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Cross post from the DoubleClick Publisher Blog

Recently there has been a great deal of discussion about applications that inject or overlay ads on sites without the express approval of users and those sites, and then monetize the inventory as their own. We believe that this kind of activity is bad for end users and damages the integrity of the advertising industry. In order for the programmatic marketplace to achieve its full potential and help as many marketers and publishers as we think it can, there needs to be trust between advertisers, publishers, and users.

We’ve invested, since the beginning, in strong policies and a system of checks and filters to ensure that the inventory on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange is the highest quality in the industry. Here’s a quick summary of what we do to stop invalid injected inventory from entering our exchange.

We don’t support spammy applications. Period.
Both the Google Platforms program policies and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) Seller Program Guidelines strictly prohibit the use of systems, including toolbars, that overlay ad space on a given site without express permission of the site owner. In addition, we have numerous processes and technologies in place to review publishers’ inventory as well as advertisers’ ads to maintain a high standard of quality for how advertising is transacted on our platforms. 

In light of the increased concerns on this subject, many publishers have asked us for guidance on what to ask the exchanges or networks they work with. Here are three suggested questions any publisher partner should be able to answer in regards to protecting against injected inventory:
  • Does your platform work with or supply advertising for clients who inject display ads in browsers?
  • Do your program policies prohibit the use of systems to inject display ads in browsers, without first having obtained user consent or consent from the site affected?
  • Please provide me a report of all the inventory partners on your platform serving my domain?

We do, and will always, support our publisher partners. 
Finally, I’d like to thank the millions of publishers who use the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, large and small, that day in and day out, provide amazing value both to their users and their advertisers. We welcome a broader discussion with our partners and with the industry about how to collectively solve this issue and others. Together, we can all ask the tough questions, hold each other accountable, and ultimately create the web we all want, where publishers, users and advertisers all thrive.

Posted by Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management

As more brands adopt programmatic technology, there's a growing need to train buyers on how they can deliver greater ROI by simplifying their media buying and audience targeting with DoubleClick Ad Exchange. To help buyers take advantage of these new buying opportunities, we've launched DoubleClick Ad Exchange eLearning and Certification, a free, self-paced online eLearning and certification that teaches key AdX concepts to new exchange buyers.

We recommend that any media buyers, real-time bidders, and developers who plan to buy inventory from AdX, take our fundamentals training to learn AdX, understand our policies, and get an introduction to programmatic media buying and real-time bidding (RTB).

The course covers:
  • What the Ad Exchange is and how it works
  • AdX policies and supported creatives
  • How to navigate the user interface
  • Creating campaigns and ad groups
  • An overview of RTB and how to create RTB campaigns
  • How to review, create and report on the different programmatic buying solutions
AdX Fundamentals also includes a 30-question certification exam, and a score of 80% or greater is required to pass. When you pass, you’ll get a printable certificate of completion.

Enroll in DoubleClick Ad Exchange Fundamentals and demonstrate your proficiency today.

Keep in mind, this course is only available to current DoubleClick AdX buyers. To access this course, you'll need to sign in with the Google account you use for DoubleClick AdX.

Posted by Anna Solinap, Ad Exchange Product Trainer

The following post originally appeared on the Google Analytics blog:

We've long known that the power of digital marketing is in its measurability. But measurability is only half the battle.  The other half is attribution — understanding how to allocate credit to your various marketing programs and appropriately recognize their impact on the customer journey.

Over the past two years, we’ve built a strong foundation in attribution with Multi-Channel Funnels and the Attribution Model Comparison Tool in Google Analytics (as well as additional tools for AdWords and Google Display Network). Today, we’re expanding our attribution capabilities with Data-Driven Attribution in Google Analytics Premium, with algorithmic models and a new set of reports designed to take the guesswork out of attribution. It’s available globally to all Google Analytics Premium customers.

