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!

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.


Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?



06 Jul 2017 - 7 minute read
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