How to Analyze Media Buying Campaign’s Variations

 5 min read


Media buying campaigns variations are what’s all about!

Keep reading to become enlightened and learn more than our experts!

In fact, you should imagine you’ve got a media buying campaign.

After a while, results start showing up.

What happens, then?

The competition starts increasing on a daily basis!

Meaning what?

That you’ve gotta be prepared to face and work with two aspects of the same story.

Indeed, even though having good results is a challenging process, it’s much harder to actually maintain them.

If you fail to see the various signs and warnings left as a signature in the campaigns’ statistics, your performance will be at risk and the margins may be slowly destroyed.

Some of these remarks refer particularly to networks which use smart bid.

Nonetheless, you may use other parameters other than the SmartCPM to really understand the market.

Ad networks are growing, steadily updating their features and statistics to provide us the best possible user experience – always result-oriented.

Let’s analyze some situations you need to fully understand in order to react accordingly.

Remember that “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” and you never know what can happen in the next hour when you’re doing Media buy.

Imagine your performance was decreasing by a lot in the last days.

Then, you should try to understand whether it was because of competition, a problem on the offer side, or another issue.

Offers, Revenue, CTR and Traffic Quality

There’s a direct connection between these parameters.

If the offers are better, the revenues will also be better.

If the CTR is higher it will also mean a higher revenue.

Be careful, though.

It won’t mean a higher profit as it has to be combined with the costs.

Don’t forget that higher CPM also means higher CTR and, in the end, higher costs.

You can have an idea of the offers’ quality by looking at your revenues and traffic quality.

There are 2 possible explanations for a drop in your campaign margin:

  • If the revenues are similar, or have increased slightly, then costs are the problem
    • If the costs have increased and the CTR has increased that means the competitor (which was above you) lowered the bid just below you. In this case, your CPM is higher (if the ad network has SmartCPM method) than before, which makes your costs increase. If you cannot support the costs you should lower your bid below him. If you’re using CPM method, the cost won’t increase inasmuch as it’s a fixed value;
    • If the costs increased and the CTR is the same it may be an indication that the network is now sending more traffic for the spot. In this case, your costs just increased due to a volume increase. You should analyze the targeting and if you cannot afford this position you should lower the bid or decrease the capping.
  • If the revenues dropped, it may be because of two situations:
    • The offer is now performing worse than before. You should ask your account manager what happened with the offers. Knowing the state of the offer will allow you to know whether or not you need to make changes. For example, if it’s just a temporary pause for 24 hours, you shouldn’t change anything in the campaign;
    • You’ve lost a position in the ranking and the traffic quality is lower. You may use the CTR values to check this situation and the impressions variation. If you’ve lost a position you may want to recover the ranking position. For that, you need to increase your campaign’s bid. Yes, the costs will be higher, but you may still afford it. Don’t forget: a higher bid increases your quality.

If the margin increased, it may be due to one or more of the following situations:

  • The revenues just increased because of a better performing offer. You should try to get a higher traffic share while you have a well-performing offer. You should also contact your AM and congratulate his team
  • The revenue just increased because you’re now receiving better quality traffic. This may be because the above competitor gave up on the segment or it went to lower positions than the competitor just below you
  • The revenues didn’t increase but you have the same quality of traffic at lower prices. This situation is only possible if the competitor below you gave up on the segment (if the adnetwork has SmartCPM method)

This signature will be visible in the lower CPM values and in the lower costs.

Your best move in this situation is no move at all.

If the ad network uses the CPM method, the costs are fixed because the CPM value is fixed.

Launching or Reactivating Old Campaigns

Launching campaigns near holidays/weekends/periods when you know you won’t be able to control your campaigns may be tricky.

Some mediabuyers check their campaigns 24/7 but others can’t constantly be checking performances.

Be careful with this to avoid situations in which your performance can be out of control, making you lose money during some days.

Reactivating old ones can also be a tricky task. The environment (competition or offers) may have changed and you should be careful when testing traffic.

If your performance was good:

  • You should select capping equals to one, even if you had a very good performance before, so as to avoid crazy costs and performances. You may increase the capping if you see that conditions are good
  • At the time of reactivation, you should keep the older optimization. Later on, don’t forget to test a wider targeting, especially if you have profit

You may want to reactivate a less profitable campaign, if you want to test the targeting again or if you had no time to optimize at that moment.

So, if the performance was poor:

  • You should select capping equals to one, and keep it while the campaign isn’t very profitable.
  • You should use the targeting you have if you consider that the last optimizations were done correctly and not too much time has passed since it was active.
  • If you think the optimization may be out of date it will be better to test the segment again, from the beginning, by including all parameters.

How To Minimize Risk in These Situations

If you know you have to be careful but you still want to activate the campaigns, you may minimize risks.

Ad networks introduced some features that can be useful to prevent big losses:

  • You may select a daily budget which will set a maximum spending by day
  • You may select a total budget which will set a maximum spending for a campaign
  • You may do a day-parting. It may be a good solution to control your costs or test new segments during the “hot” hours and avoid huge costs at the beginning

Pay attention to these features.

Even though they may seem positive at a first glance, they may limit your revenues if you don’t get all the traffic you’re supposed to get.

Indeed, you’ve got to use these features wisely.

I hope these pieces of advice were helpful to you.

I’m sure that, using these fresh tips, you’re gonna make money rain!

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