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Pathmatics Blog
Ad Intelligence 101 |


Competitive Ad Spend Analysis: 5 Minutes to Smarter Spend

March 01 2018 by Ken Roberts
Pathmatics competitive ad intelligence
Pathmatics competitive ad intelligence

Are you confident that your advertising plan will make an impact? With more noise than ever before online, it’s critical to serve up ads that differentiate in the right place at the right time.

But, how can you be sure you’re making smart decisions for your brand?

After assessing industry trends as a whole, the next best resource is competitor strategy and performance. You can use competitor data to assess the success of your own metrics, and answer questions like:

  • Are we allocating enough (or too much) budget to advertising?
  • Are we buying ads from the right sites? And, for that matter, the right devices?
  • Do our impressions justify our spend?

With an ad intelligence tool, like Pathmatics, you can pull a comprehensive competitive ad spend analysis in one easy step.

5 Minutes to a Comprehensive Competitive Ad Spend Analysis Report

Regular and ongoing competitive marketing analysis keeps advertisers in the know on trade trends and conversations. After all, consumers don’t want to see ignorant, irrelevant messaging; the most effective advertising is personalized, useful and engaging. To get there, analyze and review other branded campaigns your buyer is already seeing.

You can do just that by generating an advertiser comparison report in Pathmatics.

To do so, navigate to My Tools in Pathmatics, and select Advertiser Comparison in the dropdown. Next, input your own brand, as well as your top competitor.



Click Compare Advertisers to generate the report. Ensure you select your devices and formats, as well as a select date range. For this example comparing Wix.com and SquareSpace, Inc., we compared all devices over the last 12 months.

The report includes an overview of spend volume vs. impression volume, next to the number of creatives for each brand. In this sample report, we can immediately see that SquareSpace may want to increase its budget to truly compete with Wix advertising—especially considering the high number of creatives in production.


The report will also offer a historical comparison of the two brands in a line graph (monthly spend and monthly impressions). The data visualization lends to quick analysis and identification of trends.

Pathmatics competitive ad intelligence

Keep scrolling to view top sites running creatives for both brands. Another subsequent chart features top sites not running creatives for said brand, revealing new (and often missed) opportunities. You can click into specific sites to see if impressions are living up to spend.

Pathmatics competitive ad intelligence

Finally, you can view purchase channel breakdown (direct, ad network or DSP) and compare it to overall impressions. If your competitor is allocating significant budget to an ad network, and seeing a high return, why not give it a try?

To share your comparison report, simply click the export button and choose your format (Excel, infographic or PowerPoint).

Dig Deeper: Compare Competing Creatives, Too

With more insight into ad budget and allocation, the only missing piece is the creative itself. Luckily, you can also conduct competitor creative recon using Pathmatics.

Navigate to your competitor’s full advertiser profile by typing the brand into the search bar. The advertiser profile will display top creatives, as well as individual ad performance by spend and impressions.  

As a rule of thumb, it’s crucial to understand what messages resonate with your competitor’s audience (since you’re likely targeting the same buyer!). Oftentimes, advertisers get inspiration from past campaigns or figure out a new direction altogether.

Pathmatics competitive ad intelligence

Interested in finding out how Pathmatics can advance your competitive advertising analysis? See how Pathmatics works here.

About Author
Ken Roberts

Ken Roberts has been immersed in marketing and technology for over a decade, merging creative strategies with the latest technology, to bring products together with the people who need them. With degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and an MBA, Ken’s background in product management, marketing, sales, analytics and technology lends to his ability to attack product challenges on multiple levels. Ken began his career developing software solutions for medical records before transitioning to marketing. Ken focused on building marketing departments and operating in-house agencies. Ken’s experience with digital platforms, internet based marketing, lead scoring and business intelligence, and reporting, as well as a keen market understanding, are a welcome addition to Pathmatics, only matched by a leadership philosophy that encourages high creativity and ownership from his team.

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