Blog | 02 min read

Written By: Amelia Brown

Tech series: DCO vs CMP

Programmatic creative is the booming area of ad technology.

New technology arises every year that allows ad creative to be produced and optimized quickly and at scale.

Two areas under the programmatic creative umbrella are: DCOs and CMPs.

What exactly are they?

DCO: Dynamic Creative Optimization

DCO also known as Dynamic Creative Optimization, is a display ad technology that creates personalized ads based on data about the viewer at the moment of ad serving. 

To ensure the most attractive ad is served, multivariate testing is a big part of DCO. This means the user will be served an ad with the highest possible chance of resulting in a click/action, while taking account in real-time of that user’s past behavior.

One of the most common uses for DCO is product re-targeting ads. These ads will target users based on website browsing such as products viewed or added to shopping cart. Similarly, DCO can be used for prospecting campaigns – which are executed to generate new potential users. Prospecting campaigns generally use variables such as location, behavior, device type and demographics.

CMP: Creative Management Platform

Just like the term suggests: CMP, also known as Creative Management Platform, are essentially the “InDesign” of ad technology. They address the challenges faced with providing a variety of creative for all markets, channels and campaigns.

Tools these platforms employ may include: machine learning, automated picture cropping, automatic size and design generators and other computer assisted tools to help generate a large variety of completed ads.

Why choose one over the other?

As noted in the definitions of each above, CMPs offer the more artsy side of ad creation, whereas DCOs offer more of what could be called ‘science’.

DCOs are used for the bigger, self-optimizing campaigns such as re-targeting.

CMPs are about allowing creatives the chance to perfect the ad unit and crafting it to their liking in an ever increasing world of ad complexity.