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You may have read on the Official Google Blog that the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange is open for business.

The new DoubleClick Ad Exchange helps to open the ecosystem and establish a new marketplace for buyers and sellers. For a large publisher managing multiple sales channels and ad networks, the Ad Exchange provides real-time yield management to maximize returns. Participating ad networks and agency networks get access to a large pool of inventory and the controls they need to precisely achieve their marketing goals.

We've been working for some time on rebuilding the Ad Exchange on Google technology to deliver an improved platform, with new features and functionality for our customers. Both sellers (publishers) and buyers (ad networks and agency networks) stand to benefit from the new features we've incorporated.

Key benefits for sellers include:

  • Real-time dynamic allocation to maximize yield. Publishers can automatically generate the highest return for every impression, using real-time data and bids to allocate ad space to the sales channel that pays the most at that second.
  • Access to many more advertisers. The Ad Exchange offers publishers access to new buyers, including AdWords advertisers, bringing higher quality ads and more competition for ad space on their sites.
  • Hassle-free payments managed by Google. We manage the billing and payments from networks so publishers get one monthly payment and minimize having to manage multiple relationships.
  • Greater controls. Publishers can decide what advertisers, networks, ad formats, and bid types to allow.
  • New easy to use interface with enhanced reporting. We use the simplicity of Google's user design principles to help publishers easily find out how their sites are performing, to help them make the right decisions about their ad space.

Key benefits for buyers include:

  • Access to more publishers and more ad space. Hundreds of thousands of AdSense publisher sites are now available on the Ad Exchange to Google-certified ad networks. And as more publishers join the Ad Exchange to take advantage of its yield management capabilities, more high quality inventory is being added all the time.
  • Real-time bidding. The Ad Exchange supports real-time bidding, which allows buyers to use their own data, optimization and ad serving technologies to bid on their desired inventory on an impression-by-impression basis, choosing only the sites, audiences, or particular type of ad space they want to reach.
  • New easy to use interface with enhanced buyer reporting capabilities. Redesigned reports are simple to use and understand, so buyers can easily see how their campaigns are performing to help them make the right decisions.
  • More control and precision. Buyers control where their ads appear and don't appear. They can use frequency capping, pacing and other features to precisely control ad delivery.
  • Centralized clearing system. Google makes all payments to publishers, reducing complexity with a single billing and payment point. Buyers benefit from managing one business relationship instead of many.
  • A new API - Ad networks and agency networks will have access to an API which enables them to integrate their own functionality and systems when working with the Ad Exchange.

We're excited about the open marketplace that the new Ad Exchange creates and believe that it will add substantial value to the display advertising ecosystem.

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Advertisers and agencies who work on display ad campaigns often wonder "How do I know if my display ad campaigns are doing well?" and "What credible benchmarks can I use to compare the results on my current campaign?"

Some might rely on past campaign performance metrics while others might compare across multiple campaigns and advertisers within their client roster. All are fine means in the absence of larger, more comprehensive industry benchmarks.

This is why we're particularly pleased to make available DoubleClick benchmarks so that marketers, agencies, and publishers have a reference by which to evaluate the performance of online display advertising campaigns in the U.S., relative to industry norms.

These benchmarks are derived from a robust data set across DART for Advertisers, based on rigorous methodology with input from the Advertising Research Foundation. Benchmarks in this report cover those for 2008 and transect ad format, ad size, and industry vertical. The benchmarks are normalized across hundreds of advertisers, thousands of campaigns, and tens of billions of ad impressions.

You can download the report here. More in-depth benchmarks by industry are available exclusively to DoubleClick clients so contact your account manager to discuss further.

If you're interested in learning more you can attend our webinar, "Benchmarking Ahead: IAB Reveals the DoubleClick Benchmarks Report," co-hosted with the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) on June 24th at 12pm EST.

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At DoubleClick, we've had the privilege of picking the brains of several of the industry's thought leaders and innovators in digital marketing. We've captured a few of these key insights through our ThreeQuestions for Innovators video interview series: These interviews span the gamut of key industry themes and issues, including current trends and influencers, ad exchanges, social media, emerging media, and the future.

This month we're honored to highlight interviews with Carla Hendra, Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvy North America, as well as Ian Schafer, CEO and Founder of interactive marketing agency Deep Focus. Carla speaks to us on the challenges in the brave world of digital marketing, while Ian shares his insights on rich media, video, and the role of the agency in the advertising process.

We're excited about our lineup of thought leaders and the conversations they spark - whether it's about opportunities in a challenging economic environment, trends to watch for in 2009 or ground-breaking insights from innovative fields such as neuromarketing.