The Key to Personalized Ads is Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)


Personalization is evolving. FAST. It’s now safe to say that anything and everything can be customized to your exact needs. Phones, cars, Xbox dashboards and even the food you order now fall into the “build your own” ideology that creates a tailor-made product for every consumer. Gone are the days where one size fits all. Someone is now always clamoring for our attention, vying to create the ultimate experience for an audience of one: the customer.

In the advertising world, we’re always looking to perfect the balance between technology and deep personalization. The ideal advertisement would lead the viewer to take action right now to accomplish the goal of the ad, be it making a purchase, receiving directions to the nearest retailer or simply gaining deeper brand awareness. The ad should show at the right place and the right time to get that reaction from the user.

With tech capabilities leaping forward daily, it can be difficult to get the timing of ads right, however, or even get them serving in the right place. In 2016, 69.8 million Americans use ad blockers. This figure represents a jump of 34.4% over last year. And that percentage should not be a surprise, really. Who wouldn’t install a tool to screen out invasive pop-ups when there is so much irrelevant content being forced upon consumers these days? Nobody enjoys irrelevant ads. So how can we as an industry create ads that people don’t want to block?

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) allows ad campaigns to operate on a set of rules dictated by back-end logic. DCO optimizes each creative to an individual user, without the hassle of creating each variation manually. Think of DCO as an ad factory. In goes a single template, and out comes a tailored ad perfectly suited to any single user at that moment, on the fly. DCO is the answer to the problem of ad blocking, because what it does is create highly relevant ads that users don’t necessarily want to avoid.

So how do we do DCO? Well, here at DataXu, our DCO system is powered by a set of machine learning and logic that dictates how and when these creatives will be shown to a consumer. The system optimizes based on individual user attributes. Using our sophisticated algorithms, our technology further optimizes for a client’s ultimate campaign goal, whether that goal is maximizing clicks, actions or reach. Using information gleaned from a user’s cookies via tracking pixels, our platform can then accurately target even the most unique user, and present a more relevant user experience.

But what if it’s too much? It is possible to get too personal and too tailored with advertisements? In theory, yes. However, at DataXu we aim to be personal, not creepy. We want to use AI and advanced advertising technology to show ads that people don’t want to block, rather than creeping them out with ads that follow them everywhere. DCO shows creatives based on what the user has already shown an interest in, effectively leaving it up to them to determine which creatives they will see. DCO boosts performance across all verticals, drives better ad engagement and performance, and allows for a much deeper level of personalization than is possible from a standard display or mobile campaign.

One auto advertiser’s campaign has demonstrated exceptional performance, driving conversion rates significantly stronger than non-DCO retargeting and funnel-based retargeting. The personalization of the message, coupled with the qualifying nature of the action the user has taken, results in much stronger conversion rates and CTRs than any other retargeting tactic.

In the seemingly worldwide trend of “making everything your own,” DCO has become a vital part of any modern advertising strategy. For the most relevant ads possible, consider DCO for your next campaigns.