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Credit by IAB

Data-Driven Video Overview

Data-driven video (DDV) is both a strategy and a tactic that allows marketers to use available data to deliver tailored advertising through precise audience targeting and personalized video creative that allows for permutations based on signals about the audience or other external factors. Underlying this strategy are two fundamental questions: who do you want to show this ad to and what messaging will move this individual to take a step towards the next best action?

Growth of Data-Driven Video


  • Consumers like personalization: According to an Epsilon study, 80% of respondents indicated they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences and 90% indicated that they find personalization appealing.

  • Personalized video can result in more efficient media planning: By serving more relevant ads, marketers will be able to serve fewer, more impactful impressions.

  • Data-driven video drives engagement: According to Innovid, there was a 78% lift in engagement rate on DDV campaigns compared to traditional pre-roll video ads.

  • Marketers pursue DDV to drive sales and lifetime value: According to a Verndale survey, personalization is most important for increasing sales and improving customer satisfaction and retention. In addition, a SundaySky study revealed that personalized video experiences can improve Net Promoter Scores, which measure customer loyalty to a brand, by 48 points or more.

  • Contextual: page-level content via semantic analysis (i.e. headlines, article content) or video-level content

  • Demographics (age/sex)

  • Device level data (device make/model, browser, operating system)

  • First-party (CRM, product feeds, etc.)

  • Location data

  • Prior ad exposure (enables sequential messaging)

  • Psychographics

  • Purchase history

  • Real time data (sports scores, stock tickers, weather, etc.)

  • Site behavior (browsing history, cart information)

  • Viewer Behavior (interactions, engagement, time spent with interactive elements)

  • Viewer Information (first name, birth date)

  • And more

Considerations for Implementing a Data-Driven Video Strategy

Capabilities Differ Based on Channel and Platform

Best Practices

  • Data informs both audience and creative:

  • Always consider where your ad will be seen

  • Think about the consumer journey

  • Ensure data strategy is compliant with privacy regulation (i.e. GDPR, CCPA)


  • Data management: Keeping first-party data organized and determining how to segment your own audiences can be challenging.

  • Data quality: It is necessary to vet third-party data sets to ensure that the vendor’s segmentation and modeling methods are sound and data is fresh.

  • Lack of resources: According to a Sailthru survey of UK and US marketers, more than 4 in 10 respondents said that a lack of time, people and money has inhibited their personalization efforts. Note: Vendors that offer managed services can alleviate resource challenges and help get personalization programs off the ground.

  • Regulatory issues: As much as marketers are focused on reaching the right people, be mindful of also avoiding the wrong people (i.e. follow COPPA regulation, Legal Drinking Age (LDA) compliance)

Ad Delivery Considerations

  • VAST: VAST 4.x (i.e. VAST 4.0 and beyond) introduces the concept of “Ad Requests” and “VAST Interactive Templates” – both of which can be used to support some level of dynamic content.

  • VPAID (Note: The spec for interactive ads will transition from VPAID to SIMID): VPAID enables more complex levels of interaction for data-driven video. For example, VPAID ad units can change in response to user interaction.


  • Go beyond the click: Traditional KPIs like video completion rate and clicks should be balanced against more accurate determinations of success, like conversions for performance-based campaigns, and time-spent, for branding and awareness campaigns.

  • Establish benchmarks: Marketers can create benchmarks by conducting A/B testing. For example, run a generic version of the video first to establish benchmark for drop off and conversion rates. Then run the optimized video to understand how it performs against the benchmark.

  • Test and iterate: Check campaign performance on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and adjust your strategy based on performance. Testing can be as simple as an A/B test or as sophisticated as a multivariate test.

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