Eurostar - Partnering for Programmatic


Partnering for Programmatic

The Challenge

Eurostar's ambition is to become Europe's most-loved travel experience and iProspect’s approach to delivering this business objective is by creating real connections with audiences. We want to send out the right message to the right people at the right time (easier said than done!) and so to develop these ‘real connections’ means truly understanding our audience. 


At iProspect, we use data to drive our understanding. But what is the best & most cost-effective data to use that will help to create deeper connections with the people that we want to talk to?

The Strategy

Our approach was to establish a market-leading data strategy for Eurostar that would enable us to create real connections effectively.

We set out to prove that high quality, verified, second-party data has greater value to Eurostar’s sales activation campaigns than widely accessible third-party data. Since we knew that The Guardian held a huge data pool of high-quality, premium, affinity-based, socio-demographic audience data, the objective was to uncouple this data from inventory and make the audience segments addressable through other platforms. The Guardian were already looking for a partner to get these targeting options to market, so it was a match made in heaven!

This approach was a ground-breaking data proposition, which introduced premium publisher audience targeting to the programmatic marketplace.  

Working with the specialist programmatic team at iProspect, The Guardian and iProspect formed an exclusive media-first partnership and for the very first time The Guardian’s audience intelligence was decoupled from a Guardian inventory buy, empowering us to deliver a smarter, more effective campaign for Eurostar. The idea set a new bar for programmatic targeting by providing the highest quality, scalable, current and transparent data sets on the market. The innovative proposition comprised two complementary data options: pre-defined and advanced custom audiences.

We used the advanced custom audience option, which leveraged data science to deliver bespoke and self-optimising audience segmentations to individual advertisers. This segment was then layered to maximise impact, sharpen targeting and increase campaign ROI. Ultimately, this approach drove incremental value for Eurostar and we rolled out the new method of data access via multiple publishers in the future. 

The Results

  • 13.2%

    Overall increase in ROI by using second-party data through a key partner on the open exchange

  • 60.8%

    Post-click conversion rate

  • 58.9%

    Improved conversion rate through greater relevancy

The test was a big success seeing good results and shaking up the data marketplace. 

At Eurostar we love to challenge the way we do things. This partnership has enabled us to reconsider how we buy data for our 'always on' digital acquisition campaigns, offering us a far greater degree of transparency than has been possible before and our audience a more relevant message. The increases we have seen in ROI and transaction value are testament to the power of quality publisher data in reaching new audiences and we look forward to seeing where this can take us in the future.
Lionel Benbassent  Former Head of Marketing, Brand & Product, Eurostar