Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO): What is it?

Jul 4, 2024 / Uncategorised / Teranga Marketing

The most creative and genius adverts are nothing if they do not reach their targeted audience. After all, capturing the attention of potential buyers and clients is the main purpose of a well-crafted ad. However, with such a competitive landscape, this can be a challenge.

Enter Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO), a game-changing approach that revolutionises the way brands engage with consumers in the digital realm. DCO uses data-driven insights and real-time optimisation to deliver hyper-personalised ad experiences tailored to individual preferences and behaviours.

In this article, we delve into the fundamentals of Dynamic Creative Optimization, exploring what it is, how it works, and why it has become an indispensable tool in advertising. From understanding the intricacies of DCO’s technical workings to unravelling its strategic implications for advertisers, we uncover how this innovative approach is reshaping the advertising landscape and driving unprecedented levels of engagement and ROI.

What is Dynamic Creative Optimisation?

Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) is a digital advertising strategy that involves automatically generating and optimising ad creatives in real time based on various data inputs such as user demographics, behaviour, and context. The goal of DCO is to deliver highly personalised and relevant ads to individual users, maximising the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

We will soon look into how DCO works in detail, but it is important to understand that through this strategy, platforms collect data about users, such as their browsing history, demographics, location, device type, and other relevant information. From this information, advertisers can then make better creative decisions, such as headlines, images, videos, calls-to-action, and copy variations.

Think, for example, how the image used to promote a show or a movie on Netflix can change from user to user. Based on your preferences and viewing history, the platform knows how to get you interested in a new programme.

With so much information available based on our digital behaviour, DCO is the present and the future.

How Dynamic Creative Optimisation Works

Although the idea of using data to make creative decisions might seem simple, the mechanism behind Dynamic Creative Optimisation is complex. After all, the strategy is sophisticated and requires careful consideration.

Here’s how DCO works:

Data Collection and Audience Segmentation

DCO begins with the collection of data from various sources. This includes first-party data (data collected directly from users), such as browsing behaviour on a website or app, demographic information, and historical interactions with the brand.

Third-party data, such as demographic and interest data from data providers, may also be incorporated to enrich the understanding of the target audience.

Audience segmentation is then performed based on this data, dividing users into different groups or segments with similar characteristics and behaviours.

Creative Assets and Variations

Based on the data collected, advertisers provide a range of creative assets that can be dynamically combined to create personalised ads. These assets include images, videos, headlines, copy variations, calls-to-action, and more.

Multiple variations of each creative element are prepared to accommodate different messaging, visual styles, and offers.

Dynamic Ad Assembly

When a user interacts with a website, app, or platform where DCO ads are served, the DCO system selects and assembles the most relevant creative elements in real time based on the user’s profile and context.

Factors such as user demographics, browsing history, location, device type, time of day, weather, and other contextual data are taken into account to tailor the ad content.

For example, if a user has previously shown interest in a particular product category, the DCO system might prioritise ad creatives showcasing products from that category.

Real-Time Optimisation

DCO continuously monitors the performance of different creative combinations and variations in real time.

Through A/B testing and multivariate testing, the system evaluates which combinations resonate best with different audience segments and yield the highest engagement and conversion rates.

Based on performance metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on ad spend (ROAS), the DCO platform automatically adjusts the creative elements to optimise campaign performance.

This optimisation process can include changes to images, copy, offers, or even the layout of the ad itself.

Cross-Channel Delivery

DCO enables the delivery of personalised ads across multiple channels and devices, including websites, mobile apps, social media platforms, and email.

Advertisers can reach users wherever they are in their digital journey, ensuring consistent and relevant messaging across touchpoints.

How DCO Improves Advertising Strategies

With a better understanding of what DCO is and how it works, it is easy to see how it can be an important asset for companies in every industry.

DCO allows advertisers to deliver ads that are highly relevant to each user’s interests, preferences, and behaviours, leading to increased engagement and conversion rates.

Furthermore, by automating the process of ad creation and optimisation, DCO saves advertisers time and resources, allowing them to focus on strategic decision-making rather than manual execution.

Thanks to DCO platforms, advertisers can access valuable insights into user behaviour, audience segmentation, and creative performance. Advertisers can use these insights to refine their targeting strategies, develop more effective creative assets, and optimise their overall advertising campaigns.

The use of DCO in Programmatic Advertising

As you can probably imagine, Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) is closely integrated with programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising operates through real-time bidding (RTB) platforms and ad exchanges where ad inventory is bought and sold in real-time auctions. For this reason, advertisers can use DCO within programmatic buying platforms to bid on ad impressions that match their target audience criteria.

When a user visits a website or app that participates in the ad exchange, information about that user is passed to the programmatic platform in real time. Using this data, the DCO system selects the most relevant creative elements and assembles them into personalised ad units on the fly. Creative elements such as images, headlines, copy, and calls-to-action are dynamically combined based on the user’s profile, context, and other factors.

