Forecasting

DSP forecasting uses historical data and trend analysis to show how bidding and targeting affect a line’s delivery and reach.

  • Delivery measures the number of ad impressions served.
  • Reach measures the number of consumers (unique cookies) served ad impressions.

Use the Forecaster to visualize how changes in the max bid, the ad sizes served, or targeting strategy may affect line delivery, line reach, and the line’s total cost.

Delivery Confidence

The DSP delivery confidence predictor considers the targeting criteria, bid, and flight details and provides a prediction on DSP’s ability to deliver a line’s budget in full.

The predictor appears on the Targeting page as part of the Forecasting panel. As you adjust targeting or use the bid price slider, the predictor (and the other metrics) recalculate based on the new criteria. You see below the table to the right an indication of “Likely”, “In Doubt” or “At Risk.” These indications mean the following:

  • Likely: the line is likely to complete delivery based on the set criteria.
  • In Doubt: the outlook is uncertain and you may want to consider adjustments to the targeting or bid price.
  • At Risk: You need to take action as soon as possible to avoid underdelivery.

Important

The confidence predictor does not consider CPA or CPC goals, and simply looks at the budget goals. If DSP is unable to generate a forecast, it is also unable to generate a confidence prediction.

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Forecaster Charting

The Forecaster displays summary line performance estimates (impressions, unique cookies, cost eCPM, CTR, and total cost) based on the line’s objectives and maximum bid. If you change the line’s bid strategy or the targeting strategy, the Forecaster immediately displays updated impression, video impression, and unique cookie estimates.

Forecast estimates are always goal-specific.

  • CPM (None)
  • CPA
  • CTR
  • Max Viewability

As you drag the Max Bid slider along horizontal axis, the Forecaster displays updated estimates at each maximum bid price point: impressions, unique cookies, cost eCPM, click-through rate (CTR), and total cost. To learn more, see Max Bid Adjustments.

Important

If insufficient data is available for the line, DSP cannot accurately forecast future performance and the Forecaster is not displayed in the targeting page.

CPM Goals

If no goal type is specified, the Forecaster estimates a line that is billed on a fixed-CPM basis. The Forecaster estimates the number of impressions and unique cookies delivered given the bid price within the forecast horizon.

The Forecaster overlays two dynamically-generated line charts: a line that shows the estimated line delivery (the number of ad impressions served) and a line that charts the line’s estimated reach (the number of unique consumers served). A third line may be displayed if a viewability goal is specified for the line.

The Forecaster combines two diagrams: a line chart and a bar chart

In the chart, vertical axis represents the number of impressions served (on the left) and the number of unique cookies (on the right). The horizontal axis represents the maximum bid the advertiser is willing pay per one thousand impressions.

The Forecaster shows both the low and high ranges (margins of error) for impression volumes and unique consumer counts. The low and high forecast ranges are displayed as dotted lines in the chart.

Metric Description
Impressions The estimated number of impressions served during the forecast horizon.
Daily Unique Cookies The estimated number of unique consumers per day who were shown an ad (using cookie-based counting).
Viewable Imps The estimated number of viewable impressions served during the forecast horizon. (Displayed only if a viewability goal is set for the line.)
Maximum Bid The maximum bid is an independent variable that determines line delivery, line reach, cost eCPM, and the total cost of the line. (The targeting strategy is another independent variable.)
Cost eCPM The estimated effective cost per thousand impressions.
CTR The estimated click-through rate based on an average of historical click-through rates.
Total Cost The estimated total cost of the line during the forecast horizon.

Important

  • APT is not supported by forecasting.
  • Recency/Frequency for pixels are approximated to the nearest most frequently requested pairing.

CPA Goals

If a CPA goal is selected, the Forecaster prepares a forecast for a campaign that is optimized towards maximizing the number of actions delivered. The Forecaster estimates the number of actions and unique cookies delivered given the bid price within the forecast horizon.

The Forecaster displays two dynamically-generated line charts: a line that shows the estimated the number of actions and a line that shows the estimated the number of unique consumers served.

In the chart, vertical axis represents the number of actions delivered (on the left) and the number of unique cookies served (on the right). The horizontal axis represents the maximum bid price the advertiser will pay per action (CPA).

Metric Description
Actions The estimated number of actions delivered during the forecast horizon.
Impressions The estimated number of unique consumers who were shown an ad during the forecast horizon.
Daily Unique Cookies The estimated number of unique consumers per day who were shown an ad (using cookie-based counting).
Maximum Bid The maximum bid is an independent variable that determines line delivery, line reach, cost eCPM, and the total cost of the line. (The targeting strategy is another independent variable.)
Cost Per Action The estimated cost per action.
Total Cost The estimated total cost of the line during the forecast horizon.

CTR Goals

If a CTR goal is selected, the Forecaster prepares a forecast for a campaign that is optimized towards maximizing the number of clicks delivered. The Forecaster estimates the click-through rate/number of clicks and the number of unique cookies served given the bid price within the forecast horizon.

The charts shows two dynamically-generated line charts: a line that shows the estimated CTR (the click-through rate) and a line that shows the estimated number of clicks given the specified Maximum Bid per click.

In the chart, vertical axis represents the click-through rate and on the right both the number of clicks and the number of unique cookies. The horizontal axis represents the maximum bid per click.

Metric Description
CTR The estimated click-through rate delivered during the forecast horizon.
Clicks The estimated number of clicks delivered during the forecast horizon.
Impressions The estimated number of unique consumers who were shown an ad during the forecast horizon.
Daily Unique Cookies The estimated number of unique consumers per day who were shown an ad (using cookie-based counting).
Maximum Bid The maximum bid is an independent variable that determines line delivery, line reach, cost eCPM, and the total cost of the line. (The targeting strategy is another independent variable.)
Cost eCPM The estimated effective cost per thousand impressions.
Total Cost The estimated total cost of the line during the forecast horizon.

