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Bidding and Optimization

Home > English > Bidding and Optimization > Bidding Basics > Budget Optimization

Budget Optimization

Introduction

The Budgeting tools in Marin provide both Budget Pacing and Budget What-If simulations to help you plan and optimize your monthly budgets. Pacing allows you to forecast your publisher spend for the current month, while the What-If tool summarizes various spend targets and the corresponding KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the current month. 

You can find these features by navigating to the Optimization tab in the left-hand navigation, clicking on Bid Strategies and enabling the Forecasting toggle. 

Please note that in this article, we'll be talking about Budget Optimization. For information on Bid Strategy forecasting for non-budget related metrics, check out our Bid Strategy Forecasting article.

 

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Note: In MarinOne, this feature is currently in beta testing and may not be available in your MarinOne Client Account. If you are interested in testing this beta feature, please reach out to your Marin platform representative. 

If you are not opted into the beta test for this feature, you will still be able to see the Forecasting toggle, but the data is unable to load.

 

The Benefits Of Budget Optimization 


Here's why this feature can be very handy as an advertiser:

  • You can see a forecast for how much you will spend during the current calendar month.
  • The forecast takes day of week and day of month seasonality into account when generating a forecast

Budget Pacing


Budget Pacing allows you to view projected, actual, and cumulative advertising spend for the current month, the current week, and the current quarter, including partial same-day spend and forecasting for the remainder of the day. You can also view projected spend for the next month and the next quarter. 

 

 

How To

You can access the Budget Pacing Dashboard by following the instructions below.

In MarinOne

 

  1. First, go ahead and log into MarinOne as usual. 
     
  2. Then, navigate to the Optimization tab in the left-hand navigation.

     

    bp3.jpg


     
  3. Next, make certain the Bid Strategies sub-tab is selected in the top navigation. 
     

    bp4.jpg


     
  4. From here, click on the Forecasting toggle in the top-right of your grid.

     

    bp5.jpg


     
  5. From here, select the Pacing button above the chart. 

     

    bp6.jpg

     

  6. By default, MarinOne's budget pacing tools will show pacing for all Bid Strategies, but if you'd like to look at how a single Bid Strategy is pacing, simply click the check-box next to the corresponding Bid Strategy. The page will automatically re-load with pacing details for the selected Bid Strategy.

    For details on Bid Strategy Forecasting, check out our dedicated article.
     
  7. The bar charts show daily spend for the current month, with green representing actual spend and gray representing forecasted spend.

    The line chart represents cumulative spend, with the solid line showing actual cumulative spend and the dashed line showing forecasted cumulative spend. 

    You can see examples of both Actual Spend and Forecasted Spend in the screenshots below. Hover over any day in your chart to learn more about spend for the selected date. 

     

    bp7.jpg



     

    bp8.jpg



    You can also see a key for your bar and line charts at the left of your Pacing Dashboard. 
     

    bp9.jpg

     

  8. From your Pacing Dashboard, You can even export the forecast chart to one of your cross-client, cross-channel MarinOne dashboards if you wish. To do this, simply save it as a Saved View, then add it to a dashboard. For more information about dashboards, check out our dedicated article

 

In Marin Search

To access the Budget Pacing Dashboard, navigate to the Home tab, click on the Budget sub-tab, and then you can toggle between the Pacing Dashboard and the Budget What-If tab.
 

bp15.png

 

The budget pacing forecasts first calculates the base prediction using a recency-weighted 90 day look-back window. For even more precision, the feature also takes into account known temporal effects such as day of week, day of month, month of year and day of year seasonality. This require at least 3 data points for each seasonal effect. If a significant effect is found, it is filtered out of the data before the next check, to avoid double counting.

This also takes into account the Bid Strategy goals and trafficking settings. Predictions are based on the assumption that all Preview Bid Strategies are also set to Traffic mode, while Bid Strategies that are Off are considered static. Any Bid Strategies on Preview mode will typically see forecasts that don't match the current performance.

 

bp16.png

 

This ensures budget-sensitive users to get accurate insights on expected spend for the current month.  In order to explore and adjust monthly spend targets, users switch to the Budget What-if sub-tab, which we'll talk about in the next section. 

How It works

The Pacing Dashboard forecast first calculates the base prediction using a recency-weighted 90 day look-back window. For even more precision, the feature also takes into account known temporal effects such as day of week, day of month, month of year and day of year seasonality. This requires at least 3 data points for each seasonal effect. If a significant effect is found, it is filtered out of the data before the next check, to avoid double counting.

Budget What-If


The Budget What-If tool allows you to visualize the allowable spend targets for the current month while also providing clarity on secondary metrics or KPIs, such as clicks, conversions, or gross profit.

Please note: The Budget What-If tool is only compatible with Search Bid Strategies targeting a Financial Goal. It is not compatible with Shopping or Awareness Targeting Bid Strategies.

