Harnessing Automation To Power Your Online Advertising – Owen Gill – Nottingham Digital Summit

Posted on 21/06/2018 by Jonathan 'Cat' Catton

Bringing us into lunch today is Hallam's own Head of Paid Media, Owen Gill. He talked to us about automation both in the wider marketing arena, as well as more specifically within the PPC discipline. In addition he also presents a case study of a client where Hallam used their combined automation technique to blend both Google's insight to the client's own internal data.

Video: Owen Gill – Harnessing Automation To Power Your Online Advertising

Slidedeck presentation: Owen Gill – Harnessing Automation To Power Your Online Advertising

Owen Gill – Harnessing automation to power your online advertising – Nottingham Digital Summit from Hallam

Automation In Marketing

Automation isn’t exclusive to digital media. It’s existed in normal advertising for ages. For example, take the below ad:

“By 2022, 80% of the advertising processes will be automated” – Phil Gaughran

Every time a BA flight would fly over the billboard, the current advert would change to the BA ad. All fully automated.

Other examples include utilising the new beacons in stores. These can promote messages to the smartphone while they’re in the store. These have had mixed reviews but are something that we can look to see expand as the technology improves further.

In fact i,t’s predicted that by 2022, 80% of the advertising processes will be automated.

But why is automation the preferred technique? Because we as humans have become the dominant species on the planet by constantly taking the quickest and easiest route. Previously we had information and products just shoved at us en mass, with no sophistication. Now we can use automation to be more savvy in our advertising, which allows a crucial advantage over competitors.

Automation In Paid Media

Programmatic marketing is one of the most common forms of automation in advertising. This allows you to purchase ad inventory in real-time and place the ad there dependent on the user visiting the site. This is an almost entirely automated process. Programmatic has been going through a huge growth spurt recently. This is because it’s become available to more and more small and medium sized businesses.

Understanding Data


What makes programmatic work well? Some businesses know their audience really, really well. But unless you hit them at the right time and in the right place, you won’t get far. And none of that is possible without automation and high quality data.

However, even good quality data can lead you down the wrong path. It’s important to make sure we use our human knowledge to lay down the right tracks for the automation train to drive down.

Case Studies

Hallam has been working with a small fashion online retailer that has to compete with big names that have significantly higher buying power than them. The challenge here is to get them good exposure on the conventional platforms without breaking their bank.

Pausing for Thought 2. 28% of ad spend was programmatic in 2017/18 1. Automation - it’s not exclusive to large organisatio...

Two approaches were tested. One of using Google’s Automated Bidding which has all of the user knowledge. And the second of combining Google’s Automated Bidding with our own in-house automated solution. This allowed us to integrate our client data about things like stock levels and upcoming expected high-performing products with Google’s user data. While both methods provided an improvement in ROAS over no automation, the combined approach proved the champion.

Owen Gill - Harnessing automation to power your online advertising - Nottingham Digital Summit


To conclude:

  • Automation is not just for large organisations any more. Everyone needs to be utilising it or you’ll fall behind.
  • Programmatic is growing and growing. Especially in smaller businesses.
  • High quality of data is crucial to be able to leverage it for high quality results.
  • Utilise your own internal data to give the insights that you can’t get from 3rd party tools.

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Harnessing Automation To Power Your Online Advertising – Owen Gill – Nottingham Digital Summit

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