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Adobe’s Marketing Cloud is today announcing a new dynamic ad capability that allows display ads to be generated on-the-fly for a segment of users, or for an individual user.
The new capability is a result of the company’s implementation of its Tumri ad tech, also known as Ensemble, that it bought in April from ad tech company Collective. At the time, the company described the technology as the “missing link” in advertising, allowing it to serve customized ads using a programmatic, or automated, ad platform.
This new Dynamic Creative Optimization, or DCO, is the most interesting of three new ad functions Adobe is now announcing. There’s also the new ability for self-service of display ads in its Media Optimizer, one of eight sections in its market-leading Marketing Cloud (as cited by VB Insight and others). Previously, the platform provided self-service for search and social ads only, with display ads as part of a managed service.
There is also a new integration with anti-fraud service Integral Ad Science, which is intended to help detect problems relating to ad viewability, traffic fraud, and brand safety.
These three new functions — dynamic ads, self-service for display, and Integral Ad Science — are part of something Adobe is calling its Programmatic Platform in the Marketing Cloud. It’s not a new platform, since all the other advertising functions in the Cloud are the same. And it’s not a ninth section to complement the existing eight, which include the ad-focused Media Optimizer, the website-building Experience Manager, Social, and the data-managing Audience Manager.
Instead, the new Programmatic Platform represents “a streamlining of the solution,” director of product marketing Tim Waddell told me. There won’t actually be a part of the Marketing Cloud labeled “Programmatic Platform,” but the term functions as a concept binding together the many automated ad functions that the Marketing Cloud integrates — data collection, segmenting and targeting, bidding and buying, and, now, on-the-fly creation.
Adobe’s ambition, Waddell said, is to take the notoriously complex and disparate pieces of the programmatic ad environment and integrate them into a relatively simplified, relatively transparent operation.
While ad agencies still come up with the creative elements, the new dynamic ad templates — which serve a customized image, headline, and text offer based on your anonymous user profile — are key to this vision, because personalized ads bring a very fine point to a big advertising machine.
An ad can contain an image of the blender you just left in an abandoned shopping cart, for example, in sharp contrast to the murky ad placements that sometimes result from programmatic advertising.
Waddell sees Google as the closest competitor Adobe now has in the advertising space, given Google’s dynamic creative capabilities and self-service for search and display.
But he noted that Adobe includes social ads as well. He also pointed out that Google sells ads, whereas Adobe remains neutral about which ads are bought and where.
The ad focus of Oracle’s Marketing Cloud has been more on the data side since its acquisition of data management platform BlueKai, Waddell said. The customer relationship management-based Salesforce has been focused, as its CEO Scott McCorkle put it last year, on “advertising in terms of identity” through partnerships with ad tech firms.
Adobe is “the only company that has search, display, and social [ads] in one platform,” Waddell said, along with dynamic creation and optimization in a programmatic environment.
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