What Is a CMP?

One size doesn’t fit all. This essential rule in digital advertising has led to the development of the CMP, or creative management platform. With the right CMP, it’s possible to quickly pre-build multiple ads for specific audience segments.

Ad targeting requires careful and thoughtful planning, so local publishers and brand advertisers can match specific audience segments with varying ad formats. Studies show that Americans are exposed to an average of 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day.

With so much content passing through our stream of consciousness, what makes certain ads more memorable than others? Targeting is the answer. By creating advertising that’s targeted at specific audiences, you can increase engagement and generate more awareness about whatever it is you’re looking to promote.

The digital revolution has made it possible for advertisers to target specific audiences. But just because it’s possible to target an audience doesn’t mean implementing this kind of sophisticated campaign is necessarily easy. It’s not uncommon for businesses to struggle to develop multiple ad creatives, repurposed for different sizes, in a short amount of time.

That’s where choosing the right CMP comes into play.

What are CMPs?

CMPs come in all different varieties, and some are more sophisticated than others. On the high-end, certain creative management platforms now use machine learning, automated image cropping, automatic sizing, and automatic design generation to create huge varieties of ads. All CMPs manage the creatives they pair with data, even though they vary in their abilities to customize individual creatives and their abilities to scale.

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When publishers need to generate multiple versions of a single ad, they can turn to dynamic creative optimization (DCO) and creative management platforms (CMP). With dynamic creative optimization, ad components like the body background, images, and overlay text are “dynamically” assembled at the same time they are served. When brands use DCO on the fly, they sometimes forget the creative parts in their strategies.

A brand might launch an impression that’s targeted at mothers between the ages of 25 and 40 living in Southern California. With DCO, it’s possible to build ads for that segment in real-time. But what about creative?

A CMP allows brands to boost the performance of ads through mass personalization and interactive designs. A hospitality brand with thousands of hotel locations can use a CMP to tailor its display creatives and make ad versions with varying language, property images, and discounted offers. Brands get to control the creative for each ad they run, as well as the exact conditions and audience segments when each of their ad versions are displayed. CMPs help with the creation of HTML5 ads, as well as scaling and publishing directly to ad networks with optimized script tags.

You may have heard of CMPs as “ad factories with design tools.” That’s a pretty apt description. With the right CMP, a designer can quickly create huge sets of ads, while also making changes big and small to the individual ad creatives.

What makes a good CMP?

The right CMP can turn a designer into a superhero. Think of an ad creator working in a caffeine-fueled overdrive. Using machine learning and other automated technologies, these systems enable ad creators to develop huge varieties of completed ads in minimal time. A CMP can be set up to include both dynamic ads and other static formats.

One benefit of using a CMP is the control this technology gives marketers, so the most popular creative management platforms tend to be the ones that put marketers and ad creators in the driver’s seat.

What’s the downside to using a CMP?

With every upside, there’s always a downside. Although most local publishers find that CMPs work very well for their needs, within the industry, there is sometimes the sense that CMPs and related advertising automation technologies are doing away with the personal touch in advertising. Ad creators are being pushed to design more and more targeted ads for the greatest possible performance.

For the vast majority of local publishers and advertisers, though, the benefits of using a CMP far outweigh the downsides. Targeted creative variations have been shown to have greater click-through rates and they often lead to a lift in conversions.

A targeted ad strategy can make all the difference for a brand advertiser. That’s especially true for advertisers working with local or hyperlocal publications. It’s essential to use the latest tools to target ads for specific segments in order to achieve the greatest ROI on digital campaigns.

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