There has been questions in the ADvengers chat about which ad optimizer to utilize and Losid from theOptimizer came in to give his opinion on all 3 popular platforms.

There are thanks in the group for a great breakdown of all three by Losid. It maybe one sided but definitely some good insight on the platform if you have not tried them all yourself.

Losid tested all three and here are his breakdowns on the 3 ad campaign management platforms.

Maximus

  • Pricing – A bit high, considering average native margins. Plus, their percentage fee tends to be the same when you scale up your ad spend.
  • Tracking – Limited built-in tracking feature. Might look interesting for some, but at the same time doesn’t offer all features and capabilities the average click tracker offers. You have to pass through their tracking system in order to be able to manage campaigns there. Thing which adds additional redirect delays to your links, since your visitors are passing through two trackers. On top of that, this makes your campaigns highly dependent on their system. So basically, if you decide to stop the service, you’ll have to change campaign links on the traffic source. This means sending your campaign for re-approval, delay which may penalize your campaign performance.
  • Campaign creation – Bulk ad and campaign creation and cloning available (only through their tracking link).
  • Automation – You are limited to one rule set per campaign level, meaning you cannot automate more than two changes on the campaign, widget or ad level. And here I’m referring to the different thresholds you might want to use based on difference performance metrics.
  • Metrics – You don’t have to optimizes your campaigns based on tracker specific metrics like Landing Page Clicks or Landing Page CTR. I think this is a must when running native traffic, since this helps quite a lot on minimizing costs on clearly underperforming sites or placements.
  • Integrations – The only supported networks are: Outbrain, Taboola, Yahoo Gemini and RevContent. If you’re running on MGID, Adskeeper, Content.Ad or VoluumDSP, you cannot manage your campaigns through them. Also, the number of supported click trackers is very limited. In addition to these, you have to send your login credentials to them in order to integrate new accounts without having a self-serve option.

Brax

  • Pricing – Still a bit high, considering their minimum plan starts at $199 for $10k monthly ad spend and the overage is 2% above the $10k limit.
  • Tracking – No build-in tracking features and looks like now they only support Google Analytics. I think they previously used to support Voluum tracker as well.
  • Campaign creation – Bulk ad and campaign creation available.
  • Automation – Rules are set to execute every one or few hours – kind of best effort execution frequency. So, if you’re looking to act fast, you still have to do it manually.
  • Metrics – Still missing important tracker metrics like on Maximus, even though they offer you the option to work based on calculated metrics. Kinda cool, but considering the limited execution frequency, doesn’t add much value for me.
  • Integrations – Currently supporting only Taboola, Outbrain, Yahoo Gemini, RevContent and Content.Ad. Again if you’re running something aggressive like you can on MGID, you have to do it manually. Also, in terms of trackers support Google Analytics is just not enough.

TheOptimizer

  • Pricing – Pay as you grow model. Starting from $199/mo for up to $20k of monthly ad spend with an overage fee of 1% above the monthly ad spend coverage. Also, while you increase your ad spend, service fees lower down to roughly 0.6% of your ad spend. Custom pricing available for users spending above $1.5M/mo
  • Tracking – No built-in tracking support yet. You can integrate your own tracker and pass traffic directly through your links. Without adding any additional delay which may impact your campaign link delivery speed.
  • Campaign creation – Bulk ad and campaign creation available. Also, you can assign auto-optimization rules right at the moment you create your campaign so whenever it starts getting traffic you start optimizing right away.
  • Automation – Unlimited number of pause/activate and bid/budget change rules on several levels. You can easily differentiate changes on campaign, site/placement, or ad level based on different performance metrics. Plus, for widget rules you get the option to exclude specific sites/placements from being touched by the rules in case you don’t want to.
  • Integrations – Currently supporting networks Outbrain, Taboola, RevContent, Content.Ad, MGID, Adskeeper, VoluumDSP, ActiveRevenue, Runative. Also supporting the following tracking platforms: Voluum, AdsBridge, Binom, Thrive, FunnelFlux, Bemob, RedTrack, EverFlow and Google Analytics (plus adsense stats through GA).

A few more things that you can do on TheOptimizer compared to the other platforms:

  • Simultaneously combine any of the supported click trackers with Google Analytics on the same campaign.
  • Schedule bid changes on specific hours and time zones you need to.
  • Optimize your bids based on CPC and actual EPC of your campaign, widget (or section for outbrain) and ad performance.
  • Aggregated campaigns reporting (real accurate stats) allows you to identify specific high performing publishers that you may want to use for a future whitelist campaign.
  • Automatically collect and share unlimited widget lists (Smart Lists), so that you won’t need to spend multiple times on the same widgets before blocking them.
  • You can exclude “Today” or “Today & Yesterday” from your rule’s optimization time frame. This is quite useful when running CPC/Search Feed campaigns that report conversions with 24-48 hours in delay.
  • You can update and refresh your tracker stats by yourself whenever needed, so you get the up-to-date tracker statistics on those cases when you update some revenues on your trackers.
  • If you’re using Voluum tracker, you can build optimization rules based on Custom Conversion events. For instance, Lead, Sale, Upsell, etc.
  • Similar feature set available for Pop/Redirect/Push sources as well as Adult display sources.