Video: Programmatic Display – 5 Creative Optimization Tactics to Drive Performance

A report published by Yahoo! in 2014 found that personalized ads are 54% more engaging and 45% more memorable compared to generalized creative.

To continuously drive higher programmatic display performance, leveraging the right creative optimization tactics will not only lead to more engaging ads that strongly appeal to your target audiences but also higher conversion rates.

Watch this video to learn 5 creative optimization strategies to maximize the ROI of your programmatic display campaigns.

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How To Overcome 80% Of Your Programmatic Creative Challenges

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Image Source: ‘Everything was easier at the beginning’: Marketers vent programmatic frustration – Digiday

At this year’s Digiday Programmatic Summit, participants were asked to jot down their greatest challenges in programmatic advertising. The response was enlightening.

Here’s the breakdown of top programmatic challenges:

  • Telling the difference between vendors (30%)
  • Reconciling creative and programmatic (30%)
  • Time required to improve campaign performance vs. client’s budget (10%)
  • Cracking data budget (10%)
  • Duplication of audiences (10%)
  • Managing campaign cost (5%)
  • Terminology discrepancies between digital and TV departments (5%)

Normally on this blog we try to not talk too much about Thunder. But today I’d like to address these challenges, and show you how Thunder is working everyday to help you overcome them.

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Rich Media Advertising: Who’s Killing It And Why

Who is killing rich media advertising

The writing’s on the wall for rich media advertising as we know it today.

When it debuted, the rich functionality in rich media advertising was seen as a victory. At first it was animation, but then interactive elements became available. Banners could play videos, pop over your screen and expand over content.

The vision behind rich media advertising was admirable: make ads that people want to interact with. But it turned out to be a bait and switch.

Instead of endearing consumers to ads, these formats did the opposite. They pestered users with unwanted pop ups, aggravating expansions, and startling autoplay video with audio. They “politely” loaded megabyte after megabyte on people’s mobile data plans. They intruded at every opportunity because of marginal gains in CTR.

As the ad industry transforms, rich media is on the chopping block. Here are the top 5 attackers.

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11 Design Tips To Optimize Facebook Ads

Design tips to optimize Facebook ads

With creative being the biggest driver of performance on Facebook, leveraging the right tactics to optimize Facebook ads is essential to the success of the campaign.

An effective ad not only increases engagement from potential customers, but also boosts your overall ROI. More importantly, testing different elements over time will allow you to keep your creatives fresh and improve the results of your Facebook ads.

Below are 11 best practices to optimize your Facebook ads and videos.

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The 4 Pillars of Ideal Facebook Ad Creative

Facebook ads creative optimization pillars

With Facebook ads, the creative is the strongest driver of performance. An ad that resonates with and engages people will reduce your CPM/CPC, protect ad delivery and improve performance on your overall objective.

The best part is that Facebook does a lot of creative optimization work for you automatically. With a little extra work, you can reap the benefits and earn great ROI.

In my new whitepaper, the Thunder Playbook for Facebook Creative Optimization, I outline the 4 pillars of ideal Facebook ad creative.

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The Creative Brief Doesn’t Have to Suck

creative-brief-in-agency-workspace

The creative brief sucks because it is too general for the modern customer journey. Here’s a pragmatic solution: Revise our templates so they reflect the advanced targeting capabilities of programmatic advertising and the fragmented consumer landscape they represent.

But today ads can be readily targeted and optimized based on factors like:

  • Demographics
  • Channels
  • Devices
  • Behavioral data
  • CRM/customer journey data

A generalized, generic creative brief is likely to lead to average campaign performance, so it doesn’t invite scrutiny. But if you neglect these details you neglect the most powerful advances in ad tech. Embrace them and your campaign is golden.

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Programmatic Creative Strategies and Tactics Playbooks

playbook

The emergence of programmatic creative platforms has unlocked many ways to tailor, test, and optimize ad creative to drive campaign performance. When we looked into other people’s numbers, we found evidence that customizing creative consistently delivers a 30-50% boost in performance. That’s a little under our experience, where our customers that optimize creatives tend to size up to benchmarks by 2X or more.

It’s clear that in the age of so much data in digital media, the model of showing one generalized creative to everyone is giving way to a new style of advertising that combines data and creative in ways that resonate far more with audiences and produce greater results for advertisers.

But for companies seeking to leverage many of these new strategies, where does one begin? If you’re looking for examples of these ads, how can you find them?

The newest installments to our programmatic creative series of eBooks dig into precisely these questions and the strategies and tactics that new technologies like Creative Management Platforms and dynamic creative optimization make possible.

We’re calling them programmatic creative playbooks. These guides contain example ways to tailor creatives to audiences, including example ads. They are meant to serve as inspiration for the next generation of creative strategy.

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What is a Creative Management Platform (CMP)?

