Our Scheduling Feature Helps Advertisers Bid the Right Price at Every Time of Day

Advertisers often see large swings in how likely consumers are to convert based on the time of day. Our scheduling feature provides the flexibility you need to adjust your bidding accordingly.

MediaAlpha's scheduling feature helps advertisers vary their bids by daypart.

MediaAlpha Feature Focus is a recurring series where we highlight a different feature on the MediaAlpha platform. Today, we’re discussing our scheduling feature.

The MediaAlpha platform gives advertisers the flexibility and granular control they need to bid the right price for every kind of consumer. With our targeting and bid modifier features, our customers can carefully segment their audience and adjust the price they’re willing to pay to reach a given group of shoppers based on their location, device type, driving record, household type, and other variables.

But sometimes, reaching the same exact group of consumers can deliver very different results, depending on when you reach them. For instance, you might find that your target consumers convert at a much higher rate on Tuesdays than they do on Saturdays, or that they’re much less likely to convert during the morning than they are during the afternoon. In order to bid intelligently, you need to be able to pay different prices at different times. The scheduling feature on the MediaAlpha platform allows you to do just that.

MediaAlpha’s scheduling feature allows you to turn off your campaign or adjust your bid prices based on the time of day

Our scheduling feature is found on the scheduling tab of the campaign settings page. To start adjusting your bids, you’ll first have to select the time zone, using the dropdown menu at the top of the page. Then, you can drag and drop the bars in the scheduling interface in the middle of the page to adjust your bids. If you drop your bid for a given hour to 0%, your campaign will stop running during that time. If you raise it to 150%, you will pay 50% more than what you’d normally pay. And if you set your modifier at 100%, there will be no change to your pre-existing bidding strategy.

Here’s what it looks like in the platform:

MediaAlpha's scheduling feature enables advertisers to toggle their bids based on the time of day and day of the week.

In order to set up your scheduling more quickly, you can use the “bulk operations” dropdown menu at the bottom of the page to apply one day’s scheduling to other days of the week. Additionally, you can use the “copy to” dropdown menu to apply the scheduling choices you’ve selected to another campaign you’re running.

Scheduling modifiers are added on to any other modifiers you’ve employed for your campaign

Keep in mind that the percentages you apply in your scheduling modifier will cross-multiply with any other bid modifiers you have set up for your campaign.

For instance, let’s say your base bid is $10 and you’ve applied a bid modifier of 150% for any shopper who is a homeowner, giving you a modified bid of $15 for this consumer group. If your conversion data tells you that your target shoppers are most likely to convert around lunchtime, you might set a scheduling modifier of 130% for all of the consumers who are part of your campaign between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the consumer’s local time zone. During these time periods, your bid for homeowners that are part of your campaign’s target audience would grow to $19.50. That is, you would multiply your 150% modifier for homeowners by your 130% modifier for consumers who are shopping between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time, for a combined modifier of 195%. You would then multiply your combined modifier by your $10 base bid to get your final result (e.g. 1.95 * $10 = $19.50).

There may be times where you want to employ different schedules in different time zones. In this case, you can click the plus sign near the “local schedule” button at the top of the page to add an additional time zone to your scheduling. This feature is particularly useful in the event that you rely on a call center to help you convert the shoppers you target via the platform. For instance, you might want one schedule in the shopper’s local time zone—wherever they may be—that targets consumers between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. But if your call center is located in the Pacific time zone, you might need a second schedule to account for the fact that if consumers call outside of business hours Pacific time, there won’t be anyone around to answer them.

As is the case with other modifiers on the platform, the modifiers you set for your time zones will be multiplied by one another if more than one is in play at any given time. For instance, imagine you’ve set a 150% modifier for the 12 p.m. hour in the consumer’s local time zone and a 30% modifier for the 9 a.m. hour in the Pacific time zone. If an east-coast consumer in your target audience is shopping at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, you’d wind up with a modifier of 45% (or 150% * 30%).

Scheduling is just one of the ways we help our advertisers pay the right price to acquire every new customer

The MediaAlpha scheduling tool gives advertisers the flexibility and control they need to help acquire new customers at the right price—at all times, any day of the week. And this feature is just one of the ways we help advertisers grow their business as efficiently as possible. From our industry-leading transparency and granular targeting and pricing controls, to our cutting-edge integrations and white-glove consultative service, we give advertisers everything they need to maximize the value of every consumer interaction.

If you have any questions about our scheduling feature, reach out to your client success manager to learn more. And as always, if you’re not already working with us, we’d love for you to schedule a time for us to speak.

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