How the Media Optimiser Works

The Media Optimiser uses advances technology embedded in a familiar interface

The Adtrack Media Optimiser is a Microsoft Excel add-in. It is controlled through a toolbar which is activated whenever you focus on an Optimiser schedule worksheet. An optimised schedule and chart are the final outputs – the end of a process described below:

Adtrack Study

Before the Media Optimiser can be used on a commercial, an Adtrack study must be carried out on the commercial. Outputs from the study are used by the Media Optimiser and include:

  • The study week (date)

  • The impact rate

  • The retention rate

  • The base noting

  • The ceiling noting

These outputs, including other information such as the name of the ad, its Adtrack category and subcategory and the media pressure used are encrypted in a MOS file. A MOS file is used by the Media Optimiser as its base parameter input.

MOS File Download Utility

A MOS File Download Utility is provided to retrieve MOS files from the Millward Brown server. It requires a secure login. The Utility displays a list of all MOS files belonging to you as an Adtrack client – and the files not yet downloaded by the user are pre-marked for download.

Optimiser: setting the parameters

When a new Optimiser schedule is loaded in Excel, a parameters “wizard” pops-up that guides you through setting up the parameters for the optimisation. Of course, the MOS file has first got to be loaded.

Then the planning parameters are set up. These include:

  • The average cost per point

  • The minimum points per week/month

  • The planning period – in weeks or months

  • The campaign commencement date

After this you set the “budget” depending on your planning goal. Options include:

  • Planning to a set financial budget

  • Planning to a audience target

  • Planning to a cumulative awareness level

  • Planning to target an average awareness

Finally the Optimiser schedule parameters can be fine-tuned to obtain an accurate simulation. These include:

  • Estimated Cost per point (adjustable weekly)

  • Importance factors (such as seasonality)

  • Historical media activity can be specified

  • Pre-planned activity can be pre-allocated

The Optimiser Engine

The Optimiser uses a genetic algorithm, a mathematical technique commonly used to solve engineering & search type problems. This methodology has been applied by the Media Optimiser to the problem of maximising the return on user’s media investment by allocating media in the most efficient manner.

As solutions to media planning problems are a projective exercise, the Optimiser can generate similar, but different solutions to each ‘genetic’ problem set by users. Millward Brown recommend for this reason that optimisation is tested a number of times, with alternative parameters set.

This is easily done: just reset any parameters you want to adjust and re-run the Optimiser engine.