Creative Considerations in Performance-Based Display Campaigns

Display advertisers not tapping the power of real-time bidding leave money on the table every day. Real-time bidding equips marketers to manage display campaigns on a performance basis, more nimbly and opportunistically than ever before.

Real-time bidding enables advertisers to micro-target offers to the most appropriate consumers and cost-effectively create meaningful actions and interactions. Filtering ad buys by limiting the sites and situations in which ads can run, for example, can significantly boost the ROI (define) of display campaigns. Retargeting previously engaged consumers and adding greater focus to prospecting campaigns are just two of many other advantages real-time bidding brings to display.

But how does all the monitoring, analysis, and optimization involved with managing a performance-based display campaign affect a brand’s creative process?

Real-time bidding and other factors have significantly altered the linear creative process to which most marketers have grown accustomed. No longer does it suffice to conceive an idea, produce content, and then push that content across different touch points. Still, creative content remains imperative. Real-time bidding only raises the creative stakes in display, and marketers should ensure the ideas and experiences fueling today’s display campaigns capture the attention and imagination of their targets.

To effectively connect with a prospect, advertisers must remember that the place a consumer intersects with a message is every bit as important as the message itself. This fact tends to have a profound impact on creative development.

Today’s most effective display advertisers leverage a non-linear, participant-based creative model. They boost efficiencies with production technology but never to the detriment of creativity or engagement. They understand that where an ad appears matters every bit as much as what an ad communicates. They produce creative for micro-targeted audiences and ensure that ideas work across multiple screens and multiple experiences. They understand content creation should not be limited to creative shops and that media agencies, media owners, and technology companies can and do generate big ideas and content.

Although it necessitates new processes for creative development, real-time bidding creates a powerful, positive impact for advertisers and publishers alike by transforming display advertising into a performance-based channel. As advertisers use real-time bidding to optimize their display campaigns and hone in on the right audience segment in the right place at the right time, their campaigns get increasingly targeted and effective. This creates higher engagement and conversion rates, as well as repeat advertisers and satisfied publishers. Much like search marketers who manage PPC (define) campaigns on a performance basis, display advertisers can use real-time bidding to weed out less effective sites, audience segments, and messages in favor of more effective and efficient options. The result: a continuously improving campaign ROI for advertisers that successfully balances the new demands of creative development with the opportunities of performance-based marketing.

Achieving this balance, however, is easier said than done. Despite the many benefits of performance-based marketing, creative will always be a variable in motion, a moving target. In search engine marketing, creative factors such as ad copy and URL selection can have a huge impact on an ad’s success. The same is true in performance-based display advertising, where an ad’s location, audience, imagery, and copy interact to define an ad’s effectiveness.

In today’s dynamic marketing environment, an advertiser’s targets are more than mere consumers; they’re active participants. To keep creative up to snuff and position performance-based display campaigns for success, marketers should ensure that every campaign targeting every audience segment considers accessibility, customization, and searchability. With consumers in control, yesterday’s creative process simply will not do the trick. Advertisers must adopt new processes to generate creative that complements today’s real-time bidding reality and sets the stage for ongoing improvements in performance-based display advertising.

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