What CMO’s Say About Ad Experiences

Marc Pritchard famously said “It is time for marketers and tech companies to solve the problem of annoying ads and make the ad experience better for consumers.”

What do his peers think? The CMO Club has partnered with Thunder to publish a “Guide to Solving Bad Ad Experiences,” which includes a survey of over 80 CMOs and an interview with the CMO of Farmers Insurance on the impact of bad ads and how people-based marketing can fix them.

Some key findings include:
  • 74% of CMOs consider brand loyalty as most negatively affected by bad ads
  • 55%+ of CMOs consider frequency and relevancy as the top factors in bad ads
  • 78% of CMOs consider it “inexcusable” to serve ads for products the customer already bought from them
  • 71% of CMOs consider frequency capping important for ad experience but 60% aren’t confident in even their frequency counting!

Click here to download the full research report.

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Research: Programmatic Creative Industry Report

Programmatic advertising enables digital marketers to reach the right audience at the right time more quickly and efficiently than ever before. Advertisers have heavily focused on who they’re delivering the message to and how they’re delivering it, but what about the actual content they’re delivering?

Is the creative falling behind in this programmatic revolution?

Last year, Thunder teamed up with Digiday Content Studio to research the creative needs of brands, agencies and publishers. Watch this video to learn the top findings from this report.

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Programmatic Creative Strategies and Tactics Playbooks


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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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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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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What You Need To Know About Cross-Platform Ad Design

The value of an ad is determined by how well it generates conversions and brand awareness. In 2010, Dataxu, a demand side platform specializing in media buying, ran a large-scale test and found that creatives are the most responsible determinant of conversions. Today, consumers are using multiple devices, whether it is an iPhone, Android, iPad, or computer and advertisers must be able to deliver a consistent high quality brand experience on each of them.

It’s no longer enough to be “mobile first.” You have to be thinking multi-device. So, we’ve put together a guide to building creatives that work seamlessly across platforms and devices. From concept to implementation there are multiple factors to think about including the number of designs, the number of formats, and the number of sizes you have to make.

Designs – How many designs should you run for an ad campaign? One specific brand message for consumers requires only one set of designs. However, if you’re trying to drive conversions or find messages that resonate with consumers, you need a lot more.

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PaperG “Ad Sales Exec” Survey Reveals Online and Mobile Display Advertising Trump Facebook with Local Advertisers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – October 16, 2012 – PaperG, a San Francisco based local display advertising technology company, has released the results of its first “Ad Sales Executive” survey, evaluating the future of digital advertising sales from the view of sales executives at local newspapers, directories, broadcast stations and other media nationwide.

The adoption of digital is apparent and a move towards mobile is inevitable: 94% of advertisers are interested in mobile advertising and over 90% of sales executives are optimistic about sales for mobile display advertising. The survey establishes a continued push towards display ads as 94% of respondents will be offering online display ads to their clients and 86% will be offering mobile display ads in Q4. Only 34% of respondents will offer Facebook ads.

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PaperG Study: Which Ad Inventory Is Most Clicky?

In a recent study, PaperG looked at which type of ad inventory produces the most engagement as measured by clicks. We targeted ads from 100 advertisers across major ad verticals and looked at the results generated from placement on 10,000+ websites.

The findings were surprising. Interestingly enough, on a whole, non-premium inventory experienced a higher CTR than Premium inventory. However, Premium-Local inventory surpassed the rest with a CTR performance 98% higher, on average. The higher engagement of Premium-Local proves its potential for small businesses, as a vehicle for their marketing needs.

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