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Interactive Campaign Setup Best Practices

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 27, 2008

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Ad operations professionals from the IAB’s Ad Operations Council, in conjunction with representatives from major Media Agencies, developed these Best Practices to significantly decrease the operational inefficiencies surrounding the campaign set up process in interactive advertising.

This document outlines a number of recommendations for both the publisher and agency and is intended to reduce the number of issues arising during the campaign set up phase. Research into the sources of discrepancies has shown that correcting campaign setup errors will significantly reduce inefficiencies and discrepancies throughout the campaign’s delivery as well as during the reconciliation process.

The Publisher Best Practices were developed by first defining each step of the ideal publisher campaign set up process. Input from a number of publishers of various sizes and business focuses was aggregated through open discussions, and a thorough analysis of the overall process resulted in these best practices. Key recommendations include:

  • Disclosing and obtaining as much information with the agency as up front as possible. This includes necessary contact information from all departments, credit policy as well as potential credit issues, inventory reservation policies, rich media costs, and clearly defining any addendums or changes to the AAAA/IAB standard terms and conditions.
  • Translating any ambivalent contract language into terms that both sides understand and can input into an ad server.
  • Ensuring ad ops personnel have contact with agency in order to properly match tags.

The Agency Best Practices were also developed by gathering input from various agencies to ensure that all stages of the campaign setup process were clearly defined. The group was able to identify various pain points and developed best practices to address them. Key recommendations include:

  • Disclosing and obtaining as much information to and from the publisher, as well as to and from the marketer. It is imperative that all parties have a clear understanding of requirements and timelines. Publishers must fulfill their side of the obligation by clearly defining all of the aforementioned information; agencies must in turn make this clear to the marketer.
  • Making certain that billing methods are properly communicated to publisher.
  • Educating buyers on all steps of the process and ensuring that interdepartmental communication channels are open.

The general beliefs of both the Ad Operations Council and the involved agencies is that improving overall communication between agency and publisher, as well as internally on both sides, will lead to improved efficiency in the campaign setup process. The IAB is confident that these Best Practices, if adopted by both publishers and agencies, will enable both sides to materially improve their operational effectiveness, significantly decrease material discrepancies, and build more scalable, profitable organizations.


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