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The television industry is in the midst of a massive change. The rise of new content models and connected devices has led to more choice than ever--both for content creators and consumers. But with this choice and opportunity comes new challenges to solve as well.

I spoke to the TV industry at the Closing General Session of the National Association of Broadcasters Show. In the keynote I discussed the rebirth of TV and how we’re helping Broadcasters and Distributors with discovery, monetization and content creation.

Discovery

Announcing new ways to find where and when to watch your favorite shows.

There are now more ways to watch your favorite TV shows than ever before. This shift has some even saying that we’re in the “golden age” of television. And what we're seeing is that more and more, viewers are turning to their phones to find out what to watch, where to watch it and when it’s available -- in fact, searches for TV shows and films on mobile have grown more than 55% in the past year alone.

Last year we launched video actions in Search to help viewers find direct options to watch the shows they are looking for on programmer and distributors mobile apps and sites or stores like Google Play.

Today, I'm excited to announce that, coming soon, Google Search will have live TV listings. So now if you're looking for a movie or TV show like The Big Bang Theory, we'll not only show you the apps and sites where you can find the latest episode, but also show which channel you can turn your tv to later in the evening or week to catch it live.

Monetization

Announcing personalized TV ads with DoubleClick Dynamic Ad Insertion

Viewers no longer expect content personalized to them, they demand it. And that includes ads.

Today we are taking big steps to bring new addressable advertising capabilities to TV Broadcasters and Distributors by announcing DoubleClick’s Dynamic Ad Insertion. This makes ads hyper relevant for viewers across any screen that they watch. By creating individual streams for every viewer using server side ad insertion, we are able to deliver a better, more personalized viewing experience that looks and feels as seamless as TV today.

And not only will this work for both live and on-demand TV but it works across directly sold and programmatic.

We put this technology to the test with two of the highest rated TV events in the last year: the Rugby World Cup Finals on TF1, the leading network in France, and the Republican Presidential Debates on Fox News, a leading news network in the US. Politics and sports are pretty personal topics, so it’s only appropriate that TF1 and Fox News created a fully addressable viewing experience for the millions of viewers that tuned in using Dynamic Ad Insertion.

Announcing smarter TV ad breaks

Today we’re also announcing that DoubleClick for Publisher clients will soon be able to seamlessly enforce the level of control that has been firmly established in TV -- across all inventory, whether it was sold directly or indirectly. That means, we are able to honor competitive separation - so two automotive ads don’t appear in the same commercial break - and other rules like making sure an alcohol and children's cereal ad don’t appear in the same commercial break.

This has been major blocker to enabling programmatic to work for TV. And now you no longer need to turn down attractive opportunities from advertisers interested in transacting programmatically because of compliance concerns.

Announcing New TV Partners

DoubleClick is focused on building advertising solutions that meet the changing needs of the TV ecosystem. We’re proud of our longstanding partnerships with industry leaders like AMC Networks in the US and Globo in South America.

Today we add three more to the list: we’re happy to welcome MCN, Roku and Cablevision as partners. They’ve all signed on to use DoubleClick for Publishers to serve ads and monetize cross-screen TV and video content.

“As the conventional TV and digital video worlds converge, people are watching more content than ever across a variety of screens. At Cablevision, we’re focused on developing innovative solutions that deliver the best experience for our viewers in this new cross-screen world and unlocking new opportunities for our advertisers. We are enthusiastic about using Google's DoubleClick for seamless advertising delivery across our set-top boxes and connected devices. Together, we are enabling more personalized and relevant ads with addressable and dynamic ad insertion.”
- Kristin Dolan, Chief Operating Officer, Cablevision

Content creation

Announcing Autodesk collaboration to enable 10x improvement in rendering efficiency

Autodesk software has been behind the past 21 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects and we’re bringing this capability to Google Cloud Platform. Yesterday we announced (link) that Autodesk, maker of industry-leading 3D animation and modeling software, is collaborating with Google on a new cloud-based rendering solution called Maya® for Google Cloud Platform ZYNC Render. This allows artists to focus on creating incredible TV & movie content using the tools they already know, while shifting even the largest rendering jobs seamlessly to the cloud.

