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Make It Personal: Dynamic Ads Go Beyond Cookie-Cutter Creative Solutions


Dynamic creative solutions / dynamic ads have long been a part of DTC brands’ digital marketing arsenal and continue to trend upward in use. The reason they’re so popular (and successful) is that they allow brands to showcase a wider variety of SKUs and to adapt promotions and content to each customer based on their unique shopping profile.

When you reach a consumer at the right time and right place with the right messaging, they are more prone to make a purchase. In fact, 88% of U.S. marketers reported seeing measurable improvements due to personalization.

This level of custom-tailoring ads has proven, case after case, to achieve higher performance over traditional, one-size-fits-all creative that struggles to universally compel a large, diverse audience of shoppers to make a purchase. Quite simply, it’s next to impossible to capture everyone’s attention and purchase intent.

However, while deciding to use dynamic ads may be easy for brands, implementing them is not so simple. Here, we discuss the importance of dynamic ads and Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)—and the subsequent need to partner with an agency like MuteSix that can help overcome the challenges which come with them.

What Are Dynamic Ads?

Also known as dynamic creatives, dynamic ads are precisely what their name suggests: promotional content that automatically generates in real time to complement the shopping wants and needs of an individual customer. Since no two shoppers are exactly the same—whether it be their interests, location, shopping behavior, the weather, etc.—cookie-cutter content does not convert as many prospects into buyers.

With nearly endless variations available, advertisers can dynamically showcase assets that best speak to a particular shopper and target their messaging based on first-party data, third-party data, or a combination of both.

Such variations available with dynamic creatives include a wide range of personalized elements, including copy, images, video, colors, links, promotions, skus, and more. The more optimized the creative is to personally communicate with the individual, the more likely they are to click that “buy now” button.

Why Use Dynamic Ads Over Traditional Creative?

The level of personalization offered by dynamic creatives has proven to be successful in achieving higher CTRs, CVRs, ROAS, and CPAs, suggesting that consumers want to be marketed to on a more personal level at each stage of the funnel. That’s because utilizing dynamic creative elevates traditional programmatic display or video placements by delivering relevant and user-specific ads to those engaging with the media every step of the shopping journey.

Not only does personalization make the offer or product more attractive for the individual shopper, but it validates and strengthens the brand overall. These days, customers have grown to expect brands to understand their shopping interests and behavior, as well as their relationship with a particular brand. This level of expectation is so high, in fact, that according to an Accenture report, over 40% of consumers switch brands due to lack of personalization.

It further helps your brand as it allows you to gain deeper analytical insights about your shoppers and to A/B test the most optimal ways to reach more of them so as to maximize revenue.

How Does Dynamic Creative Optimization Work?

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) relies on machine learning technology to automatically display personalized ad content based on real-time data, such as browsing history, shopping habits, weather, location, and more.

DCO ad servers typically receive inputs from two main sources: your data management platform (DMP), which handles the data feeds, and your creative management platform (CMP), which manages creative elements like ad copy and visual elements.

The two work in perfect synergy: The CMP pulls various graphical elements and copy into the server to assemble an ad best suited for a specific shopper based on first- and third-party data about them collected by the DMP.

The Challenges Surrounding DCO

While making the choice to use dynamic ads is a simple one, there are challenges that come with them, which the Programmatic experts at MuteSix can overcome better than competitors (more on that below). Of note, for many DCO providers, the disconnect between dynamic ads and media planning results in creative that lacks a strategic point of view and does not maximize the true potential of DCO. That’s because the manner in which dynamic ads are frequently built is by looking strictly at historical browsing behavior. This approach showcases products that shoppers viewed but abandoned for one reason or another. Such products are thus not strategic ones to continuously repurpose since they were rejected the first time around.

Additionally, as cookies begin to disappear across browsers and devices (they’re now slated to go away in 2023), the third-party data that dynamic creative solutions have relied on is becoming increasingly scarce. Without this data, it will be more challenging to dynamically display ads that suit the individual shopper based on the key learnings about them that cookies offer. That’s where MuteSix comes in.

MuteSix: The Solution for DCO

When working with an agency like MuteSix, you can circumvent many of these hurdles standing in the way of DCO. For starters, our ever-growing team gets DCO done in the fraction of the time and at a fraction of the price as compared to competitors.

Further, our DCO solution has been built out by the same media experts who plan and execute campaigns. This means that media strategy informs the entire creative development process, from start to finish. As mentioned above, simply displaying dynamic ads based on historical browsing behavior will not allow a brand to unlock the true potential of DCO.

According to Matt Prince, Director, Programmatic & Marketplaces Media, “One of the reasons that MuteSix programmatic drives better revenue and growth is that we also apply a strategic perspective to allow for more thoughtful, compelling, and ultimately successful dynamic ads. We are not just building a DCO solution that does product retargeting. We apply a strategic perspective and avoid letting DCO operate in a silo.”

In the case of repurposing the abandoned product, for example, Prince comments, “We aim to overcome objections that may have arisen during a shopper’s visit that prevented them from making a purchase, such as the price point. In this instance, we are capable of applying a dynamic discount for abandoned products, which is not necessarily done by default in most DCO plans. This discount could sequentially get deeper the more times the viewer sees the ad until they finally make a purchase and the brand discovers the sweet spot.”

Additionally, MuteSix’s DCO solution taps into Google’s own data (both Google user data and Google website data) as well as bidstream data. This is invaluable both now and for the future. Currently, it allows us to dynamically change an asset in more complex ways based on search history. For example, if a graphic T-shirt brand is selling a wide range of shirts, we could dynamically render an ad for shoppers based on an interest they have been reading about. Consider the shopper who reads about cars. For them, we could dynamically serve up car-related tees that may entice them more than other themed styles such as airplanes or music bands.

In terms of the future, having access to Google’s data ensures that we will not be impacted by the impending demise of cookies, which is at the heart of DCO.

Finally, our 70 person in-house creative team has the expertise to produce award-winning creative that does more than “spray and pray” retargeting, and is also able to create animations, not just static assets.

Case in Point: MuteSix x Universal Standard’s Success With DCO

Universal Standard, the size-inclusive apparel company that believes style should be the only filter, not restricting sizes, came to the MuteSix Programmatic experts to implement DCO and beat its previous agency’s performance. And that we did.

Our biggest challenge was increasing personalization for Universal Standard’s recent, non-converted website visitors. To accomplish this, we strategically chose to dynamically display the individual products that are most relevant to a given shopper’s experience with Universal Standard.

By utilizing DCO, we have successfully increased Universal Standard’s purchases and improved its ROAS. Leveraging DCO yielded an impressive 7.7x ROAS within two weeks of launch, which was double what Universal Standard’s previous agency was able to achieve. In addition, MuteSix’s custom-designed assets have consistently earned an 11x ROAS, which is a whopping 120% increase compared to Universal Standard’s past results.

A Final Word: DCO and MuteSix Are a Dynamic Duo

The cookie-cutter creative solutions that have dominated the dynamic creative space produce impersonal and unengaging banners that do not positively impact brand recognition or affinity. Dynamic creative, on the other hand, enables advertisers to move one step closer to fully personalized shopping experiences, driving incremental revenue and maximizing lifetime loyalty.

When working with MuteSix, we offer numerous advantages over other DCO providers that ensure you are dynamically displaying the most strategic, aesthetically pleasing, and personalized ads.

To get started on implementing DCO for your brand to achieve incredible results like Universal Standard, reach out to the Programmatic experts at MuteSix today.


Special thanks to our friends at MuteSix for their insights on this topic.
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