Takeaways: Creativity & Programmatic – Matt Keating, Head of Sales


At a recent session with Masterclassing London on ‘Digital Retail & FMCG Masterclass’, we offered direct strategies to the attendees from these two sectors. Our Head of Sales, Matt Keating, shared some ways our UK sales team is strategically approaching the idea of creativity and programmatic alongside one another. This echoes a similar talk we gave at the IAB UK Programmatic & Creativity Seminar, London, a month prior.

Being creative with your data was the core theme Matt identified, to target your consumers in a better way. He explained that creativity and data are interdependent and work hand in hand, hence it is crucial to harness both equally in dynamic creatives to drive sales growth. Brands need to be aware of their consumers’ situations in real-time, so they can serve them ads in real-time.

Being creative with programmatic: Using DCO to drive sales

“Programmatic allows creativity to be empowered by data” – Matt Keating, Head of Sales, MainAd

Running a retargeting campaign effectively requires a combined effort of data and creative elements, to entice users. Your ads don’t have to be dull. It is possible to serve ad campaigns that convey the right messaging and CTA, which are also aesthetically pleasing. Using data in a clever manner can truly impact user behaviour and engage with them on a personal level, by acknowledging their preferences in real-time. What were treated as two separate elements, should really be used in conjunction with each other. This will allow for gentle and unique retargeting, without interrupting a user’s browsing journey, thus increasing the likelihood of conversion.

More importantly, the functionality of ads should always be kept as the priority. Brands should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Can users distinguish your ads from those of your competitors, if you took away your logo?
  • Does the ad reflect your brand ‘style’ and how products are presented on your website?
  • Is your messaging clear? Are USPs/value-adds, i.e. delivery options, coupons, loyalty club etc., hightlighted?

Best practice:

  • Ensure the targeting and the message get the same level of attention
  • Let the data inform (but not dominate) the strategy continually- and inspire creativity
  • Speak to the individual, at that moment, whilst maintaining a consistent and identifiable brand message
  • Use historical learnings, but make no assumptions and test, Test, TEST!

Things to look out for!

  • User-level impression targeting: One-to-one personalised programmatic creative
  • Machine-learning & predictive analytics
  • Additional ‘recombinant’ data signals

Caution: the human element remains vital!