Data-Driven Attribution analyzes the customer journey, whether that journey ends in a purchase (or conversion) or not. Our modeling methodology, grounded in statistics and economic principles, automatically assigns values to your marketing touchpoints. You’ll see a more complete and actionable view of which digital channels and keywords are performing best, so you can achieve a better return on your marketing and advertising investments.

Recently, a large telecommunications company used Data-Driven Attribution to help optimize media spend and placements to help capture small business leads. After using Data-Driven Attribution, they gained newfound confidence in making decisions about Display. They saw leads from Display increased 10% while cost per lead remained flat, and saw that some media placements had been undervalued by 58%. 

Why use Data-Driven Attribution:
  • Algorithmic: The model automatically distributes credit across marketing channels. You define your own success metrics, like e-commerce transactions or other goals, and the model adapts and regularly refreshes using the most recent conversion path data.
  • Transparent: With our unique Model Explorer, you’ll have full insight into model behavior and understand how marketing touch points are valued — no “black box” methodology.
  • Actionable: Detailed insights into the individual contribution of a marketing channel (in both converting and non-converting paths) provide clear guidance, so you can so you can make better data-driven marketing decisions
  • Support: Google Analytics Premium customers can take advantage of their relationship with a dedicated services and support team.
  • Cross-platform Integrations: In addition to our deep integrations with Google products such as AdWords, the Google Display Network, and YouTube, you can pull in data from virtually any digital channel.
Click image for full-size
Applying Data-Driven Attribution to improve your results:
Google Analytics Premium customers can use the Data-Driven Attribution model to select and analyze marketing techniques, such as Display advertising or email campaigns. Easy analysis tools in the attribution reports let you compare values from the Data-Driven Attribution model to your default model, then sort and filter your data to discover where campaign changes could have the greatest impact. After identifying which channels (or campaigns, or keywords) have the greatest potential, adjust your programs and test the results. Once you’ve learned how the Data-Driven Attribution model compares to your prior model (and viewed the Model Explorer to see how the data-driven values were calculated), you can go straight to the ROI Analysis report, which lets you focus on optimization insights.
How it works:
The Data-Driven Attribution model is enabled through comparing conversion path structures and the associated likelihood of conversion given a certain order of events. The difference in path structure, and the associated difference in conversion probability, are the foundation for the algorithm which computes the channel weights. The more impact the presence of a certain marketing channel has on the conversion probability, the higher the weight of this channel in the attribution model. The underlying probability model has been shown to predict conversion significantly better than a last-click methodology. Data-Driven Attribution seeks to best represent the actual behavior of customers in the real world, but is an estimate that should be validated as much as possible using controlled experimentation.

To learn more about Google Analytics Premium, contact your Google Account Manager, or visit google.com/analytics/premium.

Posted by Bill Kee, Product Manager for Attribution, and Jody Shapiro, Product Manager for Google Analytics Premium

Original post: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2013/08/data-driven-attribution-better.html

Dust off your textbooks and boot up your laptops: it’s time to go back to school!

While “Back to School” might be a dreaded time for students, it also presents unique challenges (and opportunities) for retail search marketers. More than 60% of shoppers will begin their Back to School shopping online, and most shoppers report that online research will have a notable impact on their in-store purchase decisions(1). In a highly competitive online space, how can you as a search marketer work faster, act smarter, and make better decisions -- all before that final school bell rings?  

Today, we want to help you beat the Back to School blues and take advantage of the second largest retail event of the year. So we’re opening our school supply box and sharing a few successes we’ve heard from search marketers who’ve done their homework. Below are just a few powerful tools from DoubleClick Search to make sure you’ll get voted “most likely to succeed” in retail this school year, and beyond.

