Digital ad campaigns are becoming more complex, with more ad versions per campaign and an increasing amount of third-party tags per ad, per recent data from DG MediaMind. Looking at Q2 data from 2010 through 2013, the study indicates that the percentage of campaigns with a single version of an ad decreased from 21.2% in 2010 to 15.6% this year. By contrast, 29% of campaigns now include 2-4 ad versions, up from 24.6%, while 6.4% have at least 50 versions, up from 5.4% 3 years ago. The researchers attribute these trends to “advertisers trying to reach alternate audiences within the same campaigns or advertisers testing multiple messages to a single audience within a campaign.”
Another indicator of increased complexity is the number of third-party tags and outgoing links included with each ad. This year, 30.7% of ads contained multiple tags, up from 29.5% last year and 25.3% in 2011. The growth has been most rapid for ads containing 5 or more tags, up 476% from 2011 to 2013, although that figure might be slightly misleading given that the base was likely very small to begin with. Nevertheless, the rate of growth remains quicker for ads with 3-4 tags (+36%) and 2 tags (+39%) than for those containing a single tag (26%).
Average all those figures out results in advertisers implementing 21 conversion tags and recording about 550,000 conversion events in Q2 of this year, up from 15 conversion tags and 120,000 conversion events in Q2 of 2010.
As the researchers note, the added sophistication of these campaigns also means that costs are rising, such that advertisers are spending more time paying attention to executing the campaigns rather than creating them. That increases the value of a simple platform that can reduce complexity, allowing more time for strategizing and new ideas.