People-based ad targeting brings the opportunity to target increasingly small segments of customers.

But with that comes the extra workload, creating more versions of ads. That's where creative management platforms (CMPs) and dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) comes in.

I caught up with Victor Wong, CEO of Thunder, a CMP, to find out more about how advertisers are using CMPs.

What's the typical use case of a CMP?

Creative management platforms help conquer today's ad design and production challenges.

Advertising keeps getting more fragmented. Campaigns have become multi-format, multi-size, multi-device, multi-audience and multi-channel.

CMPs give advertisers the creative leverage to both satisfy the variety of inventory requirements, and make variations of ads that are more relevant and perform better with specific audiences.

Are there particular industries suited to this tech?

The uses of a CMP are boundless, but I can give some examples of how industries are using CMPs differently.

Brands in fare-driven industries like hotels, cruise liners and airlines benefit from being able to control what fares are being shown where at any given time.

Consumer goods and automotive companies like the ability to cover ads for their entire product lines and diversify their messaging.

Enterprise B2B companies focus more on changing the creative based on buyer personas, the path to purchase, and then keep the creative fresh over time.

There are also great ways to apply a CMP for insurance, telco and financial services, too, that get more nuanced. 

Often it's not a question of industry, but of scale. The larger advertisers tend to have actionable data in their DMPs (data management platforms) and see the potential ROI.

So perhaps strangely, it's the biggest companies that are actually moving the fastest in this space right now.

Visualisation of a CMP, via Thunder.

cmp

Are CMP users targeting ads at behaviours or demographics? Which is most effective?

Demographics are an easy place to start because they offer very straightforward uses for a CMP.

Global advertisers use CMPs to customize ads based on regions and languages, for example.

It's easy to fall into the trap of using the most obvious data, like local weather, even if it isn't at all relevant to your product or industry. 

A lot of the time it's a combination of data types. If you're a hotel company, then location is probably the most important factor.

If you're a smartphone brand, you want to vary the creative based on what phone the person is on in addition to demographics.

You only develop these insights if you run experiments. You can also leverage your DMP to find undiscovered and sometimes surprising segments based on what you already know.

How does a CMP integrate with an optimisation programme? 

CMPs use ad tags, code snippets in the place of files, to hook into optimisation tech like a DSP (demand side platform). Often the DSP is getting data from a DMP.

The DSP can then rotate the ads loaded in those snippets to programmable audiences and find the best creative/media/data combinations. This DSP/DMP/CMP trinity creates a virtuous optimization cycle with tremendous synergy.

Thunder is currently the only CMP with an integration to push ads into Facebook campaigns and ad sets as well.

What is currently the biggest creative challenge for display? Formats, creative, data?

The biggest problem for display is activating the data that is already being used in audience targeting. Advertisers are feeling a lot of pressure to leverage that data in the creative, too.

Over $6bn is being spent annually on data-driven ad technologies like DMPs and DSPs, but the vast majority of ads show the same generalized, generic creative to everyone.

The challenge is being able to take the audience data from the DMP, strategize creatively around it, and actually execute that strategy.

Companies that are doing that are getting a significantly better ROI from their data.

Want to find out more about programmatic technology? Why not attend Get With The Programmatic, September 21 in London.

Ben Davis

Published 25 August, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Deputy Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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