance.

The top line information really doesn’t tell you much about how your campaigns are really performing. You could have a top line fill rate of 75%, but we’re in the digital age now and advertising is served across multiple platforms and devices.

Looking at the data in the right way shows where ads are failing to deliver

Behind that 75% figure is probably a tale of one device performing well (say, desktop at 80%) and another performing poorly (say, mobile at 50%). That underfill on mobile is where you need to target first - especially in programmatic where your buyers might not want a portion of your inventory. In which case, you need to get them out of the mix ASAP.

You need to get down into the details: on desktop and operating system level by platform to see where the real opportunities for improvements lie.

 

Tip #3: Align your reporting with what your buyers are after

Buyers care less about base impressions and more about quality. They want their ads seen completely, in full view with sound on. As a trafficker/campaign manager, it is of paramount importance to deliver them what they want:
  • Viewability
  • VTR (view-through rates/ ad completion rates)
  • Context

Link Video Context to Ad Performance

In the land of the plenty where supply far outweighs demand media outlets need to compete up the value chain and provide buyers with the results they are after. Viewability, VTR and Context are the key metrics that matter.

 

Your Q4 Readiness Checklist

Q4 tends to be a daunting time for OTT ad operations teams, and especially so this year. But there is always revenue to be unleashed if you know where, and how, to look. Here’s a round-up of priorities to help you and your team through:

  • Ensure a daily reporting workflow
  • Ensure data supply is fresh and timely enough for the need
  • Ensure data coverage links ad server data with playout and inventory quality
  • Ensure operators are up to speed on what error codes actually mean

Get these in order and you'll far on your way to making Q4 one to remember.

 

Need help hitting your Q4 targets? Get in touch now to find out how Watching That can make a difference.

 

 

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