our blog

 RSS Feed

Category: Programmatic Advertising

  1. Psychographic Profiling, Big Data and Behavioural Marketing Communications Win Elections and Votes

    Posted on

    The last three major elections/votes in the US and UK have been filled with shock. First came Brexit, then came Trump and now we have a hung parliament in the UK.

    How does this happen? How do the pundits get it so wrong? How does this big data not make forecasts more predictable?

    There are many theories as to why these votes turned out the way they did. But one underlying theory is that communication and segmented echo chambers on social media became an issue.

    Some of this will be because politicians tapped into qualitative data, feelings and frustrations of the general public and used this to steer their communications strategy.

    Others will have taken on a more quantitative approach taking on board data science and behavioural science to design their communications strategy.

    This is not just theory. One company Cambridge Analytica worked with Ted Cruz and then Donald Trump to do exactly this.

    Apart from the ethical questions, this begs us to ask about our politicians like we need any more, this does also make us as digital marketers and consumers take a moment to pause and consider.

    Psychographic Profiling and Market Segmentation

    This video is an excellent explanation of how psychographic profiling should be used along with demographic and geographic profiling and should actually lead the field.

    When we look at segmenting our customer data, we need to be able to understand not just the socioeconomic drivers behind their decisions that tell us that all people of this demographic or geographic profile should receive the same advert but also the psychological personality drivers behind people's decisions.  

    As with psychometric profiling, psychographics sets to design models of human drivers of behaviour to segment the data of consumers, the general public and business users.


    The OCEAN model mentioned in the video utilises the Big 5 Personality traits and like in psychometric profiling models like the Myers Briggs MBTI model often used in recruitment its a way of segmenting and modelling human behaviour.

    • Openness to experience,
    • Conscientiousness,
    • Extraversion,
    • Agreeableness, and
    • Neuroticism

    By utilising this model along with big data analytics around consumers, the general public and business users you can define your communication strategy around this data and segment the marketing and advertising to ensure different profiles receive a more personalised and psychographically profiled advert that appeals.

    Note: for B2B customers you will do well to include psychometric profiling around the person's job title/role.

    Behavioural Communication

    The video also offers a straightforward explanation of behavioural communication.

    The private beach owners sign being one of information only or one that instils a fear of sharks will have two unique effects on the average beach dweller.

    This explanation is simple but gets the point across. For too long marketing communications have been creative but information based assuming that if we provide a logical argument customers will make an informed decision. However, behavioural economics shows us that people do not act rationally all of the time and often act in very different ways depending on many different sociological and psychological factors.


    Therefore designing a behavioural marketing communication strategy around psychographic, neurolinguistic and psychometric profiles seems the most rational decision. But obviously, that’s assuming you make a rational decision. But once you have done this how do you get this message in front of the right people?

    Big data, market segmentation and programmatic marketing, are a few areas.

    I have written about these subjects before, and no doubt will do so again in the future. The video does also give a good explanation.

    Gain Data Analytic Insights

    Whether you are setting up something entirely new or are looking to improve and existing campaign data is king, “I thought it was content?” I hear you scream. Well yes, this is the thing in the 15 plus year I have been involved SEO, and digital marketing in one way or another something is always king for awhile. But as they say “the King is dead, long live the new King” The simple answer is that they are all King and are all important.

    You need good data insights, you need good, engaging content, and you need a good behavioural marketing communication strategy.

    Good data will tell you who your customers are, what their likes and dislikes are, what their drivers are and how they are interacting and reacting to the content you create.

    In conclusion – winning elections with psychographic profiling, big data and behavioural communication

    So what are the takeaways? Well firstly if you run a marketing department, marketing agency or work in sales and marketing in any way shape or form you should study these concepts. And while you may not use these technologies, models and techniques in such sophisticated ways gaining a basic understanding can bring fantastic results for your campaign, sales pitch, argument or proposal.

    As consumers and members of the general public, however, we should become aware of how our information, our data, is being used, how we are being influenced and how our views may be becoming segmented, segregated and siloed. By being informed, we can make the decision to accept it or challenge the world view we are being given.

    Also by gaining an understanding of the psychological drivers and personality traits of others, we can shape our behaviour and communication to help win arguments, challenge bigotry or negative social norms ethically to improve society. This is what I tried to instil in this site and my other blog site on communication psychology and through the bethe100thmonkey project and in my books.

    If we think about the power we have as consumers in the above example, we can help shape the future by the digital data we put out and the content we consume or demand better of. We can also use our power in the digital world and across social media to promote positive messages and challenge social norms.

    Please also see the below fantastic Ted talk that looks at how we should be challenging our biases and siloed views to see past our own perspective and find truth.


    As a side note: as digital marketers we might also consider is it worth using this knowledge and skill to help get more young people out to vote and not to side with one political party or another?

