Optimizing Experiences Across Customers’ Journeys With Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)

by Pete Kluge

posted on 06-07-2017

While a recent Adobe Digital Insights survey revealed that 78 percent of Americans want personalized ad experiences, advertisers aren’t delivering. Only 28 percent of respondents believe that the ads they see are relevant to them, which is one of the reasons that ad blockers have increased in popularity — people just don’t want us to waste their time with irrelevant ads.

This year, $40B is projected to be spent on display advertising — $16B of that on banner ads alone (eMarketer’s “US Digital Display Advertising Trends,” January, 2017). Clearly, display is popular because it works; and in many cases, it takes only one or two viewers (out of 1000 ads) to buy your product for the campaign to be profitable.

But, imagine if we could do it even better. Imagine what would happen if conversion rates could be higher, resulting in more revenue for your business and a greater return on ad spend. The solution is dynamic creative optimization (DCO).

DCO Campaigns Offer Flexible Rules-Based and Algorithmic Options for Personalization.
Businesses that are delivering relevant ad experiences across customers’ journeys are reaping the rewards in terms of increased ad engagement, website traffic, conversions, and revenue.

DCO is flexible and can help advertisers — regardless of vertical — deliver more relevant ad experiences across the marketing funnel. When setting up a DCO campaign, there are three core elements to work with — the ad layout, dynamic attributes, and data feed. Each is flexible, customizable to advertisers’ specific needs, and offers rules-based and algorithmic options for testing and optimization.

Caption 1 — Rules-Based & Algorithmic Experience Optimization

DCO Ad Layout Acts as a Shell for the Dynamic Content Within the Ad.
The ad layout (or template) acts as the shell for the ad experience. Based on whomever is viewing the ad, ad content is dynamically populated within the ad layout in real time. Advertisers can set rules to determine which ad layouts are delivered to which audiences. For example, an audience segment built in Adobe Advertising Cloud’s demand-side platform (DSP), Adobe Analytics, or Adobe Audience Manager can trigger an ad layout for deeper personalization of the ad experience. Advertisers can also test three or four ad layouts for the same audience segment and allow algorithms to optimize delivery to the best-performing layout.

Dynamic Attributes Allow for Easy Offer and Message Testing Within One Ad Unit.
Dynamic attributes are elements in the ad that are not referenced from the data feed (these can include headline, call to action, images, etc.) and can be changed easily for updates in messaging or testing.

When using dynamic attributes, an advertiser can test various elements of the ad without creating new ads for each test. The ad layout does not change, but advertisers can easily make changes to ad elements.

Advertisers may want to test any number of headlines — and it’s simple to do within one DCO ad unit, making it ideal for businesses that may need to quickly update ad messaging or promotional copy or do A/B testing of ad elements.

Alternatively, advertisers can let algorithms do the work by simply turning on the algorithm for multivariate optimization of creative elements, and the algorithm will look at different combinations of creative elements and deliver to the permutations that are performing best in meeting advertisers’ objectives.

Dynamic attributes are fantastic for improving the performances of prospecting campaigns. Let’s say, for instance, you are executing a geotargeted awareness campaign. The DCO algorithm can optimize the creative elements to ensure that awareness goals are reached.

Data Feed Is a Strong, Flexible Tool for Personalizing Ad Content and Scaling Creative.
The data feed (or catalog) is a file containing content that is referenced to populate the ad. The data feed allows you to scale your ad creative in a way that you just can’t do when manually building ads. Imagine a retailer with tens of thousands of products, or a travel site with thousands of combinations of travel originations and destinations — you just can’t build thousands of individual ads cost effectively. However, this can be accomplished easily using DCO — with just one ad layout and one data feed.

The most common use case with the data feed is product retargeting — when a user visits an advertiser’s website, researches a product, and then abandons the shopping process. Later, as the user is surfing the web, he or she sees a personalized ad for a relevant product on the website (produce, price, image, etc.).

The data feed is not just for retargeting but, rather, can power experiences across the customer journey. For example, the data feed can be used to trigger cross-sell and upsell offers after checkout, or it can deliver experiences consistent with offline marketing programs (such as circulars or direct mail) triggered by geolocation. Marketers can also leverage either rules-based or algorithmic options — letting the algorithm decide, for instance, which products from the feed to show in the ad.

A popular aspect of the data feed is that, once set up, it runs in an automated fashion. An advertiser can easily update the data feed, those changes then deploy across the system, and ads will be automatically populated with the most recent content.

DCO Delivers Personalized Ad Experiences Across Customers’ Journeys.
When all these elements work together — the ad layout, dynamic attributes, data feed (or any combination thereof) — you get the ad experience end users will see as they are surfing the web. DCO can personalize the experience across the customer journey, as well as common display-advertiser tactics — from loyalty and conversion to awareness and prospecting programs.

Caption 2 — Optimizing Experiences Across Customers’ Journeys

Is DCO for Me?
If you are still wondering whether DCO is for you, ask yourself these questions:

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no,’ you’re a candidate for DCO.

DCO is offered as part of Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative in Adobe Advertising Cloud — the first independent, end-to-end platform that unifies audience data, media execution, and creative personalization, enabling full-funnel ad-buying and optimization from both lower-funnel performance tactics (search, display) and upper-funnel brand tactics (video, linear TV), into the Advertising Cloud DSP.

Topics: Personalization

Products: Advertising Cloud