What is forecasting?

Forecasting allows you to check how many impressions are likely to be available in your network before you book inventory to a line item. By using inventory forecasting, you can prevent overbooking.

Prevent overbooking

Overbooking is when you book more impressions than your network has available. As a result, the campaign won’t be able to meet its delivery goals. 

Forecasting can help you avoid overbooking impressions. In addition to warning against potential overbooking, forecasting will show you how much potential inventory is still available for sale.

How does forecasting work?

When you’re checking for available inventory, Ad Manager analyzes the line item you’re running a forecast for against competing booked line items.

Ad Manager looks at the past 24 months (or longer) of aggregated, historical traffic volume data as a basis for building and predicting seasonality and shape of future traffic.

Ad Manager looks at traffic and ad characteristics from the more recent past (last 28 days) to build and predict future traffic volumes.

Using these predictions, Ad Manager runs a simulation for the line item to be forecasted. The output of the simulation shows how many impressions are available for booking and how many matched the targeting of the line item.

When should you use forecasting?

You can only run a forecast for guaranteed line items (sponsorship and standard) because these are the only line item types for which impressions can be reserved in Ad Manager.

Although every business has a unique ad operations workflow, there are three main stages when forecasting is used: 

  • Selling campaigns
  • Trafficking campaigns
  • Monitoring campaigns

Forecasting at each of these stages in Ad Manager has its own set of benefits.



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