We all end up caught in certain ways of thinking; trapped by old habits or an outdated manner of doing things. Often, we don’t even realize we are trapped at all, let alone see a path out of the trap. Trying to manage sample by managing sources is just such an example. Managing sources is when you make sweeping decisions about quality and duplication based on binary decisions about sources being “good” or “bad”. I contend that there’s a better way, and it has to do with managing sample on the more granular user level.

Tracking users, not sources
Because respondents come through a variety of advertising channels – media buys, web publishers, social media ads, other recruits, etc. – looking at things on the source level is a poor form of measurement. We now have the ability to look deeper using technology, such as artificial intelligence, to root out fraud for example. With AI, we can see far beyond the source to more accurate information.

It is true, we track the source of the traffic on many levels, but tracking at the user level provides the most success when it comes to performing quality checks. Why is it a better measurement to track users instead of sources? Well, users can be members of many different panels, so blocking a source can often simply reduce reach to the users that aren’t crossover members of other panels. Blocking unique (real) users is never anyone’s goal.

What about duplication?
Fraud is just one concern to consider. Duplication can also be a challenge. In today’s data-driven environment, we are able to access more user information than ever before. What if we used panelist information to prevent duplication via a universal unique identifier specifically at the panelist level? This could be accomplished by something as simple as collecting email on every panelist and fingerprint the user on a multitude of other identifiable factors, like IP address, to prevent the same user from entering the same survey. P2Sample has already had a very high success rate in preventing duplicate completes using our security factors.

However, a supplier cannot control the vetting process on the client side. If clients were providing the same level of “real-time” filtering of users, there would be a high reduction in duplicates, and a significantly better user experience for the panelists.

Expertise and speed are the answer
Just as sample buyers ask us to block certain suppliers, the most common questions we receive from suppliers is: “Can you block a specific buyer?” My response back to them is always: “Why block buyers?” At P2Sample, we address issues like payout terms, dedicated completions and other standards head-on as our dedicated demand team works to get the best terms for our supply clients. We have some of the best developers and operations people in the business who are well versed in integration optimization. This influences the ever-important metric of speed. The faster we can engage users and get supply into the survey, the higher the likelihood of conversion. When they see this in action, they stop asking the question!

Managing sample by source is an outmoded way of thinking. New technology and algorithms powered by billions of data points enable us to manage sample at a more granular level, permitting us to ensure quality while maintaining speed and reach. This approach benefits everyone.



About the author:

 Steve Orebaugh has more than a decade of successful performance-based marketing and digital advertising experience. In his current role as VP of business development for P2Sample, he is responsible for the supply side of business development which includes affiliate marketing, offer, publisher and supply management.