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Above: Advertisement variations created in Thunder Creative Management Platform

Creative Management Platforms are a class of programmatic creative ad technologies that meet the design needs of modern digital advertisers who are looking to tailor, test and optimize the creatives in their campaigns.

The core use of a CMP is ad design and production at scale. To tailor an ad’s messaging to its audience, for each segment, a different creative must be produced or generated. CMPs use a combination of manual and automated features to amplify the creative output of a team dramatically.

 

What benefits do advertisers get from Creative Management Platforms?

Advertisers can use the high volume of creative production enabled by Creative Management Platforms to make their creatives perform better through three key qualities:

  1. Tailored: Achieve message relevance by tailoring creatives to audiences
  2. Timely: Keep the creatives fresh by being able to refresh messaging frequently
  3. Tested: Have creatives to split test, learn, and optimize from
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[eBook] Programmatic Creative Buyer’s Guide

Thunder Programmatic Creative Buyer's Guide

Getting going with programmatic creative isn’t difficult if you have a roadmap to follow.

That’s why we published our proven three-step buying process to help you navigate getting started. Answer questions like:

  • Is programmatic creative a good fit for my organization?
  • What questions are critical to ask when selecting a provider?
  • How can I set myself up for success before launching my first campaign?

This is both a guide and a mini-workbook, purpose-built to help you find success with programmatic creative.

Download your free resource today.

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5 Minute Webinar: Programmatic Creative Explained

This year, $6.1 billion will be spent on DSPs and DMPs. But over 90% of the resulting targeted ads won’t have matching creative.

That means that despite the all the money spent on data and targeting, generic or generalized creatives are being used in the vast majority of programmatic campaigns. Programmatic creative solves the problem—adapting brand storytelling to become tailored to the viewer. It’s an exciting moment. Through technology, creativity and data can finally dance.

This is the subject of the eBook The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies. This webinar summarizes the 35-page eBook in just 5 minutes.

Want the full eBook? Download it here: The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies

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Activating $6 Billion in Wasted Programmatic Data

Cost of wasted DSP and DMP investments without programmatic creative

Having already overtaken the majority of digital ad spend, programmatic buying continues its rapid rise.

In the US, programmatic already accounts for over two-thirds of all display media. Magna Global forecasts programmatic-driven ad spend in 2015 to hit $20.5 Bn worldwide. Growth for years ahead is projected to remain steady.

To deliver the right message to the right audience, advertisers and agencies have put about 30% of their programmatic spend, $6 Bn, into targeting technologies like DSPs and DMPs.

And yet despite spending billions, the promise of delivering the right message still hasn’t been realized.

Research by AppNexus shows that 97% of programmatic campaigns lack a targeted creative for each audience segment. That means the vast majority of programmatic campaigns use generalized or generic creatives, a factor that has lead to heavy concerns from marketers about driving ROI from big data.

It’s not all wasted data, however. Many companies have figured out how to make creative work in the programmatic era, and they are reaping the rewards:

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[eBook] The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies

Thunder Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies

This year, $6.1 billion will be spent on DSPs and DMPs. But over 90% of the resulting targeted ads won’t have matching creative. Programmatic creative solves the problem—adapting brand storytelling to become tailored to the viewer.

It’s an exciting moment. Through technology, creativity and data can finally dance.

To help you capture this moment, we’re excited to release a free, comprehensive, 35-page eBook. The information on these pages will help you understand the quickly-evolving world of programmatic creative by covering:

  • The two main technologies used for programmatic creative
  • Example programmatic creative ad units
  • A detailed workflow comparison
  • Answers to the questions you need to know before undertaking programmatic creative
  • A programmatic creative case study: How an agency boosted sales by 565% for their client

If you are ready to explore the technologies that will transform programmatic marketing at your organization, this is the ultimate eBook to kickstart your journey.

Download your free copy today.

 

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The Final Nail in Flash’s Coffin

Death of flash transition to HTML Thunder adsFlash as an advertising medium has suffered a killing blow from Google and Mozilla, one that has left digital marketers scrambling toward building ads in HTML5 or with HTML5-friendly ad tech. For advertisers, it’s now not only inevitable but also immediate that HTML5 adoption is a must.

The news that rocked the advertising world came in June 2015: In order to extend laptop battery life, Google Chrome will “intelligently pause” Flash animations that aren’t central to the webpage. That’s a nice way of saying that Chrome is going to pause Flash advertisements.

Then on July 13, Mozilla one-upped Google, announcing that Firefox would immediately begin blocking all versions of Flash due to the discovery of three different ways to exploit the plug-in over a five day period.

A few days following Firefox’s action, Adobe quietly released patches to Flash’s vulnerabilities, restoring the plugin’s status in the Firefox browser.

UPDATE: Amazon has joined in on the anti-Flash momentum, saying it will no longer accept Flash ads on Amazon.com or Amazon Advertising Platform.

