Advertising is often thought of as a creativity-based field, and in many ways it is; coming up with a great ad concept is a true art form. But just as a boring or confusing commercial won’t hook a single viewer, the best ad in the world won’t significantly drive sales if it reaches the wrong people or is distributed over the wrong channels. A successful campaign needs the best of both worlds: effective use of data mixed with inspired creative elements.

Most Successful Video Ad Campaigns Mix Data and Creative

For that to happen, data can’t function in a silo; it has to work with the ad creative every step of the way. When data and creative become part of the same practice, brands are able to upgrade from their stale, generic ads and create personalized videos that will hook customers – and increase conversions and return on investment (ROI). Research shows that personalized advertising leads to 10 percent more conversions and encourages customers to spend as much as 30 percent more per transaction, all by tailoring messages, offers and calls to action. Here’s how your brand can use data and creative elements to deliver the best experiences to consumers:

Individualized & Personalized Messages

Data-driven creative goes far beyond swapping one title in for another or auto-filling different names into an email subject line. Customer data is so advanced that marketers can now adjust nearly every element of an ad, from scenes and narration to length and style, to fit the preferences of the viewer. That way, the entire thrust of an ad can be changed depending on the viewer, which leads to better conversions and ROI. For example, a brand using personalized ads could stop throwing money at a city-dweller who only takes the subway, yet constantly receives ads about car insurance. Or, a business could cater to shoppers’ disparate interests and needs by offering a 20-something woman who recently browsed online for wedding dresses a different ad than a middle-aged man searching for flights to the World Cup. That level of specificity prevents both customer annoyance and wasting money on the wrong audience.

Real-time Video Advertising Offers

Perhaps the best part about data-driven video ads is that they aren’t static. A brand can track a particular customer’s online activity, both on its own website and on others, to determine the offers and products most likely to appeal to her at any given moment. If somebody repeatedly viewed a pair of sneakers on a retailer’s site but never followed through on a purchase, for instance, the brand could put together a video ad offering a promotion on those shoes while they’re fresh in the consumer’s mind. That practice helps companies hook customers when they’re most likely to buy a certain item and helps cut down on irrelevant targeting.

Adjustable Calls to Action

Ads aren’t always produced with the sole intention of encouraging customers to buy a certain product. Perhaps a business is simply trying to spread the word about a new service it offers, or to let people in a specific geographic area know that a branch just opened near them. Real-time, personalized ads let companies stay in control of the call to action associated with their ads, directing next steps and catering to whichever business goal it’s currently focusing on. That way, the company can set more specific intentions with its advertising, as opposed to blindly pumping out a huge number of ads and hoping they land in the way they’re meant to.

Just as no two customers are alike, no two ads should be either. It’s a rare ad that can appeal to people across demographics, geographic areas and interests, and it’s not a wise move to rely on your company being one of the few that can create such a masterpiece. Instead, integrate data into your creative process to ensure that your video ads are as appealing and effective to each individual customer as possible. When creativity and data work together, the results can be revolutionary.