With the rapid adoption of programmatic technology there has been much more efficient ways to buy and sell online advertising. About 85 percent of advertisers and 72 percent of publishers participate in programmatic, a number that is expected to continue to grow even more rapidly in the next two years, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

But an unexpected problem has arisen because of this growth. The creative portion of the advertising process is having trouble keeping up. Many advertisers are struggling to take advantage of programmatic technologies because they don’t have required creative messages in nonstandard sizes and formats.

The reality is we need programmatic creative automation to fully leverage programmatic ad exchanges.

Mind the Gap

The “content gap” between programmatic inventories and available creative is the subject of a new white paper by CPXi on “The Critical Need for Programmatic Creative” (download link).  According to Jeff Hirsch, president of global digital media holding company CPXi, “The next challenge for brands is to be able to iterate high-quality creative on-the-fly that can keep up with the fast paced world of real time bidding.”

The CPXi white paper outlines the potential benefits the digital advertising ecosystem can reap by adopting an automated approach to the creative process or “Programmatic Creative.” It's empowered by platforms such as AdReady, which can iterate successive variations of creative with little additional effort by advertisers who understand how to leverage the technology.

An interesting case study was unveiled at an event I attended last week at AppNexus headquarters in New York City. Representatives from CPXi and Emory University explained how programmatic creative improved campaign performance of Emory's Goizueta Business School MBA program. It boosted click-through-rates (CTR) on banner ads by 48 percent over previous banner campaigns. In addition, the cost per 1,000 views of the ad fell 24 percent, as a result of better targeting.

Better Together

Programmatic creative combined with programmatic advertising fully leverages all available inventories and non-traditional ad units. Emory ran a series of executive MBA ads in various sizes and formats using CPXi's AdReady programmatic creative solution to dynamically generate additional creative on demand, with little effort, running within the AppNexus application environment. 

One of the key findings of the programmatic white paper — and the main way Emory University kept down the cost of their MBA campaigns while increasing their effectiveness — is that the more ad sizes a campaign uses, the better the performance.