Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

A day in the life of a programmatic trading advisor

By Stefan Lorenzen, manager, solutions consulting at Xandr

When working in programmatic media activation all day, it is clear that it is as much about optimising performance metrics as it is about navigating identity. 

With the recent Google news of removing third-party cookies in 2024, identity is on everyone’s minds and is a key part of the role of a programmatic trading advisor. How I communicate on this topic varies, for example recently I worked with a client on preparing a high-profile campaign including contingency measures in case of low scale. To secure this we agreed upon a contextual targeting approach which aligns with the overall targeting to extend on traffic without deterministic identifiers. This allows incremental reach of users who object third-party cookies or are in environments where identifiers are unavailable due to technical measures. It was important for them to separate out a part of the budget in programmable splits to run against the current audience-based approach for preliminary testing to ensure performance of the additional strategy remains on target. 

Similarly, this can also take on a more internal focus as another aspect of my day was to meet with our internal product team for privacy and identity where my role supports the rollout of a new feature to ensure efficiency and minimise waste of advertising budget when buying without actionable identifiers. Given past and looming changes of the landscape of addressability, this is a highly anticipated development, both internally and externally. Today, the discussion revolves around the lens of the application. The agenda: how would programmatic traders utilise this feature and what questions and pitfalls might exist. The discussion branches out into how this would redefine campaign requirements. It looks at how probabilistic reach metrics will become widely used and how measurement and verification can validate against these and how they can potentially source adequate control groups. 

In a world where deterministic data won’t be as all-encompassing as it used to be, how do we surface probabilities and extrapolation on one hand for standardised campaign reports but also as source for optimisation. How much stochastics does a trader need? 

Whilst identity is a core part of the day, looking at automatization of DSP setups is another aspect. Focusing on to what extent standardised bookings can be automatically created via Xandr’s API, and where the human touch is not only be necessary but also beneficial.  This is a balancing act between realising efficiency gains when managing multiple budgets across channels programmatically and making sure the practitioners experience is accounted for. Allowing for ways for traders to inject their individual learnings, and sometimes informed conjecture into algorithmically supported buying, leads to superior results and differentiates the good marketer from great marketers.

Whilst programmatic advertising is much more than just identity, it is still important for traders to dedicate more time to navigate the ins and outs of this space. As the industry grapples with the new reality, marketers who choose to ignore matters of identity, do so at their own risk.

Xandr is a client of Bluestripe Communications owned by The Bluestripe Group, publishers of NDA