Digital Stewardship and Pacing

What is Digital Pacing and Stewardship?

Digital pacing is the speed at which an ad campaign uses up its predefined number of impressions or spends its predefined budget.  The purpose is to ensure delivery and performance goals by the end of the campaign.  We like to define it as a way of “staying on track”!

We put the words stewardship and pacing together because we take great care in the organization and campaign delivery for our clients.  Ensuring something runs as flighted and on strategy with the rest of the media plan is crucial.

Below are some important steps to consider when pacing and stewarding digital campaigns:

  • Pace two to three times per week
  • Always add extra pacing days at the start and end of any campaign
  • Include budgets, impressions, days in campaign and days left in campaign in your pacing document.
  • Pacing rate can be calculated automatically and coded for easy reference.
  • Benchmark pacing guidelines fall between 90%-100%.

Why is it so important?

Digital pacing allows errors to be caught such as underspending and overspending. I like to think of pacing as “crisis management”; without it, the advertiser has no sense of the campaign’s deliverables.

When a campaign is under-pacing, it is at risk of not delivering the purchased number of impressions or clicks.  Without a good pace rate, the campaign is not reaching enough of the audience and a red flag goes up. This alerts the team to strategize on optimizations and to ensure delivery while also staying within campaign parameters.  Optimizing each campaign is different, especially because what works for one ad may not work for another ad.

Spotify Platform Example

Recently, we have seen a shift in platform-based bidding strategies which have affected digital pacing. Spotify launched a new bidding tool in July 2022 which helps determine whether you win each impression you bid for. Digitally pacing has never been more important than checking in on Spotify campaigns. While the ads are served based on a budget and bid strategy each advertiser can change the bid to increase spend or decrease spend as needed. Spotify, like other digital platforms, suggests an expected delivery of impressions. Digital pacing keeps track of those expected impressions versus the delivered impressions.

Digital pacing has taught me a lot about the media industry but most important how to catch errors, make optimizations and make sure impressions and the budget are distributed evenly. Watching the pacing rate is the easiest way to ensure a campaign is on target to deliver.

If you would like more information on how Media Works can help with your digital campaign delivery please contact us.

Written by Media Coordinator, Maddie Nowak

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