Keep your promotions organized with inventory-aware campaigns
Shake off that lazy summer feeling and get your new Back to School promotions in tip-top shape with inventory-aware campaigns, which let you use your existing Google Merchant Center feeds to efficiently and automatically update your search campaigns.
Our star student: Piston. Jennifer Johnstone, Performance Marketing Strategist at Piston, mentions: “Inventory-aware campaigns allow us to save time from manually managing product inventory, enable us to spend money on more efficient product level keywords and help us drive more revenue than manual campaign builds.” The team cut out the busywork by setting up inventory rules to automatically pause keywords when products go out of stock, and change landing page URLs when links in their feed change. The team also increased profits by expanding their keyword lists, auto-generating highly relevant SKU-level keywords. In a matter of weeks, Piston saw a 51% uplift in ROAS, 26% higher CTR, and a 50% higher conversion rate for their retail client -- all while saving around 38 hours over the past quarter.

Get to the top of the class (and the search page) with smart bid calculations
Become a math whiz with powerful bid management tools from the DoubleClick Search Performance Bidding Suite, which considers dozens of factors to make intelligent bidding decisions in near-real time.
Our star student: iProspect. To better manage their search campaigns at scale, iProspect adopted the Performance Bidding Suite for automated bid optimization—with some impressive results. Casandra Jones, Account Supervisor at iProspect, notes: “The one feature from DoubleClick Search that our team can’t live without are the bid management tools. It’s saving us 8 hours a week, compared to manual bidding.” Within 6 weeks of adopting Floodlight tag bidding -- a bidding strategy that leverages Floodlight to set unique goals for varying conversion types -- iProspect saw significant improvements for their retail client: 10% increase in click volume, 20% increase in daily revenue, and 20% decrease in costs.

Secure cross-channel opportunities with display remarketing from search ads
Not sure how to juggle your cross-discipline studies? With display remarketing from search ads, use paid search clicks from DoubleClick Search to show consumers display ads across major ad exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager, or across the Google Display Network, all with an easy and tagless workflow.
Our star student: VivaKi. In the search for the best deals, online shoppers can quickly get distracted. VivaKi implemented DoubleClick's display remarketing from search ads to make sure they didn’t lose their audience. With a turn-key setup on one integrated platform, the VivaKi team set up their remarketing lists in just a few clicks, and were ready to begin reaching customers with display ads via DoubleClick Bid Manager. As a result, VivaKi increased conversions by 32% for a leading insurance company, and reduced CPA by 66% for an automotive client.

Take notes on the important details, using labels across your entire campaign
Don’t get lost in all the “noise”. Highlight the need-to-know details using labels from DoubleClick Search to categorize, manage, and report on your most important campaigns, ads, groups, or keywords at a glance.
Our star student: The Search Agency. The Search Agency used labels from DoubleClick Search to break out of their existing campaign structure and easily track and manage attributes most important to them. Matt Grebow, Director of Paid Search at The Search Agency, notes: “Labels help us quickly identify account segments that are important to our clients, and provide the flexibility to adjust these segments along with any shift in business focus.” Beyond simply tagging different campaign attributes, we’ve seen our customers use labels in unique ways with other DoubleClick Search features, including combining labels with automated rules to manage their promotion schedules.

Ace your “report” card with better measurement from DoubleClick
Find out how your campaigns are stacking up with insights from our real-time, holistic reporting solutions. With a single view of your customer across display, rich media, mobile, video, and more, discover what’s working, hone in on new opportunities, and find your spot on the digital marketing honor roll.
Our star student: Digitas. In a dynamic search space, waiting 24 hours for reports to be updated, then mashing up and matching data from those separate reports, can feel like nails on a chalkboard. I think the biggest factor that goes into our decision-making process for a platform is its ability to handle data, “Sean McDonald, Vice President and Group Director at Digitas, remarked. “DoubleClick really allows us to view the data all in one place, and make decisions based off of what’s best for our clients, rather than what's best for our individual teams.” With reporting by device type, quickly compare how campaigns are performing on desktop computers, mobile devices, and tablets, down to the individual keywords. For cross-channel insights, use DFA Attribution tools to better analyze conversion paths.

