The Soda Academy
"Brands cannot expect to use the same process when the media landscape and campaign workflows have changed."
"Media agencies use data to optimize targeting and campaign performance, but this information is rarely shared with the creative team."

Becky Chappell, Google

Data-Driven Creative in a Programmatic World

For the past year, Robby Rigano and her company, Fancy Pants Group, have partnered with DoubleClick by Google on a research study to identify the best practices and processes for building effective, data-driven creative for programmatic campaigns. The key insights of that study were recently published in a whitepaper titled “The creative process for programmatic: A guide for marketers and agencies” on DoubleClick.

Throughout the research study, Rigano and her team worked hand in hand with brands, their agencies and the DoubleClick Creative Specialist team to gather insights, design and develop dynamic creative based on those insights, and finally to launch and optimize the campaigns.

Rigano has spent three years with Fancy Pants, where she oversees special projects and financial operations, leads new business initiatives, and provides overall leadership to the team. Prior to joining Fancy Pants, she served as Managing Director of Digital Business at mcgarrybowen, and previously worked as a Production Lead at JWT and Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles.

BECKY CHAPPELL: Why do you think data-driven creative is important today?

ROBBY RIGANO: Consumer behavior is now marked by shorter attention spans and the need for instant gratification, particularly on mobile devices. This means brands have less time to capture a user’s attention, so advertising needs to work smarter.

With the rise of programmatic technologies, we have the ability to effectively reach specific audiences with content that is relevant to them, making users more likely to interact with brands.

BECKY CHAPPELL: Why do you think more creative agencies and marketers aren’t already building data-driven creative?

ROBBY RIGANO: Brands cannot expect to use the same process when the media landscape and campaign workflows have changed. Currently, media, creative and production agencies work in silos, but they need to collaborate at the start of the campaign and communicate throughout.

Additionally, there is a lack of understanding about data in general. Media agencies use data to optimize targeting and campaign performance, but this information is rarely shared with the creative team. To be more effective, brands and creative agencies need to ensure their full team understands the data available and how to apply it to their campaign strategies.

BECKY CHAPPELL: What were your key learnings from this Creative Research Study? What will you do differently in the next campaigns you work on?

ROBBY RIGANO: I cannot overstate how important planning is to the success of data-driven projects. For marketers just entering the programmatic arena, I think the following can really help:

  1. Develop a comprehensive brief informed by previous campaign insights, available data sources and contextual signals.
  2. Build an execution plan defining the communication and asset strategy for each audience segment to inform timelines and complexity.

In our experience, these steps take the most time (and often two or three times longer than expected), especially for clients and agencies that are new to crafting data-driven creative.

Note: For more, you can reference Fancy Pants Group’s Top 10 Tips for Building Data-Driven Creative.

About the author:

Becky oversees product marketing for DoubleClick Creative Solutions, which encompasses DoubleClick Studio, Google Web Designer, dynamic creative, and creative formats and workflows across the stack. This involves developing go-to-market strategy for new product features, crafting and executing the narratives sent into market around programmatic and creative, and engaging existing customers with on-going events, communications and resources.