In the past decade, programmatic advertising has evolved and grown in sophistication. No longer used as a means for monetizing remnant inventory, direct sales teams are selling premium inventory using programmatic pipes. This shift is due in large part to the control introduced with private marketplaces, programmatic direct, and now programmatic guaranteed.
Programmatic campaigns offer many efficiencies over the manual IO process. To name a few: The ability to use first- and third-party audience data for targeting, increased transparency for buyers, and the ability to make campaign optimizations in real-time. For these reasons and more, ad dollars are flooding to programmatic. In fact, eMarketer predicts 88% of digital ad spend will transact programmatically by 2021.
While both buyers and media owners want to execute their campaigns programmatically, they still desire the assurances of traditional direct sold. To provide buyers directional guidance and guarantees on inventory, media owners need forecasting tools to predict their future inventory.
Forecasting for success
Just as I wouldn’t pack for vacation without first checking the weather forecast for my destination, I wouldn’t sell a programmatic campaign without first forecasting my ability to deliver. Forecasting answers the ever important question, “What will I have available to sell?” Armed with forecasting insights, media owners can intelligently plan for the future and strategize how to package and sell their inventory.
Forecasting is especially important when selling audience-based programmatic direct or programmatic guaranteed campaigns. With SpotX’s Inventory Forecasting tool, media owners can layer on robust targeting criteria, including first- and third-party audience data, to predict if they have enough available inventory matching the buyer’s requirements.
Additionally, forecasting helps sales teams strategize how to best package and sell unsold inventory to buyers. With Inventory Forecasting, media owners can drill down into their available inventory to discover the audience makeup and their respective volumes. For example, if your forecast shows you have a large pocket of inventory made up of auto intenders in Texas, you could consider approaching car dealerships in Texas to make a sale.
The data behind forecasting
Inventory Forecasting considers existing campaigns and historical data to predict potential inventory availability and performance metrics of future campaigns. Inventory Forecasting provides the following metrics:
- Available Impressions
- Ad Requests
- Fill Rate
- Click Through Rate
- Completed View Rate
- Average eCPM
Associated with each forecasted metric is a confidence level indicating the forecast’s accuracy. To determine confidence level, we run a simulated forecast of the past and compare that prediction to what actually happened. If the simulation forecast for a metric is identical to what actually happened, the metric would have a confidence level of 100%.
As more campaigns move to programmatic executions, the need for advanced forecasting tools continues to grow. Here at SpotX our Product, Engineering, and Data Science Teams are constantly working to improve the capabilities of our forecasting tools to better serve our customers and the needs of the industry.
If you’re a media owner planning to sell programmatic guaranteed or audience enabled campaigns, it’s important to choose a supply-side platform that offers robust forecasting tools. If you’re working with SpotX, we’ve got you covered.