After completing a successful pilot, Archant rolled out the full Carbon DMP to leverage its suite of publisher tools with Trade Direct Insurance (TDI) being their first programmatic direct deals partner

Reaching approx 12m people per month online, Archant is one of the UK’s largest regional media companies, with a huge portfolio of regional print and digital properties across news and specialist interests.

Trade Direct Insurance (TDI) is a leading provider of insurance policies to the Tradesman and Construction industries with approx 40,000 clients. Using Carbon’s machine-driven audience discovery tools to find high value audiences Archant were able to improve adCTRs & yields, whilst TDI achieved significant sales uplifts.

Since its launch we’ve been excited about the benefits that Carbon could bring to us through relationships with current & new advertisers. Throughout the campaigns the Carbon team demonstrated commitment to their vision of driving improved yields by layering our audiences with their intent data.

Ryan Cousins, Product and Platform Director at Archant.

The Opportunity

With their ongoing focus upon quality regional publishing and the continued growth of its digital audience, Archant are working hard on helping advertisers improve their ROIs. TDI operate in a highly competitive sector with constant pressures to find and maintain customers, within brand safe environments.

The opportunity lied in using Carbon Analytics to identify common audiences across Archant and TDI’s network, which combined with Carbon’s machine driven segmentation tools to seek out high value segments and lookalikes to activate in brand safe environments to generate higher yields for Archant and sales uplifts for TDI.


To find and leverage overlapping audiences between Archant and Trade Direct Insurance, allowing TDI to advertise in a controlled and brand safe environment, whilst driving increased yields for Archant.

The Solution

As Archant and TDI were both using Carbon DMP they already had the Carbon profiling tag on their sites, to collect their 1st party audience data and surface key audience insights. As a result, Carbon’s machine learning was able to identify an overlap with B2B insurance & personal finance between Archant and TDI. Then using the audience extension capabilities, other relevant signals were added to scale up the audiences to target within Archant’s network for TDI.

As a result, a number of audiences were built based on multiple signals of intent to show the strength of Carbon’s data, as well as using in-flight optimisation across the campaign’s duration to optimise performance. The Carbon-built audiences included:

Highly Engaged

An audience using Carbon’s behavioural profiling to leverage metrics such as frequency and recency to identify those most likely to convert.


A broader extension audience across the Archant network with similar profiles to a TDI audience.

Prospecting T1 & T2

Targeted extension audiences utilising Carbon intent and demographic signals such as tradesman and van intent.

These campaigns have shown the true potential of Carbon’s intent data and machine learning capabilities to find more highly engaged audiences that crossover between advertisers and publishers. We’re looking forward to leveraging these capabilities further.

Rob Rees – Sales & Development Director at TDI


In-Flight Optimisation

Throughout the campaign, Carbon was able to analyse the comparative performance of audiences and make “in flight optimisation recommendations” based on factors such as device, location and ad type. This allowed Archant to fine tune the campaign to deliver higher performance for the advertiser and reduce spend on under performing elements. In this campaign Carbon’s in-flight optimisations yielded a 300% increase in page dwell time for the primary audience as well as creating more adCTR stability.

We’ve been really impressed with Carbon’s audience data capabilities and commitment to in-flight optimisation to get results.

James Parfitt, Partnership Manager at Archant

Successful programmatic direct deal

Programmatic direct deals have many benefits. For Archant it significantly reduces the “Adtech tax” and increases yield potential from their inventory. For TDI it provides a brand safe environment for their ads with increased revenue from more targeted ad placements in brand safe locations. The regional nature of Archant’s digital properties was particularly valuable to TDI as they had a strategic objective to increase their brand visibility beyond their usual reach. For instance; compared to previous 3 months, the 3 week campaign led to a number of location-specific uplifts for TDI.


Increase in sales


Increase in sales revenue

In Norwich as well as improvements in sales & revenue, we also managed to improve traffic volumes ranked by location from 20th to 7th.


Increase in sales


Increase in sales revenue

In Ipswich as well as improvements in sales & revenue, we also managed to improve traffic volumes ranked by location from 57th to 14th.

Whilst the sales uplifts directly contribute to the company’s success, the traffic improvements combined with the reduction in costs and CPCs showcases the importance of data-driven targeting for brands like ours.

Rob Rees – Sales & Development Director at TDI

Furthermore there were a number of performance uplifts – versus the previous month – for brand terms in their PPC marketing including 23% decrease CPCs and 15% increase in adCTRs.

The Archant trial was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the increased performance of direct deals that Carbon can identify using it’s machine learning capabilities. We’re grateful to both Archant and the advertiser for believing in our vision and look forward to continuing to innovate together as we enhance our in-flight optimisation tools to bring additional automation.

David Snocken – Director of Data & Strategy at Clicksco

Carbon is now part of Magnite.