Onsite DCO: The next step for dynamic creative optimisation and e-commerce?
5 min read

Onsite DCO: The next step for dynamic creative optimisation and e-commerce?

Onsite dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) is set to become a must-have for e-commerce and retail brands. Yet, it is only just beginning to play an important role on the sites of brands.

In this article, we will answer the following questions:

  • Why combine DCO with onsite advertising?
  • What is onsite dynamic creative optimisation?
  • What are the advantages of onsite DCO?
  • How does onsite DCO work? A step-by-step guide
  • Why use a creative management platform (CMP) for your onsite DCO?

Firstly, why should you use dynamic creative optimisation as part of your onsite strategy?

Why combine DCO with onsite advertising?

Over the last few years, DCO in display advertising has been taking the industry by storm. Why? DCO ad tech offers the unique ability to personalise creative advertising at scale, with the right message, at the right time.

It provides marketing teams with the ability to be relevant to every audience segment, with unique messages. A winning combination.

Now, onsite advertising is using this same technology. Onsite advertising being non-paid, self promoting advertising on a brand’s website.

By applying DCO advertising technology, brands are using the same techniques to produce data-driven and creative, onsite placements. Enabling brands to tailor website messaging for a range of audiences – from returning customers to first time visitors!

What is onsite DCO?

Onsite DCO allows brands to replace generic copy, images, and videos on a website with HTML5 ad placements that adjust and change, depending on the returning customer or viewer. It is the hyper-personalisation of onsite messaging – at scale.

This form of DCO advertising uses a range of data points to show the most appropriate content. Inducing: demographics, behaviour, and/or geo-location. Plus, whatever other sources a company may have available in its Customer Data Platform (CDP) or via its Data Management Platform (DMP).

Onsite DCO enables marketers to use dynamic, relevant website content that can change in real-time, across strategic site locations. For example, an account login page. It’s the power of dynamic advertising brought to your own website.

For example, you could use an onsite DCO retargeting ad of a discounted product that a user had previously abandoned in their online shopping cart. Or simply, a responsive promo header image that matches an email campaign that a viewer had clicked-through from.

By making website content and messaging hyper-relevant, this enhances the objective of making a conversion. Furthermore, the higher quality the customer data, the better the results.

What are the advantages of onsite DCO?

The benefits of using onsite dynamic creative optimisation include: increasing ROI through creativity, gaining real-time control, more personalisation, and greater relevance:

Greater personalisation

The most significant benefit of onsite DCO is the ability to personalise your website to specific audiences and individuals. According to Instapage, marketers witness a 20% average uplift in sales when using personalised experiences. Onsite DCO is the next step in tailoring the user journey from social campaign, to email, to website, to conversion.

Relevant ad placements

In a study by IAS and the IAB, 91% of UK consumers consider it important where a digital ad is placed. Whilst a massive 87% believe it is important for ads to be relevant, personally, to them. Ads in the right context is key to these consumers. If they are on your site they are already actively engaged, and onsite DCO offers the best opportunity to show them the right content for a conversion.

Creativity and increased ROI

Many brands already do some form of personalised pages – but is the level of content and creativity good enough? Onsite DCO offers the opportunity to easily (and quickly) create hundreds and thousands of alternatives rather than a few – time consuming – basic alternatives. It provides more engaging and impactful advertising and content, with a higher return on investment (ROI). As well as, the potential to use the same interactive features found in the most advanced HTML5 display campaign.

Full real-time control

If you use a creative management platform (CMP) to create and control your DCO ads, you can also use it for your onsite DCO advertising. The beauty of using a CMP for both your DCO display campaigns and onsite advertising is that you can update all your advertising instantly, at the same time, across channels. Plus, you can design and control your assets via the same ad creator: for example, Bannerflow Creative Studio.

How does onsite DCO work?

Onsite DCO is remarkably similar in its application to traditional DCO (which you can learn more about here). The only difference here is that the advertiser has full control over the ad placements and ad locations.

Here is a brief explanation as to how onsite DCO works:


An onsite DCO banner is placed in a desired ad location on a site. This then functions as a placeholder. These DCO placeholder banners have a “shell design” meaning there is no predetermined content. The ad can be whatever size you like too, from the main header image of a landing page, to a tiny square.


In order to populate the DCO placeholder banner with relevant content, the banner is connected to a spreadsheet containing multiple different content and design options for different user segments. For example, a first time visitor, or an existing customer, etc.


When a visitor enters the site, the user is then connected to one (or more) of these predetermined segments and content options. It is best practice for this to be controlled and facilitated via a CMP.


The spreadsheet is set-up in such a way that each segment has “segment specific” content. This content can range from copy, images, different coloured CTAs, to a whole host of more advanced options options such as products offers, video and other interactive features.


In order to personalise the content, the banner will scan all available information to determine the correct segment. These segments are created from user-data managed in the CDP and/or DMP linked to CMP.


Once the user is identified, and a segment that best suits the viewer is selected, the DCO banner will start populating the “shell” with relevant content. It does this by referencing the different columns in the data sheet.


The result is a hyper-relevant content, displaying the most impactful creative, to the right viewer, at the best moment. A powerful – and converting – combination.

Why use a creative management platform (CMP) for your onsite DCO?

Creating onsite DCO is actually easier than regular DCO, as you have full control over the context of your promotional ad or content. Therefore, ensuring you can create and control all the placements you need is a production priority.

The best option for onsite DCO advertising is to use a creative management platform, or CMP. Here’s why:

Powerful ad scaling

Creating the different creative variations (and sizes) needed for audience segments for onsite DCO can be extremely difficult. However, by using a CMP and it’s powerful scaling functionality, all the ad versions, language versions, and any number of unique variations can quickly be mass produced.

Template free design is best

A CMP, such as Bannerflow, offers onsite advertising with full creative freedom. What does this mean? Well, not all DCO providers are the same. Sure, you can have unique messages but these are usually template-driven. When performing DCO you should use a provider that is not bound by templates and offers the ability to use different designs, interactivity, and visuals for different audience segments. This is far more impactful.

Designed for multiple-channels

Display ads, mobile ads, and onsite DCO placements, are all producible via a CMP. From a single creative concept, it is possible using a CMP to produce all the multi-channel messaging your campaign requires.

Another advantage is that you are able to update any published assets instantly across marketing channels from the same platform too. For product launches, sales events, and counter offers, this is especially useful.

Real-time data feeds

Using a CMP for your onsite DCO ads means you can add features, including multiple data feeds. Regularly updating data feeds allow you to add all sorts of live data, from sporting odds to live product feeds.

Simple sophistication

If you use HTML5 to power your onsite DCO, your brand instantly benefit from unique interactivity – not just gifs and video. Indeed, by using a CMP, such as Bannerflow, any designer can apply advanced interactive features, using HTML5 widgets. Making it easy to create captivating designs.

Preview all your onsite DCO variations

A CMP, such as Bannerflow, lets you preview your DCO placements too – a feature often overlooked. Indeed, the inability to easily check your DCO creatives is the cause of many errors in the DCO publishing process.

Next steps

Onsite DCO, offers the relevancy and personalisation brands need. It is indeed, the next logical step for both e-commerce and dynamic creative optimisation.

If you would like to find out more about how your team can benefit from onsite DCO with a CMP then please get in touch with Bannerflow, or apply for a demo.

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