In our cluttered digital world, most marketers agree that personalization is key to standing out. One study by research firm Infogroup found 88% of marketers have grown their business through personalization tactics. Consumers prefer personalized ad experiences too. Another study found 71 per cent of consumers prefer ads personalized to their interests and shopping habits.
In fact, an HBR experiment revealed first-party data sharing tactics, such as telling shoppers that an advertisement was based on their activity on the site, which actually boosted click-through rates by 11 per cent, increased time spent viewing the advertised product by 34 per cent, and grew revenue from the product by 38 per cent.
However, personalizing your creative at scale across audiences can be tedious, complex, and costly without the right tools or approach. Luckily, in this day and age, brands can use creative management platforms (CMPs) to make this process seamless.
Let’s imagine you’ve mapped out an omnichannel media plan and audience targeting strategy to drive visitors to your website. The number of ads you’ll have to create is a function of multiple factors such as how many:
- Audiences are in your media plan
- Creatives variants you want to test per audience
- Markets you expect to run in
- Languages you need to translate your ads into
- Media channels your campaign will run across
- Ad formats per channel
That is a lot of permutations!
You’ll spend a ton of time and energy creating all those assets for a truly personalized dynamic campaign! In fact, on average, brands personalizing their campaigns run 500+ ad variants per campaign. Before I scare you off, here’s a simple step-by-step process to scale the number of ad creatives you build in no time.
Step 1: Understand your target audience, looking to prior campaigns and research for inspiration.
First, identify who you want to reach. You may already have audience segments in mind from a successful campaign you ran in the past or you might be considering an awareness campaign targeting more generic audiences. Your first-party data is a good place to start looking for audience inspiration. Can you group past website visitors or users who have purchased your product before into personas?
Next, ask yourself, where can I reach each of these audiences? Your media planning team will know that many leading platforms like Facebook and Google have prebuilt audience segments to get your campaigns off the ground fast. You can work with audience measurement tools, data providers, and scour social media platforms to get a sense of where your audience spends their time online. Think about potential markets, languages, and channels (such as display, social or video) in your research. Understanding these fundamental media planning questions will pave the way for our next step.
Step 2: Define your campaign objective to inform your testing framework.
Will you be running a lower-funnel campaign to get consumers to convert to buyers? Or is your main goal to generate awareness? Having a clear objective is essential to building a testing framework that uncovers the details behind your campaign results.
Now that you understand your objective, consider what you will test during your campaign to achieve it. Maybe you want to see which CTA drives more users to your landing page or perhaps you are curious which audience segment engages the most with your creative concepts. Better yet, do you want to know what contextual factor, such as weather, affects consumer behaviour? There are loads of possibilities for testing as you scale your creatives, so make sure each test helps you reach your objective more effectively.
Step 3: Bring it all together with a decision tree.
Now that you know who you want to reach and what you want to learn, let’s tie all this information together. Scaling your creative will result in thousands of variations of your ads. Without a way to map audiences or creatives and messaging for each variation, things will get messy — fast. If you use a creative management platform, your decision tree will put these variants into a single system to review, adjust and launch your ads. By applying a set of rules to a dynamic template, your CMP can implement cross-channel, cross-market, and cross-audience campaigns in just seconds.
Bonus tip: I recommend having each member of your team run through steps 1 and 2 individually to align expectations and uncover even more ways to test!
Now that you understand the fundamental steps to scaling your creative assets, you can begin planning your next personalization campaign! Working with a next-generation creative management platform that ties creative production with dynamic creative optimization, you can streamline the process. For example, Coca-Cola automated the production of 14,000 ads, 5 times faster than prior efforts. Using a CMP to scale your creative will surface insights that not only drive performance but also reduce production costs and time from the get-go.