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The Reporting Dashboard GM Never Had

General Motors (GM) made headlines last spring when it pulled its ad budget from Facebook days before the social network’s IPO, citing vague performance reasons. The auto giant is in advertising headlines once again this week as it undergoes an agency review.

Rather than seeking out new agencies or writing off an entire advertising channel (nonetheless the most popular website that is frequented by more than 1 billion people), perhaps instead GM is in need of a best-in-class reporting dashboard. A dashboard that would allow the company to monitor the performance of their ad spend in real-time to identify red flags, what’s working well, and ultimately make data-informed decisions to improve performance. Our product team has been heads down over the last month working with large-scale advertisers to develop just this – the reporting dashboard GM never had!

Given the volatility of Facebook’s advertising ecosystem, recent performance is most predictive of future performance. And that’s where this new dashboard in Ad Engine sets itself apart. Whether an advertiser is checking their campaign every hour or once a day on-the-go, the dashboard serves as a window into the overall pulse of their ad campaigns, with:

1. Top Level Trends
A 30,000 foot view into how your ad spend is pacing and where it’s allocated
2. Granular Trends
The most critical metrics on the true cost and return of your campaign
3. Actionable Insights
Quick links to drill into more detailed performance and make changes across creative, targeting and optimization

Dashboard_Walkthrough(click the image to enlarge)

1. Top Level Trends — Pacing, Ad Types & Delivery

The dashboard displays real-time information so advertisers can understand how their budgets are being spent and performing throughout the day. Advertisers have the option to toggle to display today or yesterday’s performance, and choose to compare that performance to the prior day or the same day in the prior week. Three core charts highlight and answer questions around:

Overall Spend –
How is my advertising spend pacing over the course of the day relative to my budget and similar days?
Ad Type –
Where is my spend allocated across ad types, such as page post ads, mobile app install ads, domain ads?
Delivery Location –
Where is my spend allocated across delivery locations, such as mobile, the web News Feed, all Facebook locations?

2. Granular Trends — Customize Your Dashboard

Advertisers also have a view into more granular return and cost metrics specific to the post-click conversion actions they’re measuring and optimizing towards with Nanigans.

Dashboard_ConversionMetricsJust like not all customers are created equal, not all advertisers have the same campaign goals nor monitor success metrics in the same way. We kept this top of mind in the dashboard with one-click customization. Advertisers can quickly elect to display various cost-per-actions, action rates, and return metrics. These metrics are displayed numerically as well as visually, with colors and spark lines helping you quickly glean performance trends.

For example, advertisers in gaming, retail or automotive can display the cost per action and overall return on their ad spend by:

Gaming –

  • Installs
  • Tutorial or level completions
  • Daily or weekly active users
  • Purchase events
  • Revenue

Retail –

  • Registrations
  • Email subscribes
  • Add to carts
  • Purchase events
  • Revenue

Automotive –

  • Email subscribes
  • Build/customize a model
  • Assess trade-in value
  • Locate a dealer
  • Request a quote

Advertisers can toggle to show relative performance on these actions throughout the day on a prior 1-hour, 2-hour, 3-hour or 6-hour basis. And while advertisers can customize their views on any number of angles described above, they also have the control to select a default view.

3. Actionable Insights — Even on the Go

With an understanding of top level and more critical granular trends with your campaign, the new dashboard offers quick links to further analysis and the ability to tweak campaign settings.

Dashboard_QuickLinksHoverFor example, advertisers have a quick link to Placements Analysis, Ad Engine’s digitized pivot table, for a more detailed view into the ads within their campaign (including over 100 reporting metrics); a quick link to Cohort Analysis provides a longer-term analysis of your campaign; and of course, advertisers have quick links to make changes to their campaign across creative, targeting, bidding logic, and budget allocation.

Additionally, hovering your mouse over any of the charts in the dashboard surfaces more detailed results at specific times throughout the day, as shown in the image to the right.

Dashboard_MobileLooking to capture the graphs in the dashboard to share with your team or boss? Quickly download raw data into a .CSV with a simple click.

Not at your desktop? Opt-in to receive emailed reports from the dashboard straight to your inbox on an hourly basis. Or, if you have an iPad or tablet, take advantage of the dashboard’s responsive design and carry it with you on the go.

So, before writing off an entire advertising channel or electing to switch your agency, think instead about the depth and breadth of the reporting dashboard you’re using. Is it surfacing the right metrics? Is it helping you identify red flags and best practices? Are you able to easily take action on the data you are seeing? If not, reach out to us today!

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