Betsy Stewart

DCO DEMYSTIFIED: What is Dynamic Content Optimization?

Imagine how many ads you see in a day. The number is in the thousands. Estimates range up to ten thousand ads every single day. This is nearly double the estimate from 2007. 

With these thousands of words and images competing to grab consumer attention and engagement, it’s more important than ever for brands to tell their story effectively. A pivotal aspect of this storytelling is accomplished by producing relevant and influential media content that specifically engages potential customers. Making an impact in these couple of seconds between thousand other ads is most important. Standing out and resonating with consumers is key.

So what is the optimal way to prioritize audience segments? And determine the best messaging? And drive marketing efficiency? The answer is DCO or Dynamic Content Optimization (alternately known as Dynamic Creative Optimization). In customer experiences, DCO technology rapidly builds multiple iterations of a piece of ‘content’ using the same base creative, while optimizing aspects of content based on audience, context, and past performance. 

More specifically, marketing technology supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning enables personalized and adaptable messaging in real time. Within this context, ad components can be changed based on predetermined parameters.

Excitingly, this type of programmatic media goes beyond standard personalization. “It really starts with a mindset,” according to Bram van der Sommen, Dynamic Creative Optimization Director at Wunderman Thompson. “Well-known brands’ creative efforts are often being produced on a global scale. Local markets, media agencies, and DCO service agencies are then retrofitting creative assets into an addressable strategy according to audiences and contextual triggers. It’s time to move beyond one-size-fits-none.” 

An important perspective on DCO emphasizes the intersection of design, data, and the user experience. “Creative is not an afterthought,” says Van der Sommen. The words, background, and layout of an ad matter. Multiple iterations of creative output ensure relevance. And a better user experience. This elevated UX increases the likelihood of purchase and brand enjoyment. In addition to improved ad performance metrics. 

Data informs a contextual environment. This transforms the way a potential purchaser is introduced to a transactional experience. Customized headlines and images combined with specific real-world data strengthen the tone, value, and urgency of the information. For example, variables like weather and location can help your customer find the best item. Show them an umbrella for rain -- or an umbrella for sun. Relevance resonates.  

More specifically, highlight product characteristics that fit the user's needs whether it's the sporty exterior of a car for one person, the safety features for a family with young kids, or a panoramic sunroof that is more attractive for warmer regions of the US. These insights and personalizations can be easily retrieved and adapted in real-time.

Ultimately, brands communicate directly with consumers through content like product images, descriptions, videos, and ads. Adopting this next level of programmatic personalization in contextual advertising is a vital opportunity. 

Dynamic Creative Optimization is what’s next. It’s what’s next for the consumer. The next interaction. The next ad. The next experience of your brand. Utilize data and creativity to maximize the user experience and increase ad performance. Be more impactful with DCO.