Programmatic - A Marketers Guidve: Part Two.


In Part One of our Programmatic series, we gave a brief overview on the appeal of Programmatic, the basics of how it works, and how we need to change our thinking or beliefs in order to embrace it.

In Part Two, we’ll be going over some of the more nitty-gritty on what exactly “Big Data” is and how it works with Programmatic, as well as explaining how it can deliver measurable results at scale.

Let’s get cracking.


How “Big Data” Sharing Works


Time was, if you visited a website on all devices, but solely ever bought while using a Mobile, that website would only recognise you whenever you revisited with that same device. Whenever you return on your Desktop, they wouldn’t recognise you, even though you’re one of their best customers! It’d be like your mum treating you like a stranger because you left your iPhone at home.

Let’s take this idea further.

Let’s say John goes to [Website A] with his Desktop computer, and buys something, so [Website A] has his e-mail address and cookie, so they’re able to recognise John as “John - Converting Customer” on that particular device.

But if [Website A] then shares that information with [Website B], and [Website B] sees “John” amongst that information and realises that John once actually came to their website and enquired about that same product, so they too have his e-mail address… but John enquired on his mobile… Now that they both have separate pieces of the puzzle with John’s Desktop cookie, they can share their data and both get a more complete picture of who John is, as well as his online purchasing habits across both of those devices.

More websites might have more information on John, his browsing habits and what times he’s most likely to purchase… The puzzle gets more complex, yet the picture is more visible. Now we have an even more complete picture of John (based on his purchase history and habits, he’s probably a chef) and how he purchases products online – we know that he regularly purchases chefs equipment, most likely when he’s browsing on his mobile between the hours of 7pm and 9pm on a Sunday.

What this data sharing has resulted in is a much more sophisticated view of each individual user, and opens the door for websites that Johnny Chef has never visited to advertise to him – similar to demographic, topic and behaviour targeting but in an exceedingly more informed manner. Not only does this data sharing allow for a much more accurate form of user targeting, but it also allows advertisers to show their ads at the most likely times John is ready to buy. Is Johnny Chef browsing on his mobile at 8pm on Sundays? Great. Time to show your ad. He’s in a good mood.

swedish-chefBless you Johnny.


As Digital Marketers in an agency, we are constantly singing the praises of how Digital allows us to measure the results of any given campaign, at least when compared with age-old or traditional Marketing. This focus on results has given brands a larger focus on Conversions, so much so that we have been working a lot more on Conversion Rate Optimisation than ever before. Exciting stuff!

As you might expect, Programmatic and this big sharing of data is also heavily focused on optimisation and measurement. The idea behind utilising machine learning with Programmatic is that the campaigns will improve as time goes on. Think of it like the old marvel of chess computers that adapted to an opponent’s moves, and became smarter each time it played, trying new things all the time.


The other appeal is that you can determine the metrics for your KPIs, and Programmatic can optimise towards those choices. When you combine that with the knowledge that the ‘machine’ is always optimising towards your perfect customer, even the base value of a mere impression goes beyond normal expectations for a standard Display campaign. In other words, rather than setting up a Display placement on Mumsnet, seeing 119,000 impressions and thinking “119,000 mums have seen my ad”, you can trust that Programmatic is selecting to show your ads to mums based on an incredibly intricate and wealthy set of data.

All of this equals more accurate and valuable measurement for you.

Thanks for reading. In the upcoming Part 3, we’ll continue with our overview of Programmatic for Marketers, and speak about what more you need to know to fully take advantage.

Here at Sagittarius we specialise in digital marketing campaigns, working with channels such as programmatic to help brands achieve real marketing ROI. If you would like to talk to us about how we can help your brand get in touch via email at or pick up the phone and call 01233 467800, we would love to hear from you!



06 Jul 2017 - 7 minute read
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