top of page

“Oh that’s just the algorithm”

“Oh that’s just the algorithm”. My least favourite of all the media jargons. Oft uttered by bright people who are simply too over-worked to muster* anything more in depth.

Some context behind this analogy and it’s practical implications…

I started my career just before RTB became prevalent and then morphed into what we all know as “programmatic” today. At one point I (that’s correct, alone) was managing: 50 campaigns — 8 demand partners — across 300+ publisher sites, using 4 ad-servers. None of this was delivered “programmatically”. Thankfully Salesforce developer tools (& a few months of blood, sweat and tears) allowed us to manage this effectively at scale.

So what did these experiences teach me about “the algorithms” & how do we apply this learning in today’s online advertising environment?

Let’s put this in an analogy to communicate the concept to you.

A campaign manager is a sheep herder, “the algorithm” is the sheep dog & the potential customers are the sheep. With me?

If you as the herder give the sheep dog a simple instruction — think “optimise campaign for lowest CPC” — and then leave the dog to it’s instruction, some of your sheep might end up in the pen. Hopefully.

By the herder observing the herd and whistling commands (come bye!), with the sheep dog dutifully following along, results in the best CPS (Cost per Sheep).

In application — be mindful of the “buying tactics” you are employing in your paid advertising, almost never “set and forget” anything & keep the “algorithm” engaged!

“Social”, “Display”, “CTV”, DoH — All are media demand sources, made available for advertisers to purchase through through Ad-tech algorithms. Therefore it follows that the best sheep herder wins.

Happy Droving.

*I did some extra googling of Sheep Herding terms


Visit our main site to learn more about Roar®

bottom of page