Sometimes, we forget that people don’t visit websites to look at ads.
With unlimited data and tools at our fingertips, we may have, well, lost sight of a fundamental must for online advertisers — creating impactful ads. So, how should we approach programmatic advertising, while keeping a firm hand on the creativity and messaging of a branding campaign?
People go online to get entertained or informed, and advertisers have a duty to ensure the online ad content complements that experience, rather than sit at odds with it.
The three main stakeholders in an online experience are the publisher, the advertiser and the consumer. Each has its own objectives, and a certain interdependence to achieve them. Publishers need to drive and monetize an audience, advertisers need to attract that audience’s attention to build their brand and sell, and the audience itself simply wants a smooth online experience.
To tick all of these boxes, a customer experience (CX) strategy needs to balance non-intrusive monetization models, creativity and automation, and a seamless user experience.
If we get this balance right, we can avoid frustrating consumers with cluttered ad environments and in turn, reduce the number of users implementing ad blockers, a significant challenge for the industry.
While lower funnel issues have been in the spotlight recently, and the plethora of ad verification tools has exploded, this focus on measuring the easy-to-measure distracts us from the bigger picture. Creativity, visual engagement, and time spent with an ad are crucial components of a robust CX strategy.
Memorable ads are those which connect with their audience emotionally, where the campaign creative hits the advertising sweet spot of a poignant brand message in the right environment, at the right time, to the right audience.
Focusing solely on driving efficiencies through programmatic activation and neglecting a key element like the creative message, not only affects the entire campaign but also devalues the capabilities of the programmatic ecosystem. Without an impactful creative with strong branding, no amount of strategic media planning will spur that campaign to reach its full potential.
Data and creativity need to go hand-in-hand: Powerful creative executions lead to much better engagement, brand recall and conversions. Brands and agencies have a responsibility to deliver visually engaging creatives through bespoke digital assets (not repurposed TV assets!), which can be optimized programmatically to different user groups.
We have the tools. We have data to identify and target audiences and understand which messages appeal to which audiences. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) enables different visuals or messages for the same campaign to be targeted to the most appropriate audience. It also unlocks hidden efficiency gains in being able to test and optimize towards the best-performing creatives.
For example, an automotive campaign might have three executions; a family car, a sports car and an around-town car. Multiple creative versions can be targeted to users based on suitability, then best performing creative upweighted, or even best-performing audience.
With milliseconds to engage the user, communicating an engaging message immediately is a crucial contributor to a robust CX strategy: Effective audience monetization with a visually engaging message aligned with user needs.
The conversation to achieve this vision starts with creativity, fuelling a programmatic strategy, which drives efficiency, attention and results. As with so much in life, creativity and data are stronger together.