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Brand marketers since the “Mad Men” era have often sought insight to a simple question: ‘Was my ad seen?’ The answer was that your ad was published, your commercial ran, your online impression served on a web page, but it was impossible to say with certainty whether an ad was viewed or not. Thanks to leaps forward in digital technology and the hard work of many in the industry, it's now possible to measure whether an ad is viewable onscreen. Given this progress, it's not a matter of if this becomes the standard, but when.

We support a viewable impressions standard and have been partnering with the industry to push this forward. Today we've reached an important milestone on this journey - Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for our viewability measurement solution, Active View, which we introduced last year.

"We are very pleased that Google has achieved accreditation for its Active View product" said George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director of the Media Rating Council. "Viewable impressions are an important foundational improvement in digital measurement and an important step toward comparability with other electronic media."

Active View complements our other investments in making digital an effective medium for brand marketers and their awareness-building campaigns, like Lightbox ads and TrueView in AdMob and games. These efforts appear to be paying off for brand advertisers: we saw a 65 percent increase last quarter alone in the number of brand advertisers using our brand formats and buying tools.

The Active View Roadmap
Viewability has the power to transform the industry: improving the value of marketers’ spend, and of publishers’ sites. We’ve also designed this metric to be actionable, not just for after-the-fact reporting. Based on Active View, advertisers can buy reservable inventory on the Google Display Network (GDN), paying only for impressions that meet the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s proposed viewability standard - at least 50% on screen for one second or longer.

Effective metrics also serve as a universal currency, building an understanding between marketers and content creators about the best way to reach an audience, and the value of an ad on a page. This is why we’ll be building Active View into our products both for advertisers and publishers. In addition to its use on the GDN, Active View reporting will be available in DoubleClick for Advertisers and DoubleClick for Publishers in 2013. Long term, we see this becoming the new standard for how impressions are bought, sold and measured, replacing the “served impressions” metric we have today.

While many intuitively suspected that increased viewability would directly translate into better campaign performance, we now have data to back that up. On our network, we compared ads by the number of seconds they appeared on screen and found: 
  • Users are more likely to click on viewable ads -- up to 21 times more. 
  • Viewability can help publishers discover “gold below the fold,” with CTR doubling, on average, for below-the-fold inventory. On average, we’ve found that CTR is comparable for viewable above-the-fold and viewable below-the-fold inventory.
  • The longer users view an ad, the bigger the boost for click-through rates (we saw up to a 125% increase when an ad was viewed for more than 20 seconds). 
Figure 1. Comparison of CTR for viewable v. non-viewable ads, shown for all ads (left panel) and BTF inventory only (right panel) (100% = the average CTR of the specified dataset).
Figure 2. CTR by viewable time, detail.
*Data source for all figures: Google Display Network 2% sample from February 2013; display ads only; viewable = 50% onscreen. In all figures, 100% on the y-axis denotes the average CTR across all ad queries in the specified dataset.

Google’s MRC accreditation, which currently applies to the Google Display Network and DoubleClick for Advertisers, was based on a thorough assessment of a number of factors, including the detection process, quality control and delivery standards. 

With this accreditation, we are one step closer to making a viewable standard a reality for our partners. With better measurement, we think it's possible to unlock a new golden age of creation across the web, where users can enjoy great content, brands can connect with their customers and content creators can accelerate their growth.

Posted by Neal Mohan, Vice President, Display Advertising


Cross posted from the Google Analytics blog.  Enjoy!

Savvy marketers understand that you don’t always seal the deal with a single message, image, or advertisement. A user may see a display ad, click on a link from a friend, or do a search before buying something from your website — and all of these interactions can play a role in the final sale. It’s important to understand the entire customer journey so you can measure all of the elements that contribute to your campaigns, attribute the right value to them, and adjust your marketing budgets where appropriate.

That’s the philosophy behind Google Analytics tools like Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Modeling. Tens of thousands of our largest advertisers are gaining valuable insights from Multi-Channel Funnels every month, and we’ve collected these insights using aggregate statistics to develop a benchmarking tool — The Customer Journey to Online Purchase. This interactive tool lets you explore typical online buying behavior and see how different marketing interactions affect business success.

