Is your DCO campaign stuck in first gear?

Are you fully leveraging the power of DCO to get maximum performance for your advertising campaigns? Or are you giving away sales to your competitors through two big but common mistakes?

Dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) is becoming increasingly popular with advertisers today, and with good reason. DCO is a type of programmatic advertising that enables brands to tailor and optimise the performance of their ad creative using real-time technology.

In DCO, agencies assemble a selection of ad components, such as backgrounds, main images, text, value propositions, and calls to action on a digital asset management system. The creative can include video, animation, native components, and interactive elements. Then when an ad is served, it is compiled in real time with elements tailored for the user who will see it – to achieve the optimal result.

What that result may be depends on where a user is in the customer lifecycle, and can include everything from initial engagement or user interaction (for example, a click or hover), to a KPI such as a registration, trial or purchase.

There are many mistakes you can make when planning a DCO campaign. But even if you get the basics right, you can still be missing out on the true power of DCO with two important missed opportunities.

Missed opportunity one: Lack of data

The first missed opportunity is lack of data, or the inability to use depths of data in DCO.

DCO offers advertisers virtually unlimited opportunities to show an ad that is precisely relevant for a user – and therefore far more likely to instigate the desired action. But DCO campaigns are only as good as the data that powers them.

It’s obvious that if you get the data wrong, the ad will fail to deliver the results you need. But insufficient data is just as disappointing. Why? Because it’s like having the keys to a Ferrari and never moving out of first gear; you have so much power available to you and you’re not using it.

To give you an idea of just how much power, let’s look at a campaign we’re running for a leading global vehicle rental business.

Most advertisers can use first- and third-party data (where available) to produce ads that they hope reflect what a customer needs right now. But we went one step further with our client.

Not only is our unique identifier, ActiveID, able to combine deterministic, probabilistic and signal data to produce a rich, hybrid targeting system that achieves over a 95% match rate to target and track audiences, but we developed a way to use our client’s own back-end data to serve truly tailored DCO ads. Ads that can reflect the destination and model of car customers have been searching for, and let them know the current price and availability of that model for their destination.

If your agency isn’t able to deliver DCO ads powered with this depth and richness of data then you are missing a significant opportunity – and potentially giving business away to competitors.

Missed opportunity two: Lack of attribution

The second missed opportunity is lack of attribution. We’ve long campaigned against the use of the highly flawed last-click attribution model, and now even Google has ditched it in an effort to ‘provide more accurate, precise and privacy-centric measurement to marketers’.

But still the machine learning options being offered by Google and others are falling far short of the mark. Because rather than giving you granular, global insights you can act on with confidence, going into abstract ‘machine learning’ means you will actually have less idea of the interpretation. All you will know is that some channels are more valuable than others… for some unknown reason. So you still can’t make accurate predictions going forward.

So what’s the alternative? For us the only true, accurate attribution model is Total Media Attribution (TMA). The aim of TMA is to understand how media spend affects sales, and to optimise the allocation of spend across media to achieve the optimal media mix. TMA can track where conversions come from both online and offline, across a variety of different channels. It can measure the success of current campaigns and, more importantly, it can simulate conversion returns on future campaigns.

The TMA model works across everything from TV, radio, print and PR to digital, including Facebook ads, Google Ads, programmatic, DOOH, CTV and audio, and offers an accuracy of prediction that reaches statistical significance (over 95%) and aims to be around 99%.

TMA can predict exactly where your returns will come from, and how you should weight your spending across your entire marketing campaign. It can even factor in seasonal variations and geographic preferences. So if people in Germany prefer print, you can upweight that. And if people in the US like video, your predictions will factor that in.

You can also explore what returns your campaigns will get with each balance of media, and what will happen if you do nothing at all in a particular channel.

As you can imagine, TMA is a powerful tool when used on your DCO campaigns and can ensure that your budget is spent on ads that will actually deliver the results you need.

Are your DCO ads underperforming without you even realising?

DCO is a powerful tool; one with offers advertisers a world of exciting opportunities. But just think of what potential you are missing out on if you aren’t leveraging all your data opportunities, and are failing to fully attribute your campaign performance.

If your DCO ads are currently creeping along in first gear, isn’t it time you really discovered how far, and how fast, your campaign performance can improve with the right data and attribution?

Want to know more about how your DCO campaign can get out of first gear? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.