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Signs Your Programmatic Campaign Didn’t Work…

Let’s start with the fundamentals when running a display advertising campaigns your key performance indicator (KPI) should be viewable impressions delivered to your target audience. Viewable is important in the programmatic industry because some websites have 15 ad units on a page and many can be below the fold (newspaper term). When working with your vendor it’s important to understand upfront what the campaign goals are because programmatic advertising might not be the right fit for your strategy regardless of how targeted it is.
So what is programmatic advertising anyway? According to, programmatic advertising helps automate the decision-making process of media buying by targeting specific audiences and demographics.

Tracking Programmatic Advertising Campaigns

In a nutshell, your vendor is going to target your ideal customer with display ads across multiple websites. The vendor will tell you it’s about the target customer and not the specific website they are on. This mindset can be problematic for advertisers for a couple of reasons. First, some type of ROI may need to be calculated and if you do not use the Google URL builder (link) to tag the campaign, good luck being able to track it in analytics. Second, it’s possible you’ll never see the ad and therefore it may be difficult to gauge your actual presence. In the end, your campaign report with CTR is not how you can tell if the campaign was successful. Thus, it’s important to tag all programmatic campaigns and track their success in analytics.

Signs Your Campaign Goals Were NOT Achieved

Here are some signs your campaign KPI’s were not achieved:

  • You or your vendor failed to implement your tag.
  • In analytics Acquisition Report, select your tagged campaign. Then use a secondary dimension such as a city. If a majority of clicks are outside your target geo-radius. That could be an issue.
  • Extremely high bounce rate might signify bot traffic or fat fingers. You may need to optimize your campaign.
  • No goals set in your analytics to use the multi-channel funnel report. It would be nice to see if there are any assisted conversions to assign a value.

The Truth About Programmatic Advertising

Not all media companies are willing to help their clients set URL & event goals and then track campaigns in Google Analytics. At Actuate Media, this is what we do. In addition, we collect all of your campaign information into our dashboard for future reference. Thus, in addition to building out and running campaigns directly, we focus on marketing intelligence.

Actuate Media is a digital advertising agency in Seattle, WA. Our team has run hundreds of digital advertising campaigns nationwide including PPC Search Marketing, SEO, Display Advertising, Video Advertising, and more. We are proud to have completed Google Partner’s Specialist Challenge and we are Google Ads & Analytics, certified specialists. Our agency implements a data-driven approach connecting advertising results and analytics, aggregating the data for future analysis allowing our partners to make smart advertising decisions in the future to gain a competitive advantage.

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