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TV+'s New Automated Performance Optimization: Designed for Transparency from the Ground Up

Updated: Oct. 24, 2023
Published: Jul. 10, 2023

Most CTV campaigns don’t get optimized properly. Often, programmatic buyers take a set-it-and-forget-it approach: they set up their CTV campaigns and let them run so they can move on to setting up their next campaign. Several marketers and traders that we’ve spoken to only sporadically optimize them.

Even more sophisticated programmatic buyers feel frustrated with the state of affairs. They may use their demand-side platform’s automated optimization capabilities but feel they have little control and no visibility into the AI’s decisioning. The auto-optimization either works or doesn’t, and extracting learnings about why things do or don’t work is difficult.

What’s driving this state of affairs?

Manual optimization is tedious and suboptimal. We noticed that many traders were spending a lot of time – about 65% of their time based on industry benchmarks – on manual optimization. Someone’s kept busy allocating budget from line item to line item daily. This work is understandably tedious and error-prone. Plus, humans take lunch breaks, sign off for the day, and sometimes make typos that misallocate funds to a poorly performing line item.

Line item limitations. Manual optimization is also limited to the line items you set up – and unless you’re setting up thousands of different line items to capture the combinatorial of each individual parameter (daypart, creative, app, device, etc.) – your manual optimization at the macro line item level is simply not going to compare to optimizing at the micro parameter level.

Opaque optimization. Many vendors say, “Just trust the AI,” giving you no transparency into the black box workings of their optimization algorithms. So when things don’t go as planned, you’ll have no visibility into the adjustments the algo has made, no idea why things are going awry, and no clue how to course-correct.

Optimize CTV as easily as your paid social campaign with TV+ Automated Performance Optimization

We’re excited to release our Automated Performance Optimization (APO) engine as part of TV+ Connected TV Solution. APO makes optimizing your CTV campaigns as easy as you would optimize your paid search campaigns – switch on automated optimization and let the machines get to work.

The APO engine automatically allocates your budget across different parameters (dayparts, apps, publishers, etc.) depending on which parameters drive the best outcomes. You can choose which metric to optimize against: from mid-funnel engagement metrics like cost-per-unique-visitor or cost-per-visit to lower-funnel action metrics like cost-per-conversion.

Performance Optimization Report

Track the APO’s allocation decisions and see how it drives your KPIs. APO allocates budgets automatically across different parameters such as apps, publishers, creative, and dayparts. You can easily see which parameters are driving the allocation decisions on a daily basis throughout the life of the campaign.

With Automated Performance Optimization, you can...

Achieve your performance goals faster. Performance Optimization helps you achieve your performance goals faster and more efficiently. To do so, we harness the power of machine learning to analyze web traffic and conversion patterns to optimize campaign parameters that maximize conversions. Because our optimization engine is continuously running, it’s always learning, always experimenting, and always calibrating. All of this has the cumulative effect of hitting your KPIs faster.

Track optimization against multiple KPIs. Depending on your business model, conversion funnels can get complicated. Though our Optimization Engine optimizes based on a specific metric, you can still monitor and report on how your campaign is tracking against multiple action/conversion KPIs.

See under the hood to course correct. TV+ APO gives you a full reckoning of all budget allocation decisions it makes. So if you want to see how much lift the APO is delivering, check – you can see that. If you want to see which publishers and dayparts are receiving more budget from the APO, check – you can see that as well.

Monster.com further tunes their already well-tuned acquisition machine

Just ask our client, online recruitment company Monster. Thanks to our fine-tuned performance strategy, Monster, who already had a very low cost per unique visitor (CPUV) for jobseekers, looked to Automated Performance Optimization to lock in their gains and prevent the decay of their CPUV metric.

To their surprise and delight, APO lowered their already low CPUVs by shaving off an additional 20%! To read more about it, check out our Monster.com case study.

Smart balancing between exploration and exploitation

Our algorithm continually balances between exploration and exploitation and applies gradual improvements to remove early biases and achieve the global optimum. Budgets are also re-allocated across different participants within the exploration and exploitation sets.

Let’s see it in action using the diagram below.

How to Get Started with Auto-Optimization

Getting auto-optimization up and running on your next CTV campaign is straightforward. Work with your Client Success Manager, who can guide you!

  1. Tailor to how you define success. As a prerequisite, you’ll want to ensure that your tags are all set up on your website or app to track the events you will optimize on. You’ll want to determine the primary KPI/event (cost-per-visitor or cost-per-action) that you want to optimize. We generally limit optimization metrics to ones with a conversion rate > 0.1%
  2. Sit back, and have the Machine Learning powered optimization drive efficient performance. When the campaign launches, your Client Success Manager can switch on the auto-optimization engine. TV+ pulls the tracked web/app data in real time into the machine learning optimization engine and pushes out reallocation decisions daily. The engine looks at parameters like publisher, daypart, creative, and app to determine how to make the next allocation decision.
  3. Monitor results and optimized parameters in real time. After an initial “learning period” – usually about seven days, the Automated Performance Optimization starts reallocating a portion of your budget to better-performing line items, usually 20% daily. However, you can work with your CSM to adjust that. You can monitor the real-time results throughout the flight of the campaign.

What Sets TV+ Auto Optimization Apart

We’ve always taken a perspective of designing our tools to be purpose-built for CTV and with transparency in mind. That’s allowed us to create an CTV optimization engine that’s unique to what’s out in the market. How exactly?

  • Decisioning Transparency. Unlike other DSPs’ optimization algorithms, the TV+ Optimization Engine is not a black box. You can track how it re-allocates budget over time based on a specific metric while monitoring performance against other action or conversion KPIs. APO allocates budgets automatically across different parameters such as apps, publishers, creative, and dayparts. You can easily see which parameters are driving the allocation decisions on a daily basis throughout the life of the campaign. Why does that matter? So you can see and validate what is working, and learn more about what drives performance for your audience along the way.
  • Measure the Lift. Most DSPs won’t tell you how much lift their optimization engine brought to your campaign. With TV+’s Automated Performance Optimization, we can isolate an unoptimized control group and compare its performance to an optimized test group and tell you exactly how much lift APO is driving.

Enable Automated Performance Optimization on every CTV campaign

Are you ready to take your company's growth to the next level? It's time to stop guessing and start optimizing with the full power of CTV! To turn on Automated Performance Optimization on your next CTV campaign, talk to your Client Success Manager or contact sales@simulmedia.com.