Dynamic Advertising – what is it and how can it help?

Dynamic Advertising is a relatively recent addition to the digital marketing portfolio.

Essentially it is the ability to construct highly complex programmes of personalised ad campaigns, and optimise, without the associated high/almost impossible levels of work required from our marketing teams.

Does personalisation work?

Research by IPG Media Lab and Yahoo found convincing increases in brand favourability and purchase intent. We set personalised campaigns up at The Open University 18 months ago and performance has certainly been impressive.

We set up personalised campaigns using Dynamic Advertising more out of necessity than being cutting edge or innovative. We needed to optimise campaign performance but had limited resources.

That saying “Necessity is the mother of invention” couldn’t be more true in our case. With limited budgets and staff but a need to manage and optimise performance across 26 countries we needed a way of setting up and optimising what was effectively thousands of campaign variants (across countries, courses and ad messages) on a limited budget and staff count.

We needed a way of setting up campaigns that didn’t require bespoke creatives, that could be easily managed (in terms of set up, measurement and optimisation) and could give the user what appeared to be a tailored/personalised user journey.

The results have been impressive, and below I want to pass on some tips and guidance on how to set dynamic campaigns for others to enjoy!

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” [Albert Einstein]

Dynamic landing pages

Let’s look at the landing page element first.

Assuming we are driving traffic using Adwords campaigns, first (ideally) you need to set up your campaign structure to reflect the message variants, so ideally a keyword per Ad group. Then within each Ad group have a bespoke keyword and ad message for each.

But here is where Dynamic comes in. Instead of building a bespoke landing page for each you can use dynamic text to make a single page specific to different keywords and ad messages.

You create one baseline page and use dynamic text to swap out the headline, page titles, and other key text areas on the page by changing the destination URL in the PPC ads.

You will need some software added to your site (e.g. Unbounce or something similar) to insert codes in to the dynamic areas of the page and determine the URL parameter that needs to be added back to the campaign URL in your Adwords account.

The changes can be set to the search term and/or the ad message. You can also have the page pull in content from the rest of the site based on the ad URL.

For example you can set the page to show bespoke content to a country (assuming you have set your Adwords campaign structure accordingly), product, keyword message, news/events active in that country and a relevant call to action (e.g. ‘Offer ends in x days’). The new/events information and the call to action drawing from your website’s own database; the rest from the ad URL parameter.

I hope you agree – this is simply a ‘no-brainer’ to do. It can’t help but enhance the user journey and your performance metrics.

Dynamic advertising campaigns

Similar to dynamic landing pages you can create dynamic display ad campaigns without the need to design out each bespoke ad. Content can be dynamically inserted based on the campaign details and, the exciting part, when used for remarketing, messages and creatives can automatically adjust based on the user’s behaviour.

Let’s look at a display remarketing campaign. Again with the normal approach to ad creatives you could be looking at thousands of design creatives having to be developed based on the different messages and user journeys people make. Potentially thousands of pounds and quite a leadtime from your agency.

In Adwords you can create a display remarketing campaign using dynamic.

You still need to set up a remarketing tag for your website, deciding on the custom variables and the parameters you want to use from your web pages, but with Dynamic in place Google effectively builds the ad in real time for the user based on the user’s behaviour.

You set up the elements of the ad using the Google platform but ads are built when viewed.

So in just the same way as dynamic landing pages allow you to punch above you weight, dynamic does just the same.

Click here to find out more from Google.


Matthew Brown

Matthew Brown
Matthew Brown
Matthew has 20 years director level experience in digital marketing and website development (working at a number of ecommerce businesses including Scholastic, Dada, McAfee and The Open University). Matthew founded Jam in 2000 in parallel to his digital marketing career but over time has moved to 100% focus on building the Jam business and a team of highly qualified digital experts.

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