In-house display advertising and DCO with Casumo
Through design, technology, and innovation Casumo have aimed to consistently disrupt the iGaming industry.
In this article, we interview Casumo’s in-house display advertising team, learning how they stay at forefront of in-house display production and use dynamic creative optimisation (DCO).
Scaling up personalised content with Casumo
Bannerflow has been Casumo’s chosen display advertising production platform since 2012. Recently Casumo’s in-house team decided to use a dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) structure.
Using Bannerflow’s DCO offering they are now able to target different consumers, at different stages of the sales funnel – with variations of ad creative and individual strategies for different audience segments.
Bannerflow sat down with Casumo’s Lara Formosa, Mustafa Ozgergef, and Sara Rosa to find out more about their journey.
What are the challenges facing your industry when doing display advertising?
Mustafa Ozgergef, Programmatic Specialist:Compliance. There are constant updates and adjustments in regulations in our industry, meaning frequent, fast changes to creatives. This requires an incredibly agile setup and approach.
Lara Formosa, Digital Creative Specialist: We strive towards personalisation in our ads. Therefore, we produce hundreds of creatives to target different markets, at different stages of the customer journey. This means that when we have compliance changes, we have a lot of content to go over.
How has Casumo overcome these challenges?
Lara Formosa: We’ve overcome these challenges, by adopting a new responsive ad structure. We set up our creatives dynamically through Google Studio and Bannerflow.
We control our audience targeting via decision trees that are set up on Google Campaign Manager. This allows us to be very efficient in creating personalised messaging, setting up A/B tests and making any necessary adjustments to our creatives even when the ads are live.
Do you have a recent display campaign you’re proud of? What was its purpose?
Lara Formosa: The dynamic ‘Always On’ campaign is one we’re particularly proud of. This campaign required a large quantity of banners to be designed, all of which had to have flexible creative shells for subsequent tests. Also, it was our first official dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) campaign. This entailed a lot of homework and background research to make it work well and future proof it.
The purpose of this campaign was to begin to use a decision tree. The decision tree would then match a personalised creative to the customer at all parts of their journey.
What design challenges did you face?
Lara Formosa: To do it, we worked with different internal and external teams for design, copy, development and strategy. We also studied customer journeys, to make sure our decision tree and creatives were aligned and that the message was engaging at every stage.
How do you tackle the process of designing display advertising?
Lara Formosa: We always start with a research phase. When we get a brief, we make sure to understand what we need to highlight, and what our USPs for the chosen audience segment are. We use data from previous campaigns and feed it into our creative concepts too.
From there, we start generating concepts with copywriters and designers – this could involve sketches and mock-ups. We always make sure to have a hypothesis behind our creatives – it’s our way of making sure we’re designing our creatives with purpose. This hypothesis is useful later too, when we gather data, to compare it with the actual results.
We then start creating our mock-ups in Bannerflow. By doing this we can better understand how our ads will look and it makes it easier for us to present our concepts to the rest of the team. Once the creatives are signed-off, we animate, (creating new HTML5 widgets if needed) and prepare the feedsheet and make sure the Google Studio profile is set-up.
How do you test creative elements in display ads?
Lara Formosa: We try to A/B test as frequently as possible. This testing entirely depends on which elements we feel require change in order to improve the performance of the ad.
For example, if we think that a change to an HTML5 widget will improve the ad, we analyse it, discuss its effectiveness, and then change it. However, the devil remains in the details, from our experience we’ve seen that even small changes, like swapping copy, or the CTA, can influence effectiveness of a banner.
How do you balance being both creative and data-driven in your display advertising?
Sara Rosa, Digital Marketing Strategist: We constantly analyse our campaign performance data across all stages of the customer journey. This provides us with useful insights to understand what works best and which messages and creatives drive the best results.
These insights are fundamental for future planning and when providing feedback to our creative team – especially when working on new briefs and designing new ads.
When it comes to the balance between being both data-driven and creative in our campaigns, we believe it’s important to find the right balance. We need creativity in order to produce remarkable assets, but we need data learnings to provide our designers with the right insights to turn ad designs into winning campaigns.
We truly believe that the two work perfectly together and we constantly run tests to measure the best performing variations.
And, of course, dynamic banners help us a lot when we do data-driven testing. We can test different messages, different images, and different CTAs across ad creatives.
Which KPIs matter the most when you do your display campaigns?
Sara Rosa: Our marketing strategy covers each step of the customer journey. We tailor our communication to reach our target with the right message at the right time.
We have different KPIs for our display campaigns and look at different metrics depending on the campaign goal and the audience we are targeting.
If you look at brand awareness campaigns – these campaigns target people who don’t know anything about our brand – we look mainly at reach and CTR to measure how the campaign and creatives are performing.
The further we move down the funnel, when retargeting starts, we look more at conversion metrics (such as numbers of registration, deposits and subsequent deposits).
Why do you work in-house?
Mustafa Ozgergef: In-house is the best flow model for Casumo because it’s easier to work with people in the same environment – just in terms of communication. And since the Bannerflow platform eases our designer’s job, we are quicker to make changes and can be more agile.
Lara Formosa: The brand is at the heart of Casumo. It’s our pride and joy, so we try to deliver most briefs internally. That being said we still use support from agencies. However, we make sure that whenever we use them, they are very much in line with our in-house culture.
Dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) and Bannerflow
If you would like to know more about how you can use Bannerflow as part of your DCO solution then please click here. Or, if you would like a demo of how Bannerflow can add creativity into your DCO campaigns then apply for a demonow.