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Different Strategies – Sprint or Marathon?

Discussion in 'Display Media Buying' started by Mobidea, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. Mobidea

    Mobidea Affiliate Manager Affiliate Manager Service Manager affiliate

    Monetizing mobile traffic can be a tricky challenge. You need logical skills and at the same time you need to trust in your experiences and instincts in order to take the best possible decisions. However, even if you take all good options you will always confront external forces – an offer’s billing can suddenly change, the payout decrease, the competition increase, an ad-network can lose traffic quality and of course, we always need to take in count the human risk – that can influence your results.

    In Economics there is the expression “ceteris paribus” – which represents the decision making considering that all variables (external factors) will have a normal behavior – ignoring possible events that can influence our results. In every decision that we take we follow this principle. We analyze current performances, adjust bids, targets and volumes expecting that externals events won’t case unusual performances.

    In other hand, all the decisions you take will affect your results and your competitor’s performance. This influence will define you as a player with a singular way to buy and manage traffic in the market. That’s true that everyone is working for profits but the way to get them can differ a lot. There are different strategies to do in the same situation.

    This article focuses this kind of different strategies that you may choose. In some times one approach can be better than others and you should understand and adapt to each moment. We will emphasize two different strategies and contrast the main differences between them. With Sprint we try to show how some players work to get fast results trying at the same time to minimize costs, with Marathon we demonstrate how to work to maximize your revenues in a long time relationship, working with all your traffic details. Both strategies are completely valid and everyone can work with them, or mix them to test different ways to get money. You should always think your risk propensity and balance that with your available budget.


    Turn a new segment profitable can take time and some optimizations. The main difference when we test something new it’s our approach. We need to first get reliable data and then take conclusions to explore more spots or adjust our target. With Sprint we will avoid huge amounts of traffic with good and bad performance in the beginning and it can be very good or very bad. With Marathon we will have a clear idea about that segment and we can work according performances, in other hand we can have big amounts of data in the beginning buying all the good and bad things before optimize.


    It’s normal that sometimes we could face some carrier changes, offer’s optimizations or partners with empty budgets. When this happens, we should understand if it will be a temporary or a permanent issue. If it will be permanent, we need to try to keep as much traffic as we can before pausing the campaign: it is possible that after readapting the bid or targeting we remain positive. If it is temporary, we should always try to maintain our current position, to recover everything when the performance comes back. To minimize damages, we advise reduce your campaigns to minimum capping. In this case, Sprint strategy don’t provide us many options since our target it’s too narrow. Marathon one give us the possibility to not only decrease positions and capping but also to understand if some website, some operating system, some device can be profitable and not pause at all.


    When we detect that we have paid 3 or 4 times more to get the same amount of traffic, it’s a competition warning. We have different approaches according to our budget level. We can defend our position and lose money some days to get more quality than our competitors or – if we can’t afford the new costs, even with the minimum capping – we should decrease one position to make our competition pay the most (if they work with Smart CPM) or get more traffic so more costs and we adjust our spends. In these situations, Sprinters use to decrease to minimum capping and if it’s still losing money pause the campaign. On another hand, with Marathon approach we can have more options. Our competition can be focused in a specific target and we can maintain/adjust or decrease our performance in the attacked segment and work as usual in the other features. On both strategies we always should have attention to be fast doing those changes. Never “time is money” made such sense!

    Let’s check some main differences between this two approach’s:


    Normally, a professional mediabuyer will need a Sprint strategy because he needs money faster for a better cash-flow, he doesn’t have thousands of hundreds to invest and he wants to take less risks. For a company, no doubt that the Marathon should be the idea to adopt: you will need more time and money to invest but the potential profit is higher. To conclude, we can say that the two strategies are correct, it only depends on what you are looking for.

    If you are a Mobidea affiliate you are a lucky person. Some of that external factors that can happen from time to time are minimized by us. When some offer falls we put another with the best possible performance. For both strategies – but especially for Sprinters – we give you always updated data regarding our top opportunities. Be fast exploring them and you will be one step ahead your competition. You should also speak with your Account Manager and present him these situations if you have doubts or need advices.

    Combine both strategies to make money and grow with us! Your growth is our growth!

    Good luck :)
  2. terraleads
  3. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Administrator Administrator

    Always well thought out and presented information from you @Mobidea ! This is an excellent comparison.
    Mobidea likes this.
  4. Jim Moriarty

    Jim Moriarty Affiliate affiliate

    The wonderful presentation which give me clear cut knowledge about sprit and marathon optimization. I like to spend my money in safe zone that is why I think I am on sprint.
    Mobidea likes this.
  5. Review House

    Review House Affiliate affiliate

    Cool, the presentation about media buying. All the infographic exactly the answer which I am looking for. Thank you for sharing your nice experience for media buying. This will definitely help me lots.
    Mobidea likes this.

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