Weekly Tip

Weekly Tip: Intro to Bid Adjustments

Whether you are an Ad Operations Specialist, Campaign Planner in an agency or an “in-house” Marketing Manager, working on programmatic online advertising campaigns requires knowledge about core ideas of the ad trading process and optimisation system capabilities. Joinville would therefore like to present some of the main bid adjustment techniques, which can potentially help mainstream and multicultural campaigns to improve their performance.

Site / APP bidding

This is a very common way of targeting niched audiences or people with specific interests. Buying media with a site list gives advertisers better control over served impressions and adjusting campaign’s performance by adding new and removing bad performing sites. Many systems nowadays even allow adjusting a bid for each site separately. Indeed, some systems are able to do such optimisations automatically with advanced algorithms based on individual site performance. In addition, bids can be adjusted based on inventory source or so-called supply vendors’ performance.
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Programmatic Bidding

Creative performance

Creative performance is one of the most common performance aspects a client usually looks at. Some systems allow only pausing and enabling ads, while other, more advanced platforms, allow giving weight in rotation and set bid adjustment on individual creatives. Excluding worse performing creatives can be extremely crucial in improving overall campaign performance. However, be careful – removing a common ad unit can significantly decrease potential amount of impressions!

Frequency capping

Frequency capping means limiting number of times an ad is shown to one user during certain time period. For example, based on Joinville campaign experience, an ad shown more than 5 times a day to one user can significantly decrease campaign performance, whereas, limiting it to 1-2 impressions per day often wouldn’t allow user to notice an ad and probably consider clicking on it. Note, that capping is normally applied to an ad, not all ads together within a campaign! This might mean that a page with 2 different formant placements will be taken with ads from one campaign and shown to one user. But the question is, whether you consider it bad if a user in a shorter time period was exposed to the same campaign ad or even two creatives on a page might make it look almost like a site skin?

Geo-targeted region adjustments

This seems very logical but is often forgotten. Imagine a campaign with a target region of a whole country. What if we look at performance of regions or cities? Excluding worse performing regions or cities might truly help you to improve overall campaign performance, without a significant loss in delivery. If a campaign has a very small geo-region, sometimes it is possible to exclude IPs or even postal code regions (mostly in US).

Device performance

This aspect is worth taking a look at in case a campaign is not already divided into desktop and mobile sub-campaigns. It can really vary, but mobile can be performing significantly different from desktop. Since most of the websites are adapted to tablet format, they would commonly be included in a desktop delivery.


Day parting and even week parting is a great tool of adjusting bidding through time of day (or days of a week). This works really well for campaigns that need to be run during a specific time period, such as a holiday season, weekends, etc. These are only a few commonly used bidding methods of many more. Likewise, bids can be adjusted in separate groups of category or topic targeting, language targeting, viewability, and other.

Last but not least..

Please note that the more criteria advertisers use to target audiences, the more narrow reach they could get along with increasing eCPM (average cost per 1k impressions), which means too many changes at a time may cause enormous drop in delivery!
Written by Dana Icikzone

Dana Icikzone is the Ad Operations and Audience Manager at Joinville. Dana is a lifelong harmony seeker. She balances her everyday life with a body stretch during yoga and a mind stretch while playing board games with friends and strangers.