In a recent display training, a question came up regarding strategy for budget pacing. While it is obviously an important topic, and one we discuss on a daily basis around our pod, I’m not sure I’ve ever been asked that question directly before. The topic could easily take up an entire training session and cover multiple channels, but for this purpose, I’ve decided to list a few best practices that we typically employ on display media-focused campaigns:
- Don’t get even
It is very easy when you are setting up a campaign to set a daily pacing goal, turn it on, and let it go. If you are lucky and hitting campaign goals, it might not be your first instinct to take risks and make changes to your spend levels. While even daily pacing works in some cases, especially on CPC based campaigns, adjusting your daily spend caps based on trends from day of week or time of day performance, promotional calendar or competition could help your campaign run more efficiently and perform at a higher level. Most partners and platforms allow you to adjust bids automatically based on these performance parameters, so why not take advantage of it.
- Remember the bigger picture
Checking pacing is more than looking at your daily spend. Rather than making sure that your campaign is pacing evenly for the month, ask yourself a few questions – do I need to reserve budget to boost spend on specific days, such as promotions? Are there certain days I could be taking more advantage of? Am I being fully efficient in how I am looking at my budget for the month?
Taking into consideration your brand’s goals, key dates and past performance will help ensure that you are hitting appropriate pacing levels. Also try to avoid blasting out spend towards the end of the month, as it tends to have increased competition and higher CPMs.
- Set up trackers – An excuse commonly heard around budget monitoring is the time it takes to actual check it. Take advantage of resources and include budget pacing as part of your daily or weekly trackers. A few simple calculations will help give you an idea of where your campaign is netting out so far for the month compared to where you should be, although you shouldn’t rely on this solely per points above.
We take pride in the notion that each campaign and plan we execute is customized for the brand, and having a budget pacing strategy fits right into that customization. While it can easily get disregarded and overlooked on a to-do list, it is important to keep track of and to ensure that you are effectively utilizing campaign budgets.