Maximize Viewability Goals

If a Maximize Viewability goal is selected, the Forecaster prepares a forecast for a campaign that is optimized towards maximizing the number of viewable impressions served. The Forecaster estimates the number of impressions, viewable impressions, and unique cookies served given the bid price within the forecast horizon.

The charts shows three dynamically-generated line charts: a line that shows the estimated number of impressions, a line that shows the estimated number of viewable impressions, and a line that shows the estimated number of unique cookies given the specified Maximum Bid per click.

In the chart, vertical axis represents the number of impressions served (on the left) and the number of unique cookies (on the right). The horizontal axis represents the price paid per viewable impression.

Metric Description
Impressions The estimated number of impressions served during the forecast horizon.
Unique Cookies The estimated number of unique consumers served ad impressions during the forecast horizon.
Viewable Imps The estimated number of viewable impressions served during the forecast horizon. (Displayed only if a viewability goal is set for the line.)
Maximum Bid The maximum bid is an independent variable that determines line delivery, line reach, cost eCPM, and the total cost of the line. (The targeting strategy is another independent variable.)
Cost eCPM The estimated effective cost per thousand impressions.
CTR The estimated click-through rate based on an average of historical click-through rates.
Total Cost The estimated total cost of the line during the forecast horizon.

Forecaster Adjustments

The Forecaster displays several controls that enable you to adjust the independent variables that drive line delivery and line reach.

  • The Forecast Horizon control enable you to specify the start and end dates of the forecast. To learn more, see Forecast Horizon Adjustments.
  • The Ad Sizes control enables you to specify which ads are to be included in the forecast. The more ads selected, the greater the range of inventory and the greater the reach of the campaign. To learn more, see Ad Size Adjustments.
  • The Max Bid Slider enables you to adjust the line’s maximum bid eCPM, the maximum amount the advertiser is willing to bid on ad impressions. To learn more, see Max Bid Adjustments.
  • The Forecaster is displayed in the Targeting view and displays forecasts based on the line’s current targeting strategy. Adjustments to line targeting are immediately manifested in forecasts. To learn more, see Targeting Adjustments.

As a general rule, make incremental adjustments to one variable at a time and note how these changes affect line delivery and reach.

  1. Adjust the forecast horizon and the ad sizes.
  2. Adjust the maximum bid price and take baseline snapshots of line reach (unique cookies), line delivery (impressions served), the cost eCPM, and cost metrics within the low and high forecast ranges at different bid prices.
  3. Adjust the line’s targeting strategy.
  4. Review how changes to the line’s reach impact the estimated performance and costs at the different ranges in the Forecaster.

Max Bid Adjustments

Moving the Max Bid slider along the horizontal axis raises or lowers the line’s maximum bid and alters the forecast.

The higher the max bid, the greater the odds that the bid will win the auction and the more impressions and unique consumers the advertiser can expect.

The Forecaster automatically updates the impression and unique consumer forecasts as well as the estimated average cost, effective CPM (eCPM), and total budget at the different max bid prices.

Forecast Horizon Adjustments

A forecast is always prepared for a forecast horizon, a discrete future time period that defines the temporal scope of the projections. The forecast makes predictions about the dependent variables during the forecast horizon.

The Forecaster can prepare forecasts for a variety of predefined periods (short-term forecast horizons: today, tomorrow, next week, or next month) or for a custom forecast horizon.

You can adjust the forecast horizon using controls in the Forecaster.

Select a time range of data

DSP forecast horizons enable predictions in the short-term, identifying time periods that stretch from the present into the near future (Today, Next 7 Days, Next 14 Days, Next 30 Days). The Tomorrow and Custom Days horizon are exceptions: in the inception of these forecast horizons is set in the future.

Forecast Horizon Description
Today Specfies a forecast that encompasses the current day.
Tomorrow The Tomorrow option specifies a forecast horizon that is set in the one day in the future.
Next 7 Days Specifies a forecast that covers the next week.
Next 14 Days Specifies a forecast that covers the next two weeks.
Next 30 Days Specifies a forecast that covers the next month.
Remaining Days Specifies a forecast that encompasses the days remaining in the campaign.
Custom Days Specifies a custom range of dates. Unlike most forecast horizons, which project into the future from the present, the Custom Days forecast horizon can be scheduled to start at any future date and extend far into the future.

Ad Size Adjustments

By default, the Forecaster takes all of the ads available to a line into account when forecasting future performance.

If you are interested in seeing how well a line will perform if bidding is limited to a subset of available inventory, you can use tools in the Forecaster to specify which ads are included in the forecast.

Select a time range of data

The more ads that are included in the campaign, the greater the range of available inventory and the greater the reach of the campaign.

Targeting Adjustments

The Forecaster displays estimates based on the current targeting strategy as defined by targeting attribute configurations defined in the Targeting page.

Targeting controls enable you to add or remove targeting attributes and expand or limit the line’s reach. To learn more about line-item targeting, see <no title>.

The more targeting attributes you specify the smaller the size of the data set available to create the forecast. If you specify too many attributes, the Forecaster may not have sufficient data to generate a forecast.

The following targeting attributes cannot be used in forecasting:

Targeting Attribute Description
Location Geofencing targeting is not supported in forecasting.
Frequency Capping The Only Serve to Known Users flag is not supported in forecasting.
User groups User Group targeting is not supported in forecasting.