How to Troubleshoot a Sudden Decrease or Stop in Delivery

There are several reasons that a Line Item could see a sudden decrease or stop in delivery. While there may not always be a straightforward explanation, below are the main reasons this may happen as well as some suggestions to troubleshoot. If you take these steps to troubleshoot and the Line Item is still not delivering after 24 hours of making all changes, reach out to your Account Manager for additional assistance.  

Reasons this may happen: 

  1. Platform optimizations restrict the inventory being targeted
    The Pontiac algorithm will make changes to your campaign to improve performance on the selected KPI on the days selected in the ‘Optimization Schedule’. These changes can include a block list of domains and exchanges that are not performing well. Each optimization creates campaign splits with certain percentages of the daily budget. Sometimes these optimizations take a large percentage of the budget and block certain sites or exchanges that have had lower performance. It is possible that these optimizations can hurt scale if a large percentage of the impressions being won were on these sites or through these exchanges.
  2. Increased competition for the targeted inventory
    While the line was previously winning inventory with the set bids and targeting, this is not a guarantee that it will continue winning with this set-up. On the open exchange and in real-time bidding situations, closing CPMs can be unpredictable and can fluctuate greatly depending on the level of competition and the size of the players involved. If other campaigns are launched or increase their bids, especially against the same audiences, deals, or inventory lists, it is possible that increased competition could cause a Line Item to stop winning.  
  3. Frequency Caps
    If you are utilizing frequency caps on a Line Item with small audiences, your Line may see a decrease in delivery or stop delivering altogether as it starts to exhaust these caps for available users. This is especially relevant for Remarketing campaigns, or highly targeted Line Items.
  4. Changes on the publisher side 
    Pontiac connects Advertisers with publisher inventory being monetized through SSPs. Publishers use a variety of strategies to monetize available inventory and any change in Pontiac’s position in the waterfall could affect current Line Items and the inventory available. Changes to a publisher’s monetization strategy, such as monetizing more inventory through direct deals or increasing their price floor can lead to a decrease in delivery for Pontiac campaigns. Note, the Pontiac team has no visibility into any changes that could be occurring on the Publisher side. 
  5. Unexplained anomalies 
    The Pontiac team is committed to taking all necessary steps to uncover and resolve any issues with active campaigns as quickly as possible. However, as with most technology, there is always a possibility that there could be unexplained anomalies that cause a Line Item to stop delivering. While some cases may be unexplainable, our team will continue to investigate these issues and work with you to troubleshoot.  

Steps to Troubleshoot: 

  1. Increase the max bid
    There are several potential scenarios that would lead to the inventory clearing at a higher CPM including, but not limited to, increased competition or an increased price floor on the publisher end. As visibility into these issues is limited, we always recommend increasing the max bid as one of the first steps in troubleshooting limited delivery.
  2. Set ‘KPI’ to ‘Reach’
    A breakdown of these optimizations can be seen at the bottom of the Line Item page, including the date the optimization was made, the percentage of the budget and the change made. Look for optimizations with dates that correlate to the date the Line Item delivery dropped off. If these optimizations took a very large percentage of the budget and block listed sites or exchange, it is possible that this optimization is hurting delivery as the campaign may have been delivering a large percentage of impressions to this inventory. The optimizations can be removed by changing the campaign ‘KPI’ to ‘Reach. This will remove all optimizations from the Line and the Line will no longer make optimizations going forward. The Line Item will instead focus on reaching the desired scale either in impressions or budget. As optimizations are removed suddenly from the Line Item, there may be a slight decrease in performance as the Line ramps to scale, but your Account Manager can assist you with making manual optimizations to improve performance. For more information on making manual optimizations see here: Improving Campaign Performance
  3. Apply Dynamic Frequency or set Frequency Caps to Zero
    Applying Dynamic Frequency to your Line, or setting caps to 0 will help to troubleshoot as to whether or not frequency caps are the cause of limited delivery. To turn on Dynamic Frequency, open the Line item, select ‘Edit’, check the ‘Allow Dynamic Frequency’ box and submit changes.
  4. Clone the Line Item
    In the case of an anomaly with the platform technology, the issue may be with the actual object of the Line Item and not the Line Item configuration. In this case cloning the Line and saving it as a completely new Line may resolve the issue. To do this use the ‘Clone’ button, update the Line Item name, flight dates and Lifetime Budget or Impressions to be the remaining budget for the Line Item, then submit. Turn the previous Line Item to inactive to avoid overspend.  
  5. Expand Line Item Targeting
    There are several ways that you can try to open the targeting on the Line Item. This could be adding additional sites or apps to your inventory targeting lists, including additional deals, adding additional Third-Party audiences, or expanding the geo. Removing certain targeting parameters entirely may also help to troubleshoot whether or not one or more of these parameters may be the cause of the issue.