WTF is PCO?!

Jason Wolfson Post-click optimization

The VuPulse team believes in the power that Post-Click Optimization (PCO) has on marketing. From our slack channels and meetings to our team dinners, we subscribe to the mantra that “if we send consumers where they want to watch/listen/shop, the marketers will continue to love us.” Sounds cheesy but it’s true. Since our team is smaller than an NBA roster, we need everyone to be all in.

Having said that, PCO is a brand-spanking new category; ergo we need to give the proper education on what it is, how it makes you look like a rockstar, and its applications throughout the digital ecosystem. Grab your notebook (or laptop), sharpen your pencil (or open Evernote), and open your mind—because class is in session.

Note this is the cliffsnotes version. You can grab the full 101 here. 


PCO (Post-Click Optimization) is everything that happens between the ad click and the conversion. It begins with a post, content, email or ad and ends with a personalized path to conversion. Think of when you see a post on your goto social platform for your favorite show. Pre-PCO you would click it and go to their website, which required anywhere from 5-8 clicks to finally watch or DVR the damn show. In a PCO world, you click that social post and go to the platform where you watch your favorite show. Sounds pretty awesome right?

Why should you care about PCO?

PCO makes digital marketing personalized after the click. Simple as. Well not really, let us elaborate. According to a Frost and Sullivan report, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. What better way to improve the customer experience than to simplify the path to watch, listen, and shop? That’s why you should care.

Why has post-click optimization not gotten the attention that pre-click has?

For the past decade, martech and adtech have been hellbent on personalizing anything and everything pre-click. There’s technology for data mining, audience building, data-driven creative, automation of media buying and serving et al. The list goes on and on. We like to think of PCO as wholesome, somewhat quiet kid in high school—they go under the radar for a bit but then they mature, excel, and become the successful business mogul who hits every “30 Under 30.” It has taken time for PCO to hit the stage but it’s here to stay.

What should you look for in a PCO partner?

  1. Innovative and professional-grade applications to customize, launch, and optimize campaigns
  2. Transparent and shortened feedback loop to understand, iterate, and improve ads
  3. Platform agnostic – Enable 1:1 marketing through PCO campaigns, optimizing digital marketing campaigns across any marketing/advertising platform or channel in real-time

There’s plenty more for you to learn, including: key terms, what types of metrics can be measured, and how PCO can work with your DMP and DSP partners. But we can’t give all of that away in this blog post. (We’d be amateur marketers if we did.) With many customers working with us and seeing tremendous results, with 95%+ of consumers going directly to their preferred destination in one click, we know we’re onto something. Now it’s time for you to quickly learn and change the way you connect with consumers.

Grab the full PCO 101 here. And if you’d like to chat with us, you can reach us here.