Audience Forecasting and Campaign Pacing

“In online advertising, how can I predict/forecast the traffic (number of requests) for a day ?
For a given day, I would like to get the estimated number of eligible impressions a campaign will have, in order to allocate my budget and implement a traffic based pacing algorithm.”
This question was asked on Quora, below is my answer.

The estimated number of eligible impressions, or audience forecasting or “avails” as they say in the industry, can be derived in several ways. I will illustrate two of the methods.

The long, but easy method

The easiest way to estimate your avails would be to just take a whole day’s worth of data and determine how many of your target users are in there. The problem with this method is that it can take a whole day. If you have a day to spare, this is a good way to go.

The short, but difficult method

For this to work you’ll need the total traffic available for some previous day, or week. You’ll want that data broken down by hour or maybe 15 minute interval. With more traffic, your breakdown can be smaller. For the sake of this example let’s look at an hourly breakdown and a single day’s worth of data. Read more

Disrupting the Bid in the RTB Auction

Your eyeballs are on the block, but they don’t always go to the highest bidder.

“In RTB, will the bid with the highest CPM always win? If not, what are the other factors?”

This question was asked on quora, below is my answer.

In a pure auction, the highest bid should always win. In many cases an RTB auction ends with this result, but not always. There are two or three things that will adjust the auction mechanics to give a lower bidder the impression. Most of the time a modified auction is at the behest of the publisher. Read more

Scotland – 5 Things I learned

I recently visited my ancestral homeland on holiday. It was the second leg of our trip, which also included Paris. My wife and I had beautiful weather (for Scotland) and spent a lot of time on the busy streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh. We also took a bus tour of the highlands, Loch Ness, and Glencoe.

1. Scots don’t know how to spell McEachran.

Some do, but most don’t. It’s as rare a name there as it is here in the States. There’s at least one semi-famous soccer (football) player with the name, but he’s playing for an English team.

Josh McEachran in October 2010, receiving advice from former Chelsea assistant manager (and guy with enormous head) Ray Wilkins

Why I Built Scrypter

The year was 2008. Social media was just ramping up. Twitter was an infant and people were still wondering why Google bought YouTube. MySpace was starting to wither under News Corp and Facebook was on the rise to supplant it. Read more

Digital Advertising Predictions for 2015

The marketing department at Signal asked several people at the company to make digital advertising predictions for 2015. With their blessing, I’m publishing my predictions right here. I also added a couple of additional topics at the bottom.

The Ecosystem

2015 will be a big year for IPOs and consolidation. Startups will form in nascent categories, but not so much in established ones. Luma will produce a new set of Lumascapes to accommodate the rise of new categories. This is hardly a shocking prediction.

Cross-Channel

Cross-channel will be the rule in 2015. Companies with a single channel solution will be the exception (and the Dodo).

Programmatic

We’ll see the rise of the Meta-DSP where Agency systems will be plugging into DSP stacks via APIs. Smarter systems will be able to segment users across DSP buying systems and regain control of Frequency and Reach.