23 April 2020

Trading from home: How our programmatic trading team are responding to social distancing

By Cory Shender- Programmatic Trader, USA, MiQ

Working at home has changed things for everyone, and programmatic traders are no exception. When we started WFH in response to COVID-19, there were some immediate problems. 

First, the practical things. How can we cope without all our monitors?! Most of our traders work on two or even three screens. Having the ability to compare several reports at the same time is essential for being efficient and making sure we can switch between reports easily. We were able to ensure that our IT team supported every trader getting the WFH set-up they needed. 

Second, and more important, we were missing our teams. Keeping up with knowledge sharing and alignment is crucial to our success, and we talk to each other constantly. Without the ability to do this in our offices, we quickly initiated daily digital stand-up meetings at the beginning and end of the day. We’ve been taking a few minutes to share tips, discuss tactics, update numbers, and shout out wins from across our teams to stay positive and make sure we keep performing for our clients.  

How our technology keeps us performing

One area we are fortunate is that our technology infrastructure means we’re  equipped to perform for our clients even in the midst of this global crisis. Here’s a look at some of the technologies our traders use to stay on course. 

Meet Jarvis

Jarvis is our centralized platform that unifies: 

  • Cost Tracking: Through direct API integrations with DSPs and easy visualizations of campaign reporting data, our traders are able to have a centralized view of costs. Jarvis saves our traders having several different reports and excel docs open, reducing time and human error.  
  • Performance Tracking: This is mega important. Our traders are able to see where everything is calculated and take a quick glance at the KPIs to ensure the campaigns they are managing are where they should be. Whether the campaigns are exceeding the goal or falling a bit behind, Jarvis highlights the changes that ensures performance is being tracked for. 
  • Pacing: Trader heaven. It is crucial that a trader have a percent delivery view based on flight. With Jarvis, each campaign strategy is broken out and traders are easily able to manage pacing without having to pull reports, create look-ups and formulas to track delivery, costs and pacing. 
  • Strategy Marketplace:  This is one of the features programmatic traders at MiQ are most excited to use. This super easy to use feature allows our programmatic traders to activate strategies that would otherwise require increased time and strategic thinking to pull reports, analyze them, create them and apply them in the DSP. We believe knowledge sharing is one of the keys to success. Strategy Marketplace empowers our analysts and traders to share campaign strategies with one another across the globe. All strategies are customizable and unique to the client goals and KPIs.

Meet SRS

SRS is our reporting tool that allows our programmatic traders to pull advanced reports built on top of log-level data. This empowers our traders to focus more on report interpretation and decision making rather than spending additional time working with teams to prepare and verify the reports. 

Meet AiQx

AiQx is a programmatic planning tool that powers insights at each step of the campaign. With AiQx our traders build strategic and insightful strategies from the insights they collate. This tool enables them to look for week over week changes and trends that may impact the way a campaign is performing and make changes quickly and efficiently. 

Meet Predict 

Predict is a suite of algorithmic targeting strategies that Traders can activate for performance campaigns. Machine learning models find feature combinations such as keywords and site domains that index highly for an advertiser based on historic conversion pixel data. Each feature combination is assigned a unique bidding value in order to ensure that our traders are reaching the right users at the right price. The feature combinations and bid values are refreshed twice a week, to keep up with any user trends for individual brands and prevent our targeting tactics from becoming stale. This is a key strategy that Traders at MiQ are relying on as we see online behaviors shifting while the world continues to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. With Predict our traders continue to reach the most qualified audiences for our client in these times of uncertainty.

Learn more about our products here.

How do they work in practice? 

While working with a QSR client in the midst of the changing health climate our programmatic trading team realized a need to pivot strategies. The brand originally focused on catering and store traffic audiences. However, our programmatic trading team suggested switching the delivery messaging and moving away from the store traffic of the campaign. We recommended reaching consumers that were inclined towards the delivery and pickup options. 

Our proprietary technology made it easier to pivot the strategic plays and refine our targeting. With SRS we focused pulling reports on users that converted online in the past to ensure that we were targeting the right audience. Utilizing AiQx we were able to refine our target audience and only focus on reaching the specific online audiences. In addition to readjusting pacing and ensuring performance, our traders employed Jarvis: Strategy MarketPlace to redefine and apply new strategies and create custom audiences. After assessing the changes, our initial strategies were no longer applicable within certain DSPs. By understanding the strength of each DSP and complementing each strategy our traders were able to identify the optimum DSP to run the campaign and shift priorities. 

Through a combination of proprietary forecasting tools, Excel and DSPs, our programmatic trading team was able to proportionally assess the available impressions across the client market tiers to ensure appropriate budgeting. With the help of our secret weapons, we were able to enable our traders to stay relevant and support our strategies dynamically in our ever changing environment. 

For more information on how you can start working with our world class trading team contact