NAPLES, FL: Wayfair, the ecommerce retailer, is using programmatic to drive its online media buying and creative – a process assisted by handling the bulk of its marketing duties in-house.

Matt Herman, Associate Director/Marketing at Wayfair Inc., discussed its strategy at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2016 Masters of Measurement Conference.

And by leveraging first-party data, building bespoke algorithms and customised bidding tools, as well as rigorously analysing creative executions, the firm is deriving greater payback from its digital ads.

"We can run these campaigns with hundreds and hundreds of different line items and optimise each individually," Herman said. (For more, including further details of its approach, read Warc's exclusive report: Introducing Wayfair, the all-programmatic-all-the-time marketer.)

"We can test different models at the end; we can see which one really works best; and if we want to make a change, it's as simple as swapping a model."

More specifically, Wayfair's data scientists, business analysts and marketers have been "building and optimising algorithms … that enable us to broaden and optimise our campaigns and get a really strong performance."

Having direct control also gives the online retailer clear visibility into how programmatic works, rather than relying on "black box" solutions from partners, where clients largely operate on trust.

"The display platform that we built brings all of our display advertising campaigns in-house," said Herman. "We do all of our marketing in-house, so all big campaigns are run by our marketing team.

"Our marketing team has dedicated science and engineering resources, as well as product resources, that are responsible for making our campaigns as smart as possible while working with all areas of the business."

In combination, the use of programmatic and Wayfair's in-house marketing muscle let the company deliver coordinated, consistent campaigns precisely tailored to its own needs – and those of its customers.

"Our goal is to gain creative control, customization and transparency on how a campaign is performing," Herman said. "So we want to be extremely sophisticated about how we're targeting customers and where we're serving them."

Data sourced from Warc