6 hot time-saving tips for Schedule Optimiser users

Tip 1. Cut and paste targets by week

You can cut and paste TARP targets straight into the Schedule Optimiser from your Excel spreadsheet, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.

Here's the scenario: You have a 20 week buy, and a TARP target for each of those 20 weeks. Rather than having to enter those targets in manually, you can just open your spreadsheet, highlight the targets, copy them and paste them into the Schedule Optimiser.

Tip 2. Create mock buys in seconds

The Schedule Optimiser can do the grunt work in choosing individual spots for you. It can produce as many candidate schedules as you want and lets you choose and compare the schedules to get the best fit to your client’s needs.

However, some users prefer to take their time and evaluate different spots as they work through the selection and buying process manually. That's fine - but there's another great use for this feature which will save you heaps of time - you can use Automated Spot Selection to create mock buys in seconds!

Here's the scenario: It's Friday and you're just about to leave the office for the weekend when a client rings up and says “Hey, I’ve got $80,000 and I want to see what that can get me”. Instead of spending a whole lot of time buying something manually, you can just open up the Schedule Optimiser, throw in the parameters of the buy, and generate 2, 3, or even 30 different scenarios in seconds! You can fire a couple off to your client and still be out the door in no time flat!

Tip 3. Save and retrieve client briefs

You can now save buy sheet details and rules in the Schedule Optimiser, alongside the buy.

Not only does this save valuable information that may be required for analysis at a later date, it also means you can re-use these rules for another period, saving the time it would take to re-enter them all manually.

Here's how you do it: Open up the old buy, and modify the weeks for the buy - this will discard all the spots, but preserve the saved rules. Then you simply have to enter the relevant targets for the new period, and re-run the buy. It's that quick and easy!

Tip 4. Buy to Reach objectives

You asked for it, and to be honest, we were already working on it. You can now buy to Reach objectives in the Schedule Optimiser.
Here's how you do it:

Right click on the 'Cumulative Frequency Distribution' grid, and click on the ‘Change details’ button that will appear. An 'Options' dialogue box will pop up.

This allows you to set the source weeks that will be used by the Reach and Frequency calculation.
Once you’ve selected the weeks you want, click ‘OK’ then add in a new schedule objective and select your reach limit or goal.

Reach Goals and Limits can also be set within Schedule Splits in the same manner as TARP or Cost, giving you full control over how the spots are placed.  i.e. You can have different reach goals for each week of the buy.

Tip 5. Filter by genre

This was another user request. We’ve added 'Genre' into the Programme List and as an option for Spot Requirements in the Schedule Optimiser to make it even easier to exclude certain types of programmes from the buy.

By the way, the broadcasters have designated time zones for kids programming, so it’s a good idea to exclude these times in conjunction with the genre filter, which leads nicely into my final tip...

Tip 6. Using the enhanced 'Day Part Selector'

We've made this easier to use. Instead of having to enter a bunch of times, simply click on the graphical interface to select the days and day parts you want. 

That's all for now. I hope you found these tips useful - and if you have any you'd like to share, or any questions or comments, please get in touch.

Steve Sharp
+64 9 304 0762