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August 18, 2017

Is a CMP the Answer to Your Digital Ad Woes?

Image courtesy of ( David Castillo Dominici) /

Digital advertising has changed a tremendous amount over the past five years. There’s been a significant amount of resistance from Internet users regarding blatant advertisements and businesses have had to figure out ways to make their digital advertising strategies more authentic and organic. This has led to some significant growth in the area of programmatic advertising and, as a result, has fostered a need for Creative Management Platforms.

What are Creative Management Platforms?

The term Creative Management Platforms (CMPs) refers to the class of creative ad technologies that satisfy the overwhelming and otherwise time-intensive design needs today’s digital advertisers are saddled with in a programmatic environment that delivers countless ad iterations to a number of distinct audiences.

In essence, a CMP is used to make creative ad design possible at a large scale. It allows advertisers to tailor each individual ad to a specific audience and segment without having to manually create an array of different ad sets ahead of time – which drains the time and creative energy of in-house design teams. Basically, a good quality CMP provides the following specific benefits:

1. Cost Savings

The cost savings that a CMP provides can be significant. Not only does CMP require far less manual involvement from your employees, but it also ensures each ad is created in the most cost-effective format possible. For extremely active digital advertisers, this can save thousands of dollars a month.

2. Timely Delivery

With programmatic advertising, speed is a must. CMPs allow you to quickly and efficiently deliver a variety of ad sets without any delays or setbacks. This ensures the right message is delivered at the perfect time.

3. Tailored Messaging

Obviously, one of the greatest benefits of a CMP is that it lets businesses tailor an ad’s message to a specific audience. For example, let’s say you run a rental car business. The same advertisement isn’t going to be equally effective for both business travelers and weekend road-trippers. With a CMP, you can run the same ad set, while automatically offering different variations for each of these two audiences. Not only does this save time and money, but it drives up conversion rates.

4. Rich Analytics

Finally, a good CMP will provide you with lots of feedback on your ads. This allows you to split test, gather results, and gain a better understanding of which ads are working and which ones are ineffective. At the end of the day, this allows you to optimize for superior results.

How the Right CMP Can Change Your Approach to Digital Advertising

When it comes to delivering unique ads in a cost-effective and time-saving fashion, most businesses have two options Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) and CMP. While they may look similar on the surface, they are, in fact, two totally different classes.

“In a loose way, it’s the difference between a made-to-order meal and a pre-made one,” marketing technology expert Barry Levine says. “Although both platforms allow for performance feedback to create a Darwinian selection of the fittest, where only the best-performing ad offspring survive for later generations, the differences point to different goals, just as a restaurant meal and prepared food have different goals.”

CMPs are superior to DCOs in just about every shape and form. While DCOs can work for smaller businesses under certain circumstances, a CMP is a much better investment. The reason comes back to the demand for creativity.

According to a recent study from On Device Research, which analyzed 200 mobile ad effectiveness studies, the top performing 20 percent of mobile ads have six times the improvement in ad recall and purchase intent compared to the other 80 percent. Furthermore, creative quality was the biggest driving factor in the disparity between top performing ads and average ads.

“The key is to build a process that seamlessly ties together your media, data and creative efforts. Most brands have gotten quite good at the media side and are getting closer to effectively leveraging data but creative usually trails,” says Alex Saric of Celtra, a leader in the CMP space. “An effective creative management platform can address this gap, integrating with your data and enabling efficient production of quality creatives, distribution across channels and unified analytics to optimize. Brands gain back control of their message, can communicate it optimally and do so efficiently across campaigns.”

Choosing the Right CMP for Your Needs

Understanding your need for a CMP and actually finding the right one are two totally different things. There are a number of CMP solutions on the market and some are far better than others. As you look around and do your due diligence, here are some of the things you’ll see in top CMP solutions.

1.  Easy to Use

One of the biggest drawbacks of using DCOs is that they’re complicated and challenging to use. You almost need to hire someone to manage your DCO for you, which removes the “self-service” aspect from the equation. A good CMP will allow you to design and run hundreds of different ad sets and variations all on your own. However, some are easier to use than others, so make sure you take this into account as you compare different platforms.

2. Direct Integration

Because programmatic campaigns require different ad versions, you need a CMP that integrates directly with ad servers. Not only does this save time, but it also removes a lot of the risk of human error that’s often associated with creating and uploading so many different variations. Specifically, you need your CMP to integrate with Facebook. No site comes close to Facebook in terms of audience data, so being able to work directly with the Facebook advertising platform is a huge bonus.

3. Comprehensive Editing

How many times have you designed an ad and then noticed one small thing needs to be fixed? Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to adjust the exact element or pixel you need to change. A good CMP will let you edit every pixel of every variation with very little friction.

4. Beautiful Animations

You obviously want your ads to look good, which means your CMP needs more than pre-canned effects and animations. A good CMP will have hundreds of components and features that can easily be integrated into different ads for unique and attractive visuals.

5. Cost-Effective

In a perfect world, cost wouldn’t be an issue. However, if your business is like most, cost is a very significant tipping point. The entire point of using a CMP is to improve efficiency and drive conversions. If it costs more to use the CMP than you’ll benefit, then it’s pointless. Crunch the numbers to ensure an investment makes sense.

Looking Towards the Future

Today’s digital advertising landscape looks totally different than it did just a few years ago. To get the most out of your advertising efforts, you need to pay attention to time, creative energy, and costs. Programmatic advertising is an industry staple, but you can’t afford to approach it without the right tools. A good CMP will help you get where you need to be. Review your options and consider making an investment in your future.


Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.