Trending topics in the data-driven advertising world

Data is a crucial factor in the success of an Advertising/Marketing campaign. Here are a few hot data-driven advertising trends to include in your next campaign strategy.

Data Unification and Identity: It’s important you unify all of your data (across all platforms) into a master customer profile and connect known and unknown data. Known data comes from people you can identify— e.g newsletter subscribers. Unknown data is generated by people you can’t easily identify – e.g those who drop into your website without logging in. By connecting the two along with sales and service data, you’ll be able to understand each unique customers behavioural journey and in-turn deliver exceptional personalised experiences

Journey Management: Today journey management is overwhelmingly data-driven and dependent on having that single, unified view of the customer. Which is why marketers are increasingly working hand-in-hand with sales and customer service. The customer journey its-self continues to move away from being siloed and linear into something that moves across channels and mediums. So, marketers are putting greater focus on omnichannel experiences and synchronising online and offline channels.

1:1 Targeting: 1:1 targeting and communications strategy is founded on first-party data and contingent on having that single, unified view of the customer. With such a cohesive understanding of a consumer’s intent, preferences and history, you can drive campaigns and experiences that speak to a specific consumer’s needs and wants. If done well, high-quality personalised experiences will help convince consumers that there is real value in sharing their data.

Privacy and the Post-Cookie World: With Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies, Europe’s GDPR or California’s CCPA, it’s clear the privacy regulation landscape is only set to expand. Which is why it’s critical that you stay ahead by adopting a privacy-centric ethos. In practice, this means working with tools that allow your company to implement a scalable privacy policy that can adjust for different regulatory environments. Marketers will have to be more mindful of balancing personalisation with customer comfort.

Evolved Measurement: The focus on customer experience has changed how marketers view and measure success. The percentage of marketers tracking customer lifetime value and customer satisfaction metrics continues to increase and many are becoming more strategic about when and where they analyse certain metrics. It’s likely that over the next 12-24 months those that haven’t jumped on board with AI will begin to adopt it and see benefits, shifting the baseline for what can be done with more advanced measurement systems.


How retailers can boost engagement with dynamic creative.

Programmatic can target the right audience at the right moment across all addressable channels. However, creative plays a leading role in creating a relevant and personalised message.

Just targeting the right audience is ineffective if an uninspiring and irrelevant message is delivered. In fact, at its worst, it can switch audiences off and cause them to install ad blockers.

Programmatic advertising inevitably requires the input of captivating creative to achieve successful consumer engagement.  Increasingly this requires personalisation through dynamic creative.

Dynamic Creative (DC)

Using data points that establish the most appropriate combination of the elements in the creative (i.e. background image, offer and text), Dynamic Creative makes it possible to serve tailored and meaningful messages.

The use of dynamic creative allows retailers to tailor ads based on individual tastes and interests, enabling shoppers to see relevant products and special offers. Additionally, it allows for the quick creation of a multitude of variations of display ads, to which high-volume retail campaigns are suited.

Retailers must leverage the data that feeds the power of Dynamic Creative

Retailers are sitting on a gold mine of data that is perfect for dynamic creative optimisation, including first-party data and third-party data sources. Insights can be gained from instore and online purchase activity, and measurement data from tracking offers such as discount codes etc.

Combining these data sets retailers can gain a comprehensive profile of their customers, including things such as:

  • demographics
  • online behaviours
  • transactional insights (e.g. information on unique likes, device types, location, the day of the week, weather and time of day).

This enables retailers to build real-time continuously updating models of what their perfect customer looks like, driving increased relevance and impact of their ad creative.

Use the customer journey data to optimise performance

To assess the true impact of dynamic creative deployment in retail, its necessary to understand the metrics which deliver a return on investment. The same data sources that inform the creation of dynamic ads also need to be mined to understand how various elements of the campaign are performing.

Dynamic Creative Optimisation, (DCO) is automated and efficient, eliminating the manpower and time required to create multiple singular creatives. An ad’s image, product, text or calls-to-action can be dynamically changed to deliver relevant messages to an individual. When implemented well, DCO can deliver on average a 60% uplift in performance.

What to keep in mind when using DCO

  1. Too many parameters - Retailers needs to be conscious not to create too many variations of creative elements without testing their effectiveness.  Brands need to accurately establish what works and what doesn’t by initially using a set number of elements to gain statistically meaningful results i.e. ad size, target location, target gender.
  2. Too much focus on remarketing – While offering the last product seen can persuade customers to buy products, dynamic creative goes beyond single conversions.  In fact, DCO can be used across the sales funnel — for everything from loyalty programs, upselling, through to new-customer acquisition and awareness campaigns.
  3. Ignoring experience – There is still a place for retailers to utilise their knowledge of their own products, goals, and audiences.  Dynamic Creative should be adapted to facilitate these human insights.
  4. Forgetting the user experience – It is critical to keep in mind the customers' experience. Advertisers need to deliver a personalized and relevant message while not overstepping on the customers right to their privacy. In that way, things such as ad frequency management and running across multiple channels can help create an impactful message across various touchpoints that doesn’t feel redundant or intrusive for the customer

The Benefits of Dynamic Creative

  • Leads to higher engagement and ROI - serving automated personalised offerings to customers
  • Improves conversion rate and loyalty – More relevant and personalised approach  to your customers can boost sales and repeat purchases and increase brand favorability.
  • Deliver maximum relevancy at scale - DCO enables advertisers to develop and leverage many unique ad creatives while ensuring ads are relevant to each user.
First Price Auction Is A Step In The Right Direction

Acquire Online believe the move to First Price auctions is a step in the right direction as buyers can now compete for premium inventory which would have otherwise been onsold at a profit or reserved for bigger agencies groups. First price is meant to combat hidden fees being taken from both the buyer and seller but it has its share of problems. e.g. When a publisher is working with multiple Supply Side Platforms (SSP) on different auction dynamics.

New Auction Dynamics

Header bidding was an improvement over the waterfall model in terms of auction dynamics, but it still entails some problems and inefficiencies. These considerations lead to the development of an array of new auction mechanics. Consider this example:

  1. A user accesses a website.

  2. The header-bidding wrapper makes simultaneous requests to Suppy Side Platforms (SSPs)/ad exchanges.

  3. Each SSP/ad exchange broadcasts the bid requests to a number of Demand Side Platforms (DSP) it is connected to.

  4. Each DSP responds with the bid responses and the max CPM price the advertiser of the matched campaign is willing to pay ($10, $5, $8, $6).

  5. SSPs/ad exchanges execute the second-price auctions (e.g. If the SSP received $10 and $5 bids, the winner is paying $5.01 CPM—the clearing price).

  6. The SSPs returns the $5.01 clearing price to the header-bidding wrapper.

  7. The header-bidding wrapper chooses the highest clearing price (first-price auction) and displays the impression.

How can this system be inefficient? Because there was, in fact, another buyer willing to pay more (the $10)

The example above illustrates the inefficiency of the currently used header-bidding auction process. DSP 1’s $10 bid did not winning against DSP 3’s $8 bid because the SSP 1 runs a second-price auction (with a $5.01 clearing price), which loses to SSP 2’s clearing price of $6.01.

However, because there weren’t any high bidders at the SSP level, the clearing price of the second-price auction was just $5.01, less than on the other SSP level. This is a wasted opportunity for profit that publishers want to avoid.

When DSP can pass information like auction type, floor CPM and winning bids, buyers and algorithms can be trained to better understand how the market/SSP is valuing each impression and bid smarter depending on the real supply/demand curve at the time.

*Source: Clearcode