Automating Success With Creative Optimization

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robot_smallADOTAS – Many sci-fi films portray a world where computers take control over mankind. It’s a scary concept and yet, in the near future, we may find even within our own industry, a world where computers make creative decisions for us.

But there’s no need to fear or panic. Unlike “Terminator” or “2001: A Space Odyssey,” these computers won’t turn against us. Instead, they will help us to facilitate smarter and more effective advertising.

The future is closer than you think and soon enough, creative optimization algorithms will change the way that advertisers interact with their target audience. It will enable advertisers to customize creatives and engage users on a personal level.

So what exactly is creative optimization? It’s a learning algorithm that receives constant feedback based on the user’s interaction with the ad. The algorithm changes the creative depending on the users’ feedback and can display the versions of creatives that are more likely to receive clicks, conversions, interactions or dwell.

By constantly comparing the results from each version of the ad, creative optimization automatically serves the most effective ads. Creatives can also be optimized to maximize performance for each target segment, taking the work out for advertisers who don’t have to waste time playing the guessing game. Advertisers can upload all of their creative ideas and let the algorithm serve the versions that users will respond to the most.

Creative optimization can even differentiate between minute differences among similar versions. Imagine two calls to action: “Click here for a one dollar discount” and “Click here for 10% discount.” Even if the two are financially equivalent, one may be able to generate more clicks.

Without creative optimization, advertisers who discover the right version and change their creative later may not notice any significant impact on the campaign’s overall performance. However, with creative optimization, the algorithm can select the most effective version. Advertisers can then reduce the risk of running unsuccessful creatives, and take a bolder and more innovative approach to online advertising.

Creative optimization can also boost relevancy. It can adjust to a user’s preference taking into consideration the user’s location and other specific criteria.

For example, let’s say a fast food chain is running ads in two different states. The algorithm can determine that users in Georgia are more likely to download a coupon after seeing an ad featuring ice tea, while users from Wisconsin will respond to an ad featuring apple pie.

Theoretically, creative optimization is a no-brainer, but does it really work? MediaMind conducted an analysis of automotive ads that were served from Q1 2009 to Q4 2009. The analysis shows that ads that used creative optimization increased conversion rate by 79% as compared to other ads without creative optimization. Thus, creative optimization has the potential to boost the performance of online advertising while bringing us closer to addressable advertising.

Creative shops can also benefit from this by taking more riskless experimentation. Ideas that clients aren’t sure about could be easily tested and be served according to how well they perform.

With creative optimization, the future looks promising for online display advertising. We can expect more relevant advertising, increased performance, reduced risk and higher likelihood of serving successful ads. Let’s give power to the people (users) and let the computers deliver successful ads that users actually want to see.

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