SAN SEBASTIAN: Nordic footwear retailer Shoe-d-vision reversed the flow of traffic away from physical stores, drove online sales and gained market share with a combination of programmatic ad buying and AI-informed content.

The campaign, which was a finalist in the recent I-COM Data Creativity Awards, was also done on a limited budget. (For more details, read WARC’s report: AI and programmatic revive Shoe-d-vision.)

Morten Fisker Jørgensen, head of programmatic at Shoe-d-vision’s agency, GroupM Denmark, outlined how programmatic ad buying enabled the brand to home in on where shoppers were in relation to Shoe-d-vision stores, automatically determine what price the brand should be bidding for different online ad opportunities, and automate the buying process itself.

One consequence of this was that the marketing budget was drastically reshaped: just 4% went on programmatic in 2014; three years later the figure had risen to 37% and had become the largest single element of the budget.

GroupM also recruited IBM Watson to help determine which ad content, promoting which particular shoes, should be served to each person who saw the ads.

“We could see that geography had an immense effect on the revenue, so we analysed all the cities in Denmark and Norway to figure out which cities were high value or lower value, and then prioritised our money that way,” Jørgensen explained.

Seasonality was also factored in via links with Weather Channel information. “This made sure we were promoting wellingtons whenever it rained, so we were as relevant as possible,” Jørgensen added.

He reported that programmatic is not only now the biggest channel in terms of allocation of marketing budget, “it’s also the most effective channel, with an ROI of 4.8” – a figure that steadily improved as dynamic algorithms got smarter.

Sourced from WARC