The future of advertising is written by data. There is no way around it and there shouldn’t be. It’s the best thing that ever happened to marketing. Sales too. In fact, over $20 billion dollars is spent globally on data-driven marketing—specifically programmatic advertising (data-driven creative). That means that there has to be a roadmap on how to utilize these methods properly.
33% of elite marketers claim having the right technologies for data collection and analysis is the most useful in understanding customers. Brands and marketers can leverage technology to develop unlimited variations on their creative that target and appeal to different audience segments. Technologies in advertising enable smart marketing teams to improve campaign performance and efficiency by developing, testing, customizing, and optimizing creative content at scale.
In other words, take the time to check out the data before making decisions. Here are the most common data-driven creative strategies and tactics that will ensure success and boost the impact of your advertising:
Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)
One of the main approaches to achieving and developing programmatic creative is through Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO). This is a form of digital advertising that allows marketers to optimize the performance of their creative using real-time technology.
Data feeds can generate a large amount of creative on-the-fly and categorize ads based on multivariate testing. This is just a bunch of A/B tests going on simultaneously to determine the best possible combination.
DCO is typically used for large direct response campaigns because they can dynamically pull in content based on data from the impression, like imagery and product prices. Software for these types of campaigns are becoming easier to operate, but DCO should only be used for your biggest ventures, otherwise, you may lose money.
Creative Management Platform (CMP)
In addition to offering the functionality of a DCO, a creative management platform (CMP) has tools that enable tweaks in your creative to be generated rapidly and with perfect pixels. Creating ad platforms in a CMP is similar to how digitals ads are built, except it takes half the time and cost. The entire process is consistently optimized for speed and scale.
A CMP can increase the speed of a campaign by helping you build highly-variable and dynamic ads in a snap. This allows you to replace generic ads that have canned responses. After all, what customer is really responding to a “Hey You” email? It needs to be tailored to their experience to spark engagement.
The data enables you to campaign with more personalized messaging that will better match your audience segments. Each tool works to assist the other and maximize the ROI to achieve the highest-preforming programmatic creative.
54% of companies recently surveyed stated their biggest challenge to data-driven marketing is the lack of quality data and completeness. In other words, marketers understand what they need to do, they just aren’t always doing it to the best of their abilities.
Here are some quality data-driven marketing strategies to ensure you are collecting the best and most complete sets of data:
Not sure how to organize? Draw it out. A content matrix is a table that consists of your target audience and any data touchpoints you have during a funnel/campaign. The rows are represented by all of the different audience segments you have grouped, and the columns are filled with any moment when you get to deliver a relevant message.
For some marketers, touchpoints may consist of the occasions when a consumer enters a different phase of the funnel. This can include important events like:
- Lead prospect
- Social follower
- Site Visitor
- Site abandoner
- Converted lead
These columns and rows will intersect and show you opportunities where unique messaging can be employed to deliver a highly-relevant campaign. That way the right people are always getting the correct message, at the right time.
Without plotting out an approach, your messages may fall flat and appear less personalized. The more time and consideration you put into creating your matrix, the easier it will be to market to specific groups.
This is where data-driven creative truly shines. If you study how a segmented audience responds to your data-driven creative, you can form a baseline of how you expect a campaign to perform with them.
Build a model of what engages audience segments based on the ads they see. Then you will know what will work in the future. You can essentially “predict” the outcome of the campaign before you ever launch it.
Data allows a sales and marketing team to know their customers so well, that when a new product or service is developed, the team knows exactly who to approach and how successful it will be. Once you study the data, you can use the information to choose where to invest in further creative development for high-response, high-reach, and valuable targets.
90.7% of US ad and marketing professionals said they segment data to target and better engage addressable consumers. Using audience insight for product development and creative concepts seems like an obvious choice. Consumers are more willing than ever before to freely give you their opinion and when a brand listens, people notice.
Using an audience insight service like Social Industries can help a company find characteristics that relate to a target audience. Micro-optimization can happen on a continual basis as your audience relays non-stop feedback.
Social listening and monitoring can also give a brand an idea of where their audience lies and what they are saying. If you tend to have a quieter group of consumers, a simple poll or survey (anything interactive) should increase engagement and demonstrate some personality within the crowd. A/B testing is also a great way if you’re stuck on choosing which creative works the best.
Once the planning process has been developed, it’s time to start thinking about how to make it happen. This is where “tactics” come into play. After all, creative content can become stagnant if it is not executed properly. After data has been used to inform inventive development, it’s time to use it for creative expression.
Make the Image Match the Message
If you are targeting moms of newborns, putting an athlete in your ad would make no sense. Targeting goes beyond what you say. In fact, creative content doesn’t need text at all, but if the image is off, it can ruin the entire concept. Instead, this ad should contain mothers and perhaps women interacting with a baby.
You can also use imagery when thinking outside of the box to inspire or elicit emotion in your viewer. If you are trying to market a frozen treat, displaying imagery that makes people feel hot is a great motivator to purchase.
If you have the data, why not use it in the content itself? Access to real-time data feeds that have local content (think weather and traffic) are incredibly effective. They present the highest form of relevancy there is when it comes to digital advertising.
Now, when you are looking to market a cool product on a hot day, you can actually demonstrate to people the temperature outside. This type of information is incredibly motivating. It forces people to draw a connection between the weather (the problem) and your brand (ahhh cool—the solution).
If you collect user-data while consumers are on your site, you can easily use it in targeted campaigns. Customer habits are a great way to spur product retargeting. Companies can explicitly show a customer what they bought in the past, what they tossed in their cart, and the general categories they gravitate to. It’s a win-win for everyone; convenient for the customer and relevant advertising for you.
The sky is the limit, but the natural progression of data-driven strategies should be to mesh with automated tactics, like chatbots and email campaigns (which are triggered by consumer behavior). Pretty soon the entire process will be driven by robots.
It’s not as complex as it seems. Companies need to focus on tailoring their customer interactions, solving real problems, and better understanding their audience. Messaging should be happening from the moment someone begins their customer journey, until the time they purchase.
The idea is to increasingly build value for customers and deepen engagement. If you do this while monitoring creative performance and tweaking as you go, your ads will be primed to drive the ultimate ROI every time.