Merging Data and Creative in Programmatic

Content Takeover Big Data & Analytics

As creative and programmatic merge to drive efficiency and consumer engagement, data is playing a pivotal role.

Programmatic has added efficiency to media buying but the creative side for a business now needs to become nimble and innovative to keep up.

“Creative is an important component of programmatic. But programmatic creative is different from the traditional creative process in that instead of looking for a broad insight into human nature as the inspiration for the work, you’re looking for insight into specific data,” says Adam Cahill, founder of programmatic marketing agency Anagram.

There are many different types of data that advertisers can look at: third-party data and how much time people spend on their digital properties are just two ways marketers can be better understanding of what kinds of messages people will be most receptive to, says Cahill.

“Since programmatic is operated in real time, advertisers can see the results almost immediately and get a good understanding of whether consumers are responding to the ad or not,” he explains.

Programmatic allows for a wide range of ad formats including display, social, native and video, and companies like Facebook and Google, with their plethora of data, can serve robust ads via automation.

However, there remains technology limitations when creating a series of programmatic ads for mobile and how to change the content based on a user’s location and whether they have seen the ads before.

“You don’t want to repeat the same ad over and over. Instead, you want to make them sequentially dynamic, which is a much better user experience,” says Josh Engroff, chief digital media officer for The Media Kitchen.

When it comes to dynamic creative, there are two categories of data to look at: one is “context-awareness,” such as location, device and weather data; the other is “user-awareness,” which includes publicly available social data, and a brand’s first-party purchase or CRM data. In the programmatic ecosystem, advertisers often use both types of data for targeting but not as much for optimizing creative, says Engroff.

“I think part of the constraint on the creative production side is a reluctance to fully embrace the death of Flash and migrate to full HTML5 authoring tools for all digital creative production. Dynamic, responsive creative units that work on all devices and play nice with data require HTML5,” he says.

Programmatic is real-time and data intensive, and that feedback loop can serve as a test bed for experimentation in creative user experience. To make the most of this, Engroff suggests that agencies and advertisers adopt flexible frameworks and native authoring platforms, instead of simply using Flash conversion tools.

“Creativity today encompasses more than just visual design and animation skills. It also requires an understanding of the full set of interactions and data available in each creative context. Curiosity, flexibility, and a product mindset are key,” he says.

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