Optimization Best Practices: Part 2

July 27, 2022by Michael Bellitte

In part two of the Optimization Best Practices series, let’s take a look at some additional best practices to keep in mind:


Manually Optimize Where AI Does Not

We recommend making manual optimizations that work alongside automated optimizations made by your DSP’s AI. The most efficient way to achieve this is by focusing your manual optimizations on the grains/vectors that AI does not consider. In Ventura’s preferred DSP this includes Time of Day, Device Make & Model, Internet Connection Type, and Language,among others. With this approach, you avoid any unintended consequences of having your own manual optimizations skew the algorithms working on your behalf.


Use Bid Factors To Action on Granular Insights

Bid factoring is a form of optimizing that uses a numerical value as a multiplier that is applied to your base bid to either increase or decrease your bid for a particular impression. It is a tool to help media buyers pay the right price for each impression. Bid up on inventory that is working well and that you are willing to pay more for. Bid down on inventory that is under-performing and not worth paying as much for. Remember to take into consideration your potential spend when bidding down on inventory.

There are two simple formulas to determine appropriate bid factors. For cost-based metrics, the calculation is Goal or Average metric divided by Actual metric. For rate-based metrics the calculation is Actual metric divided by Goal or Average metric. Let’s apply this to a real life scenario. You’re running a campaign with a $4 CPA goal and pull a Time of Day report. You notice that between 10am-11am the campaign is yielding a $4.91 CPA. Since CPA is a cost-based metric, the formula would be Goal CPA/10-11am CPA which equates to 

4/4.91 = .81 This is the bid factor that should be applied to the 10-11am hour in the platform. 


Don’t Forget About Verification Metrics

Tracking and optimizing Verification Metrics such as Viewability, Brand Safety, Fraud, and On-Target Percentage will keep your campaign in a healthy state. Apply targeting parameters that will help you achieve your desired Verification Metrics. For example, you can apply a 60% In-view Rate setting so that the campaign only bids on inventory that has historically achieved 60% or higher viewability. 

Please keep in mind that while Verification Metrics are important, they are not a substitution for Business Results. Therefore, they should not be used as primary KPI’s. Another consideration is that there’s a tradeoff between optimizing for Verification Metrics and Business Results. For example, if you’re too strict with viewability requirements, you might reduce bid opportunities to drive a more efficient CPA. It’s essential to think through how these metrics are working together.