“Attached please find 3 Additional PointRoll tags for the Awareness campaign on the healthsystemCIO site(s). IF THESE TAGS WERE NOT SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED TO MOBILE INVENTORY BY YOUR MEDIA AGREEMENT, PLEASE TARGET AWAY FROM MOBILE BROWSERS TO PREVENT A HIGH RATE OF DEFAULT IMPRESSIONS.”
Ok, I thought, we’re not in Kansas anymore. You see, in an effort to cut some costs, I asked our “ad posting” guy to teach me the basic tricks of the trade, which he was kind enough to do. In the process, I became just competent enough to follow his exact instructions to get specific types of ads posted. This stood me in good stead for the past six months, but when the above campaign rolled in, I was thrown for a loop — you see, I didn’t know PointRoll from a buttered roll.
Usually I had received a .swf or .jpg and so I knew exactly what to do, but the above email had three text file attachments, each with a heaping helping of code.
After contemplating my situation for a few minutes, I fired off an email to my ad guy: “Need some help — received ad in format I’m not familiar with. Can you assist?”
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
Let’s shoot him a text, I thought.
“Need some assistance. Please see my email”
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
As I looked at my screen, I thought: “Well, Anthony, are you going to just sit around or are you going to figure this thing out?”
Sit around, I thought.
I logged into DFP (our ad hosting site) and went through the basic steps of adding a new advertiser. Then it was time to add the “creative.” I studied my options. When I hovered over “Third Party,” it said I could insert a snippet of code and that, if it was recognized, the system would tell me.
Let’s give that a whirl, I thought.
Instantly, it was recognized as a PointRoll ad. NICE! But there were three text files, indicating three ads. Since they did not contain specific start and end dates, I assumed they were all supposed to rotate. Ok, let’s try to upload another piece of creative to this same campaign. Cool, that worked. Check the site. There’s ad number one. Good. Refresh. There’s ad two. Amazing. Ok, let’s add the third. It works. I can’t believe this.
Lastly, I needed to check that the impressions and clicks were recording properly. While the impressions looked good, it did not seem the links were being captured.
I went back into the screen where I’d input the code and noticed a button to the right: “Insert macros.” After doing some research, I found that if I hit this, the system would automatically insert the code needed for DFP to track clicks. Done.
Of course, a few minutes later I heard from my ad guy.
“What’s up?” he asked.
I brought him up to speed and asked that he check my work.
“Looks good,” he wrote. “Nice job.”
Boy did I feel great — so great I was happy he’d been MIA for an hour. And how often have we seen this in the past? How often, when going through our emails, have we found a, “Nevermind. I got it,” note after a request for assistance wasn’t immediately addressed? The problem is that we all slip into an “ask first, try second (if ever)” mentality that does a disservice to both parties involved. But when we take the time to figure it out, we gain tons of confidence, even if we come up a bit short.
So the next time you get an email asking how to do this or that, perhaps the worst thing in the world isn’t to hold off on an immediate response. Who knows, while you’re working on something else, they might just get down to work, and ultimately savor that most wonderful of feelings: “Holy cow. I did it!”