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This is part three of a five-part series introducing the creative process for data-driven campaigns as outlined in our new guide: The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers.

A major shift is occurring in the way agencies work together to design and develop digital creative campaigns. Previously, teams were siloed: the media agency used data to determine ad types and sizes, and served the creative production agency with a spec sheet off of which to build executions.

Today, we’re moving toward a model in which all teams work together, using sophisticated digital tools for increased efficiency. In the model we put forth in our new guide for marketers, the brand and media team now share data with the creative production team, which uses it to create a strategy for the campaign’s creative based on audience insights and real-time environmental and media triggers.

We explored the topics of gathering data signals and getting all teams on board in previous blog posts. Here, we’ll talk a bit about how creative production agencies are using tools for increased flexibility, efficiency, and control in building dynamic creative.

What is dynamic creative?

Dynamic creative allows for variables such as copy, imagery, font, and color to easily change based on data signals, such as who is viewing the ad, where they’re viewing it, and when. It consists of two complementary pieces: the creative template, and the dynamic creative feed.

The creative template

Much like the blueprint for a house, this serves as the structure of the ad unit. When you use a blueprint, variables such as the type of flooring and color of the exterior may change, but the “bones” of the house will remain the same.

Similarly, the creative template provides parameters for variables such as:

  • Character counts for copy
  • Length of animations
  • Size and location of images

Within those parameters, the team can experiment with different headlines, images, and types of animations, as well as other factors.

The dynamic creative feed

This houses the creative assets that will get plugged into the creative template, as well as the logic that dictates which assets will be served to which viewers based on your data signals and campaign strategy. Using a feed to control your dynamic campaign strategy gives you maximum flexibility, allowing you to quickly and easily make changes to your creative on the fly.

The template and feed in action

When we worked with L’Oreal on a campaign for their Vichy sunscreen brand, the team selected several dynamic creative elements that would change based on data signals, including lifestyle imagery, product image, and call-to-action. Additionally, messaging driving to the nearest store could populate based on the user’s postal code.

The design team created a simple yet elegant template that accounted for all of these variables, and the dynamic creative feed signaled which variables would appear to which users based on their data signals.

To see examples of the creative from this campaign and learn more about best practices for data-driven campaigns, please visit our marketers’ guide to data-driven creative campaigns.

We’re also hosting a hangout on air on Tuesday, April 5th at 12pm ET, to discuss the research and provide some key takeaways from the guide. RSVP here.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

This is part two of a five-part series introducing the creative process for data-driven campaigns as outlined in our new guide: The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers.

Anyone who’s managed an ad campaign knows that there are two kinds of success. The first is executional: hitting KPI’s. But there’s a second metric that can be just as important, and may even influence your numbers: how everyone feels when the campaign is over. Is the team bursting with new learnings and toasting a job well done, or reaching for the Advil while muttering: “never again”?

To help ensure that your campaigns run smoothly from start to finish and end in beers instead of tears, we recommend incorporating a single, crucial step into your process: the all-hands-on-deck collaborative brief.

We recently tested several methodologies for executing data-driven creative campaigns, which we explore in detail in The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers. We universally found that including a collaborative digital brief-building session can lead to more positive results, setting the stage for a campaign that runs smoothly from start to finish.

The new all-hands kickoff

You’ve probably had an all-hands kick-off before: one in which you gathered all of your agencies and gave them their marching orders. This is different. Instead of briefing your media, creative, and production agencies, you’re soliciting their expertise.

This briefing process may seem more open-ended, collaborative, and cyclical than the process you’re used to. Consider that involving your agencies in developing a collective digital brief changes the approach from: “here’s what I want you to do” to “here’s what I’m thinking, what are your thoughts?” It enables you to take advantage of the knowledge on your team and creates a stronger sense of investment from everyone involved.

Meet in person if possible and use this time to review project goals and start building the digital brief. We also encourage extensive whiteboard usage. Writing down all the data signals you gathered in Phase 1 can help everyone visualize the campaign map and generate ideas together.

When we worked with Royal Bank of Canada on their campaign for a premium credit card, the team successfully used the collaborative briefing meeting to bring together marketing, media buying, creative and data analysts. As a group, we discussed the brand’s overall goals for the campaign, the target audience, and the data signals that could be used to reach that audience. We also decided on the creative strategy that would be used for the campaign.