DCO also helps advertisers perform A/B testing and optimisation for programmatic adverts. Platforms continuously monitor the performance of different creative variations across audience segments. Through A/B testing and multivariate testing, the system identifies the most effective creative combinations for driving engagement and conversions.

Bid strategies can be adjusted dynamically based on performance metrics to optimise bidding for impressions that are more likely to convert.

DCO is seamlessly integrated into programmatic advertising workflows to deliver personalised ad experiences at scale. By leveraging audience data, real-time bidding, dynamic ad assembly, and continuous optimisation, programmatic DCO enables advertisers to maximise the effectiveness of their campaigns and drive better results.

How to Plan DCO Campaigns

Strategically planning Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) campaigns involves several key steps to ensure effectiveness and maximise performance.

Here are some of the key aspects of a strategic plan:

Audience Insights and Segmentation

Begin by conducting thorough research to understand your target audience’s demographics, interests, behaviours, and preferences. Utilise first-party data, market research, and customer insights to create detailed audience segments.

Segment your audience based on factors such as demographics, psychographics, purchase history, browsing behaviour, and stage in the buyer’s journey. This segmentation will inform your creative messaging and targeting strategies.

Creative Strategy and Collaboration with Creative Teams

Work closely with your creative teams to develop a range of creative assets that align with your campaign objectives and resonate with your target audience segments.

Ensure that creative assets are designed to be modular and adaptable, allowing for dynamic variations in elements such as imagery, copy, CTAs, and offers.

Collaborate with creative teams to create templates that provide a framework for dynamic ad assembly while maintaining brand consistency and messaging.

Partner Alignment and Technology Integration

Align with partners such as Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) and ad tech providers that offer DCO capabilities. Choose partners with robust targeting capabilities, real-time bidding capabilities, and advanced optimisation algorithms.

Integrate your data sources with the DCO platform to enable real-time data-driven decision-making. Ensure seamless data integration across platforms to leverage audience insights effectively.

Campaign Setup and Optimisation

Set up your DCO campaigns within the chosen DSP or ad tech platform, configuring audience targeting parameters, creative templates, and optimisation rules.

Implement dynamic creative testing methodologies such as A/B testing, multivariate testing, and sequential testing to identify the most effective creative variations for each audience segment.

Continuously monitor campaign performance metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, ROAS, and engagement metrics. Use performance data to refine targeting strategies, creative messaging, and optimisation algorithms in real-time.

Regular Performance Reviews and Adaptation

Conduct regular performance reviews to assess the effectiveness of your DCO campaigns against predefined KPIs and objectives. Analyse performance data to identify trends, insights, and areas for improvement.

Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including marketing, analytics, and creative, to review campaign performance and share learnings.

Iterate and adapt your DCO strategies based on performance insights, audience feedback, and market dynamics. Implement changes to targeting parameters, creative messaging, or optimisation tactics to optimise campaign performance and drive better results.

Continuous Learning and Innovation

Stay updated on industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies in DCO and programmatic advertising. Experiment with new creative formats, targeting tactics, and optimisation techniques to stay ahead of the curve.

Foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning within your organisation, encouraging experimentation and knowledge-sharing among team members.

By strategically planning DCO campaigns, leveraging audience insights, aligning with partners, and conducting regular performance reviews, advertisers can create highly effective and engaging ad experiences that drive results and deliver maximum ROI.

DCO and Budgeting Constraints

Budgeting constraints are a concern with every advertising campaign. The goal should always be to maximise Return on Investment, and advertisers must ensure campaigns are cost-effective to achieve this.

When it comes to DCO campaigns, a more effective targeting strategy also means a higher ROI. Still, it is important to leverage more flexible pricing models to optimise campaign costs. Many DCO platforms and Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) offer flexible options that align with advertisers’ budgeting constraints. Common pricing models include:

Cost-Per-Mille (CPM)

Advertisers pay for every thousand ad impressions served. CPM pricing allows for predictable budgeting and is suitable for brand awareness campaigns.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

Advertisers pay only when users click on their ads. CPC pricing is performance-based and ideal for campaigns focused on driving website traffic or conversions.

Cost-Per-Action or Cost-Per-Acquistion (CPA)

Advertisers pay only when specific actions, such as a purchase or sign-up, are completed. CPA pricing ensures advertisers only pay for measurable results.

Companies should also negotiate potential rebates or discounts based on the volume of ad spend committed over a specified period. Long-term commitments and increased ad spend volumes can provide leverage for negotiating favourable terms, such as reduced fees, bonus impressions, or access to premium inventory.


Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) is an advertising option that transcends traditional approaches. By combining data with personalised ad experiences, companies can increase consumer engagement and campaign performance.

A well-crafted and creative ad can really make a difference with DCO campaigns. The more options you have, the more segmented your advertising can be. Contact us and discover how we can optimise your advertising efforts. Drop us an email at hello@falloffthewall.com.