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What is Dynamic Creative Optimization?

By Sandrine Tessier
Content Strategist
July 5th, 2017

When you read about the best strategies to implement in your advertising campaign, A/B testing often comes up. What is it? Well, it is basically creating two ads (A and B) for the same product but with different features (font size, color, CTA, basic format, etc.) and run them at the same time to see which one performs the best. Imagine now that you want to do that, but with 15 different ads. Imagine also that you build each of those ads for a specific audience and that, of course, you want each ad to be served to its relevant user. Yeah. It would take an enormous amount of time to create, set up and launch each and every one of them. That’s when Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) comes into play.

What is it?

DCO is an advanced form of programmatic advertising based on display ads technology. Through an automated process and using feeds of data and different rules, DCO will generate hundreds of ads that will be optimized depending on multiple variables. Those variables may include physical components, such as color, font and call-to-action, but will also include other outside factors such as day of the week, time of the day, geographical location and even weather. Basically, your ad will change not only to best fit the user to whom the ad is being served, but will also be served at the most appropriate time and in the most appropriate place.

For example, a DCO set up can allow retailers to segment their audiences by location and use their IP addresses to target them with an ad specific to the nearest store to them.

How it works

DCO allows your ads to be optimized according to the user it’s being shown to, but also according to your campaign results. If a certain color or call-to-action is more successful in generating clicks, then ads will automatically be optimized to reflect those variables.

When setting up DCO, a template will be created incorporating vital information such as contact information, logo or promotion (in other words, information that needs to be in the ad no matter what). As for the rest of the template, one to four dynamic elements will be set up so that each element can rotate between different versions.

For example, a travel agency might create an ad about their on-going reduced fares without stating any specific city. However, if a user is looking specifically for a flight from Los Angeles to New York, DCO will allow that company to have an ad made on the fly showing fares specific to the user’s search.

In that case particularly, a creative department would never be able to build ads for all types of city combinations, given all the different destination options – That’s why DCO is awesome. It allows endless possibility to happen in real time.

A word of caution though: a DCO set up is a long process to implement and is not always the solution for all advertisers. A large travel agency, offering hundreds of destinations, could most definitely benefit from such a tool. However, a retailer with 4 or 5 locations might be better off using retargeting campaigns, among other solutions.

If you want more guidance on how to optimize your advertising campaigns and need expert advice, contact one of our specialists today to get a consultation!


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