    Also this is just scratching the surface of the above techniques, models and technologies. 



    free advice by SEO linguist, Digital & Behavioural Marketing Analyst: Sam O'Prey from Telford, Shropshire, West Midlands UK specialist in helping charities, not for profits, social enterprises, SME's and activists to get their message noticed


    images sourced from pexels.com and
    View all 101 photos
    Source: gratisography.com

    As CC0 License

    ✓ Free for personal and commercial use
    ✓ No attribution required

    Youtube video was flagg as Standard YouTube Licence on the Concordia profile which means its free to embed and share
    Ted Talk taken from ted.com

  2. Programmatic Advertising with Customer Insight

    Posted on

    As digital marketers, we have a lot of influence which is only aided by big data. If we have an understanding of social and consumer psychology, we can use these two elements and the data at our disposal. We do of course have to ask ourselves some ethical questions such as “just because we can do it, doesit mean we should?”

    Especially in the world of the B2C environment. In this environment, we need to be extra vigilant on our level of data gathering and using this to influence. We have the technology and psychological skills to influence the lives of people around us and around the world.

    Below I have written an article about using customer insight together with programmatic advertising to target your marketing and remarketing to get in front of the right customers at the right time before they realise they need a product like yours but just at the right time based on similar or related purchases. These are some powerful steps forward in the digital marketing and advertising realm and one of the most interesting areas in digital marketing.

    This is taking the art of online advertising and adding some real science behind it. Ever since getting in to SEO 15 years ago or more I have been focused on the science that we can provide in the marketing world in the results we can prove from our marketing using analytics to show the value and return that companies are getting from the work that we do.

    Analytics turns the art of marketing into a science. In fact data scientists all across the globe are being employed by big businessin order to understand and use big data for their advantage. I am all for this. I believe companies should focus more money on the data analysts than the tools they use. There are lots of cool tools out there that can be used to gather and present big data but these are of no use unless you have the skills to interpret the data.

    Our focus here is on the social sciences to explain the why and digital marketing analysts to explain the what and the how.

    We are so used to things being there automatically for us in today's society that when they are not we get confused and somewhat irritated. As behavioural marketers, we are no different. Why would we want to spend time bidding for getting our adverts in front of your eyes? We are lazy, and we want to spend our time doing the fun creative and psychological stuff that makes us feel like we are working in an episode of MADMEN or as a criminal profiler in the FBI’s behavioural science unit.

    So, for us, programmatic advertising using big data and behavioural insights is a dream come true.


    At the moment, the focus of the technology is in the online advertising aspect which allows marketers to get their adverts in front of people searching the web via computer, tablet or mobile device of choice in real-time, at the right time and for the right price.

    RTB is the buzz with programmatic advertising. It stands for Real Time Bidding and does exactly what it says on the tin; it allows advertisers to bid in real-time for an advert in a targeted placement in front of the people they want their advert to be seen by at the right time. But Real Time Bidding is not programmatic advertising but rather one of the programmatic advertising options.

    What is Programmatic Buying?

    Programmatic buying is the process of buying digital advertising space using automated software, its that simple but it is a little smarter than just that. It allows publishers and buyers of advertising space to purchase that space in an automated way through Ad Exchanges, DSP and SSP’s. Instead of the old fashion model of publisher sells space; advertiser negotiates on price and advert gets placed, advertiser hopes advert might get seen and at the end of the year probably regrets their decision.

    With programmatic ad buying both the advertiser and the publisher benefit. As the publisher, you do not need to pay anyone to sell you advertising space fo you, and as a marketer, you don’t have to barter with a pushy sales rep or manually put your adverts on lots of sites.

    But even better for the advertising buyer is the fact that they can get their message out in front of their potential customers in real time. It is becoming widely accepted by consumers that are now using this type of advertising technique that they are seeing greater returns and more customer engagement using programmatic advertising.

    Its real benefit is its ability to be used to target your specific audience demographic and psychographics in real time when they are accessing the site in question instead of hoping that when you are paying for impressions, it might just get in front of the customer whose profile you were targeting. When used together with a retargeting/remarketing strategy this enables advertisers to reshow or show for the first time their adverts based on what the user has recently or previously search or the websites he or she has visited.

    Sounds a bit big brother. Well, it is. It is Big Brother, and he is using big data. But by the very fact of the user/searcher accepting these things are going on by agreeing to terms without reading them and allowing cookies it allows the advertiser more ability to get their message directly in front of the people they want. In front of-of them, at the time they want it in front of them. Big data allows them to know when the customer have recently purchased, looked at our trial a product and so are probably currently thinking of the type of service or product advertised, or if they are not thinking of it then they have been recently, and the advert might just trigger the response the advertisers want. This kind of service combined with the biopsychosocial and psychometric profiling, behavioural economic, neurolinguistics and creative communications we specialise are no doubt the most power advertising and marketing tools, technologies and techniques on the market today.

