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Three Steps to Accelerating Your Billing Reconciliation Process in Online Advertising


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Digital and mobile display companies in online advertising face significant challenges reconciling billing. The process of collecting usage statistics from disparate ad servers can be convoluted and …

Digital and mobile display companies in online advertising face significant challenges reconciling billing. The process of collecting usage statistics from disparate ad servers can be convoluted and prone to error.

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  • 1. Three Steps to Accelerating Your Billing Reconciliation Process in Online Advertising Presenters: Richard Adams, Senior Account Executive, Connotate Moderator: Gina Cerami, Vice President of Marketing, Connotate Date: July 18, 2013
  • 2. Presenters 2 Richard Adams Senior Account Executive Gina Cerami Vice President of Marketing
  • 3. About Connotate • Headquartered in New Brunswick, NJ, with offices in Irvine, CA and London, UK • Developed by world-class scientists at Rutgers University and the University of Southern California • Portfolio of patents for applying machine intelligence to Web data extraction and monitoring • Strong financial backing: .406 Ventures, Castile, Prism Ventures • Current Connotate formed through acquisition of Fetch Technologies in 2012
  • 4. Marquee Clients 4
  • 5. 5 What Connotate Does in Other Industries: Transform Web Data into High-Value Assets • Online ad stats reporting • Competitive intelligence • News aggregation • Background check • Price optimization • Investment research • Market research • Regulatory updates • Sales intelligence • Business risk assessment • Data directories • Aggregate construction bids • Supply chain monitoring • Brand monitoring • Voice of the Customer • Social media monitoring Some of Our Many Use Cases:
  • 6. Where Connotate “Fits” • Connotate is an expert in automating Web data monitoring and extraction • Our solution is the “automation engine” for some of the world’s leading innovators in related industries • News and publishing – the Associated Press, Thomson Reuters • Finance – Nasdaq, Lipper, Dow Jones, Alacra • Online retail – Shopzilla • Connotate provides enabling technology for SSPs, DSPs, Ad Networks and Agencies • We are not a competitor or an Ad Network • Our customers in Online Advertising are primarily Supply Side Platform (SSP) providers and other organizations aggregating reporting from 3rd party ad servers 6
  • 7. Topics for Today’s Discussion • The challenge – billing reconciliation • Our value proposition • How Connotate does this 7
  • 8. 8 The Challenge
  • 9. The Billing Reconciliation Challenge • Hundreds of ad networks and ad exchanges • To reconcile billing, SSPs collect usage statistics from many disparate ad servers • Each server is password-protected and each account is looking for usage statistics with unique parameters (date ranges, campaign names, etc.) • No standard APIs • There is no uniform way of programmatically accessing these different networks, making automation difficult • APIs, where available, offer an automated approach but each new API presents a potentially different integration point, and each new data source becomes a new point of failure 9
  • 10. How Do You Reconcile Billing Today? • Manual processes • Most organizations use a manual process – logging into ad servers, compiling reports, downloading data and then integrating it into the reconciliation workflow • Manual processes are error-prone and do not scale • Humans are not suited to highly repetitive tasks and could be more efficiently engaged in revenue-generating activity • Scripts and Web scrapers • Semi-automated – but the cost of engineering is high • Accuracy is still a problem when scripts break • It takes longer then necessary to add a new network • Maintenance is extremely costly over time 10
  • 11. 11 Manual Process for Billing Reconciliation Invoice (if data is accurate) Clean up inaccurate data OR Log in to portal Execute report settings Download data to desktop Integrate into workflowNavigate options and choose report parameters
  • 12. Accuracy is Important “Organizations over estimate the quality of their data and the cost of data errors” 12
  • 13. Polling Question: How Do You Collect Usage Statistics Today? How are you currently collecting ad usage data? We are collecting ad usage data using only manual processes We are using in-house scripts and scrapers to automate this process We are using BOTH manual and automated approaches It’s not a problem for us; we only have a handful of ad servers
  • 14. 14 The Connotate Value Proposition
  • 15. The Connotate Value Proposition 15
  • 16. What Connotate Does for SSPs Connotate accelerates revenue collection: • Automating the precise extraction of usage statistics • Reducing the time required to reconcile billing by 400% How long does it take you to reconcile billing???? 16 400% improvement
  • 17. Polling Question: How Long Does It Take to Gather the Data Required to Reconcile Billing? 30 days or more (month) 15-29 days (2-4 weeks) 10-14 (over a week) 6 days or less
  • 18. 18 The Connotate Workflow
  • 19. The Connotate Workflow 19
  • 20. Step 1. Data Inputs and Configuration 20 Connotate uses logins and passwords you provide as input to access the portal.
  • 21. Step 2. Data Retrieval 21 Connotate’s precise navigation supports collecting data for a specific date range.
  • 22. Connotate is Accurate 22 Connotate extracts the data you specify.
  • 23. Step 3. Data Delivery 23 Connotate delivers clean, precise data in the format you require.
  • 24. Scope and Expansion of Ad Network Coverage • Connotate’s current library supports automated access to over 150 ad servers • Each network/ad server login can be customized for your needs and quickly re-purposed into a private library • If you require access to an ad servers/ network that is not in our library, we can add in a new network quickly • Initial deployment time depends on the complexity of the site but it is relatively short 24
  • 25. Case Study • Connotate gathers real-time data from over 100 ad networks for this client – all sites are password-protected • The SSP can now update an entire week’s worth of statistics in 6 minutes • Connotate was deployed as Data as a Service, freeing up valuable IT resources • Client enjoys 200% ROI based on the resource time no longer required 25
  • 26. Polling Question: The Value of Automated Web Data Collection Are you convinced that an automated Web data extraction process can help accelerate your billing reconciliation processes? Yes – we are doing this now Yes – we are planning to automate in the near future No – not at this time I need more information before deciding
  • 27. 27 Scope Your Project: 5 Steps
  • 28. Scoping Your Project: Steps to Success 1. Decide which networks/ad servers will be most valuable for an automated data collection effort 2. Make a list of those sites with the access URL and login credentials 3. Contact Connotate 4. We’ll provide a customized cost estimate 5. Sign a contract and enjoy hassle-free ad statistics collection! 28
  • 29. Here’s What Success Looks Like… Up to 400% improvement in billing reconciliation time Eliminate error-prone processes Collect 7 days of statistics in 6 minutes Drastically reduce IT maintenance headaches 29 …Connotate’s experts can help you achieve success
  • 30. Q & A Connotate will email a link to this presentation as well as a copy of the slides to you within 2 business days. If you have an immediate need and would like us to contact you about a forthcoming project, please email us at or call (+1) 732-296-8844. For more information, visit or 30