Optimisation Tips for Ad Serving – Optimising to Unique Reach

Unique Reach

unique reach

The optimization of Unique reach is a goal to find an untouched audience or recognising how much exposure a unique audience requires to cement the impact the ad can have on those users. It is advised to first set a baseline to establish how many unique eyeballs or users the campaign is reaching. To do this, pull a reach report by Publisher and by Channel. Some channels and Publishers may be more effective than others at reaching the intended audience. This data can then be combined with frequency information to show the levels of frequency that each Publisher and Channel is incrementing on each unique user. Combining this with cost reporting will show what it is costing to deliver at the baseline.

The next step is to consider the importance of reaching a unique audience. Usually the goal is harbouring a goal of performance to reach a certain number of sales. If this is a goal that can be reached online then the analyst can consider optimizing the campaign to conversions as a primary goal over unique reach. By analysing the attribution funnel in cookie level data, the analyst might reveal that might show that frequency is more effective than unique reach at driving that conversion goal, so frequency can be adjusted to match this need either on the third party ad server or with the Publisher ad ops team directly. Sometimes the goal for unique reach does not tie back to online conversions but instead might be designed to his an effective “GRP” goal. Here an Advertiser will combine the online reach data with reach data for other media channels such as TV to calculate, project and forecast sales offline.

Unique Reach – Creative Optimization

  • To perform a creative optimization on unique reach (show a different message to new eyeballs) requires the use of retargeting (See Chapter 7 in the below book) such that old users are labelled and fall into a defined audience where new users are a separate audience.
  • If retargeting is combined with DCO it will not cost the Advertiser much more to create personalised messaging for the retargeting audience, improving the campaign ROI.


Unique Reach – Media Optimization

  • The unique site overlap report will show which sites are offering the best unique reach, an analyst running this report can have planners and buyers adjust their buying strategy accordingly.
  • A reach and frequency report will reveal the effective frequency for sites, placements and ads so that the frequency cap can be adjusted at the Publisher ad server. Less budget could effectively be transitioned away from frequency to hit a higher unique reach goal.
  • If a reach goal needs to be very high, it may be more effective to pay Publishers based on alternative payment models such as sponsorship or to utilise a channel like Affiliate.
  • A device report will show high delivery to mobile devices that do not support third party cookies. These devices will hinder a unique reach goal since it would not be possible to determine if the same users are receiving ads cross-device.
  • Analysts can also conduct an analysis on conversion tags for total “actions” and compare this data to site side analytics reports on referral information. If high volumes of traffic are reaching the Advertiser site without being tracked by the third party ad server and these users are arriving to the website from Publisher sites directly, there is a gap of user traffic that the ad server is not capturing. The analyst can report these gaps to the planners and buyers to reach out to these Publishers to implement third party tracking and delivery. Without this in place, true optimization to unique reach goals becomes much more challenging.


To find out more about optimisation for other marketing goals in all digital channels, get a copy of: Ad Serving Technology – Understand the Marketing revelation that commercialized the Internet – available now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1484867572/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

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