Ad Management Software | 13 | WebReference

Ad Management Software | 13


[Editor's note: this article was written by Charlie Morris in August of 1998. As such, we cannot insure that information enclosed is up to date as of the time you are reading it. Please contact the vendors discussed for updated information on their individual offerings.]

Part 2

For those who will take the time to access them, online reports actually offer a couple of advantages. They provide up-to-the-minute data, and the client has a certain amount of flexibility in generating different reports on demand, like a particular time period, for instance. Most of the major packages let you control what level of detail advertisers are allowed to see.

My experience in the ad business has been that no matter how great your reports are, there will always be clients who demand something different. Some advertising agencies even insist on using their own ad serving system, so that they can keep track of the traffic statistics on their end. Packages that can handle "rich" banner formats can usually handle serving a snippet of code instead of a graphic, so these networks can be integrated into your system.

Simple ASCII reports for e-mailing have a couple of big drawbacks. First, they simply don't look pretty. Remember, the ones who will be reading these reports are marketing types. Second, a wide variety of e-mail clients are in use these days, and they violently disagree about how carriage returns and tabs should be handled. A report that lines up perfectly in Eudora may end up a jumbled mess in Outlook or Lotus Notes. All too often, an ASCII report ends up so mangled that it is almost impossible to tell which column is which. An ideal ad-management package would be able to generate HTML reports, and send them out automatically as e-mail attachments. The same reports should also be viewable online. A nice bonus is the ability to customize the reports to use your logo and color scheme.

Comments are welcome

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Created: Aug. 19, 1998
Revised: Aug. 25, 1998