Inventale Develops a Tool for Ad Campaign Monitoring
Just imagine a situation when even after setting the highest priority for an ad campaign, being late, it ends with under-delivery. And this is preceded by long (but finally successful) negotiations with the client to loosen the campaign’s targeting parameters. However, nothing has worked. Sounds familiar? Let us together explore the reasons behind ad campaign under-delivery and try to figure out possible solutions.
We have analyzed more than one thousand ad campaigns, not delivered on time, and identified the following factors that can cause delays:
1) Mistakes in media planning
Leading market players understand the necessity for usage of modern media-planning tools. Nowadays this task is solved by publishers in different ways and with varying degrees of success. The most “primitive” way is to build your models in Excel, based on the ad server reports. Yes, this is coupled with additional efforts on data pre-processing and analysis, but as a result, one can get reasonable accuracy for big slices (such as a website or region). However when planning an ad campaign, it is important to know “how much is available” and not just “how much in total” and consider competing ad campaigns, already running or booked. Theoretically, this factor can be included in Excel calculations, but this will be very time-consuming, and the accuracy of the forecast will be low. Besides, this method is impossible for forecasting by frequency capping or narrow targeting.
Dedicated media-planning and ad inventory forecasting systems, such as Inventale Forecasting, do not have such drawbacks. They give quick and accurate forecasts, saving trafficker’s time and efforts on tuning Excel-files for each separate query.
2) Not updated data
A business deal’s life-cycle from first contacts with an advertiser to the start of an ad campaign can be very long. During this life-cycle, new deals appear and inventory is being sold. This may lead to the situation when the inventory that has been promised to the advertiser will no longer be available at the moment of contract signing. As a result, there is a significant risk that the new ad campaign will be delayed. Sometimes two sales managers are signing contracts for the same ad space at the same time, which leads to double sales and overbooking. That is why it is essential to reserve inventory in one system and in time, thus providing actuality of data on available impressions and avoiding inventory overbooking.
3) Changes in settings of competing campaigns
Even when all media-planning stages of an ad campaign are passed correctly, this does not exclude its dependency on competing ad campaigns, the settings of which can change in the process of delivery.
4) Traffic fluctuations
Such fluctuations may have a great influence on network campaigns delivery dynamics. Fluctuations can differ by nature. Some of them may and need to be included into the forecast, such as natural fluctuations (seasonality, hour and day profiles, holidays), and external events (launch of a new project, promo, premiers). However there are also accidental fluctuations (technical failures on a website or ad server, competitors’ promo), the prediction of which is impossible, but they are to be considered when extrapolating the past to the future.
People are not robots, and even when all stages of media-planning are passed correctly, errors can occur anyway.
Maria, Account Manager: “There was a case of launching an ad campaign, the reach for which exceeded average website figures by ten times. Luckily, our experienced trafficker noticed the mistake during the campaign delivery, and they managed to reconsider the contract conditions. It was the case though that made us realize our urgent need for an automated tool for ad campaign monitoring, enabling us to identify problems in the early stages and react accordingly”.
Inventale offers a complex solution to the stated above challenges. To tackle them we have developed a new Monitoring module for tracking running campaigns in addition to our Forecasting module, already well-known to leading publishers.
Inventale Monitoring gives traffickers access to the actual data on ad campaigns’ current delivery status, signals risks of Delivery Goal failure and provides a delivery forecast for each ad campaign at the moment of its completion. Thus the website’s owners get a full picture of their network for 60 days ahead – how many ad campaigns are ending in the next couple of days, what their current delivery status is, how they will be running in the future and if each is delivered on time.
The following metrics are available for each ad campaign:
- Current delivery
- Current underdelivery
- Delivery status for yesterday
- Forecast for the moment of campaign’s end
- Under-delivery – the gap between the impressions goal and number of delivered impressions at the end of campaign
6) Ease of use
Users of the system have a full picture of an ad network for the next 60 days, can see the volume of forecasted under-delivery and react accordingly by tuning ad campaign settings for reducing the gap. Also, they can always outline the most important information, using filters, such as filters by Delivery Forecast, Ad Campaign Days Left, Priority.
7) Automation, risk alerts
The system simulates the distribution of impressions between current and future ad campaigns by ad server algorithms and disperses traffic between ad campaigns for you. With this dashboard, traffickers can always keep their eye on the ball and react quickly in case of problems. Inventale Monitoring warns about risks of ad campaign under-delivery in real time and also shows when the situation improves. There is also a function of loading data into Excel for further processing and analysis.
8) Timely reaction
Inventale Monitoring allows the identification of risks beforehand and rapid reaction without losses. Moreover, the tool will warn the user about risks for a campaign running well now, if, during its lifecycle, a large competing ad campaign is planned for launch.
9) Consideration of majority of factors
Monitoring module considers most factors, which in a standard situation a trafficker can miss or not perceive their influence on the ad campaign, such as traffic fluctuations (weekly, monthly), or trends. This is especially important for short ad campaigns and ad campaigns ending soon.
Together with Forecasting, Monitoring module constitutes an ideal set of tools for media-planning, sales and delivery control.
Many publishers have already evaluated all the benefits of Inventale Monitoring, and below is the feedback of one of them:
Alex, Traffic Manager: “When implementing Inventale’s toolset, my colleagues and I were worried that with its functionality the system was aimed at replacing us. Partially it is true, as indeed the system does all routine calculations on simulation, so now we can use this free time more effectively. Inventale gives quick forecasts for our ad campaigns, shows a full picture of what goes well and what not so well, and we can focus on campaign management. The accuracy of the forecast has also appeared to be higher than our calculations in Excel. So highly recommended, it should definitely be included in a trafficker’s toolset!”