Not Seeing Your Ad? Here’s Why

May 25, 2017 / Brandon Richey

So you’ve taken the necessary steps to launch your digital advertising campaign, but there’s only one slight problem – you don’t see your ads anywhere! Did you accidentally skip a step somewhere along the way, or is your ad campaign operating in some type of alternate universe? Well, the good news is that you haven’t gone crazy; in fact, this is actually how things are supposed to work when you purchase ad impressions through a programmatic advertising platform. So why is it so difficult to catch a glimpse of one of your own ads out “in the wild”? Read on to find out. 

Understanding the Programmatic Advertising Marketplace

It is quite common for newcomers to the world of programmatic advertising to be slightly unnerved when their own ads seem to pull a “Houdini.” These concerns can be easily allayed by understanding the nature of the programmatic advertising marketplace itself. Much like today’s digitally-driven stock market exchanges, the programmatic advertising marketplace is a non-stop hive of activity where thousands of marketers and agencies are purchasing and selling billions of ad impressions by the second.

In this type of dynamic environment, there are simply too many variable conditions that would need to be met (e.g., browser type, geolocation, time/day, user behavior, etc.) in order for your browser to even be considered as a candidate for viewing the ad. On top of that, you also have to factor in the auction-style format of these platforms, which means even if all the necessary conditions were met, the ad impression can still be won or lost in a matter of milliseconds. The sheer scale of this marketplace necessitates intense competition, and you have to remember that as you’re trying to reach your target customer for a given set of criteria (e.g., demographics, areas of interest, etc.), there are likely hundreds to thousands of other marketers also trying to reach the same person programmatically.

For these reasons (and more), it’s often complicated to see your own ad. Fortunately, the “reports.marketing” platform provides an unparalleled level of transparency that will give you a clear picture of the websites, supply vendors and browsing environments where your ads are being viewed.

It All Comes Down to Optimization

So why can’t you see your own ads? The answer can be summed up in one word: Optimization. Unless you specifically set campaign parameters to serve ads to yourself, it would be a waste of valuable marketing dollars to do so, and our platform is designed to optimize your ad budget for maximum ROI.

You have to remember that the whole purpose for creating your campaign in the first place is to reach a certain type of user who may or may not have any of the interests or browsing habits that you have. And as long as your programmatic ad campaign is optimized to serve ads to those users – i.e., the ones you were hoping to target – it’s doing its job.

So if you’re not seeing your own ads, it doesn’t mean that your campaign isn’t working. We offer high definition metrics daily in our dashboard to show that the ads we serve are leading to engagement and conversions. In addition, through the “reports.marketing” interface, we can also see which portions of your target audience are performing the best, which allows us to optimize our strategies in real time to continue driving budgets towards the campaign goals.

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