Creating Relevant Ad Experiences Without Thousands of Ad Units
by Pete Kluge
posted on 09-12-2016
Consumers are frustrated with the number of irrelevant advertisements they have to deal with daily:
- According to Infolinks, only 2.8 percent of study participants thought ads on websites were relevant.
- Adobe and PageFair found that in the United States, there were 45 million monthly active users (MAUs) of ad blockers during Q2 2015—equal to about 20 percent of Internet users, according to Strategy Analytics.
- According to PageFair, 33 percent of Internet users find display ads completely intolerable because they are not pertinent or interesting.
To rebuild consumers’ trust and drive better engagement, businesses today need to build more personalized ads.
Many advertisers still use static ads for their display advertising. This means that the actual content within the ad doesn’t change and therefore a different ad must be created for each audience segment. For any brand that is interested in delivering personalized ads to highly segmented audiences, the number of static ads necessary becomes a nightmare for the creative and traffic teams. The result? Impersonal ads that don’t engage the customer.
On the other hand, dynamic ads use a single ad layout (or dynamic template) that can be populated on-the-fly with predetermined personalized content.
Introducing Dynamic Creative Optimization
Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) allows advertisers to drive better engagement and performance from their ads by delivering the most relevant experience to the user in real time. DCO uses an ad layout with several dynamic elements that change depending on who the user is or which audience is actually seeing it. The content changes can include things like the product description, image, price, and call-to-action (CTA). Promotional copy can also be switched dynamically.
Retargeting campaigns is currently the most common use for DCO. It requires an advertiser to maintain a data feed with the dynamic outputs used to populate the ad at the time of the ad call. The ad is assembled in real time to deliver the most relevant content for any user. But DCO is not only for retargeting. It enables advertisers from a variety of verticals to deliver personalized experiences for consumers across the marketing funnel.
Elements of a DCO System
DCO works by combining several elements to output a real-time and relevant ad. Here’s a primer on some terms and definitions related to dynamic creative:
Dynamic Triggers: Pixels on a brand website capture retargeting values (i.e., product SKU) and are used to trigger outputs from the content source—such as data feed or API—to populate a dynamic ad. Other elements that can trigger dynamic ad content include geolocation and audience segment data.
Content: In the case of DCO, content refers to the advertiser feed, API, XML, business rules, offer grid, or product catalog that the dynamic trigger references for outputs to populate fields in the ad template. Content is provided by the advertiser, ingested by the DCO system, and output in the dynamic ad.
Dynamic Outputs: These outputs are ad elements that can be referenced by a dynamic trigger in the content source. Examples include images, URLs, and copy that are referenced in a data feed.
Variable Attribute: Variable attributes are dynamic elements within ads that are not referenced from the content source by a dynamic trigger. Delivery of the ad element is based on business rules (like A/B testing) and is not feed based. Examples include CTA, background color, and offer. Some items, such as copy or CTA, can be either a dynamic output or variable attribute, depending on setup.
Ad Layout or Dynamic Template: In DCO, these elements are the shell design that houses the dynamic content.
Experience: An experience is created by the combination of one ad layout and one or more content sources.
(No Cookie) Default Ad: The default state of a dynamic ad occurs when cookie targeting is missing or does not match the content source. Advertisers predefine defaults for each dynamic output. For example, if the DSP makes an ad call and there is no matching DCO cookie or if the dynamic trigger does not match the content source, the default experience will be generated.
Delivering highly personalized ads improves your campaign effectiveness. DCO can help manage the expense of ad creation and production by using an ad template and data feed to create infinite ad combinations without infinite time and money.
This is the second article in a five-part series on DCO. Check out “5 Reasons Now Is the Time to Implement Dynamic Creative” and stay tuned to learn more about how DCO empowers advertisers.