TV is the midst of a revival. And just like other media types which have been reimagined for the digital age like music, the arrival of this ‘new TV’ was preceded by change and tumult. But TV’s past was built on a rich history of creativity and innovation, and I’m incredibly optimistic that TV’s future will be as well. Our job is to help make that future become the present and we are excited to partner with the TV ecosystem to build it.

Posted by Daniel Alegre
President of Global Partnerships, Google

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This is part five of a five-part series introducing the creative process for data-driven campaigns as outlined in our new guide: The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers.

Until quite recently, the launch of an ad campaign marked an end-point for most of the parties who created it. Once the campaign was out in the world, it was time to crack a few celebratory beers and move onto the next thing: whether that meant coming up with new creative executions that built tangentially on the campaign’s success, or scrapping it for something new entirely.

Today, data-driven marketing empowers brand advertisers and agencies to closely monitor not just how successful a campaign is after launch, but which elements are driving that success. Teams can optimize live campaigns mid-way through the flight and make tweaks to improve performance and update assets for future flights, rather than starting from scratch each season.

As data-driven campaigns have become more sophisticated so, too, have the tools for measurement. It’s no longer just about CTR: now, teams can measure elements such as post-view and view-through conversions as well as engagement metrics such as video completes and interaction rates. This paves the way for more specific and nuanced KPIs, allowing teams to consider what success means for individual campaigns and brands as a whole.

The new creative process is significantly more iterative and cyclical than what we saw in the past:

  • Teams are now actively involved in the evolution of the campaign, closely monitoring which audiences respond to which elements of data-driven creative and proactively optimizing on the fly.
  • There are greater opportunities for learning, as teams work together to analyze why audiences may be responding favorably (or not-so-favorably) to different elements.
  • Teams can use these learnings for future campaigns and, at the same time, pull in learnings from other data-driven campaigns to inform the work that’s currently live.

You can learn more about this campaign, as well as get a full picture of best practices for data-driven creative campaigns, in our new guide The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers.

Join us for a webinar on our creative research, focused on how agencies can bring data-driven creative to life. Thursday, April 21st @ 12pm ET. RSVP here.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

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Cross-post from the Google Analytics blog.

On the Google Analytics team, we believe a primary goal of analytics is to make your marketing smarter. It should help you understand your customer’s journey, gain and share insights, and create an engaging experience for your audience.

But just as your organization can’t achieve these goals in a silo, neither can your website analytics data. Your customer’s journey includes both their experience with your marketing campaigns as well as their experience on your sites and apps. So you need complete data, connected from marketing through to site experience, to actually gain insight and deliver a great customer experience.

Analytics 360, part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite, is proud to provide this type of end-to-end understanding with our existing AdWords integrations. Beginning today, we are now offering this same capability with the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform. In addition to our existing integration with DoubleClick Campaign Manager*, you can now view user engagement information for users acquired through DoubleClick Bid Manager* and DoubleClick Search* campaigns directly within Analytics 360. It’s super easy to connect your Analytics 360 account to DoubleClick Digital Marketing and there’s no implementation work needed (e.g. no site or campaign re-tagging).

With these new capabilities, marketers using Analytics 360 are better able to see the customer journey from when a customer was exposed to their marketing campaigns all the way through to that customer’s eventual purchase on their site (or lack thereof). User engagement with your site can be analyzed for both users who viewed an ad (view-through) and for users who clicked on an ad (click-through). View-through information is especially important for display, video, and mobile because users often view these ads and then visit the website later rather than clicking directly on the ad.

Companies like Panasonic are already using our integrations with marketing media to improve their return on investment (ROI) from digital marketing campaigns. With the Analytics 360 ads integrations, Panasonic was able to aggregate all digital campaign data into one platform to gain insight about their customers. They then shared these insights back to their media tools to better find engaged audiences and provide those audiences with the right experience at the right moment, driving an ROI increase of 30%.

In light of these latest integrations with Google ad technologies, we wanted to take a moment to discuss the two capabilities we enable across all our ads integrations that help you achieve smarter marketing: 1) understanding the customer and their journey and 2) creating relevant experiences for users.

