Part One of a Series
The Dynamic Ad Playbook is intended to educate advertisers and agencies about the benefits of dynamic / personalized ad creative, how it works, and how it can be implemented in campaigns.
Did you know that dynamic display ads can be geo-aware? In other words, it’s possible for an ad to determine where the viewer is and update the ad content accordingly.
For certain campaigns, geo-awareness can substantially improve ad relevance, which in turn helps lift clickthroughs and conversions. Here are a few examples of industries where geo-awareness can add value:
We’ll look at four approaches to implementing geo-aware dynamic ad creative. There are other approaches and variations not covered here. Just contact us with any questions.
Many ad servers and DSPs (e.g., AppNexus) are able to pass viewer location data into the ad creative. This is usually accomplished using ad macros that are inserted into the dynamic ad tag. Examples of location data might be City, State, Postal Code, or Latitude + Longitude.
In many cases, locations are inferred from the viewer's IP address. For mobile ad inventory, latitude & longitude may be available.
When location data isn’t available from the ad server or DSP, a dynamic display ad can, in a fraction of a second, detect the IP address of the viewer and determine the viewer’s physical location using any number of lookup services or datasets.
In terms of functionality, performance, and outward appearance, this approach is no different than Example 1. It's only when you peek under the hood that things look a little different.
Using an IP address once within the context of a single ad impression is fine, but using a dynamic ad to "scrape" and stockpile viewer IP addresses violates many ad industry privacy, publisher, and ad exchange rules.
This is one reason why it may be better to rely on Example 1 wherever possible, since location detection is being managed by the DSP or server, in accordance with applicable ad serving and privacy policies.
Let’s say a retail chain has 1,000 U.S. locations and wants to retarget website visitors with location-personalized ads, perhaps containing the address of the nearest store.
When visitors drill down to a location-specific page of the website (e.g., the store hours page for a specific store), the retailer can fire a dynamic ads tracking pixel and pass a store location code into the pixel, thereby associating that viewer with a specific store.
Here’s code for a hypothetical pixel:
Then later, when that viewer sees ads, the ads will remember the location(s) the viewer looked at, and that information can be used in the ad.
There are two major advantages of this kind of active approach versus a passive location-detection approach:
The major disadvantages of this approach are:
Now that you've implemented a dynamic ads tracking pixel that only fires for visitors who reach location-specific pages in your site, you should probably create a new audience segment in your DSP. You can do this by firing a separate segment pixel along with the dynamic ad tracking pixel.
Here are three reasons to consider using this tactic:
This approach is similar to Example 3. If an advertiser has a sign-up page with a location field (e.g., city + state, ZIP code, phone with area code), then visitor location can be captured at sign-up and later used in retargeting ads.
One advantage of this approach is the higher granularity of data potentially available for ad personalization. With multiple location factors available (e.g., city + state, ZIP code, area code), a dynamic ad can make more informed choices about which message is best suited to the viewer.
You don’t want to track Personally Identifiable Information (PII) for use in dynamic display ads. PII would include things like email addresses, phone numbers, postal addresses, names, etc. There's usually not much use for PII in ads anyway, but make sure you implement the dynamic ad tracking tag so that it's only receiving non-PII data such as area code, postal code, city + state, etc.
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