[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Are you being Served? Lessons in Programmic

Last year, we wrote a short guide to "Your first months in Programmatic".

We trust this helped you in avoiding some common pitfalls made when transitioning from manual to automated digital media buying.

If those articles were 'Programmatic 101', here are three questions to ask your Programmatic provider, to lift your media buying game to 'Programmatic 102'.

1. Seasonality

If your market has clear peak seasonality, how will the Programmatic algorithm respond *after* peak season is over?

Does it assume that any post-season cliff drops for certain campaigns mean they no longer work and therefore should be starved of budget?

If so, for how long should they be starved? When should the algorithm allow such campaigns to re-enter the market again to test if conditions have become favourable again?

How quickly can it recover? And as the marketer, do you you have any say over defining this recovery period?

2. Sudden Competitor Landscape Changes

Similar to the above, how will the Programmatic algorithm respond to sudden competitor landscape changes?

For example, what if a new competitor enters the market with a media takeover – significantly altering ad auctions over a short but intense burst?

Algorithms are quite good at throttling bids/budgets to conserve CPAs as the market is becoming more competitive but what will your algorithm do once competition settles back?

Will it re-open the floodgates to your campaigns again – or will it think your campaigns are no longer converting and keep them starved (all because of a short competitor burst?).

Worse, does this mean your account is now permanently handicapped – relying on historically poorer converting campaigns to carry the load?

3. Front-loading/ Back-loading

Finally, a task we would not uncommonly find ourselves performing is either frontloading or backloading budgets to serve particular campaign purposes.

How does your algorithm handle such front/backloading? And how easy is it to transition from front/backloading back to regular monthly budgets?

When handling the above situations manually, its quite easy to take these in our stride. But once we hand these over to an algorithm we may overlook (or assume) that the algorithm is needing to make decisions on these events under the surface.

Are we confident in the decisions our algorithm is making on our behalf?

Is your algorithm representing you well? Are you being served?


Adam Sugihto is founder of specialist, Melbourne based Pay Per Click agency and Google Certified Partner, Intentional. Since 2009, the Intentional team have driven online advertising for companies in global markets such as Prague, Paris, Tokyo, London, Shanghai, Bangkok, New York and LA; as well as being digital advisor and partner in the Australian domestic market for numerous household brands and NFPs.

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