Jul 23rd 2019

How to Bid Your Best: Precision Bidding

As an advertiser, you’re primarily concerned with one thing: gaining more high-quality users at the lowest price possible. The set-it-and-forget-it era of automation, therefore, seems like a huge boon. Why waste time calculating the best-possible bids for every segment when a much smarter and faster artificial intelligence (AI) service can do it for you?

But the price of bid automation is control. Advertisers who rely on automated bidding relinquish control and insight into their bidding, which ultimately decreases the level of precision that today’s advertisers need in order to get the most out of their budget. Advertisers with smaller budgets are hit especially hard as their spend quickly evaporates. That’s why manual precision bidding — the ability to control how, where and when you bid — has several positives worth exploring.

What are the benefits of precision bidding?

  • It’s more transparent than automated bidding. When you can decide exactly which publisher receives which bids down to the country level, you have more insight into how your advertising dollars are being spent, what works, and what doesn’t.
  • It handles anomalies better than automated bidding. Humans sometimes throw curveballs that machines don’t respond well to. A sudden influx of active users — perhaps brought on by an impromptu celebrity endorsement on Twitter — might drive impressions unnaturally fast, which automated services might interpret as a signal to bid higher. Without a human stepping in to set limits and look at trends in context, bids can become ridiculously overpriced.
  • It lets you to ramp up faster. Sure, machine learning is effective, but it still needs time to gather data and decide what works and what doesn’t. And that eats away at your advertising budget. Post-launch, precision bidding helps you identify and bid towards specific pockets of users. Without waiting on a machine learning curve, you can bid exact amounts on segments you know will work. So while models are good for cold starts, a human touch can accelerate you during a growth period.

Without a human stepping in to set limits and look at trends in context, bids can become ridiculously overpriced.

Letting artificial intelligence take the wheel can spare you time and resources to focus on other aspects of your business, but a hands-off approach to bidding can ultimately end up costing you high waterfall placements in top or emerging publishers. Vungle’s method takes the best time-saving aspects of automation but leaves plenty of room open for you to control your campaigns.

So how do I effectively control my bids without the hassle?

Vungle’s self-serve platform allows advertisers to precision-bid on multiple publisher/geo combinations, giving you more control over your spend and helping you discover opportunities to grow and scale. Through a feature called multi-bidding, advertisers can manage thousands of bids simultaneously through one or more editable CSV files that can be uploaded to the network.

Vungle multi-bidding lets you control your bids on a publisher-geo level
Multi-bidding on Vungle lets you manage thousands of bids more granularly through a CSV file.

How does multi-bidding help me perform better?

Not only can you segment your bids by publisher, but now you can segment your publisher bids on a by-country basis. This gives you more transparency and control over your bids, letting you consolidate publishers and campaigns into as many or as few campaigns as you want — and also helping you discover previously untapped opportunities by bidding as precisely as you want.

With multi-bidding, advertisers can clearly see how to optimize campaigns, as opposed to relying on machine learning models that have steeper learning curves and lack context.

In our closed beta over a two-week period, our customers saw approximately 472% more non-U.S. installs, 333% more campaign impressions, and almost 33% higher CVR using this new feature.

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