Check out phase two of “The Creative Process for programmatic: A guide for marketers” to learn more about RBC’s approach and how you can follow suit.

We’re also hosting a hangout on air on Tuesday, April 5th at 12pm ET, to discuss the research and provide some key takeaways from the guide. RSVP here.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

This is part one of a five-part series that will walk through the creative process for programmatic campaigns, which is outlined in The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers.

If there’s one thing the programmatic revolution has undeniably given us, it’s data. We know more about how to reach the right people and understand how they respond to campaigns than ever before. But even as we’re drowning in data, we don’t always know what to do with it.

Data can play a powerful role in running more effective campaigns only after we learn to harness and apply it strategically. Recently, we teamed up with several brands and agency partners to do just that, and last week we launched our findings.

Today, we’ll explore Phase 1 of our five-phase creative process. Phase 1 is all about gathering data, sifting through the dozens (or hundreds, or thousands) of data signals available and using them to inform your creative strategy.

So what’s a data signal?

A data signal is information about your audience or their context that can influence your campaign. These can include demographic or behavioral information, information about the properties on which your ads might appear, or external factors such as the weather or market performance that may influence how people are feeling when your advertising reaches their eyeballs.

Once you understand the data signals available, you can design creative strategies that take advantage of those signals, with messaging or imagery that is relevant based on the audience, media, or environment where your ad will show up.

For example, in our research project, our brand partner L’Oreal used audience targeting lists from their programmatic buying tool to segment their audience into women and women with children, and show each segment a relevant sunscreen product coupled with relevant imagery. Another brand partner, Gilt, used top-performing keywords from previous campaigns to decide which merchandise to feature in their creative units for each of their audience segments.

Take a deep-dive into these case studies and learn more about how audience insights and data signals can help inform your creative strategy.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

Cross-posted from the Google Analytics Blog

An enterprise-class solution for a multi-screen world

Our lives are filled with micro-moments: intent-rich moments when we turn to the nearest device to find a store, buy a product or look for answers to all kinds of wants and needs. In these moments, today's consumers decide what to do, where to go, and what to buy.

If you're in marketing or analytics, you know this consumer behavior brings new opportunities to reach your customer in the right moment with the right message. At the same time, it's harder than ever to get a complete view of the consumer journey and then make sense of it all.

That’s why we’re introducing the Google Analytics 360 Suite, a set of integrated data and marketing analytics products, designed specifically for the needs of enterprise-class marketers. It all starts with understanding consumer behavior in the moment — getting the right insights, and then making your brand useful to consumers.

“The Google Analytics 360 Suite gave us the really big ah-­ha moment. When we launched our mobile app, it provided insurance quotes. But after looking at the data, we saw people were attempting to buy insurance. So, we shifted our mobile strategy to offer ecommerce. Google gave us that insight.”
-Pawan Divakarla, Analytics Leader, Progressive

Modern measurement tools that are simple to use

Sophisticated marketers who use analytics platforms are three times more likely to outperform their peers1 in achieving revenue goals. It’s no wonder enterprise-class marketers have been telling us they need more from their marketing analytics tools. Many toolsets can't cope: They're too hard to use, lack sufficient collaboration capabilities, are poorly integrated, and require hard-to-find expertise.

Several years ago, Google engineers set out to simplify marketing analytics in the same way we simplified web search with Google.com. With infrastructure that allows us to handle billions and billions of daily search queries — generating answers before users even finish typing — we set out to give enterprise marketers the same utility.

As we built the system, enterprise marketers shared what they needed with us:

  • See the complete customer journey: Marketers require full visibility and context to see what’s really happening across all customer touchpoints, devices, and channels.
  • Useful insights, not just more data: Marketers need enormous computing power, data science and smart algorithms, all working together to quickly make sense of data for them. In other words, built-in intelligence to do the heavy lifting for marketers and make insights easy to see.
  • Enable better sharing within your organization: Marketers seek to put insights into everyone’s hands and get the whole company on the same page — resulting in stronger cross-functional goals and smarter decision-making.
  • Deliver engaging experiences to the right people: Marketers want to make their brand immediately useful to consumers. With integrations across multiple Google technologies, the suite products not only work well together, but also with other products, including AdWords, DoubleClick, and 3rd-party platforms — enabling marketers to take immediate action and drive business impact.