Ready for the next lesson? Play teacher’s pet and tune in to the DoubleClick for Advertisers blog later this week to learn how DoubleClick Bid Manager can help advertisers engage with in-market consumers during the Back to School season, and get set up for success for the upcoming holidays.

1. Google data, 2013: http://googleshopping.blogspot.com/


Because of it’s ease of use, Studio Layouts makes rich media ad units much more accessible. Where before it took too long to crank out standard rich media ads that actually worked, now it can take the same amount of time to build a rich media ad as it can to build a standard image or flash ad. So why not trade up?

According to the Doubleclick Display Benchmarks, rich media interaction rates are up almost 60% since April of 2012. During the same period, interaction time has grown 21% and people are now watching videos to completion over 60% of the time. Standard flash and image ads on the other hand, don’t provide opportunities for viewers to interact and therefore can’t provide metrics on how people are actually engaging with your brand.

Rich media ads give you access to:
  • Larger file sizes -- so your ads can be more beautiful and engaging. 
  • Engagement metrics -- all standard rich media metrics are baked into Studio Layouts (no custom-coding required), so you can show interaction rates, video completion rates, and other engagement metrics to prove the performance of your ads. 
  • HTML5 layouts -- replace a backup .gif with an engaging HTML5 ad and get your creative onto mobile and tablet devices. 
With a tool that makes it so easy to reuse your creative assets to build rich media ads, there’s no reason not to upgrade your standard banners to rich media. You'll provide a more engaging experience for your customers and get access to the metrics that prove the success of your campaign.

If you’d like to learn more about the Studio Layouts product, join us on Monday, Aug. 19th, for a Hangout on Air. The Studio Layouts product team will discuss the use cases for Studio Layouts, the features and formats that are currently available and what’s coming up on the product roadmap.

RSVP for the Hangout here and visit our DoubleClick Google+ page on Monday at 1:30pm ET and click “Join Hangout” to participate. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing, DoubleClick


Yesterday, we heard from Maureen and Zeena about how Studio Layouts can drastically improve your efficiency when building and QAing rich media ads. With time savings averaging around 4 days and 80% of total turnaround time being slashed, Studio Layouts helps you get the job done faster. 

Today we’re going to focus on a slightly different use case: Studio Layouts helps you easily extend a campaign’s reach across channels and devices. 

Let’s imagine a large auto company. These days, even though they are increasing their spend online, they still probably allocate more than 50% of their budget to TV and print.* So their creative agencies are already building beautiful assets for TV and print, but these assets probably aren’t getting used to their fullest online. The company’s online campaigns likely contain only standard flash or image ads, with a couple rich media ads thrown in. 

Layouts enables them to re-use those beautiful assets in online rich media ads and get more mileage out of all the work they put into that creative. Because it takes hardly any time to build an ad using Layouts, and because all you have to do is upload your existing image and video assets into the tool, you can build many more units for digital, reusing the assets you’ve spent so much time to create and garnering more impressions for those messages. Plus you get the larger file size and expanded canvas that a standard ad just can’t provide, so you have adequate space for those big, shiny creative assets. 

Additionally, Layouts offers HTML5 formats, which ingest the same assets as Flash, meaning you can take the image and video assets you have, upload them into an HTML5 Layout, and suddenly have a campaign that is accessible on smartphones and tablets. In this way, you reach a whole new set of users. 

So a video that may have originally been intended for TV can get repurposed into both flash and HTML5 rich media ad units that can be served across the internet on desktop, mobile and tablet devices, exponentially increasing the total number of people who see the creative.

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing, DoubleClick


Automated buying. Machine-based buying. RTB. Call it what you may, there's no doubt that programmatic buying is changing (read: simplifying) the way media is bought and sold, in real-time. No wonder then, we’ve seen more daily transactions on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange than on the NYSE and NASDAQ combined, and a tripling of instream video ad impressions as brands adopt the technology. And eMarketer predicts that 1/3rd of all display advertising is going to be bought programmatically by 2017.

But what's the real opportunity here for advertisers and publishers? How is programmatic going to safely grow their businesses and deliver ROI? In our new collection of insights, ‘The Programmatic Opportunity’, hear how this technology is transforming the industry, what’s going to make it work and why it’s the way of the future, from senior advertising and media executives like The Weather Company’s Curt Hecht, CBS Interactive’s David Chiang, Digitas’ Joel Aranson and Xaxis’ Mike Finnegan. Get some tips from Washington Post Digital on leveraging programmatic to tap into new buyer segments, and to realize CPMs at par with direct rates.

In coming weeks, stay tuned for us to add new research, best practices and perspectives to the collection. In the meantime, catch up with Google executives across the globe to hear about the evolution of online advertising and the programmatic opportunity:


Yesterday we announced the launch of DoubleClick Studio Layouts, a rich media production tool that makes it easy to build and publish rich media and HTML5 ads. With Studio Layouts, all you have to do is select a layout, upload your existing assets and publish. 

Our customers are seeing an average 80-90% reduction in turnaround time for the production and approvals of their rich media creative. To get a first-hand view of the impact of Studio Layouts, I spoke with some of our campaign experts -- Maureen Carroll and Zeena Husami, DoubleClick Rich Media Campaign Managers for some of our largest clients. Here are their thoughts on the new tool.

Tell me about the process of building a rich media ad unit prior to Studio Layouts. 

Zeena: Before Studio Layouts, the assets we needed from the creative agency were much more involved and complex (fully functioning Flash assets built by the creative agency). There was often some time-consuming back and forth just to ensure we received the assets in the exact format that we needed.

Maureen: Creative agencies would then hand off those flash files and other creative assets and we’d add in DoubleClick Studio components and custom events for tracking before uploading into DoubleClick Studio. Often times we’d have special instructions which needed to be communicated back to the Doubleclick production and QA teams, thereby delaying the start of post-production.

Zeena: Once in QA, the DoubleClick QA team would thoroughly test the unit to make sure it functioned properly on all browsers and the tracking fired as intended.

Maureen: Even for a QA-only campaign in which creative agencies built directly in DoubleClick Studio themselves, there might be several rounds of QA revisions due to functionality issues and/or spec requirement violations.

How long would this whole build process usually take?
Maureen: Creative agencies might spend several days developing the creative in flash (prior to asset delivery or publishing to QA). Then rich media post-production normally took at least 4-5 business days, and in some cases up to 9-10 business days if high in complexity and/or creative volume.

So what’s the process look like now, with Studio Layouts?
Maureen: Creative agencies can quickly produce a creative by uploading basic image assets, inputting video IDs and making setting selections. No flash development is needed on the part of creative agencies.

Zeena: Once they add the assets, they preview and publish the ad unit and we have a fully functioning rich media ad (including custom rich media tracking). Since Layouts uses a shell that has been tried and true, these creatives typically pass QA in their first round of testing!

And how long does it take, on average, for you to build an ad using layouts?
Zeena: For the most complex unit I’ve built, it took about eight minutes. For less complex units, it takes about three!

Maureen: And we’re seeing an average time savings of 4-5 days spent on post-production and revisions. As a result, creative agencies and advertisers have greater flexibility and are able to launch engaging rich media creatives within shorter timelines.

What are some of the other benefits you have noticed as you use Layouts? 
Maureen: Layouts is a great way to get more value out of creative, repurposing creative assets for additional executions to extend a campaign’s reach with minimal effort. Layouts also come with a comprehensive set of custom metrics, providing advertisers with a deep understanding of a user’s interaction with their creative.

Zeena: Layouts simplifies the production of HTML5 ads too, so creative agencies can now spend their time focusing on the content of the ad (images, video, copy) rather than the tedious coding and testing on the back end. Additionally, these Layouts formats were built using best practices from the best performing rich media ads, so they typically perform above benchmark metrics because they are clean and engaging. 


Check back here tomorrow for our next post in “The Layouts Series”, focusing on the extended reach that Layouts can provide. And find more information about the product on the Rich Media Gallery.

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing, DoubleClick


Today, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of DoubleClick Studio Layouts, a rich media production tool that makes it easier to build and publish rich media and HTML5 ads.

Rich media formats are becoming a mainstay for brand advertisers, who are expected to increase their rich media spend by ~150% over the next four years.* Rich media’s continued growth is due in large part to it’s ability to help brands bring their stories to life online. (Check out our recent iMedia article for examples of great digital storytelling.) But although rich media ads are recognized as a critical vehicle for digital advertising, the tools to produce these ads are still too complex and time-consuming. The insurgence of mobile advertising and HTML5 has only made the process even more complicated. In fact, ad production can consume up to 80% of a creative agency’s time, leaving only 20% for the strategic, innovative thinking.

We want to invert that statistic.

With today’s launch, you no longer have to toil through the hand-coding of a long tear sheet, or undergo multiple creative revisions for a simple ad. Studio Layouts provides a pre-built rich media ad shell, so you can simply select a layout, upload your existing assets and publish. You can even build HTML5 ads using the same basic assets. Because the structure of the ad is already created for you, there are fewer places for the creative to break, meaning your ads can get through QA with few to zero revisions. With Studio Layouts, you can build rich media and HTML5 ads much faster, reach more people with your existing assets and upgrade your basic image ads to rich media. Let’s see how these benefits came to life with Samsung Turkey for their recent Galaxy S4 campaign. (Full case study here.)

Efficiency: Build rich media and HTML5 ads faster
Samsung Turkey launched a rich media campaign in 90% less time than they could have before Layouts. They built a Google Display Network Lightbox ad in 15 minutes and completed quality assurance in three hours with no revisions. Not only was the turn-around time greatly reduced, but the campaign was also successful in driving consumer engagement. In one month, 20 million impressions were served to 2.4 million unique users, with an engagement rate of 2.73%. More than 60,000 viewers watched the videos through to the end, and the cost per engagement was low, at less than 10 cents US.

Samsung’s Google Display Network Lightbox unit begins as a 300x250, and expands when a user hovers over the ad for two seconds. The expanded state can accommodate three YouTube videos.

Reach: Get more mileage out of existing assets
Samsung was able to take their YouTube videos and quickly turn them into a rich media ad, syndicating their existing content across the internet. They could also take those same assets, plug them into an HTML5 layout and reach people on mobile and tablet devices as well, without having to code a thing.

Performance: Upgrade standard flash and image ads to rich media
Finally, by using rich media to distribute their videos, Samsung gained access to rich media metrics, such as interaction and video completion rates. “The campaign data showed that we were reaching the right customer at the right place and at the right time,” says Seda Gumustas, digital marketing manager for Samsung Turkey. This data gives advertisers the ability to understand how users are engaging with their brands and gauge success of their campaigns in ways not possible before.

What’s Launching today?
Today, we’re launching Studio Layouts to the public, and we’ll continue to roll out new Layouts formats and features over the next six months. In the coming weeks, we’ll be launching Layouts for the IAB Rising Star formats Cascade, Billboard, and Sidekick, as well as an HTML5 Google Display Network Lightbox format.

If you are already a DoubleClick Studio user, you’ll notice the new Layouts tab in the top green navigation bar of the UI. There you’ll find the Layouts Gallery with descriptions for how to begin using the tool.

To learn more about Studio Layouts, visit our landing page on the Rich Media Gallery.

Posted by Tal Snir, Product Manager, DoubleClick Rich Media and Video

*eMarketer, “US Ad Spending: Mid-2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates”, July 31, 2013