Xiaoming Shao
Nov 21, 2012

Five things to consider when optimising premium inventory for online ad campaigns

Xiaoming Shao, managing director, APAC, for Maxifier, shares five tips marketers can employ to make sure their online-advertising campaigns are optimised in line with their objectives.

Five things to consider when optimising premium inventory for online ad campaigns

In today’s world of online display advertising, publishers and advertisers need to work together to ensure that every campaign delivers to its objective. When looking to buy or sell premium inventory for your campaigns, here are some optimisation tips worth taking into account to ensure your campaigns deliver against your requirements.

1. Optimise to the metrics that are important to you, not just the ones that are considered ‘the norm’
Online advertising is dominated by the response metrics, so loved by performance-driven advertisers, which are quick and easy to measure and report on. If these are the metrics by which you want your campaign success defined and measured, that’s great. However, if the metrics most important to you are more brand-oriented—viewability, interaction and engagement, which are all growing in importance—then this is how you should be gauging success. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Ultimately, advertising must work for the individual advertiser, and a good publisher or agency should be able to help optimise around what is relevant to the specific business.

2. Make sure every campaign you run is optimised
For an advertiser, all campaigns are important, and you want them to achieve their goals. Optimisation plays an important role in helping advertisers invest money where it will have the most impact. In fact, Maxifier’s research shows that campaigns are optimised 10 times on average throughout the process (see footnote). However, some publishers and networks only optimise a proportion of their campaigns, as they lack the resource or tools to be able to afford this option for every advertiser. Where possible, make sure they optimise for your campaigns, and ask them to show you what changes they made and how those changes have positively impacted your campaign, to ensure you can learn what works best for your business. And publishers, ensure you optimise campaigns where at all possible to keep your clients happy.

3. Use science rather than gut feel 
In this increasingly automated, complex, dynamic and algorithm-driven online advertising world, technology is playing a key role in all aspects of the process. Make sure your partners are utilising technology to help deliver swift, relevant, frequent and intelligent optimisation options, and not relying on gut feel/guesswork or spreadsheets, which could lead to ineffective or incorrect decisions.

4. Learn what’s driving campaign success
Many companies band around the word ‘transparency’ in relation to online advertising and what it has to offer. Advertisers and publishers should be continually discussing the steps that are being implemented to optimise their campaigns and reviewing the impact these measures are having on ensuring they deliver. At the very least it will give both parties the peace of mind that the correct action is being taken. Moreover it can also provide valuable insights into campaign improvement steps including frequency of ad views, specific zones that are delivering, or priority levels—all of which can help in the planning of future campaigns. 

5. Premium optimisation requires premium solutions
The term "programmatic premium" is giving rise to technology that was originally set up to monetise low-value, high-volume remnant inventory at scale now being described as a programmatic premium solution. However, just as McDonald's cannot suddenly morph from being a fast-food business into a Michelin-starred restaurant, technology designed for one purpose cannot suddenly reinvent itself for another use. Publishers should make sure the tools they are using to help deliver premium-focused campaigns (as opposed to remnant campaigns) are fit for purpose and that the optimisation strategy is not being driven with tools associated with the trading of remnant inventory.

Footnote: From a telephone survey of 227 respondents (102 in the US; 125 in the UK), overseen by Loudhouse, a London-based independent market research agency.

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