The Google Analytics 360 Suite is built to address these needs. Its powerful set products are unified, providing a consistent user experience and cross product data integrations, plus services. Simply put: it’s a complete measurement platform.

“Using the integrations in the Google Analytics 360 Suite, we are able to manage everything in one seamless platform.”
-Khoi Truong, Director of Analytics and Media, L'Oréal Canada

Loaded with six products, four of which are brand-new, the Google Analytics 360 Suite offers easy-to-use tools that enable sharing of data and insights throughout an organization.

  • Google Audience Center 360 (beta): This powerful data management platform (DMP) helps marketers understand their customers and find more like them across channels, devices, and campaigns. It offers native integration with Google and DoubleClick, plus it's open to third party data providers, DSPs and more.
  • Google Optimize 360 (beta): This website testing and personalization product helps marketers deliver better experiences. Marketers can show consumers multiple variations of their site and then choose the version that works best for each audience.
  • Google Data Studio 360 (beta): A new data analysis and visualization product that integrates data across all suite products and other data sources ― turning it into beautiful, interactive reports and dashboards. Built-in real-time collaboration and sharing is based on Google Docs technology.
  • Google Tag Manager 360: Built from our industry-leading tag management product, it empowers enterprise marketers to move faster and make decisions with confidence. It offers a simplified way to gather site information (all those tiny bits of code) and powerful APIs to increase data accuracy and streamline workflows.
  • Google Analytics 360 (formerly known as GA Premium): will roll out exciting new capabilities throughout the next couple of months as investments continue to grow. It will serve as the measurement centerpiece by analyzing customer data from all touch-points and integrating with our ad products to drive marketing effectiveness.
  • Google Attribution 360 (formerly known as Adometry): has been rebuilt from the ground up to help advertisers value marketing investments and allocate budgets with confidence. Marketers can analyze performance across all channels, devices, and systems to achieve their most effective marketing mix.

Achieve more with your Google media

The Google Analytics 360 Suite offers integrations with many third party data providers and platforms. It also plugs right into Google AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, our core ad technology. That means marketers can turn analytics into action by combining their own data from multiple sources ― website data, audience data, and customer data (e.g. CRM) and more ― and using it to make ads more relevant for people.

“The Google Analytics 360 Suite has a native integration with DoubleClick — that’s a game-changer. Now I can personalize my media based on website user behaviors, such as what they purchase.”
-Khoi Truong, Director of Analytics and Media, L'Oréal Canada

When will the Google Analytics 360 Suite launch?

The new products -- Audience Center 360, Optimize 360, Data Studio 360, and Tag Manager 360 -- are available today in limited BETA. If you're a Google Analytics Premium or Adometry customer, you will see the products renamed in the coming months, and we'll let you know when you're eligible to join the new betas.

This is just the beginning of our ongoing innovation in enterprise marketing analytics -- we can’t wait to share more. In the meantime, visit our website for more details or hear from directly from our customers below.

Over the coming weeks we’ll dive into the capabilities and benefits of all the new products on the newly refreshed and renamed Google Analytics Solutions blog, and on our Google+ and Twitter pages. We’d love your feedback.

Posted by Paul Muret
Vice President of Analytics, Display, and Video Products, Google
1: Forrester Research, Inc. Discover How Marketing Analytics Increases Business Results
*Launching March 15, 2016


As 2016 marketing strategies kick into high gear, there’s one word on everyone’s mind: programmatic. Global programmatic ad spend is expected to reach $21.6B in 2016, and account for 67% of all digital display ad sales1.

Programmatic advertising allows brands to reach more valuable audiences with messages tailored to their interests and mindsets in the crucial moments when decisions are made. As such, it’s not just changing how we buy and sell media—it’s also transforming the way we strategize, design, and develop creative.

At DoubleClick, we saw a need to define best practices for developing and implementing creative strategies for programmatic campaigns. In partnership with the digital creative studio, Fancy Pants Group, and the management consulting company, Accenture, we tested several approaches with three global brands: Gilt Groupe, L’Oreal Vichy, and RBC Royal Bank of Canada.

Over the course of these tests, we identified a new creative process for programmatic campaigns. Today, we’re debuting that process and the research behind it in a comprehensive guide for marketers.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick
1 eMarketer