 

 

How To

In MarinOne

You can access the Budget What-If Dashboard by following the instructions below.
 

  1. Follow steps 1 through 4 in the instructions listed above for the Budget Pacing Dashboard. 
     
  2. Next, select the What-If button above the chart.
     

    bp11.jpg
     

  3. By default, MarinOne's budget What-If tools will show details for all Bid Strategies, but if you'd like to look at a single Bid Strategy, simply click the check-box next to the corresponding Bid Strategy. The page will automatically re-load with What-If details for the selected Bid Strategy.
     
  4. The chart's x-axis represents the monthly spend target range, the y-axis the secondary KPI. The chart is interactive and allows you to see the current spend, which can be toggled via the slider. This updates the spend target on the chart and bar charts showing current and recommended metrics.
     

    bp12.png
     

  5. At right you can adjust your secondary KPI. Choose between clicks, conversions, gross profit, profit, and publisher cost. The blue bar represents how your secondary KPI are performing based on your current bids. The green bar represents how your secondary KPIs will be impacted based on the changes you're thinking of making to your spend target. Think of the blue bar as today and the green bar as tomorrow -- if you execute the change you're thinking of making.
     

    bp13.jpg
     

  6. Click Apply Recommendations to target your new spend goal. Marin Bidding will adjust your Bid Strategy targets accordingly in order to reach your new spend goal. 
     

    bp14.jpg

 

In Marin Search

To access the Budget What-If tab, navigate to the Home tab, click on the Budget sub-tab, and then you can toggle between the Pacing Dashboard and the Budget What-If tab.

 

bp17.png

 

Note: If you do not currently have access to the Budget What-If tab, please reach out to a platform representative to have it enabled. 

 

bp18.png

 

The chart x-axis represents the monthly spend target range, the y-axis the secondary KPI. The chart is interactive allowing user to see the current spend, which can be toggled via the slider, which updates the spend target on the chart and bar charts showing current and recommended metrics. Clicking Apply Recommendations will result in Marin Bidding targeting the new spend goal.

How it works

Exploring spend target scenarios via What-if triggers a Spend Reallocation algorithm that takes as input Bid Strategy  forecasting data points, target KPI  and monthly spend goal defined in the drop-down menu of the What-If sub-tab to determine the optimal Bid Strategies to allocate new spend to. The reallocation is then translated to new Bid Strategy targets i.e. ROI, CPA, Margin. These new targets can be viewed in the Bid Strategy grid reported under Recommended Target.

Note: Once you set your Bid Strategy to Preview mode, it can take up to 24 hours for the Budget What-If tool to populate with data. If the platform is unable to generate a forecast for a particular Bid Strategy, then the Bid Strategy will be omitted from the grid and will be represented as a static component in the overall What-If simulations.

Budgeting And Folders 


Note: This section is specific to Marin Search. 

In addition to pacing and what-if charts, the Budget sub-tab also offers a customizable Folder SmartGrid, reporting on current month-to-date data. This provides full visibility in folders responsible for driving spend.

Moreover, folders are the building blocks for What-if budget reallocation. The What-if folder SmartGrid reports two additional columns Target and Recommended Target:  the target column shows the current goal, while the recommended target shows reallocation engine recommendations, if available. Movement of the slider will also update the most Recommended Target column in addition to the What-if charts.

A Note About Date Ranges 


The platform's Budget Optimization feature allows you to select from a variety of calendar cycles, including: current week, current month, current quarter, and many more. By choosing a different date range, you'll gain a better understanding of how well your pacing is working. You can then adjust your goals based on the data provided by the platform's What-if simulations.

The 4-5-4 Calendar 

The platform also supports the retail 4-5-4 calendar, although you'll need to speak to your platform representative to have this enabled for your account. When using 4-5-4, selecting the current month will reflect the 4 or 5 week of the 4-5-4 calendar month. Similarly, when selecting the current quarter, the selected date range will include the 13 weeks of the current 4-5-4 quarter. Learn more about the 4-5-4 calendar here (external link). 

Important Notes


  • Currently Google/Microsoft Shopping campaigns, Dynamic Search Ads, and Awareness Targeting Bid Strategies are not supported by the Budget Pacing and Budget What If tools. 
  • Budget Pacing uses the data from across your account to generate its forecasts, rather than the data from active Bid Strategies only.
  • Budget What-if reports on allowable spend for the entire account, however, the spend reallocation only applies to Search and only to Non-Position Bid Strategies set to Preview or Traffic mode.
  • Spend reallocation modifies Bid Strategy targets. Campaign budgets are not changed. 

  • The reallocation will only apply to Bid Strategies set to Traffic mode when Apply Recommendations is clicked.

  • Changing Bid Strategy constraints will disable Apply Recommendations until the next spend reallocation engine cycle, which runs every morning at 9:30am local time.

 

 

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