Scaling up media ad spend while saving on acquisition costs: a strategic approach

Written by Ettore Spinelli - Media Buying Team Leader at Tappx
Created Jul 27, 2023 | 3 min read
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In today’s digital world, businesses are increasingly investing in media advertising to reach their target audiences effectively. However, allocating substantial ad spend without considering acquisition costs can lead to inefficiencies and budget wastage.

In this article, we’ll explore a strategic approach to scaling up media ad spending while optimizing acquisition costs, ensuring maximum return on investment (ROI) for your advertising efforts.

We will therefore tackle three main objectives: improving acquisition costs, audience segmentation and personalization and scaling up the ad spend of your activities.

Check Acquisition Costs

Acquisition costs are a critical metric that determines the efficiency of your media ad spend. By carefully monitoring and optimizing these costs, you can ensure better performance and higher ROI. Here are some key steps to follow to do so:

  1. Analyze Placements and Exchanges: Evaluate the performance of different ad placements and exchanges. Identify any that are driving unreasonably high Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). It’s essential to identify and remove or adjust underperforming placements promptly.
  2. Leverage Microbidding: Rather than using the same bid for all placements, micro bid on each placement. Calculate the maximum Cost Per Mille (CPM) you can afford while still achieving your desired target results. This approach allows you to allocate your budget more efficiently, focusing on placements that deliver the best results at the optimal cost.
  3. Check OS, Browsers, and Carriers: Sometimes, certain operating systems, browser versions, or carriers can negatively impact your overall campaign’s acquisition costs. Analyze the data to identify any patterns or outliers. If specific segments are dragging down performance, consider excluding or optimizing for those segments.
  4. Whitelist Profitable Placements: If certain placements or exchanges are only profitable with specific segments of traffic, consider whitelisting them. By using only the configurations that work best, you can eliminate waste and enhance overall performance.

Audience Segmentation and Personalization

Implementing audience segmentation and personalization can be a game-changer when it comes to optimizing media ad spending while simultaneously reducing acquisition costs. By tailoring your ad creatives and messaging to specific user groups, you can significantly improve engagement and conversion rates. Here’s how to effectively leverage audience segmentation and personalization in your ad campaigns:

  1. Data-Driven Segmentation: Use data insights from your previous campaigns and customer behavior to divide your audience into relevant segments. Consider factors such as demographics, interests, content context, past interactions, and purchase history. This data-driven approach ensures that your targeting is based on actual user behavior rather than assumptions.
  2. Customized Ad Creatives: Craft ad creatives that resonate with each audience segment. This could mean adjusting the ad copy, visuals, or even the call-to-action to match the preferences and needs of different groups. Personalization creates a stronger emotional connection with users, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
  3. A/B Testing for Segments: Conduct A/B tests for each audience segment to identify the most effective ad variations. This iterative process helps you refine your messaging and creatives over time, leading to improved performance and cost efficiency.


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Scale Up Gradually

Once you’ve optimized your acquisition costs, it’s time to scale up your media ad spend to reach a broader audience. However, scaling up too quickly can be risky, potentially leading to reduced efficiency and increased costs. Here’s how to scale up wisely and effectively

  1. Incremental Increases: Rather than making sudden budget jumps, increase your ad spend incrementally. For budgets below $1,000 a day, limit the daily increase below 50% of your current daily budget during the first week. For budgets exceeding $1,000, avoid increasing by more than 20% every few days.
  2. Monitor KPIs: As you scale up, closely monitor your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Ensure that the KPIs are still being met even as you expand your reach. If the performance drops or acquisition costs rise significantly, it’s a signal to be cautious with further increases.
  3. Be Prepared to Revert: If you notice a sudden spike in acquisition costs (eCPAs increase by more than 20-30%) after a few days of increased budget, consider reverting gradually to the previous budget level. This spike may indicate that the platform is struggling to find your target audience at the desired price. Wait until performance stabilizes before attempting to scale up again, this time at a slower pace.
  4. Optimize Bids: If scaling up doesn’t lead to a proportional increase in the budget spent, you may need to raise your bids. Increasing your bid slightly can improve your reach and attract more quality traffic, potentially leading to higher conversion rates.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, successfully scaling up media ad spending while saving on acquisition costs requires a data-driven and strategic approach. By analyzing acquisition costs, micro-bidding on placements, and whitelisting profitable configurations, you can optimize your campaign’s efficiency. Additionally, implementing audience segmentation and personalization allows you to avoid wasting ad spending on broad targeting and focus on users who are more likely to convert. Finally, scaling up gradually and monitoring KPIs ensures that expansion doesn’t compromise performance. 

Remember, a well-balanced strategy that considers both scaling and cost optimization will help you achieve better results and a higher return on your media advertising investment.

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