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Are You Ready for DCO-Driven Campaigns?

Nehal Patel
Apr 1, 2021

5 Steps to Plan Dynamic Creative Campaigns

With 70% of campaign performance driven by ad creative (Google Media Lab, 2015), it’s no surprise marketers are turning to dynamic creative optimization (DCO) to deliver personalized advertising at scale. No matter your reason for pursuing a DCO strategy--whether it’s learning more about what messages specific audiences respond to, the personalization of ads to increase relevance, or testing cross-channel activations to minimize disjointed messaging and strategy--aligning your media team, ad ops, creative and brand teams with a thoughtful, long-term campaign plan is the best way to get the most out of dynamic creative activation.

1. Have clear campaign objectives

While DCO is commonly used for retargeting, the truth is that the medium can (and will) pull prospects through your entire marketing funnel. As you familiarize yourself with DCO, you’ll realize all the possibilities available to you. You can improve relevance at the top of the funnel by aligning ads to triggers like weather, time of day or location. Messages can be delivered  sequentially to tell an impactful story across channels to support mid-funnel engagement. Communication can also be tailored  based on what products customers have left in their carts to drive conversion. These are just a few use cases, but remember that It’s easy to pursue too many goals in a single campaign, so establish a singular objective for each campaign and work towards that goal. 

2. Map your workflow with your DCO platform at the center

Map your ideal campaign workflow from beginning to end and figure out how your external and internal teams work together to deliver on your objective from step 1. How are you ensuring your creative and media plans are aligned from the start? Who is included in understanding the results of optimization and ad performance? Utilizing a next generation creative management platform with both collaboration and dynamic creative optimization tools in one is one easy way to make sure everyone is aligned and executing your ideal DCO workflow.

3. Develop a scalable testing agenda

Planning your tests up front will let you get more out of your platform over the long term. Generate a list of questions you want answered by your DCO campaigns and try to think of all the possible outcomes. How will you adapt your campaigns when you prove or disprove a hypothesis in the middle of the flight? You want to constantly be learning, so don’t be caught without a second hypothesis to test  after you’ve answered your first question. Make sure you translate your current approval and turnaround times in your new process to minimize downtime between tests.  

4. Proactively prepare to apply learnings to future campaigns

The most optimal insights are generated from DCO when you start running many campaigns and tests that measure audience, asset, and media performance. Since you’ll generate the bulk of your learnings after you run a few campaigns, you should prepare in advance for how learnings could impact campaigns you have planned for the future. Here are some common questions we ask partners in parallel to plan their long-term strategies while campaigns are still running:

  • How would you change the creative to avoid fatigue or changing priorities? Have you considered rotating in additional variants as you take learnings on top and bottom performers by audience or targeting tactic?
  • What are the best performing audience segments? How will you further segment high performing audiences to deliver even more relevant creatives in future campaigns? 
  • Which additional 1st or 3rd party data sources will you need to execute on your long term tests?

5. Communicate your DCO campaign plans to all stakeholders

Look back at the workflow and testing agenda you mapped out in the previous steps. Who are the specific stakeholders responsible for executing each element of the campaign? Who needs to be informed at each stage? Communicate everything, from the tactical to the strategic stuff, and don’t stop communicating after you go live. Be sure to include your agency teams, channel partners, legal and regulatory departments and executives. Communicating the plan, from platform set up to campaign wrap, will streamline the process and ensure you deliver on everyone’s expectations. makes it easy to ensure your campaigns are always DCO ready. For example, Nestlé created localized shopper experiences using to rotate 24 creative variations in 6 sizes across 371 store locations with minimal effort. Following these steps will help you deliver on your campaign objectives and get the same efficiency out of each DCO campaign you launch. And the team at is here to help, whether you intend to be a self-service user, put the effort on us with a fully managed approach, or a hybrid of the two.

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