In 2017, US programmatic digital display ad spending will reach $27.47 billion, with programmatic representing 72% of the total spend in the category. Mobile is driving a significant portion of programmatic growth.
The lion’s share of display ad inventory will be a combination of rich audience data, targeting and placement.
How will the ads that align with these programmatic buys come into being? What tools are services are used to source the ad content and personalize the ads? Once built, how will the ad performance optimized?
To answer these questions we created the Ad Creative Landscape in 2014, now updated for 2017. Inspired by the Display Ad Lumascape, this graphic summarizes many key players and services in the display ad creation process.
Here’s a breakdown of the main components.
Ad content needs to come from somewhere. When the images to be included in an ad don’t already exist, they are predominantly purchased from existing stock photography or produced in photo shoots.
Assets then need to be aggregated and stored. While asset management or content management systems aren’t mandatory, they are incredibly helpful.
There are also tools at this stage to help suggest the topic of the ad based on what’s trending or what has done well historically.
The ad unit itself is composed in some kind of creative software, whether that be a desktop app or web app in the cloud. These exist as both stand-alone programs and builders embedded in broader platforms.
While ads continue to be produced in traditional programs like Adobe Photoshop, new programmatic creative technologies are revolutionizing how creative can be customized and personalized for the data and targeting available in today’s programmatic media.
With the ad complete and now live on the web, creative performance can be optimized as it is being served based on real-time performance data.
Optimization services vary in degrees of complexity. The simplest is A/B testing creatives against each other. Another option is trafficking the same ads in multiple audience segments, and then shifting spend toward the group that is performing better.