The tool draws on Ecommerce and Multi-Channel Funnels data from over 36,000 Google Analytics clients that authorized sharing, including millions of purchases across 11 industries in 7 countries. Purchase paths in this tool are each based on interactions with a single ecommerce advertiser.

You’ll find benchmark data for:
  • how different marketing channels (such as display, search, email, and your own website) help move users towards purchases. For example, some marketing channels play an “assist” role during the earlier stages of the marketing funnel, whereas some play a “last interaction” role just before a sale.
  • how long it takes for customers to make a purchase online (from the first time they interact with your marketing to the moment they actually buy something), and how the length of this journey affects average order values.

Channel Roles in the Customer Journey
The data shows that every industry is different — the path to purchase for hotel rooms in Japan is not necessarily the same as the path as for an online supermarket in Canada.

A few findings stand out, in particular:
  • As you might expect, customers typically click on display ads early in their purchase journeys, but in some industries, such as US travel and auto, display clicks tend to occur closer to the purchase decision.
  • Across industries and countries, paid search has a fairly even assist-to-last interaction ratio, implying that this channel can act both in the earlier and later stages of the customer journey.

Advanced tip:
  • Once you’ve explored the benchmarks, look deeper into your own marketing data with the Multi-Channel Funnel reports, and consider defining your channels and campaigns to separate out categories that are specific to your business needs.

Purchase values and the length of the journey
We also see interesting patterns emerge when examining the length of the customer journey. While the majority of purchases take place within a single day or a single step (i.e., a single interaction with one marketing channel), longer paths tend to correlate with higher average order values. 

For example,
  • in US Tech, online purchases that take more than 28 days are worth about 3.5 times more than purchases that occur immediately. And while 61% of tech purchases take place on that first day, only 53% of revenue comes from single-day purchases.
  • in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), on the other hand, most purchases (82%) are quick, likely because these are smaller and simpler purchases that don’t require much research.
  • in Edu / Gov, 41% of revenue comes from multi-day purchases, but 60% of revenue comes from multi-step purchases — suggesting that even when customers make decisions in a relatively short time period, they often have multiple marketing interactions before purchasing.

Advanced tip:
  • In Multi-Channel Funnels or the Attribution Modeling Tool, you can adjust the lookback window to reflect the typical length of the purchase path in your industry. For example, if your business tends to have shorter paths, you can zoom in on paths that take 5 days or less:

Putting the benchmarks to work
For marketers, it’s always a crucial challenge to design campaigns that deliver the right message at the right moment in a customer’s journey to purchase. We hope these benchmarks will provide useful insights about the journey and help you put your business into context. In particular, take a look at the final infographic, the “Benchmarks Dashboard,” to get a quick overview of your industry. Then, when you view your own data in the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in Google Analytics, you’ll gain a better understanding of where different channels impact your conversions and what your typical path looks like, so you can adjust your budgeting and marketing programs accordingly.

Try The Customer Journey to Online Purchase today on Google’s new Think Insights website.

Happy analyzing!

On April 8th, DoubleClick sponsored the AdExchanger Programmatic I/O conference. In front of 300+ agencies, marketers, and publishers Sean Downey, Managing Director of Media & Platform Sales interviewed David Chiang, VP of Monetization at CBSi and Mike Wann, EVP of Business Development at Demand Media about how buyers and sellers can work together to succeed in programmatic.

What’s the moonshot idea that we think can help grow buyer and seller relationships and revenue by 10X? Check out the highlights from the discussion below:

Or watch the entire interview:

See the entire Programmatic in the Future series on the DoubleClick YouTube channel and look out for our next series of hangouts, Video in the Future.

Posted by Alex Shellhammer, Product Marketing Team

(Cross posted from the DoubleClick Search blog)

Back in October, we announced the beta release of display remarketing from search ads, which allows advertisers to use insights from paid search clicks to remarket to audiences across ad exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager, or the Google Display Network (GDN) -- all with a seamless, tagless workflow.

We’re excited to announce that display remarketing from search ads is now out of beta, and is available to all DoubleClick Search customers globally.

