By Michael Foster

Dynamic product ads are a form of data-driven advertising that has had a tremendous impact on marketers’ efforts, even though it’s not the kind of topic that gets a lot of attention from the mainstream. One of the reasons is that the ad unit isn’t terribly controversial or, at least on that surface, terribly interesting; we’re just talking about having a computer decide from a variety of different versions of the same campaign.

Sounds simple, right? It is. But it’s also extremely powerful. Anyone who has used dynamic ads with Facebook knows this intuitively. Facebook has leveraged its massive amount of data to make ads outperform. It also makes marketing a lot easier for brands and advertisers. All an advertiser needs to do is upload a catalog with different sets of products, set up their campaign and watch the ads performance get better and better.

How is this possible? It boils down to two components: scale and data. Facebook has over a billion users with trillions of impressions every month—that’s more than enough scale to find someone who is interested in the marketer’s product or campaign. Then there’s the data element; Facebook has enough data on who its users are and how they interact with Facebook to be able to predict, with some level of accuracy, whether a person will actually click on an ad and purchase the product.

Dynamic ads are pretty long in the tooth by now, so the best marketers are developing ways to take this method a step further and find new ways to deliver dynamic ads and new platforms to deliver them on. After all, not all marketers can rely on Facebook 100 percent of the time, and sometimes Facebook doesn’t deliver the ROI marketers need but other platforms can, if you figure out how to do it right.

This solution is where dynamic creative optimization (DCO) comes in.

What is DCO? It’s a new and evolving method of ensuring that they are using the best possible creative for the target audience and allow computers to automatically place the right creative in front of the right audience to maximize results. As you can imagine, DCO isn’t only about data, since it involves figuring out which images, messaging and copy will have the biggest impact on different audience segments. And it isn’t only about creativity, since data, latency and algorithmic logic are the essential pieces that define DCO and make it boost ad ROI.

Because DCO relies on creative input and technological finesse, it’s at the intersection of marketing creativity and advertising technology. DCO is also a wide field of gaining further marketing efficiencies and driving more revenue from digital marketing campaigns at a lower price, while also freeing marketers from the constraints of big players like Google and Facebook.

Want to learn more? At this October’s &THEN event in New Orleans, we will discuss how DCO is rapidly changing the digital marketing landscape and boosting marketing ROI higher than ever before. “Dynamic Creative Optimization in Action” will be presented by Kip Edwardson (The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company), Camilla Lorentzen (KERN) and Joseph Shannon (American Express).

This article is brought to you by &THEN, DMA’s annual event. Click here to join the leaders of the marketing community and explore how data transforms marketing in New Orleans, October 8-10. Save over $400 with early-bird pricing when you register before July 13.