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As students head back to school, many marketers are already looking forward to refresh their ad creatives for the holiday shopping season. While summer isn’t quite over and school hasn’t yet begun in most places, holiday shopping is already on marketers’ minds. Quite a bit of holiday shopping is completed well before Thanksgiving, and agile marketers are already preparing. So how can marketers prepare quickly, particularly if their promotions are evergreen? One often overlooked option is a creative audit and refresh. Key considerations for marketers include:

  • Do the messaging appeals that captivated consumers earlier in the summer still apply?
  • Have copycat competitors caused once unique creative to seem mundane?
  • Could dynamic creative optimization be leveraged to better captivate customers based on their unique interests?

With respect to messaging, it’s imperative to remember that consumer priorities — beyond the timeless desire to get a good deal, of course — change between the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons. For instance, while consumers are looking for joy & speed during back-to-school shopping, holiday shoppers are far more concerned with customer service (48%), shipping (41%), and return policies (21%). Retailers and brands that can sincerely deliver on top holiday shopping concerns will be well poised in the coming months, provided their creative is refreshed accordingly. Similarly, marketers who take the time to audit their relative positioning or implement dynamic creative optimization will be best prepared to engage & convert their holiday shoppers.

What is Dynamic Creative Optimization?

Dynamic Creative Optimization, or DCO, is a form of programmatic advertising that uses real-time technology to enable marketers to adjust specific parts of an advertisement depending on the audience that it is being shown to. This offers marketers the opportunity to personalize and experiment with creatives to find the one that performs best for each campaign. As an example, think of a car dealership with lots of local branches. Rather than showing one ad across multiple locations, they may want to adjust the dealer name, city, or contact information for each branch, even while advertising the same car or truck across all.

How Does Dynamic Creative Optimization Work?

Dynamic Creative Optimization generally starts with a template with a number of common elements that can be dynamically changed for each version. Virtually any component of an ad – the message, product features and benefits, pricing and imagery – can be changed in virtually unlimited combinations. The flexibility makes optimization and experimentation using DCO both cost-effective and rewarding from a performance perspective.

What Types of Campaigns are Best Suited to DCO? 

Given the fact that consumers enjoy personalization, virtually any kind of ad campaign can be optimized via DCO. Here are a few that work particularly well:

  • Geo-targeted campaigns with localized information such as local promotions, products reflecting local tastes, as in the car dealership example above.
  • Product-based campaigns targeting users who visit specific product pages and have shown purchase intent but have not yet converted. This offers an opportunity to retarget them with products they’ve seen. Abandoned shopping cart promotions, upsells, cross-sells, and down-sells are variants on this strategy.
  • Demographic prospecting allows you to tailor each offer or message to specific demographics within your target audience.
  • Behavioral prospecting targets audiences who are researching or interested in specific product categories and tailors the ad message, product, or offer to their interest.
  • Contextual prospecting can tailor ads to page content for a more cohesive experience.

How To Get Started with DCO

Dynamic Creative Optimization sounds great, doesn’t it? But getting started with it can be a daunting task, particularly for resource-constrained smaller marketing teams. But the beauty of DCO is that it doesn’t have to be manual. AUDIENCEX offers an automated method for DCO that takes away the manual work involved in creating multiple versions of ads. Our managed services and creative teams will work with you to build an engaging, well thought-out campaign to help drive sales, any time of year. Regardless of how much time you have (or don’t have), even a singular day spent in creative analysis and reflection now — before every food & beverage becomes pumpkin spice flavored and before the early holiday shoppers have picked out wrapping paper — could yield meaningful lift across campaign KPIs. So, before the seasons change, perhaps it’s time to see how campaigns should.

Ready to Get Started?

Contact us to talk to one of our campaign strategists and learn more about how AUDIENCEX can help increase your holiday campaign performance.