Already, customers have shown some impressive results. Anton Kanis, Head of Business Solutions, Netherlands for OmnicomMediaGroup, has been using the feature to remarket via DoubleClick Bid Manager. Kanis notes “Display remarketing from search ads is proving itself to be a very valuable feature, often outperforming regular funnel remarketing and sometimes even search in terms of CPA.”

If you’re interested in trying display remarketing from search ads to take advantage of more cross-channel opportunities, reach out to your DoubleClick representative, or contact the DoubleClick Search support team at ds-support@google.com.

(Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Search blog)

Are you interested in what’s going on in the world of DoubleClick and digital marketing in general?  If so, come follow us on our brand new Google+ page: google.com/+doubleclickdigitalmarketing. We post regularly about new happenings and events within the DoubleClick family, as well as industry news.

In addition to highlighting interesting content, we hope that the page will be a place where you can have a conversation with our team of content contributors. The functional specialties of our team include search, display, rich media and ad serving - so we’ll have someone who understands your tough questions and find you the right solutions.

We’ll also be premiering a number of Hangouts on Air on the page to give you access to different parts of the DoubleClick organization, including product management, engineering, and services. You can check out a recording of our first Rich Media Hangout here. We’ll have a bunch more coming - including a DoubleClick Search Hangout highlighting our support for the big enhanced campaigns transition - so follow the page to stay tuned!


Over the last few months, we've hosted industry thought leaders like Digitas' Joel Aranson, CBS Interactive's David ChiangThe Weather Company's Curt Hecht over Hangouts to talk about 'Programmatic in the Future'.

This month, we shift gears to focus on 'Video in the Future'. Our first conversation kicks off with IAB's VP of Ad Technology, Steve Sullivan, leading a discussion on the value of programmatic video with TubeMogul's Chief Strategy Officer, Jason Lopatecki, and Silver Chalice's Executive Vice President & General Manager, Rich Routman.

Join the conversation live tomorrow, Thursday April 18th, at 1:30ET/ 10:30 PT. Login with your Google+ or Gmail account and look for the hangout in the thinkwithGoogle +page. Comments and questions are welcome.

The programmatic channel is an exciting topic of discussion in the industry. Advertisers continue to commit new budgets to it that complement their direct site buys and grow their relationships with publishers. These collaborations are helping advertisers boost the performance, efficiency and reach of their campaigns. To give buyers and sellers even more flexibility when transacting via programmatic channels, DoubleClick Ad Exchange is announcing two new features.

The first is Private Auctions, a new direct programmatic deal type available in the deals interface that allows publishers to create a higher-priority auction with multiple buyers directly above the open auction. This is available today to all AdX buyers including our own DoubleClick Bid Manager. Private Auctions follow last year’s launch of Preferred Deals, which allow individual buyers and sellers to negotiate fixed-price, first-look deals with one another.

The second release, which we’ll be rolling out in the coming weeks, gives publishers the ability to import their first party data directly from DFP to AdX. This enables you to further improve audience-based targeting in Preferred Deals and Private Auctions. For an in-depth tour of all these features, watch this recorded webinar.

We designed these tools to give buyers and sellers additional flexibility in how they structure deals. And the good news is that they don’t require any incremental development resources. To make implementation as easy as possible, we built these features leveraging AdX’s existing deal settings.

Whether you’re creating direct programmatic deals with publishers or buying at scale across the open exchange, you need access to the largest, most diverse pool of inventory. We’ve invested heavily over the years to create the most advanced and highest quality exchange and we’re happy to count the world's top publishers and advertisers as our partners. If you’re interested in learning more about DoubleClick Ad Exchange’s programmatic buying features, reach out to your account manager today.

Posted by Drew Bradstock, Senior Product Manager, DoubleClick Ad Exchange

In the last hangout in our series "Programmatic in the Future", Mediabrands Audience Platform's VP of Strategic Solutions, Michael Brunick, Media6Degrees' Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Pancer and Digiday's Editor-in-Chief Brian Morrissey debated whether programmatic can be safe for brands.

Here's a snapshot of the conversation:

Or you could watch the hangout:

For those of you joining us at the AdExchanger Programmatic IO conference in San Francisco on April 8th, we'll be continuing the discussion on stage with Sean Downey, Google's Managing Director of Media & Platforms. See you there!