Skip to main content

Ad Discrepancy in CM360

What is CM360?

Google Campaign Manager 360 (CM360) is an ad server within Google’s Marketing Platform which allows to host and manage digital advertising all in one place and review creative performance in real-time.

Marketers use CM360 to manually create tracking assets called “tags”, which are then delivered by a media partner. 

What is Ad Discrepancy?

Ad discrepancy refers to a difference in analytical data between two parties. Discrepancies arise from the use of multiple tools, formulas, and methodologies to calculate data. The most frequent metrics used by publishers and advertisers are impressions, clicks, page views, user sessions, bounce rate, and others, depending on the use case.

The advertising industry is currently experiencing two types of discrepancies:

1) between ad tech vendors;

2) between sell-side and buy-side platforms.

What percentage of discrepancy is considered normal by CM360?

When counting clicks and impressions, discrepancies of up to 20% are considered normal by CM360.

What are the frequently occurring reasons of discrepancies in CM360?
  1. Reports with imprecise comparisons. For instance, do the third-party report and the Campaign Manager 360 report have the same date range?
  2. The initially exported tag has been wrapped or changed.
  3. Incorrectly implemented cache-busting.
  4. Tag has been implemented more than once.

What do to if discrepancy is more than 20%?

If clicks/impressions discrepancy is more than 20%, recommend to the client to contact Google Marketing Platform support and to do so while the campaign is still live. 

Before contacting support, client has to make sure that campaign has enough data, since according to CM360 discrepancies with limited data (less than 1,000 impressions) cannot be investigated. 

To receive a faster support, CM360 recommends to have this information ready:

  1. A placement report broken down by date that allows comparison between CM360 and 3rd Party platform/Site.
  2. A live URL or a live app where support can view the ad tags. If that's not possible, provide a test URL or app that's implemented exactly as the live tags - creative preview page in our instance.

Use CM360's official discrepancy spreadsheet to send this information to their support.