Beginners' Guide to Troubleshooting in Marin
Published: January 28, 2015
Author: Molly Shotwell
Marin Software provides a cross-channel campaign management platform that allows advertisers to easily manage multiple SEM accounts and campaigns through one (somewhat) intuitive user interface. It is a very powerful tool that allows advertisers to quickly segment data, automate recurring tasks and reports, as well as make on the fly bid adjustments and other campaign changes at scale.
All of the useful tools that Marin offers advertisers does come at a price. Marin’s platform has a rather steep learning curve. It takes time and a lot of effort to really understand how to get the most out of the platform and to even feel comfortable with using it to make large scale changes. Marin Software offers multiple instructional courses and campaign management certifications to make the platform less daunting, however these courses suck up a lot of time and I personally still found myself on Google looking for a solution to my problem even after completing the certifications.
Through trial and error, I learned the hard way how to solve a lot of issues within Marin. Here are some of the more common problems I have faced.
1. Bulk Upload Failure
One of the more common and frustrating issues that I’ve come across in Marin is bulk upload failure. I say this is frustrating because there are situations when the user is 100% not at fault for the failure. If the platform is processing multiple tasks in the background while the user is attempting to upload, there is a chance that the upload will fail. It’s just a risk that you run with using Marin.
However, do not fret if this happens to you. If the upload fails, the platform will retry the upload automatically and continously for one hour. More often than not, this will fix the issue and you will not have to take any other action.
2. Web Query Failure
One of the better features of Marin is the automated web query reports which you can customize and automate to run any day of the week. These reports save you from having to manually pull the same report week after week. On occasion, these reports will not populate with the correct data (generally, you will see the report data from the previous week). If this is the case, you’ll have to run the report manually.
This sounds like a pain, but because you have the report template already saved, running the report will be a breeze. Simply click the Reports button at the top-right, then click the Report Templates tab on the left. Once you find the report you are looking for, check the box to the left of the report name and then click the Run Report Now button. The next time you open the web query report, all of the data should be fresh.
3. Campaign Data Out Of Sync
Marin is set to sync automatically with your advertising channels at midnight in order to keep all campaign settings and data accurate. In my experience, it is best to be proactive and manually sync campaigns after making large changes to one of the channels, such as removing ads or adding in many new keywords/ad groups. To manually sync the altered campaigns, click the Channels tab and then click the Manage Accounts button. A pop-up window will appear. From that window, select the account and campaigns that need to be synced with the platform.
4. Destination URLs Missing Tracking Tags
As I mentioned earlier, Marin is set to sync with all accounts overnight to catch any changes that are made but is susceptible to missing some of these changes. The most common place where I notice the platform drops the ball is with destination URLs. Marin can be set to automatically append tracking tags to base destination URLs, but will miss many of those URLs if they are uploaded through AdWords or AdCenter beforehand.
The best way to ensure all URLs are properly tagged and tracked is to upload the ads/destination URLs directly through the Marin platform and push the changes to the specific channels from there. To do this, simply go to the Creatives tab and click the Bulk Add/Edit Creatives link at the bottom left hand of the screen. There you will be able to select a file to upload, and the tracking tags will be automatically appended on each destination URL after the file is processed. Hands down, this is the safest way to ensure tracking tags are placed on URLs. So far, I have never encountered any tracking issues from uploading ads through this method.
If you have not used this method for uploading creative before and you notice there are active destination URLs in your campaigns missing tracking tags, the problem can be corrected by downloading the currently active ads from the platform to obtain the Creative IDs and uploading the ads missing the tracking through the Bulk Add/Edit Creatives page. This will edit the existing destination URLs and add the proper tagging to the URLs.
If you still find yourself having issues with Marin’s platform, make use of the Help Desk! The customer service reps are always eager to help and usually respond to tickets in 24 hours or less.