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Datorama Tips & Tricks: Media Cost Center

Mario Cruz

This post is part of our Tips & Tricks series, highlighting some of Datorama’s most interesting or useful features. This series features guest authors from our Client Success team, who are hard at work every day helping Datorama customers with everything from data prep to visualization.

This post is by Mario Cruz, Client Success Sr. Manager.

Have you ever spent more time than expected figuring out if the results of your marketing meet your initial goals? Want to know if your budget is on pace to be spent and if the KPIs are worth the investment for a particular channel or partner? Answering these questions is often delayed because collecting the needed data and tying it back to what you initially planned can take hours– hours that are better spent analyzing.

This is where Media Cost Center comes into play and fulfills a crucial need for brands, agencies, publishers, and advertising technology customers.

What is it?

Media Cost Center is a product that automates analysis of what your media is doing versus what you planned. It dynamically associates advertising data with your media plan and calculates cost so that you are always on top of how and where your dollars are spent.

By joining together your planned information with real world results, you can mix and match relevant targeting and tactic data with live KPIs.

Sample campaign pacing dashboard using the MCC.

How does it work?

The first step is loading in your planned data into Media Cost Center. This is done automatically via dedicated Data Streams. Have your media planned in Salesforce? We can populate MCC using our Salesforce SOQL API or our new Salesforce Reports API. Using Mediacean Prisma or a custom in-house solution? No problem.

Don’t have a standalone software for your media plan? Using Excel? Migrate that data into a Google Sheet and have Datorama pick it up live as often as you need it.

Once the data is loaded with planned data like budgets, rates, and campaigns the second step is joining in your live media data. Depending on your business rules MCC can –without a single line of programming– connect to systems as diverse as 3rd party ad servers, viewability and verification vendors, DSPs, publisher direct data, mobile, social, and offline sources.

What can I do with it?

Once your media plan is in the product and you’ve automatically connected it to your live media, Media Cost Center will automatically calculate your media cost and track it against your budget. It does this because of prebuilt logic that understands the most common industry standards for buying media. For any custom rules it’s a simple matter of of a few clicks to tell MCC how you need your cost calculated.

This, though, is just the foundation. Having both sides of the equation set up, your plan and the real world results allow for a diverse suite of use cases like:

Programmatic: your programmatic trading team can manage bid prices, use MCC’s cost calculations to create custom alerts telling them where they need to increase or decrease budgets and where their attention should be focused.

Viewability by Publisher: Concerned you are paying a publisher partner for media that’s not being seen? By connecting Viewability, MCC, and Ad Server you can see what your average cost per viewable impression is and how that stacks up against the rest of your plan. You may be missing an opportunity to reach more people by shifting budget to a better performing partner.

Campaign Pacing: The bane of many people’s reporting is tracking what is being spent and where. With a typical media plan covering over a dozen platforms and channels having one single source of truth for pacing saves up hours of time.

Margin Optimization: If you are an agency or trade desk you can integrate your net rate and use MCC to track and optimize your margins and the most granular level or at the client level– whatever makes the most sense. Either way, the data will be there for your to mix and mash.

Invoicing/Billing: Have to report to finance what happened last month? Closing out the books used to take some of our clients 3 weeks of manual report wrangling. Now it’s a matter of pushing out a report a day after a month ends. Reconciliation is no longer is a dirty word.

Alerts/Goals: All of the scenarios above can use our Actions Center and Goals layer for additional tracking and automated alerting. Trigger emails to the right people with the right information or automatically pause an over-pacing campaign in your DSP.


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