Dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) has become available to advertisers in recent years and it’s not just for search and social campaigns. Advertisers can leverage optimisation best practices to drive even better results for their performance-based marketing campaigns. Let's look at what DCO offers and the best practices to implement.
What is dynamic creative optimisation?
'Dynamic creative advertising' simply means building a different creative for different audiences. DCO platforms build real-time advertising campaigns, via programmatic means, that fit your audiences' needs. This approach focuses on two different technology forms: dynamic creative and dynamic creative optimisation. In both cases, the platforms aim to optimize your campaign performance through technological means.
Dynamic creative advertising has recently risen in awareness largely because, over the past couple of years, brands have gained access to powerful digital platforms that are using artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML). These are leveraging vast amounts of data to better find audiences, optimize budgets and target ads.
Programmatic ad tools have transformed the bidding and creative delivery process, making it possible for marketers to more effectively and efficiently target and retarget, creative. And, what powers all of this is data. Marketers now have access to all sorts of information about audiences that were inaccessible before, such as demographics, location, purchasing and browsing history, and more.
As a result, dynamic creative makes it easy to:
- Find high-performing combinations of creative components for your campaign and drive performance
- Launch ads with multiple combinations of creative assets and optimize quickly
- Run multi-variant testing across hundreds of creative variants at once
- Deliver the best creative for each campaign audience and ad placement
Dynamic creative optimisation best practices
Dynamic creative uses multiple images, videos and text for each asset (body text, title, description, CTA). Here are some of the tactics you can adopt to get the strongest results:
- Keep headlines and descriptions short: Think about how long a viewer will look at any given ad. The average time is short, so make sure every piece of text is eye-catching.
- Be creative: Try a variety of images, video, headlines and CTAs that are different enough to give yourself the best chance of uncovering a gem to add to your creative arsenal. Even subtle changes can yield very different results.
- Take a methodical approach to A/B testing: Start by asking yourself, what are you trying to learn about your audience by testing this creative? Testing something like a color choice can produce positive results, but keep in mind that this is your chance to learn more about your audience’s interests and trigger points. For example, do they prefer people to product? Which product benefit is most likely to ignite action? Define the questions you’d like answered, then design your split test to do so. You’ll get the most from split testing when it’s done in the context of the medium, so don’t analyze creative in a vacuum. Ideally, you will consider your audience and the media as you assess your results.
- Use a range of calls-to-action (CTAs): Trying a few different buttons could be a good ploy - you may find there is one you didn’t expect that actually leads to better performance.
- Use your first-party data: In the quest for new customers, we often overlook first-party data and the leads we’ve already cultivated. Consider whether data from your CRM could be used in other ways. Try marketing to people you have already formed a relationship with. Nurture those users with specific marketing messages to deliver value and, hopefully, turn someone who is already aware of your brand into a customer, fan, or full-fledged evangelist.
- Be aware of opportunity costs: Testing multiple versions of an ad can get expensive quickly with a dynamic creative optimisation platform. This is because it's so easy to run multivariate tests comparing ads. You may have thousands of different ad versions that need to run in order to get enough data to analyze it. Even if you are comparing just 10 versions of an ad, monitor your opportunity costs. For instance, if two versions fare poorly, save money by substituting those versions with better-performing options.
How to successfully execute dynamic creative advertising
There are two key elements that contribute to being successful with dynamic creative: your people and the technology you employ. It’s important for teams that have traditionally not worked together (i.e. the marketing department and IT, media buying and creative development) to collaborate and communicate with greater cadence. These teams will rely on each other to share information seamlessly on creative performance, campaign analysis, and technology needs, in order to be successful.
Likewise, with the technology, it’s important to find platforms that integrate well together because dynamic creative relies on real-time segmentation, targeting, media buying, creative analysis and more. So, it’s key to have technologies that are part of a seamless stack.
In short, we’re excited about how dynamic creative optimisation will continue to develop as the algorithms get stronger and more functionality becomes available to advertisers. It’s apparent that the implications of algorithm-dependent tools like this are huge. Dynamic creative is changing the advertising game, and we look forward to seeing how it plays out.
Sven Lubek is managing director of WeQ