    Companies that have engaged in programmatic advertising have seen staggering results in ROI from their campaigns over previous advertising campaigns.

    So How Does It Work?

    Data drives it.  Big Data. What is Big Data? Well, it is as it sounds a lot of frickin data. Advertisers or professional advertising buyers detailed log of their target audience. The more detailed and accurate the advertiser can be the more targeted the advertising will be. The profiling is not just about demographic and psychographic detail it is also ensuring that the context of the advert display is in line with the behaviour of the potential customer.

    With programmatic advertising, the software used by advertisers in effect conducts a deal with the auction systems that the advertiser has already decided to interact. These deals are for impressions in milliseconds and determine who gets their advert in front of the potential customer and when. This part of the process that is commonly known as Real Time Bidding.

    There are then two main approaches that the advertiser will use

    1. Based on the price of the advert where the buyer is looking to reduce costs and optimise their adverts, this is still a very manual approach but is not one to be ignored.
    2. A value-based purchasing program. The exciting element here for advertisers is that the platform used can learn from its mistakes if it fails based on the adverse consumer reaction or lack of advert interaction to the advert shown. Enabling both publisher and advertiser to deliver higher quality more targeted and relevant advertising to their customers, thus improving the customer experience.
      1. Gone are the days when you paid for mass Ad Exchange or Network advertising only to see your advert appear on a website where it just didn’t fit or was out of place (at least that’s the theory).

    If you take this targeted, programmatic and direct approach, it will no doubt improve your digital advertising campaigns no end if done well and if combined with the right psychometric and behavioural economic data could be unstoppable. If you add in a well thought out retargeting/remarketing lead nurturing strategy, then you are playing with gold dust.

    It offers

    • Targeted advertising direct to your potential customers, when they want it and how you want it
    • It provides online marketers with more control and improved return on investment for their campaigns
    • Real-time results that enable you to adapt and change your campaign quickly to make improvements
    • You are paying per impression, not for a block of advertising space over a period; this is far more cost effective than traditional banner advertising
    • Flexible, dynamic approach which means your direct advertising campaign can work with your business needs and customer wants in real time
    • You can psychologically profile clients and get more data about who they are which is based on their real-time actions and the behavioural marketing analytics.

    Industry Noise

    As with a lot of online marketing, we are used to the old saying “it’s all smokes and mirrors” which is usually said by the ill-informed.

    With programmatic advertising, there is some of this. It can seem a complicated playing field to enter, and some of the terms are confusing if not at time contradictory. The IAB (The Interactive Advertising Bureau) has written some reports on this subject where it calls for clarity of the subject to enable buyers to feel more secure in what they are buying.

    From the consumers point of view

    From the customer's perspective, we might think it is a bit scary that all of these places have all of this data on us and that marketers and advertisers can target us so directly and precisely, even knowing how to influence us with the psychology of marketing and behavioural communication.

    Let us get it into some perspective. Firstly is there a lot of data about you out there on the web or Internet of Things that marketers can get access to? Well yes and no. Yes, there is a lot of data out there, and if you are the average digitally connected person, there is probably lots of it about you. Can marketers access it? Yes but not in a full complete picture as some would probably hope. We can access bits of data streams about the type of people we want to target and their profile but unless they have already bought from us or signed up to something from us in the past we do not get access to any direct personal info.

    Every time you accept a cookie or search engines or social network terms and conditions you are giving away a piece of your digital self, and you are providing access to data about you and the things you like to search for, look at, share, like and talk about with your friends. It is Big Brother, but you keep on accepting it unconditionally.

    Can you do anything about it? Yes, you could go off the grid. God knows I have thought about that often enough. You could also look out for a new breed of search engine and social network that does not track your every word and move like DuckDuckGo a search engine that doesn’t track you. Or social networks like insomniachat.com (my very own network) which only uses Google analytics to make improvements to how people get to the site and interact with it from there on.

    Another option is by being aware these techniques are going on and using them to your advantage. If you know, a site is monitoring you, and you want to buy those jeans then you could consider teasing the system by taking the product all the way to the digital check out and abandoning it there. Then no doubt in a matter of days if not seconds you will either receive an email with a special offer or start to see adverts with huge discounts from that store you were already going to buy the product from anyway.0

    Just recently I did something similar, actually unintentionally, and I ended up getting a 60% discount on a product I had already decided I was going to buy.


    All in all programmatic advertising looks like it is here to stay and those taking part in it are find it a real benefit to their publicity and marketing campaigns making it essential to their ongoing strategy. It is a powerful tool that when used with the right psychometrics and psychological marketing techniques can bring fantastic returns. And as consumers we need not dread these types of innovation but instead, figure out ways we can use them to our advantage. 


    free advice by SEO linguist, Digital & Behavioural Marketing Analyst: Sam O'Prey from Telford, Shropshire, West Midlands UK specialist in helping charities, not for profits, social enterprises, SME's and activists to get their message noticed