Release date: Oct 6, 2021.
Most marketing teams use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the performance of their media plans. It helps them to know what ads are performing well and if they are on pace to meet their goals and budget.
Prior to this release, MediaPlanHQ allowed marketing teams to track cost efficiently. Tracking other measures was possible using custom fields, but it was cumbersome.
On the planning side, it allows to define a budget for your media plan, then track that you stay within budget as you sum the planned cost of each media insertion booked within your media plan.
On the accounting side, it allows to track the invoiced cost from the invoices received from the media vendor are what was planned in the media plan and highlights any discrepancies.
That is great to track cost for ads pre-run and post-run. But, it's not enough as it does not help you...
- track cost while the ad is running.
- track other metrics that are important to your success.
With this new release, MediaPlanHQ introduces...
- The ability to define the actual cost over time (per day, per week, per month, etc.) on each media insertion to track/analyze spending while the ad is running.
- The ability to select different metrics (impressions, clicks, views, etc.) and associated cost efficiency (CPM, CPC, CPV, etc.), define their planned measure, and track/analyze their performance against their actual measure over time.
Note that this feature as been in beta for a long time. In fact, you might already have it enabled if you created your account between 2020-2021. If you like your current KPI behaviour, leave everything as-is.
Let's have a look how it works...
Understanding cost terms
First, let's review the different cost terms used in MediaPlanHQ.
The system tracks multiple cost information that are defined at different times of your media planning workflow in order to help you track expenses, highlight discrepancies, and stay within budget. They are:
This is the budget you set for the media plan and per organization.
It is the high level baseline with which you'll monitor your overall expenses to make sure you stay within budget.
This is the cost you set while planning your media insertions prior to their run dates.
Normally, the planned cost should not exceed the budgeted cost.
This is the cost reported by the media supplier during or after the media insertion run dates.
This is the cost that appears on the invoice you received from the media supplier for the media insertion.
Normally, the invoiced cost should be equal to the actual cost.
The [used] cost is a dynamic cost computed based on the different workflow statuses. It represents the most accurate cost for a media insertion at a given time.
It is used by the system to sum expenses and track remaining budgets.
For existing users, we renamed the terms "Actual Cost" used to describe the cost on the invoices to "Invoiced Cost" in order to use the term "Actual Cost" to describe the realtime actual cost from external systems.
Supported KPI metrics
MediaPlanHQ supports multiple KPI metrics and their associated cost efficiencies. They are:
|Actions||The number of times a person acts on an ad.||CPA (Cost per action)|
|Clicks||The number of times a person clicks on an ad.||CPC (Cost per click)|
|Impressions||The number of times a person is shown an ad.||CPM (Cost per thousand impressions)|
|Leads||The number of persons who has shown an interest in your product or service.||CPL (Cost per lead)|
|Points||A measure to determine how many people within an intended audience might have seen an ad||CPP (Cost per point)|
|Spots||The number of times an ad runs.||CPS (Cost per spot)|
|Views||The number of times a person views an ad.||CPV (Cost per view)|
This is a first set of KPI metrics added to MediaPlanHQ. If you want to track other KPI metrics, please contact our support center at email@example.com and we'll work with you to integrate your KPI metrics.
Selecting KPI metrics
The KPI metrics and cost efficiencies are automatically activated based on the rate type of the media insertion:
MediaPlanHQ does not support manual activation yet. If you want different activation rules, please contact our support center at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll work with you to customize your KPI activation rules.
Defining KPI metrics planned measures
You can define the KPI metrics planned measures in the "Planning" module in the media insertion form.
First, you need to select the "Allocate a cost per date" to enable the KPIs.
Then, when you select a media rate type, the system will activate the associated KPI metrics.
For example, when using the /Spot media rate type, the system activates the Spots / Cost Per Spot, GRPs / CPP, and Impressions / CPM metrics:
These measures are the baseline that will be used to track the performance of your ad.
Displaying KPI metrics summary
You can view the KPI metrics summary in the Planning module in the "KPI Details" right sidebar.
You can also view the KPI metrics summary for a specific media insertion in the Media insertion details view in the "KPI Details" tab:
The KPI metrics summary displays the planned and actual measures for each activated metrics.
Updating KPI metrics actual measures
You can update the actuals from the "KPI Details" tab in the Media insertion details view. Note that updating actuals manually is only available when in the context of a single media insertion.
Click on the "Update actuals" button.
This will open the update actuals form with all the activated KPI metrics for that media insertion.
You can change the timeline of the actuals. For example, choose "D" (Day) when your actuals come from a realtime ad platform, or choose "M" (Monthly) if your media supplier provides monthly actual reports.
For each run date (or run period), you have the planned measure. You can update each run date with the actuals. Leave the entire row empty for run dates that don't have actuals yet.
As you input actuals into your media insertion, you'll notice that the KPI metrics summary displays additional information, such as the last update date, the progress and a performance analysis.
Understanding the KPI information & performance analysis
The KPI details displays a lot of information:
|#1||Actuals import progress||
The progression of how many planned run dates actually have corresponding actuals data.
|#2||Planned measures||The planned measures that you set in the media insertion form prior to running the ads.|
|#3||Actual measures||The actual measures that was inputted.|
An analysis of the actuals compared to the planned measures up-to the last run date that has actual data.
The percentage represents the delta between what was planned and the actuals for the run dates with actuals data.
For example, the "Clicks" are "ON TARGET" so far. With 17% of the actual data, the actual clicks are +3% the planned clicks.
The performance analysis can be:
The percentage represents the progress of the actuals to reach the planned measures.
For example, the actual 1028 clicks are at 21% of reaching your planned 5000 clicks.
You can view additional details when you mouse-over a given KPI metric.
|#1||Period navigation||Displays the current period. Use the < > button to navigate periods, or use the dropdown to select a specific period.|
The granularity of the period.
|#3||Period summary||The Actuals (Bold) and Planned (Muted) measures for the run dates in the selected period.|
|#4||Total summary||The Actuals (Bold) and Planned (Muted) measures for all the run dates.|
|#5||Chart||A visual chart displaying the actuals (Blue bar) against the planned (Red line) for the selected period.|
|#6||Sheet||The daily raw data used for the progress and performance analysis.|
Importing KPI metrics actual measures
You can also bulk import actuals for multiple media insertions thru an Excel import.
To enable importing actuals, you first need to define a tracking code on the media insertions (#1). The tracking code links the media insertion with the ad platform that provides the actuals. Then, click on the "Import actuals" button (#2).
This will open the import actuals form.
Click on the "Xls Template" button, to download an Excel template with the activated KPI metrics and their current values. This can be used to fill out additional actuals.
Finally, click on the "Choose file" button to select the Excel file you want to import. The system will validate each row of the file, use the tracking code to match to an existing media insertion, update the actuals and calculate the cost efficiencies.
Displaying KPI metrics columns
All the KPI metrics can be displayed in the list view of the Planning module.
You can use the "Configure columns" (#1) to add/remove/reorder KPI columns. The list calculates the KPI metric and cost efficiencies totals (#2). Finally, as you input actuals, the KPI columns are color-coded (#3) based on their performance analysis to easily highlight what's working and what's not.
You can mouse-over any KPI to display the KPI metrics summary.
Displaying KPI metrics in reports & blocking charts
All the KPI metrics are available as display values in the blocking chart.
The KPI metrics are also available to generate reports.
That's it ! We hope you'll enjoy the new KPI feature.
Give it a try and let us know what you think !
As always, don't hesitate to send us your great feedback or other idea for new features !
Have a great day,
The MediaPlanHQ team