Advertisers and media partners need to have open and honest conversations about transparency. While many platforms have come forward to prescribe the need for transparent reporting and data sharing in the programmatic ecosystem, few on either side of the business have fulfilled the call to be completely transparent. At Kaden, we believe that transparency should be the standard.
Why do we share data with our partners when keeping certain fields opaque and obscured would potentially allow us more control? We want advertisers to see the value we are driving, and performance improves with transparency. Let us explain!
Capacity to optimize
If you can see where ad spend is going, you’ll automatically have a better understanding of how your campaign is being applied. With more data at your fingertips, you’ll more easily learn what’s working and what isn’t so that we can work together in capitalising on the strengths of your campaign while mitigating its weaknesses. We want you to support our optimizations and iteration strategies, and there’s no stronger foundation for that relationship than clear, concise data sharing.
Transparency is necessary not only in reporting, but in process. That’s why we have Account Data Managers and Creative Services Specialists to work with our clients at each step, helping you to understand your reports and our optimization strategies. This allows for the application of clear and effective campaign crumbling processes – breaking out new campaigns which target specific sites groups, audience groups, zip locations, OSs, etc – which is necessary to drive scale and value over time. Moreover, simple access to data allows for improved communications, limiting the time needed to discuss things which should be readily apparent while allowing for more time to discuss creative ideas and tactics which can be applied in the market. Together, we drive more value by communicating. With data-evidenced strategies, it is much easier to build scale and deliver the users you want.
Fraudsters rely on obscure metrics to perpetrate their malicious activities. This is another reason why transparency is a must – if data is hidden, so is potential fraud. At Kaden, we believe there is no good reason to obscure any data point, and we would argue caution against any party who does, so we provide you with a reporting dashboard which allows access to all of your vital metrics. You can monitor your campaigns – right down to the individual actions users make within a given creative!
Our Account Data Managers are there too, paying attention to the details and ratios, looking for suspicious activity in a site-agnostic capacity and helping to avoid false positives when it comes to fraud. Regarding false positives; you want to see site names so that you can block unsavoury partners, but, without data, you may end up blocking good traffic unintentionally. We take a site agnostic approach to fraud; all sites are held in suspicion until they prove our systems otherwise, no matter the brand, impressions/day, etc. We always encourage advertisers to be thorough in communicating site blacklists to us so that we can balance the need to provide value and scale against collateral brand expectations. This is another win to transparency.
However, the truth is that you know your app the best, and by tracking your specific in-app post-install events and other key data points which you may not share with partners, you may also detect fraudulent activity beyond the limits of our access to numbers. This is why communication and transparency are important to the programmatic ecosystem as a whole, and is why the Kaden platform requires at least two performance based KPIs; one relating to usage, the other to ROAS. To catch increasingly sophisticated methods of fraud, we need to co-operate.
Many advertisers begin their campaigns with a basic understanding of their target audience. However, how much of that understanding is built on assumptions? For instance, if you have indicated to your media partners that your audience fits a specific profile, surely you have created a self-fulfilling prophecy where you will receive only those users at the expense of others? One of the most exciting opportunities in mobile programmatic with Kaden is our ability to expand and explore beyond your initial customer profile. We may start your campaign targeting users along your guidelines – let’s say, 18 to 35-year-old females – but find through small scale creative and site-targeting testing that there is a market among 35 to 50-year-old males who drive strong value (My Little Pony is a known case-study for striking target-audience/high-value-audience profile divergence). This learning, built on transparency, can then be cycled into product, developing value to these new users. Iterative ad strategies can increase these learnings, and, with transparency, will help you discover successful user profiles outside of your initial assumptions.
As we’ve discussed, transparency allows for more growth, less fraud, and a better understanding of your audience. Capacity to optimize, and thus, to scale, is improved when all sites and costs are visible. Fraud prevention is made easier for our team and yours when we share the events and actions at user and creative levels to monitor suspicious activity. Market understanding becomes clearer – you may even learn about new users you hadn’t anticipated – when we are trusted to test because the indications to do so are visible in the data. Transparency, in general, should be an industry standard, because working together improves results for both sides.