The data-driven difference: the most important tools for designing and developing dynamic creative campaigns

This is part three of a five-part series introducing the creative process for data-driven campaigns as outlined in our new guide: The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers.

A major shift is occurring in the way agencies work together to design and develop digital creative campaigns. Previously, teams were siloed: the media agency used data to determine ad types and sizes, and served the creative production agency with a spec sheet off of which to build executions.

Today, we’re moving toward a model in which all teams work together, using sophisticated digital tools for increased efficiency. In the model we put forth in our new guide for marketers, the brand and media team now share data with the creative production team, which uses it to create a strategy for the campaign’s creative based on audience insights and real-time environmental and media triggers.

We explored the topics of gathering data signals and getting all teams on board in previous blog posts. Here, we’ll talk a bit about how creative production agencies are using tools for increased flexibility, efficiency, and control in building dynamic creative.

What is dynamic creative?

Dynamic creative allows for variables such as copy, imagery, font, and color to easily change based on data signals, such as who is viewing the ad, where they’re viewing it, and when. It consists of two complementary pieces: the creative template, and the dynamic creative feed.

The creative template

Much like the blueprint for a house, this serves as the structure of the ad unit. When you use a blueprint, variables such as the type of flooring and color of the exterior may change, but the “bones” of the house will remain the same.

Similarly, the creative template provides parameters for variables such as:

  • Character counts for copy
  • Length of animations
  • Size and location of images

Within those parameters, the team can experiment with different headlines, images, and types of animations, as well as other factors.

The dynamic creative feed

This houses the creative assets that will get plugged into the creative template, as well as the logic that dictates which assets will be served to which viewers based on your data signals and campaign strategy. Using a feed to control your dynamic campaign strategy gives you maximum flexibility, allowing you to quickly and easily make changes to your creative on the fly.

The template and feed in action

When we worked with L’Oreal on a campaign for their Vichy sunscreen brand, the team selected several dynamic creative elements that would change based on data signals, including lifestyle imagery, product image, and call-to-action. Additionally, messaging driving to the nearest store could populate based on the user’s postal code.

The design team created a simple yet elegant template that accounted for all of these variables, and the dynamic creative feed signaled which variables would appear to which users based on their data signals.

To see examples of the creative from this campaign and learn more about best practices for data-driven campaigns, please visit our marketers’ guide to data-driven creative campaigns.

We’re also hosting a hangout on air on Tuesday, April 5th at 12pm ET, to discuss the research and provide some key takeaways from the guide. RSVP here.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick