Conversion attribution is the practice advertisers use to give appropriate credit to every impression, interaction or click that helped drive a conversion in a campaign. Instead of the typical “last click wins” model, in which 100% credit is given to that last ad that was clicked on before a conversion, attribution modeling shines a light on the entire path the customer took to get there.

Beyond the “last click wins” approach
There are many reasons why online advertisers have relied on this “last click wins” model. There is a lot of data to sift through, and making sense of it can be a overwhelming. Although only 14% of respondents in a recent survey by Google Analytics in partnership with eConsultancy consider “last click” attribution to be “very effective,” it remains common; most likely because marketers haven't yet found or mastered the right attribution tools. But simply giving all the credit to the final click ignores the contribution of the customer’s previous interactions—whether through search, display or rich media —that led to the final purchase.

At DoubleClick, we provide you with the data needed to properly credit the different channels that led to conversions for your campaigns. First came the Exposure to Conversion Report (E2C), a premium report which lets advertisers view data on up to ten ad interactions leading up to a conversion. Then we released Multi-Channel Funnels in DFA to offer all clients an aggregated view of which channels contribute to and result in conversions.

Expanded insights: The Path to Conversion report
Now, we’re pleased to introduce the Path to Conversion Report. This report, available in new DFA Reporting, makes it easier for you to gain insight into your customer’s journey to a purchase.

For a trial period, the new Path to Conversion report is available to any customer who is already receiving the E2C report.

This new report, currently available to any customer who receives the E2C report, provides similar insights but offers E2C customers significant improvement in a few key areas:

  • Easier to use: the data, available in new DFA Reporting is much easier to compile and faster to download.
  • More interactions: the availability of data has greatly expanded. Now you can analyze up to 200 customer interactions (also known as “exposures”) per conversion as compared to a maximum of ten in the E2C report.
  • Custom Floodlight Variables: you can now include custom floodlight variables in the report in order to determine custom conversion details, e.g. order amounts for e-commerce sites or the number of nights booked for travel sites.
  • Enhanced DoubleClick Search integration: Available per interaction: Ad level data including keyword, new DS3 labels and Full DoubleClick Search IDs - for easier optimization.
  • Attribute sales with no clicks: Often you’ll encounter customers who have seen a DoubleClick-served ad from another network, and then went to the advertiser’s site later to buy. Data on these unattributed conversions (aka non-attributed interactions), are now measured in this report.
  • International support: P2C now supports multi-byte characters in Floodlight Custom Variables and in DoubleClick Search Data (keyword, etc).

We invite existing E2C customers to log in to DFA Reporting and try out the Path to Conversion report during this trial period. We’re excited to see how you can leverage this report to take the next step in your attribution modeling efforts.


School is out for the kids but for us in online advertising, there is plenty of classroom time to be had this month for DFA users. Visit the DFA Help Center to register for any webinars as well as our classroom offerings.

Classroom Training

DFA Fundamentals: This full-day course (10am-5pm) is for new DFA users looking to understand the fundamentals of third-party ad serving including best practices for campaign trafficking, serving ads and pulling reports.

  • Chicago - June 20
  • San Francisco - June 21
  • Los Angeles - June 25

DFA Trafficking Lab: Get more practice trafficking campaigns. These sessions cover the basics such as assigning landing pages to creatives, updating campaigns, setting up geo-targeting and using creative rotation.

Class Prerequisite: Attendees should have taken the DFA Fundamentals class in the previous two months or have less than two months trafficking experience.

  • Chicago - June 21
  • San Francisco - June 22
  • Los Angeles - June 26

Webinar Training

DFA for New Users - June 20
Learn the fundamentals of trafficking in DFA from creating an Advertiser through exporting Tags.

MediaVisor Fundamentals - June 19
This webinar covers the most common uses of MediaVisor including set-up, sending RFPs and IOs, and trafficking.

Be sure to check back with us on this blog for next month's training schedule. We look forward to seeing you in class.

Last week, you heard from Neal Mohan at DoubleClick Insights talk about how the digital ad ecosystem is rapidly evolving.

To help digital marketers keep up with the latest insights and updates from DoubleClick, we've given the DoubleClick website a refresh. We've reorganized the site to do a better job of surfacing the latest DoubleClick news and added a dash of visual style in the process.

What else changed with the new design?

Improved discoverability: 
In addition to becoming a destination to discover the latest news and insights from DoubleClick, the site is gateway for you to explore and learn about DoubleClick’s digital technology solutions. We’ve reorganized the site to make it easier for you to discover and learn about the solutions that best meet your business objectives.

Cleaner design: 
As part of a Google-wide effort to bring you an experience that’s more focused, elastic, and effortless across all of our products and websites, the new site underwent a thorough usability review to help strip out unnecessary clutter in order to make finding the information you’re looking for as easy as possible.

Multi-screen site for a multi-screen world:
We know first hand that users browse the web across multiple-screens and devices. The new site offers a consistent and seamless experience whether you’re visiting from your desktop, mobile, or tablet device.

We hope you like the new site and find it useful, and invite you to have a look around.


Editor's note (Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 6:15pm PST): We have updated the YouTube link to show a recorded version of the DoubleClick Insight livestream event.

Today, at the DoubleClick Insights conference, we’re unveiling DoubleClick Digital Marketing: the first modern ad platform built for the modern digital world. The improvements we’re announcing today represent the biggest ever overhaul of our DoubleClick ad platform and are the result of a great deal of hard work over the last few years. This fully integrated, unified platform and its components will be rolling out to partners over the coming months.

You can click here to watch a recording of the livestream of the event:

A platform for today
Today’s consumers work, play and share, moving seamlessly between formats and devices. However, for agencies and advertisers, the process of connecting with consumers is anything but seamless. It’s hard to reach the right audience at the right moment with the right message when every channel requires its own system and you’re patching together, and switching, between ad platforms that aren’t in sync. In fact, in a recent survey of 300 clients, marketers and agencies, they told us their team members are spending almost two days a week working across various digital platforms, often on manual workflow tasks. They estimate an integrated digital platform could liberate a third of that time. That’s an extra month every year that each team member can invest in other campaigns and new business.

Based on what we’ve heard from our customers, we challenged ourselves to re-invent ad buying with a unified platform:

  • Can we build an ad management platform that’s comprehensive, so that clients can manage all channels in one place, across all formats and devices?
  • Can we build a seamless platform, so that clients can easily optimize, tailor, measure and compare all elements of their campaigns, using a common language and interface?
  • Can we ensure that it’s customizable, so that marketers can easily plug in their own technology, data and third-party suppliers?
  • Can we make ad buying faster, to dramatically speed up data analysis and slash manual campaign management activities?

A platform that works better together DoubleClick Digital Marketing is our answer. The new platform comprises the following components, which will be fully integrated and work together to enable seamless ad campaign management for agencies and advertisers:

  • DoubleClick Digital Marketing Manager, our upgraded DoubleClick ad server, used by thousands of marketers and agencies worldwide to manage directly bought ad space.
  • DoubleClick Bid Manager, our new demand-side platform, rebuilt on our DoubleClick technology, making it faster and more flexible. Many Invite Media customers are currently in the process of being upgraded to the new DSP. Last year, spending on Invite Media grew by about 50%, and we believe these new investments will create even more momentum for the exchange ecosystem.
  • DoubleClick Search, our cross-engine search management platform that was completely rebuilt last year and is natively integrated into the DoubleClick platform. DoubleClick Search is used by 6 of the largest 10 agencies, and is creating efficiency gains of up to 65%.
  • DoubleClick Studio, our rich media creative solution, now with Teracent’s dynamic creative technology built in, which powers engaging and intelligent ad units. In 2011, rich media ads accounted for 10% of all display ads, doubling in volume over 12 months.
  • Finally, Google Analytics, which will enable attribution modelling, conversion reports and site traffic reporting to be incorporated seamlessly into ad campaigns.

We’ve invested significantly in this area, because we believe that such a system would dramatically improve digital marketing—growing the pie for publishers, funding great online content for users, and helping marketers grow their businesses.

What are we making possible? With the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform, we’re enabling:

  • Smarter creative that works with your media buy and that dynamically responds in real-time, with the audience in mind.
  • More responsive campaigns that can “learn” the channels where consumers interact and quickly respond with the most appropriate creative, message and offer across all screens (for example, using a single set of frequency capping, remarketing and creative optimization signals across the entire campaign, helping to deliver the right ad as users move through the marketing funnel—from awareness to conversion).
  • Creating greater value for your business and campaigns, enabling a better understanding across channels and formats (e.g., how does rich media perform versus video?); and facilitating real-time, smarter optimization decisions to reduce cost and increase campaign performance (for example, should you reduce bids on your search keywords and exchange buying while increasing your bids to run more video ads?).

A big step forward We’re often asked about the future of digital advertising. We’re passionate about this industry. It’s the fuel that powers the digital world and a powerful engine of growth and employment. Over the last decade, a remarkably successful industry has been built via humble web banners, repurposed pre-roll video ads, desktop computers and a patchwork of ad buying tools. However, for marketers, the combination of re-imagined creative tools, reinvented measurement solutions and re-vamped ad buying platforms can propel digital advertising into a $200 billion industry that funds and supports great content.

In the coming days on this blog, and on the DoubleClick Publishers blog we’ll provide more details of the new buying platform and discuss other announcements from our DoubleClick Insights event, including new solutions for our DFP and Ad Exchange partners.

Posted by Neal Mohan, Vice President, Display Advertising

On Tuesday, June 5th, at 9am - 1pm PST, we will be live streaming  DoubleClick Insights  -- a series of spirited, thought-provoking conversations about the future of digital marketing with leaders from top advertisers, agencies and publishers.  We caught up with Neal Mohan, VP of Display Advertising, and the host of DoubleClick Insights to ask him about the event. 

Q: Why did Google decide to host DoubleClick Insights this year?

A: Every year, DoubleClick hosts our Client Advisory Board event to talk to our advertising and publishing customers about our plans, and to learn how our solutions could better serve their businesses.  Customers at the advisory board have asked that we share more of our perspective on the industry trends we’re seeing. To share these trends not only with our customers, but with the broader digital advertising community, we will be hosting the first DoubleClick Insights event, live streaming on YouTube.

Q: What will the discussions at DoubleClick Insights focus on?
A: We’ve invited executives from leading agencies, advertisers and publishers to help us lead conversations around three important themes:

  1. How do we better adapt to the empowered consumer?  In a world where consumers are increasingly in control, what do advertisers and publishers need to do to better engage and increasingly fickle consumer.
  2. Where does the ad technology ecosystem go next?  We’ve seen explosive growth in ad tech over the last 20 years, but there’s still a lot that could be done to unlock all of the potential value for publishers, marketers – and ultimately consumers.
  3. Finally, we want to take a look at how all of this technology is being used and ask ourselves if all this technology is leading to better ad creative, or is it just creating complexity that is holding us back.  
You can view the full DoubleClick Insights agenda here.

Q: You mentioned other executives helping lead the conversation.  Who is speaking at DoubleClick Insights?
A:  We've invited an array of the most influential speakers from every facet of advertising and media to join us for DoubleClick Insights. To call out a few of our speakers: Terry Kawaja, Founder and CEO, LUMA Partners; David Kenny, Chairman & CEO, The Weather Channel Companies ; Jimmy Pitaro, Co-President, Disney Interactive Media Group; Omar Tawokol, Chief Executive Officer, BlueKai, Kurt Unkel - President, Vivaki; and many more.   You can view the full speakers list here.

Q: You’ve said before that digital advertising will become a $200 billion dollar industry. Will DoubleClick Insights answer what the next growth phase looks like for digital marketing?
A: I believe that the only way to create real value for all of us is by working better together because we are on the same journey -- whether that’s ad tech working better together, or advertisers and publishers working better together.  There is no single, magic solution for solving all of our challenges, so we need to work across the ecosystem to deliver on the full potential for digital marketing.

Q: Where can I find more information on DoubleClick Insights?
A: You can watch DoubleClick Insights on YouTube on June 5th, 2012 at 9:00am PST.

If you're following us on Google+ or Twitter (@DoubleClick and @DoubleClick_pub), use the #dclkinsights tag as you're watching the event to ask questions or share comments during the event.

Posted by Stephen Kliff and Scott Brown, DoubleClick Marketing