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As increasing numbers of media organizations undergo digital transformation, publishers are often left at the mercy of third-party technology systems when planning or executing digital advertising campaigns for their customers. Unfortunately, this scenario can lead to delays in campaign delivery and strained relationships with your advertisers.-¯Â 

Figuring out and successfully troubleshooting digital campaign errors yourself greatly speeds up fixes without relying on external vendors-”or getting involved in the email tennis game of customer support conversations. In this article, we’ll offer 3 tips for troubleshooting digital campaigns, and a simple checklist to help you navigate the process. 

The problem with third-party tech

Using third-party tech provides media organizations with significant opportunities for business growth. However, issues can arise if you become overly reliant on vendor tech and customer support. This can weaken your internal expertise in the tools your media organization needs to run digital ad campaigns and can slow down problem-solving when errors occur. Considering that-¯48% of companies experience technology issues on a daily basis, this is a challenge worth resolving so you can keep your business running smoothly. 

When working with third-party tech, it’s critical to gain a strong understanding of the tools in your digital ecosystem and to own them so that when you’re faced with problems, you have the knowledge and autonomy to find quick resolutions. Successful troubleshooting saves both time and money and will lead you toward greater insight into what makes your systems tick. 

Troubleshooting digital campaigns: 3 tips for publishers

Own your tools 

As the digital advertising industry has evolved, the solutions for managing campaign booking and delivery as well as forecasting and planning have also become more sophisticated. Many of these technologies talk to one another through integrations, which can lead to various moving parts that can, on occasion, trip up and cause unexpected system errors. 

The more frequently your media organization leverages technology, the deeper understanding you’ll have of the way you use your systems, from simple data input to high-level configuration. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake-”just be sure to investigate on your own how you might fix the problem. When attempting to resolve an error, you’ll get to know the tool you’re working with better, which can lead to process improvements and better outcomes for your advertisers.  

Hone your skill set-¯Â 

Being a good troubleshooter requires a specific skill set. Despite the fact that ad tech has become increasingly advanced with cleaner user interfaces, user experiences, and more powerful tools don’t mean your system won’t produce errors (whether technological or human), or become confusing to use at times. 

Learn to backtrack and replicate any problems you experienced, and set aside time for testing and quality assurance (QA). Make QA a part of your ad campaign workflow, and liaise with colleagues and external peers using contributory systems to find solutions to common issues.-¯ 

Rely on vendor tech support as a last resort only. Learning how to troubleshoot on your own first empowers you as a system user, and benefits your entire organization in its use of your tools, with system expertise invariably contributing to subject matter expertise. Above all else, be curious about your technology.  

Foster collaboration-¯Â 

Collaboration and communication are essential to the success of any company, in any industry.-¯ 

When you’re working through technological issues or errors, whether internally or with third-party vendor support, be clear in your descriptions of the problems you’re experiencing.-¯ 

Writing “something is broken, please fix ASAP,” in a support request won’t help you in achieving the fastest resolution possible. 

A simple checklist for troubleshooting digital campaign

Use this checklist to ensure your internal power users and your vendor support team have all the information they need to help troubleshoot your digital campaigns with ease and speed.

  • List any examples of errors using page URLs.-¯This is especially useful for troubleshooting order IDs and ad IDs, which typically have unique web addresses. Showing as well as describing problems is key, so screenshots are also helpful. 
  • List the steps needed to replicate the issue.-¯Experts and support teams will love you for this, as it immeasurably speeds up time to resolution. In a best case scenario, you’ll be recreating the error as you outline the steps, so you may discover a solution on your own in the process. 
  • List the version number of the ad tech you are using.-¯The person assisting you will greatly appreciate this simple piece of information. It will enable them to check the system’s version history, new features that were added, and when the features were added, to aid their own investigation. 

Set yourself up for success

As ad tech becomes increasingly clever and easier to use, you may not expect errors to occur. However, this is inevitable from time to time. Becoming self-reliant on simple troubleshooting steps will give you greater autonomy within the systems you use and equip you with a powerful skill set.

Reserve the right to make mistakes, and in doing so, to find solutions. The best problem solvers develop a curiosity about the tools they use. They learn to fix one thing at a time, thus becoming confident enough to be creative in their troubleshooting. So, be curious, be methodical, and be confident.

Neil Rigby

Neil has been with Lineup since 2011, where he worked in the deployment team and as digital SME, before becoming the OMS & Digital Product Manager, bringing his considerable experience to the role.