How bad is the impact of the Chrome and Firefox  updates on Flash ads?

Google Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser, with a substantial lead in usage over other options like Safari and Internet Explorer. The change to penalize Flash ads is already live in the beta version of Chrome, and Google has stated it will roll out the update to the masses soon.

Once the update goes live, Chrome users will find their ads are grayed out, with little play buttons positioned in the center, as shown below.

Above: Once the Google Chrome update reaches the masses, Flash-based ads will appear grayed out with play icons, as pictured above.

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[Infographic] Digital Agency Game of Thrones

Digital Agency Game of Thrones Infographic

Sometimes working at a digital agency can feel like a game of thrones. Teams become siloed. Communication breaks down. In these uncertain times of a shifting digital landscape, clashes between departments result in organizational dysfunction.

Not at your agency I’m sure, but sometimes under the pressure to excel, power struggles ensue.

In the infographic below, we take a look at four of the great houses in a typical digital agency, the sources of their rivalries, their great battles—game of thrones style.

Don’t worry though. Order, and ultimately victory is attainable. But also make no mistake. Programmatic is coming. Is your agency ready?

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How to Develop Creative Concepts for Programmatic Campaigns

Data Driven Campaigns - Thunder CMP

The new frontier in programmatic advertising is a creative one.

Message relevancy allows advertisers to combine the sophisticated targeting in their digital media buys with creative concepts that speak precisely to each targeted group. And through creative optimization, advertisers can test, learn from and optimize campaigns for performance gains of 30-50%.

Customizing creatives for programmatic media sounds great but, by and large, these customizations are all too often, well, not very creative.

To claim right person, right message, many advertisers draw from the same well of basic tactics—strategies like those that modify creatives based on simple geographic or weather data.

If using weather data and city names in ads is what data-driven advertising means to you, you’re taking the statement way too literally. Just because an ad knows it’s hot outside doesn’t mean that the conveyed message is any more compelling to a consumer. We can use ad tech to streamline and automate a lot of our work but we’re still marketers. Our ads ultimately require human finesse to change the feelings, opinions and behavior of human beings.

Effective creative relevancy helps advertisers connect with consumers by providing a positive influence on a consumer’s perception. This effect helps advertisers shape a consumer’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

So let’s talk about a creative process for people, not robots. Let’s talk about a process for data-driven campaigns that are full of heart, soul and, most importantly, humanity.

We will dig into creative tactics for programmatic soon enough but first we must build a strong creative strategy to serve as our foundation.

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Programmatic Creativity: Q&A with Adam Cahill on Launching Anagram

Adam Cahill Anagram quote on programmatic creative

It’s a new era for programmatic advertising. Just as the industry is realizing that having optimal creatives is just as important as optimal audiences, new services and companies have emerged to make programmatic creativity a reality.

We saw evidence of this last week as Digiday covered efforts across the industry to close the gap with programmatic creative. On the same day, AdExchanger profiled the launch of Anagram, an agency founded by Adam Cahill, who was formerly chief digital officer at Hill Holliday.

Anagram is one of this new breed—a company built with the specific purpose of helping brands win with programmatic. And we’re not just talking programmatic buying. Anagram does programmatic everything: media, creative, even in-flight optimization.

PaperG is lucky enough to be among the technologies Anagram uses, so we asked Adam if he would dig deeper into what it means to be a programmatic marketing agency.

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What Display Advertisers Can Learn About Creative Optimization From Search and Social

creative optimization thunder ads

In years past, display advertisers have not been able to benefit from creative optimization because budgets couldn’t support the amount of creative work involved.

But today, emerging productivity solutions such as creative management platforms (CMPs), programmatic creative tools, and dynamic creative optimization platforms (DCOs) significantly reduce these barriers to high-volume ad production to a very manageable level.

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Can Optimized Ad Creative Make Programmatic Perform 30-50% Better? These 5 Studies Say ‘Yes’

Performance lift from Thunder ad creative

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the burgeoning relationship between programmatic media and ad creative. Most of the discourse has been about how optimal creative can significantly impact the performance of the media in theory. The purpose of this article is to look at the data behind what those gains might be in practice.

Creative optimization is the act of customizing and testing advertisement artwork and messaging to be more resonant with audiences. Since programmatic allows advertisers to precisely target specific audiences, these technologies have inspired advertisers to leverage creative variations for greater media effectiveness.

The dominant tactics include:

  1. Customizing ad creative to what matters to specific audience groups
  2. A/B testing messaging
  3. Sequencing or updating messaging over time

The expectation of gains from these tactics comes from an already established success in creative relevancy and testing in email, social, search and website content. Armed with programmatic buying, big data and algorithmic optimization, advertisers hope to translate similar gains into display ads, native ads and video.

The strategies here seem sound, but what data is there to back it up?

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