At Booyah, the Creative Team is concerned with driving campaign performance through creative excellence. We see ourselves as playing an important role in the campaign optimization equation, ultimately driving results for our clients. In the display creative space, one of the topics that has been really “hot” on this subject (for say the past 5 years) is dynamic creative optimization (or DCO).
DCO allows marketers to dynamically generate 100’s or 1000’s of versions of a banner ad in real time, targeting the individual user and optimizing variables (such as product images, background colors, fonts, marketing messages and offers) with machine learning to achieve optimum performance. This is the holy grail for marketers…the ability to deliver a truly personalized experience…the right message to the right person at the right time…all perfectly tuned for maximum results by a computer!
We are big fans of DCO and have high opinions of providers like Teracent, and PointRoll. That said, it isn’t for every advertiser. Even when it is a good recommendation, it can be quite difficult to sell to clients and ultimately get these campaigns off the ground. There are a number of reasons for this, and I’ll save a deep dive on that for another post. Point is, it’s puzzling that for all the buzz about these incredibly sophisticated creative optimization solutions, many extremely savvy marketers spend very little time doing basic creative A/B or split tests on creative. Such tests are relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and implement, and they are proven to drive incremental lift in performance.
I concern myself with this goal every day – driving an incremental lift in performance through creative. I’d like to see simple split tests consistently implemented as core best practice for clients, and such tests should be part of every campaign planning cycle for the agency. This is a digital marketing fundamental. While it’s perfectly normal to be interested in the bright shiny object (in this case, DCO), let’s make sure we hold ourselves accountable to applying the basics consistently.
If you are looking for some inspiration on the topic of A/B and multivariate tests, I love to geek out at whichtestwon.com. This site is a great resource for creative samples and results data for more than 200 case studies which you can filter based on test type, industry, and other criteria.
If you are aware of A/B testing and need an in-depth “how-to”, check out The Ultimate Guide for A/B testing by Smashing Magazine. This is a smart yet consumable tool for understanding the ins and outs of A/B testing.
I hope this will encourage you to incorporate creative testing into your day- to-day marketing activities. Please reach out if you’d like additional information or would like to discuss voice to voice. J