Set strategic targets which can be compared against when you start to plan or retrieve performance results

Aydin Ismailov avatar
Written by Aydin Ismailov
Updated over a week ago

Have trouble seeing the bigger picture or keeping budgets on track?

Organizations use Mediatool to keep themselves accountable for achieving intended outcomes.

The targets function can be used in a variety of ways, however, the most common use-case is budget allocation. The targets function allows organizations to easily breakdown their budgets into digestible hierarchies and ensures that they stay within set budgets when as they build out more and more media plans.

Though, don’t feel limited to using targets for only budgeting. Targets can be established for any measure (spend, revenue, conversions, etc.) and at any level (market, brand, division, etc.) that is relevant for you.

In this article we will cover how to:

  • Create targets and hierarchies

  • Enter and edit target values and dates

  • View allocation and pacing

  • Re-assign targets

  • Control the editability of targets

  • Visualize targets in the Reports section

Create a Target and Hierarchy

Targets can be created at the organization level or the plan level. If there is no pre-existing target, simply click on the prompt shown in the screenshot below.

If targets already exist, click on the Target Overview tab represented by the symbol to the right, below. Then click on Create target.

When creating a target, you will be prompted to fill out a variety of information in the settings:

  • Enter a name for your target

  • Select what date period you want to track

  • Select measures by typing the name or choosing from the drop-down list. You can create multiple targets in one go, simply type or choose more than one measure from the drop-down list.

  • Select hierarchy (optional) in which your overall target should be broken down into. For example, by organization, media type, plan or any other tag category that you've created. Select multiple in order to add more levels in your hierarchy.

  • Select grain (optional) if you want to split your targets by a further sub-period such as week or month

Setting Target Values (from the Overview)

In order to allocate your overall target at each level of the target hierarchy and/or grain, click the green plus symbol to split the target.

If no plus symbol appears, you haven't established a target hierarchy or grain and, therefore, need to click on edit target in order to establish it in the target settings.

When you split your target by the next level in the hierarchy, you have the choice to split it by all options existing within that level of the hierarchy, or only by specific options. Select your preference within the window like the one below.


Upon splitting the target, each grain or hierarchy will fold out and the value entered into the parent target will be divided equally between lower levels. You can then manually adjust each target number by editing the target value or by percentage allocation.

Once you are finished with your target simply leave the page and it will automatically save. You will see your changes reflected in the Target Timeline view and vice-versa.

Setting Target Values (from the Timeline)

In order to allocate your overall target at each level of the target hierarchy and/or grain, click on the split symbol that appears when hovering your mouse over the target.

When you split your target by the next level in the hierarchy, you have the choice to split it by all options existing within that level of the hierarchy, or only by specific options. Select your preference within the window that appears.

In order to set a target value for your overall target or any target within the hierarchy, drag to create an entry and then click on the bar generated in the timeline.

Clicking on the target opens the toolbox view (on the right side of the screen). Here you can update the following settings:

  • Name

  • Date period

  • Description

  • Add or delete measure(s)

Allocating a Target within a Hierarchy

The gauge (semi-circle) in the bottom of the toolbox view displays the Allocation of that target across its various sub-targets. This provides the overview needed to ensure all sub-targets are fully allocated and add up to 100%.

Observe Pacing Towards a Target

The line bar displays how the value (contained within the planning or results data sources) is pacing towards the target you have set.

This will help you understand how plans and/or performance are stacking up against your overarching goal.

Refer to the following legend for pacing colour:

  • Green: when the amount allocated in Plan and/or Result is less than or equal to the Target amount.

  • Red: when the amount allocated in Plan and/or Result exceeds the Target amount.

If you’d like to invert the logic of this colour-coding, have an admin head to the settings of the particular field and select ‘High value is good’. This way, when the value is equal or more than 100% of the target, it will be Green. Anything less than the target will be Red.

Target Reassignment

The case may arise where a target should be reassigned as a sub-target of another target.

Most commonly, this occurs when there are organization- and plan-level targets have been created separately. This is due to the fact that targets can be established in the Plan Setup of any plan, resulting in a corresponding entry in the targets section.

So, we’ve included information on how to manually reassign targets as sub-targets of another parent and also how this reassignment can occur automatically.

Manual Re-assignment

A standalone target that is not part of any hierarchy can be assigned as a sub-target to another parent target - as long as the sub-target fits within the hierarchy of the parent target. To do this:

  • Hover over the unassigned row. Two icons will display

  • Click the reassignment icon to the left, which will open the toolbox view

Step 1: Select the target or entire row that you’d like to reassign

  • Click on a Target to select a specific target

  • Click on a row to select all targets in that row

Step 2: Select the parent target that you’d like to assign it to

  • When a Target or row has been selected for reassignment, all available parents will be highlighted

    • Only targets based on a dimension contained in the parent target’s hierarchy can be merged

  • Select the parent target you’d like to assign the target to

Step 3: Confirm.

Once confirmed, the target(s) structure will be reassigned.

This process cannot be undone. If a target is wrongly assigned you would need to delete the target and create a new one.

Automatic Re-assignment

If you create a plan-level Target and already have an existing Target at the organization level where Plan is part of that target hierarchy, the new plan-level Target will automatically be assigned as a child of that organization-level target.

Criteria for matches

  • The new target must be within the date range of the existing target

  • The new target must be made on a dimension that the organization-level target contains in its hierarchy

  • The new target must not have any conflicting tags with the original one

  • The new target must not contain an explicit parent id

Adjusting the View Settings

By clicking on the View Settings button, you can adjust multiple elements of the Target Timeline such as the measure percentages, grain, scale, range, and measures to exclude.

Edit Mode

Admin and Editor level users can toggle between edit mode and view-only mode when working in the target timeline.

These settings are user-specific and will not affect other users’ abilities to edit targets.

Viewer-level users will, of course, not be able to enter the edit mode.

Visualize Targets in Reports

In the Reports section, you are able to use the values you have entered into the Targets section to create all sorts of different visualizations. To do so, all you need to do is select the Targets data source when building your particular chart.

Your ability to visualize targets based on various dimensions depends on the hierarchy you established within the original target structure. So, for example, if your budget target was split by market and then brand, then you will be able to visualize the target on both of those dimensions in the Reports section.

Here are some reporting ideas to get you started:

  • Create a target for your budget (or planned spend) and then track the allocation of the budget across your various plans. See these side by side in a chart.

  • Create targets for your organizational KPIs and create a report that compares estimated performance in your media plans to these KPIs. This will give you an understanding of your assumptions regarding which media types and vehicles will deliver you the results.

  • Create targets for organizational KPIs and then create a report to track your live campaign performance against these targets. Use these insights to re-allocate budgets to stronger performing platforms, creatives, or otherwise.

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