A day in the life of a... Programmatic Trader

By Paige Glass | 14 Mar 2019

Name: Paige Glass

So, what do you do?

I buy ad space programmatically and in real time on behalf of our clients to deliver against performance and branding goals. This involves building campaigns inside the DSP (Demand Side Platform), tracking those campaigns inside our ad server, and optimising the campaigns to deliver the best results for our clients.

What’s on the agenda for today?

09h00: I’ll make a cup of tea first off. Then I’ll sit down and check all my live campaigns, which involves going through them and making sure budget is on track for each one. This means I can spot any problems straight away, and spend the day resolving them.

11h00: I’ll catch up on emails. There might be some optimisation requests from our Programmatic Strategist, or new activity signed off, which means I’ll have to plan the build of the campaign and make sure the tags are ready to go.  

12h00: I’ll make another tea and do some analysis to highlight any opportunities to improve campaigns. This might include looking at the best performing creative, finding out what device is driving the lowest cost per action (CPA), or which sites have low viewability, which could be driving performance down.

14h00: I’ll catch up with our Programmatic Strategist on the account, and go through the report and the campaign. Together, we’re able to spot opportunities quicker, as well as troubleshoot any issues.  

16h00: I’ll have a final cup of tea and implement any changes needed from analysis and meetings I’ve had in the day. I’ll move any budget if necessary so we can hit our daily spend caps. I’ll make changes to our bids, and make sure everything is in order before I leave for the day.

What’s the best thing about your job?

We’re a small team, and the way we manage our campaigns means we work very collaboratively. In many agencies you’d be hard pushed to find strategists and traders sat side by side. As we all sit in one team, we get to solve problems, come up with ideas, and work towards the same goal.

What’s for lunch?

Homemade tuna mayonnaise sandwiches and a cup of tea. It’s the ultimate combo: tuna mayo on white bread, a healthy amount of butter, and sliced red onion. Yum.

How did you get started in digital marketing?

I finished a degree in Business and Marketing, and then took a place at the IDM Summer School. I spent a week visiting agencies, meeting people in the industry, and eventually landed myself a spot on the Greenlight Graduate Scheme. Display took my fancy, and now here I am, two and a half years later.

Plans this evening?

I’ll go swimming, then head home for dinner to watch something wholesome, like MasterChef.

What’s your proudest moment since you joined?

I’ve recently been running brand activity for a retail client; we’ve run video on demand (VoD) activity, podcast advertising, footfall studies, and tested a lot of interesting audiences. Managing a hefty media strategy and delivering the campaign to successful launch has been a pretty big achievement for me.    

What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned on the job?

The kind of activity we’re running now has changed so much even compared to when I started here. I get the chance to run everything from small performance activity, campaigns focused on driving sales, and get to manage big brand budgets. We can track users from an impression through to converting in-store, we’ve run ads that appear in the middle of The Great British Bake Off on 4oD, and we can look at the demographic of users that convert and deliver a tailored strategy to really impact a brand’s bottom line. Pretty exciting stuff if you ask me.

How do you keep up with the latest digital marketing updates?

There are a few good blogs specific to programmatic news that I like to read: AdExchanger, Exchange Wire, and AdProfs. I’ll also ask my colleague and desk neighbour, Callen, who is a big-time blog reader and is always clued up with interesting display titbits.


Share this article:

About the author