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Dynamic in Hindsight: The Ifs, Ands or Buts I Wish I’d Known

5 MINUTE READ | May 13, 2015

Dynamic in Hindsight: The Ifs, Ands or Buts I Wish I’d Known

Working in Display, we all know that Dynamic is the go-to when it comes to personalization and performance. It’s the ‘duh’ behind an ROI driven display program with perks of minimal creative effort/updates and showing the consumer the exact product they were last viewing. The funny thing is, this type of program took us nearly two years to get live for one of our clients. From the outside it’s all bells and whistles – I mean, all you need is an updated feed and a vendor to mock up an ad, right? Wrong.

Years in the making, I want to pass along a few of the obstacles I wish I’d been told prior to engaging in the setup of Dynamic, both Standard and FBX.

  1. Creative is key, especially for luxury brands. This covers everything from the products showcased within the ads, to the specific banner sizes a client may be comfortable displaying. Items to consider:

    • There may be some products the client thinks just don’t look good within the ads. If this is the case, you’ll need to work with the client to create an exclusions list naming all products within the feed which should not be included in the Dynamic campaign. You’ll then need to work with your respective partner to make sure their tool can read the feed correctly and will not serve these products.

    • Have you considered the background color of products on your site? If it’s not transparent, you’ll want to make sure that you can match the background color to your Dynamic mock. As long as there’s a solid background color within the product images, this shouldn’t be too hard. However, remember that Facebook cannot match to your background color for FBX ads, so you will have an obvious image cutout within the ad if your background isn’t white.

    • Depending on the type of products you carry, and the ad format you’re working with, a vendor may be able to automatically resize images within the feed. This is a great opportunity from some partners, but there are limitations once again when it comes to your background color. If the background has any type of gradient, the cropping tools may be limited as they can’t decipher between the gradient changes and the actual product.

    • When creating copy specifically for FBX, know that you can use both static and dynamic text. A warning on this piece, you must include characters in all fields of the FBX ad or it will start to dynamically pull in copy from your website.

  2. The whole experience is about personalization. If I was recently shopping on a site, I want to see the products I was interested in buying, correct? But what if I was just browsing and only made it to the category pages, without actually clicking on a product. What happens then? You want to make sure to chat with your client about the serving metrics behind Dynamic. All partners treat these a bit differently, but there are basically two targeting options:

    • Product – A user has specifically viewed a product and therefore the partner can serve a user that exact product within the ad. If a user has viewed multiple products, most partners have an algorithm which will serve products most likely to be purchased, or rotate between the last few products viewed.

    • Recommendations – A user has not viewed a specific product, but rather made it simply to the homepage or a category page. The partner will once again have an algorithm or best practice, of serving the user top products from the site.

  3. It’s all about the promo. When most of our clients go on promo, we want to make sure we’re supporting within all channels. The issue, what if the offer is only on select products vs. sitewide? We’d be creating a horrible customer experience if we decided to place promotional copy on every banner, despite the products being shown. There are multiple ways to go about solving this issue, but you must work with your Dynamic partner to sort through this one. Definitely an easy miss until the client starts receiving customer service reports of fraudulent promotions – which is no fun for anyone.

  4. In the end, the point of Dynamic is to be another profitable platform for our clients. In addition to excluding categories which may not fit with creative requirements, we can also add in exclusions for products with a low AOV.

  5. A quality feed is a MUST for Dynamic campaigns. If you’re feed’s a POS, you’ll be serving out of stock inventory, miscellaneous prices, etc., which all lead to upset customers.

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Obviously there’s a lot more to Dynamic than I can touch on in a simple blog post, but these are some of the highlights/learnings from my experience to date. Hope this saves you a headache, or three, as you start to launch some of these yourself! In the end, it’s all worth it.


Posted by Ashley Homsher

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