Let’s take a look at how to set up a forecast when selling impressions, trafficking line items, and monitoring live campaigns. The process is similar across all three stages, but there are slight variations.

1. Setting up a forecast before trafficking

Forecasting during the sales process — before trafficking — allows you to check whether there are enough available impressions in your network to be sold and booked as a line item. If the forecast is acceptable, it’s easy to convert the forecast into a line item.

Forecasting at this stage allows you to check different types of quantities. For example, you can check for the maximum number of available impressions or against a specific quantity goal.

Let’s run a forecast for a fictional advertiser, Hiroko Health. We’ll check whether you have: 1 million available impressions for the 300×250 ad size, at standard-normal priority, for the month of March, in our Ad_Manager_News and Ad_Manager_Sports ad units.

To run a forecast, navigate to the Delivery tab, then choose Orders or Line Items. Select the Check Inventory button. If you’re familiar with the line item trafficking screen, you’ll notice that this Check Inventory screen looks almost identical, but it leaves off the fields that won’t have an impact on the results of a forecast. 

OK, let’s set up this forecast.

Choose whether you want to consider the impact of ad exclusions and unified advertiser exclusions in your forecast. Let’s leave that checked for now. You can also choose to enter the advertiser for whom you’re running this forecast.

Next, enter your required inventory size of 300×250. Let’s leave the line item type as standard-normal, which is the default.

For the start time, choose March 1. For the end date, put March 31 so that the date range is the entire month of March.

Change quantity from Max Available to Goal, since you know how many impressions you’re looking to reserve. Then enter your goal of 1 million.

Now you need to select the targeted ad units. Let’s include Ad_Manager_News and Ad_Manager_Sports.

That’s everything you need to include for this forecast, so scroll down and click the Check Inventory button to run the forecast.

After a few seconds, the forecast is complete. You can see at a glance that the 1 million impressions you’re looking to reserve are indeed available. 

If you’re happy with the result of the forecast, you can use it to create a new line item. Just enter the number of impressions you want to reserve using these criteria, and then enter the name of a new or existing order to save it to.

2. Setting up a forecast during trafficking

To run a forecast during the trafficking process, you must set up a new line item that’s ready to save. 

Let’s double check to see if the 1 million impressions from the earlier campaign are still available for your advertiser, Hiroko Health, as it’s possible that additional campaigns may have been booked. 

The new line item, Hiroko_Health_App_launch_mWeb_300x250 is set up and ready to save. 

As a reminder, the steps to do this include:

  • Selecting the appropriate line item
  • Selecting the inventory size
  • Leaving the line item type at standard-normal (the default)
  • Setting the start and end dates
  • Targeting the specific inventory where this campaign will run

At the bottom of the screen, you can choose to select either Check Inventory or Save.

If you choose Check Inventory, the forecast will run and the summary results will be displayed.

You can use the results of the forecast to determine whether the line item should be modified or saved.

If you choose to save the line item without checking the inventory, Ad Manager will automatically run the forecast in the background. 

If there is sufficient inventory, the line item should save without issue. If there isn’t sufficient inventory, Ad Manager will let you know that you’re about to overbook impressions.

3. Setting up a forecast to monitor campaigns

The final time to run a forecast is once a line item has already been trafficked and is delivering. This doesn’t require any specific setup because the settings have all been configured and saved during trafficking.

Let’s continue with our example, from the Hiroko Health campaign. 

From the list of delivering line items, locate the Hiroko Health campaign. Select this line item to reach the Summary page.

  • From the Delivery Forecast and Contending Items tab (1), you can see the line item’s delivery progress and a forecast for its remaining goal. If the line item is set to meet its goal, no further action is needed. But you may need to take action if the line item is:
    • At risk of under-delivery 
    • Likely to deliver, but may impact delivery of other line items

    While you could return to the Settings tab (2) of the line item to forecast how delivery would be impacted by any changes, a better alternative would be to review the output under the Contending Line Items and Criteria Breakdown sections (3). 
    Monitoring the delivery progress for a given line item helps you identify issues within a single campaign. But what if you want to monitor the progress for multiple line items? Let’s find out below.

Use filters to monitor multiple delivering line items

When viewing a list of delivering line items in Ad Manager, you can filter by delivery progress. This shows whether a line item has delivered the portion required for an on-schedule delivery. The metric is calculated in respect to the current state, regardless of the date range chosen for the report.

Standard campaigns have an absolute goal, where the progress is calculated as the percentage of impression goal delivered divided by the percentage of time elapsed.

Progress = (% of impression goal delivered) / (% of time elapsed)

Delivery progress assumes an even distribution of impressions. For example, what would the progress be for a line item that delivered 50% of its impression goal halfway through the campaign vs. three-quarters of the way through?

Delivered impressions (%)Time elapsed (%)Progress (%)

When filtering based on progress, you can choose to view line items with a progress value that’s less than, greater than, or within a certain range. You can also filter the progress to view line items that are on schedule, may overdeliver, or are at risk for underdelivery. 

Having a progress value below 100% doesn’t necessarily mean that a line item will underdeliver, but just to be safe, it may be worth checking those line items and running a forecast. Let’s take a look at how this is done. 



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