About data-driven creatives

Use data-driven creatives to personalize your creative’s look and feel for different customer segments. For example, you can show one creative message to people age 40 and over, and a different creative message to people under 40. You can swap any element in a dynamic creative, including call-to-action (CTA) text, exit URLs, images, and more.

Benefits of data-driven creatives

  • Build creatives efficiently. Design and develop one custom format and use our tools to swap out the content that populates the ad on the fly.
  • Simplify trafficking. Traffic a single responsive data-driven creative, instead of a unique creative for each creative message and size.
  • Serve the most relevant ad. Use dynamic rules to tailor your creative content to the viewer on every single impression.
  • Collaboration. Share ideas and parallelize workflows with creative, production, and media teams building together in a single, shared workspace.

To be successful, understand 3 key mind shifts

Programmatic buying coupled with data-driven creative can deliver more effective digital advertising campaigns. But connecting the dots between the data and the creative can be a challenge. Here are three key mindset shifts to help you do it successfully.

#1: Understand all the data that’s available, then select the right data signals

Marketers may already be using data from CRM tools or market research to fuel campaigns. But a wealth of additional data signals are also available, from first-party analytics on company websites to third-party audience data to contextual inputs about device, location, or media type. Take a deep dive into Display & Video 360 and the other products of Google Marketing Platform to make sure you know what’s available.

#2: Work with creative agencies to develop sound creative strategies informed by data

Too often, the creative agency and production shop are brought into the process after the big decisions have already been made. Instead, marketers need to work with agencies to build creative strategies that are based on data from the beginning of the project.

When developing a programmatic campaign, gather all teams into a single room to build the digitial brief together taking into account media, creative, and brand input. Use this input to map out a strategy that everyone is invested in the process and outcome from the start.

#3: Drive a collaborative, agile campaign process that involves all vendors and agencies from start to finish 

In today’s campaign creation process, each party completes their portion and hands it off to the next with little feedback. This prevents communication and transparency between media and creative. To ensure success, marketers should involve all agencies throughout the campaign process and ensure everyone is talking to one another.

Overview of the data-driven creative workflow

In order to launch a data-driven creative, you'll follow these steps:

Step 1: Gather insights across all data signals

Data comes from cross-functional teams: marketing, product, data analysts, agency partners, reporting and attribution tools (Display & Video 360), and analytics tools (Analytics 360).

  1. Collect and segment your audiences. Gather insights from the right channels to build a segmentation strategy.
  2. Identify moments that matter. Choose where you want to engage your customers and prospects
  3. Think about signals that your consumers give off in these moments.

Step 2: Collaborate on the digital brief

Bring all of the stakeholders together to collaborate on the digital brief. Suggested topics include:

  1. Establish insights from data collected in step 1, and decide which ones you want to use in your campaign. 
  2. Align data signals with your business goals, across the customer journey.
  3. Establish campaign KPIs and how they will be measured.
  4. Develop the brief and timeline.

It’s sometimes best to whiteboard out the strategy. Start with your full consumer journey and think about what you want your target audience to do or think in each phase. Try to align your consumer segments to this funnel and think about how you can drive someone through the funnel.

Step 3: Design the format for the Ad Canvas

Use Google Web Designer to design a custom format or use one of Display & Video 360’s pre-built data-driven formats

When choosing or designing your format, it’s important to decide which elements of the creative will change based on data signals. This will allow your design teams to create those assets in parallel, so all your creative content will be ready to use in the Ad Canvas for step 4.

Prioritize which elements can be dynamically changed to make the most impact, with the data signals which are backed up by insights, and run before you walk with this. Start small, then build up the complexity over time.

Step 4: Build your variants and dynamic rules

In this phase, the creative team builds creative variants in the Ad Canvas while the media or production team begins defining customer segments in the dynamic rules section.

This step is one of the most collaborative parts of the data-driven process, and it may be more open-ended and cyclical than what you’re used to.

For example:

  • You may wish your media or production teams to start creating dynamic rules as the first step of your data driven process.
  • Alternatively, you may want to hold off creating rules until all of your creative variants are finalized in the Ad Canvas.
  • Some teams may wish to do both in parallel, working together to define the data-driven strategy over time.

Display & Video 360 makes it easier for teams to collaborate and work together no matter what your internal process, by allowing you to create and manage dynamic rules in parallel to making changes to the creative on the Ad Canvas.

After the data-driven creative has been previewed and finalized, click Publish so your team can add it to a line item.

Step 5: Launch the campaign

Assign your data-driven creatives to line items for trafficking. If you can, have a soft launch to make sure:

  • Everything is in place
  • Your media targeting works with your dynamic rules (see best practices)
  • You’re collecting the right reporting metrics

When you're ready, ramp up and launch your campaign.

Step 6: Learn and iterate

After you've launched your campaign, don’t just set it and forget it until the campaign is over. Collect results, learn and optimize. Make sure the creative is working as hard as it can throughout the campaign.

Dynamic technology makes this a lot easier, allowing you to run multiple creatives in rotation, pull a report to review performance, then update and optimize without having to go back into creative production.

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