Benefits of Budget-Based Campaigns

After you read this article, you can also view the webinar on Budget Based Campaigns by clicking HERE.

What is it? – Executing a media plan based on the total budget of the campaign instead of a set number of impressions.

Let’s first take a deep dive into the different ways we can set up and sell campaigns:

Impression-Based Campaign

An impression-based campaign executes media based on a set CPM, set impression number, and a set budget.

The goal here is to deliver the number of impressions sold to an advertiser. This method lacks strategy and the ability to optimize the campaign to a KPI, or metric, that more effectively illustrates how the campaign is performing.

With this execution model, buyers are focused on delivering the impressions sold, and are restricted in how they can execute the campaign. A typical campaign is set up with multiple tactics, or ways of reaching an audience—but with this model, each tactic is assigned a specific number of impressions.

This means the buyer is unable to deliver where they are seeing performance, and instead must deliver based on the impressions promised. Many times, performance (metrics like CTR, clicks, conversions, eCPC, ECPV) suffers in this model because the first and foremost goal is to deliver impressions and monitoring a success metric becomes secondary.

Budget-Based Campaign

A budget-based campaign executes media based on a set budget—the impression levels and CPMs per tactic are dynamic, based on the market value and performance.

The goal with budget-based campaigns is to deliver to a performance metric (CTR, clicks, conversions, eCPC, ECPV). A typical campaign is set up with multiple tactics and the campaign budget can be spent on the tactics that are performing best.

The plan does not dictate where the money should be spent or how many impressions should be won—it instead allows for a buyer to spend the budget where they are seeing high performance. Some organizations call this a performance- or results-driven model, and this allows for strategic buying and using the technology to its best.

Why are budget-based campaigns best when executing in the programmatic space?

When you are buying in a programmatic environment, especially through real time bidding, budget-based buying is the ideal form of campaign execution. When you buy in real time, data is also in real time, so optimizations/adjustments to the campaign can be made quickly. Programmatic technology and budget-based campaigns allow your organization to be more strategic than ever before.  Instead of focusing solely on delivering an impression number, you can use the data to find performance, and then use that budget in a flexible way and spend where there is performance and efficiency of budget. This helps you become a media consultant to your advertiser and helps you tell a better reporting story.

How do I make the transition easier on clients who are used to buying impressions?

Many advertisers speak in CPMs and guaranteed impressions because that is how they always have bought media. Instead of agreeing to what they have done in the past, talk about the ways you can be more strategic with a budget-based campaign and programmatic technology. Educate and transition with the following:

  • Advertiser benefits from the move! The advertiser benefits from executing to the budget instead of a set CPM, because programmatic technology allows you to easily find cost efficiencies. When you buy in real time, the CPM is always fluctuating. This means some days the CPM is high and some days it’s low, so we use the average over the course of the campaign. Many times, the average comes in lower than a set CPM a media partner charges, and they pocket the difference. With a budget-based model, you can let the advertiser know that they are the ones benefitting from cost efficiencies, not their media partner.
  • Estimated impressions help with transition. To ease the transition, use estimated impressions. The estimated impressions should be based on the whole plan, not tactic by tactic, but sometimes this information helps the process feel more familiar. The advertiser may have only ever known impressions, so give them an estimate, but then talk about how the main goal will be to deliver on a campaign goal. This will help shift the conversation to how digital campaigns can deliver results for their business.

How does it change my pitch?

Instead of focusing on product and what you can sell, you can instead focus on the client and what it is they are trying to accomplish with a digital media campaign. The pitch doesn’t focus on products, for example, “how great hyperlocal is” or “how essential audience targeting is to a plan.” It instead highlights the variety of ways we can reach an audience and then focuses on our execution strategy of seeing which of those ways performs best, given the timing and creative. No tactic is guaranteed and until we see initial data, no tactic is better than another.

Why is this way beneficial to the advertiser?

When you are working with an advertiser, focus on these key benefits:

  • The campaign is built to target an audience, but it is executed to meet a campaign goal.
  • Using programmatic allows for real-time data and real-time optimizations.
  • When you set up a budget-based buy, you create the flexibility to spend on the targeting tactics driving the most performance.
  • Through this model, the advertiser realizes the cost benefits of the open market, not the execution partner.

Overall, the switch to budget-based campaign execution can take some time, but it will set you up as a strategic partner who has the advertiser’s best interest in mind, and that will undoubtedly lead to longer more fruitful relationships.

For more on determining KPIs and setting campaign expectations, click HERE.