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Transparent Programmatic Campaign Optimization

Jaime Singson
Jaime Singson  |  Senior Director, Product and Marketing
Published: Apr. 18, 2024

In July 2023, we unveiled our groundbreaking feature, Automated Performance Optimization (APO) for CTV, marking a significant leap forward in the realm of programmatic TV advertising. APO addressed several critical challenges that advertisers faced in their campaigns. Firstly, traders were spending an overwhelming 65% of their time reallocating budgets manually—a process that was not only laborious but also prone to inefficiencies. Secondly, individual brands lacked the resources to continuously measure performance and adjust budgets accordingly, leading to suboptimal outcomes. Additionally, while CTV was increasingly recognized as a full-funnel performance channel, existing digital offerings fell short in identifying TV performance drivers. Manual optimization relied heavily on guesswork rather than statistical analysis, resulting in wasted spend and higher CPx. APO emerged as the hero solution for brands aiming to drive outcomes via CTV while seeking to lower CPx.

In the pre-APO era, manual optimization was inefficient and not scalable. Traders engaged in extensive trial and error, adjusting parameters based on manual schedules rather than data-driven insights. This approach led to negative business consequences such as wasted spend and higher CPx. However, with the introduction of APO, CTV optimization became driven by machine learning, enabling thousands of iterations to be tested to find optimal values. APO automatically adjusts parameters based on data in real time, resulting in more revenue driven by efficient outcomes. Automated Performance Optimization, powered by cutting-edge ML technology, dynamically allocated budget across hundreds of combinations of apps, dayparts, and creatives to propel growth. Notably, APO offers unprecedented transparency in the industry. Unlike other DSPs that employ black-box optimization methods, TV+ provides a full audit trail of optimization decisions, facilitating continuous learning and improvement. Benchmarks demonstrate an average 32% improvement in KPIs, showcasing the superiority of TV+ Performance Optimization in driving efficient outcomes for CTV advertisers.

Distinguishing TV+’ Unique Approach to Performance Campaign Optimization and Transparent Insights

While most DSP auto-optimization is tailored for the supply-heavy, open exchange-dominated realm of banners—characterized by a race to the bottom in CPM pricing due to the abundance of supply and intense competition—our focus with APO diverges significantly. APO is specifically designed for Premium PMP content, which features pricing with floors, low competition, and limited supply, resulting in a healthy win rate. Therefore, our priority lies in optimizing what to buy rather than how much to bid, ensuring maximum efficiency and effectiveness for our advertisers.

Our CTV strategy sets us apart by offering clarity around our optimization processes. Unlike most DSPs, which rely on dynamic bid adjustment primarily geared for open marketplaces in the supply-rich banner world, our approach extends beyond. Leveraging our extensive relationships with publishers' linear businesses, we've strategically established Private Marketplace (PMP) deals with premium publishers, securing optimal placements within publisher waterfalls. This strategic setup empowers our Client Success Team to easily calibrate bids, ensuring prime placements and effective pacing. Additionally, our AI-driven dynamic budget allocation optimizes resource allocation to publishers and dayparts, yielding optimal outcomes—a critical capability for PMPs in the supply-constrained world of CTV.

The annotated image below showcases our Optimization Engine’s approach to decisioning transparency. This visualization offers a clear understanding of optimization decisions, facilitating ongoing refinement.

transparent performance optimization views
  1. Metrics like cost-per-event (i.e., visit) or cost-per-unique-event and response rate are shown for each optimization dimension. This allows you to see the metrics APO uses to calibrate its dynamic budget allocation decisioning at each individual dimension – per audience, creative, publisher, and daypart.
  2. The sparklines show the decisioning audit trail that shows daily allocation adjustments. Hover over to see APO’s daily allocation decisions for each individual dimension. This level of transparency ensures you learn what works alongside the optimization engine.

Achieve Full-Funnel Success with Multi-Objective Optimization

Multi-objective Optimization revolutionizes campaign strategies by enabling optimization across multiple stages of the marketing funnel. This approach allows our Client Success Team to balance mid-funnel metrics, such as website visits, with lower-funnel metrics, such as shopping cart transactions, ensuring a holistic approach to campaign performance.

Marketers often face the dilemma of focusing solely on bottom-of-the-funnel conversion events, potentially neglecting crucial upper and mid-funnel activities. By optimizing against multiple weighted metrics, such as website visits and enrollment form submissions, marketers can nurture their marketing funnels effectively. This holistic approach ensures a healthier full-funnel optimization strategy, driving both short-term conversions and long-term brand growth.

Here is an annotated image illustrating our Multi-objective Optimization feature in action. This visualization provides a clear overview of how our Client Success Team can configure and monitor multiple optimization metrics to achieve our clients’ campaign objectives effectively.

Multi-objective campaign optimization view
  1. Toggle between viewing metrics by cost-per-event or cost-per-unique-event. Both optimization metrics are shown side-by-side.
  2. Equal or varying weights can be assigned to each optimization metric, and your Client Success Manager works with you to decide on the initial setting. Let’s say you want to launch a CTV campaign for an online job marketplace and assign a 50-50 split on Site Visits and Apply Starts (when a job searcher starts an application). Even though your cost-per-conversion (Apply Starts) is healthy, our Client Success Team may notice that the number of Application Starts dropped – this might be because the number of visitors to the website’s job pages driven by CTV is dropping. In that case, our Client Success team flags this issue with you, the client, and may recommend recalibrating the weight to emphasize Job Seeker Pageviews and decrease Apply Starts. Once a decision is made, the Client Success team adjusts the weights to get performance back on track.
  3. As with many of the reports on TV+, you can hover over the Optimization KPI Graphs to see details around any given day.

Optimize Your CTV Programmatic Campaigns with TV+: Where Transparency Meets Performance Excellence

Elevate your campaign performance with TV+’s Optimization Engine – now offering unprecedented transparency and flexibility. From transparent decisioning audit trails to Multi-Goal Optimization, Automated Performance Optimization empowers advertisers and agencies to achieve full-funnel CTV success while driving efficient outcomes. Ready to unlock the potential of programmatic CTV advertising? Contact us at info@simulmedia.com, explore our APO one-sheet, or request a demo of our TV+ Platform.