This article was originally published on Forbes.

Digital marketing, as we know it, has changed quite a bit in the past few months, as marketers have been forced into adjusting their strategies to cater to the current economic situation. The biggest obstacle: balancing the need to drive sales without sounding tone-deaf to current events. 

The uncertainty of today has ushered in a new era for the global economy, with many businesses searching for areas to optimize spending while remaining productive. Global brands are no exception. What if there is a technology global brands can leverage to quickly pivot their ad messaging based on the current environment — in real-time — while drastically reducing production spend through automation? This technology is called dynamic creative optimization (DCO). Here are three ways brand marketers can leverage DCO technology now and post-pandemic:

1. Remain agile to changing conditions.

Using DCO, brands can shift their message quickly to remain sensitive to changing conditions, as some have already done to address COVID-19. Brands that use automation to create multiple ad variations can drastically cut down on production time, allowing them to deliver in-the-moment ad content in the right context. At a time when information, and therefore context, is changing by the minute, brands that have a presence across the globe must stay agile in order to keep their messaging relevant. 

2. Drive cost savings through automation.

Historically, the ad development process has been extremely manual and time-consuming — with both copy and creative developed manually for each individual market, consumer preference and locality. To personalize the message to an individual based on time of the day, day of the week, season, weather, temperature, pollen count or language, how many versions of the advertisement must the brand create to stay relevant to each consumer? As budgets shrink, this process just isn't realistic. By harnessing automation through DCO technology, brands can drastically reduce the number of resources they dedicate to ad creation through a modularized creative approach leveraging dynamic canvas technology and dynamic creative master development to quickly do the work of many. 

3. Increase ROI through personalization at scale.

If there was ever a time to increase ad ROI, it's now — and the key to heightened ROI is personalization at scale. By harnessing DCO technology, brands can deliver a personalized message through hundreds of thousands of ad variations and in real-time, based on the changing needs of their customers at that very moment. For example, a brand with a presence in China is likely going to have a different message today than it would for customers in the U.S. — and potentially a completely different message in Italy tomorrow. By staying on top of these changed messages, brands can personalize their content in a way that resonates with individuals across the globe.

DCO And COVID-19

DCO can give global brands a competitive edge and has become a necessary tool for global brands to navigate their message around COVID-19. A number of my company's case studies elicit a new marketing priority. Throughout the past few weeks, brands have learned the importance of reflecting the changes in the global environment within their messaging immediately without escalating costs. For example, a global 500 auto company was able to use DCO to change its message from feature-focused to family-focused in less than 24 hours. In doing so, the brand expressed empathy during COVID-19 to support its "family" of car owners. 

Another Fortune 100 global hospitality brand quickly realized that now isn't the time to sell hotel rooms when customers aren't able to travel. Within two days of using DCO, it was able to freeze messaging in parts of the world affected by COVID-19 while delivering a custom message in specific markets where customers were still able to travel. 

Lastly, a global 500 brand selling soaps, hand-washes and sanitizers quickly adjusted its message using DCO technology from a bottom-funnel product-focused campaign to informing customers of the importance of washing hands frequently. The campaign was up and running in target markets in less than 48 hours. 

As an industry, we are facing many challenges. Those who have effective technology in place are primed to be a source for customers in times of uncertainty and can overcome barriers presented by COVID-19. DCO allows brands to simplify the process of delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right audience and on the right channel — today, tomorrow and years to come.

 

By Anna Luo | September 29th, 2020