Understanding the customer and their journey

They saw and / or clicked on your ad and arrived on your site. But who are they? What happened next? Did they bounce immediately? Did they research specific products? Did they sign up for your newsletter? What were the users who interacted with your digital marketing doing on your site? Ads integrations with Analytics 360 can help you answer these questions and more, for example:

  • You are launching a new product and start running display and search advertising campaigns to attract customers. You find that one campaign has a low conversion rate and you’re considering deprecating it. But you review your site analytics data for this campaign and find that some specific ad exchanges and certain keywords are driving many new users to your site. And some of these exchanges and keywords are driving new users who are highly engaged — they view a lot of product detail pages and spend a lot of time on your site. So, instead of shutting down the campaign, you refine the targeting for the ads in this campaign to focus more on the ad exchanges and the keywords that drive engaged new users to your site. Then, you create a remarketing campaign to bring these engaged new users back to your site for purchase.

  • One of your campaigns drives a lot of click and view-throughs, but has a low conversion rate. Analysis in Analytics 360 reveals that most users bounce immediately, but a certain segment who click on or view that ad (e.g. women aged 18-35) have a really high conversion rate. You refine the messaging and creative in your ads, adjust where these ads are served, and bid higher in order to find and attract more of this high-performing audience.

Creating relevant experiences for users

User behavior on your site can tell you a lot about them and what they’re interested in. Shouldn’t you use that information to inform your marketing strategy? Some examples:

  • You run a shopping site and have users who spend a lot of time looking at an item or even put that item in their cart, but don’t end up purchasing. At the end of the season, the clothes on your site go on sale. You create remarketing campaigns to these users who showed interest but never purchased letting them know that the item they were interested in is now on sale.

  • You are a cable company and you’d like to offer your new online streaming HDTV service to existing customers who subscribe to your high speed Internet plan. You create remarketing ads for customers who have the high speed plan, driving higher lifetime value for these customers.

These are just a few examples of how analytics data can blend with campaign data to create real value for both companies and for their customers. It's a win-win — customers get marketing that is truly relevant to them, and companies put their marketing dollars to work with the customers who are most likely to be interested.

Visit the Google Analytics 360 Suite Help Center to learn more about our new integrations with DoubleClick Bid Manager and DoubleClick Search. You can also learn about our existing integrations DoubleClick Campaign Manager and with AdWords. Stay tuned for more updates from Analytics 360 as we continue to invest in new and exciting capabilities. Happy analyzing!

Posted by Abhi Aggarwal and Jocelyn Whittenburg
Google Analytics team

*Note: Must be a Google Analytics 360 customer to view these links.

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This is part four of a five-part series introducing the creative process for data-driven campaigns as outlined in our new guide: The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers.

Broadway shows have done it for decades. Bars and restaurants have been doing it for years. More recently, retailers have gotten on board—and now, smart brands are using the soft launch approach when mounting data-driven advertising campaigns.

Thanks to the sophistication of digital media buys, the soft launch is now not only possible, but recommended. Digital — and, particularly, programmatic—allows your campaign to “sneak” out into the real world, where your team can review it in its live environment before launching in full force.

As part of our recent study of best practices for data-driven creative campaigns, we found that soft launches can save significant time, money, and hassle for marketers and their creative, media, and production teams.

What is a soft launch?

A soft launch allows you to run your campaign for a short amount of time (experts recommend 4-7 days) at a minimal daily budget (as low as $10 day). You and your teams can use this time to look for bugs and make sure everything is performing correctly. During this time, you should:

  • Make sure that all of your platforms are integrating. If you’re not using an end-to-end solution, make sure that your buy-side, sell-side, and creative platforms are integrating correctly and not interfering with each other, as this may affect how ads are served.
  • Review how the creative looks in context. No matter how carefully you craft your creative template and variables, your work may look different once it’s live. Make sure everything is lining up properly and rendering correctly—and as long as you’re at it, give the copy one more solid proofread.
  • Ensure that the correct metrics are tracking. Have your media agency pull reports at both the campaign level and the dynamic creative level. This will give you a birdseye view of your campaign, as well as a sense of which dynamic elements are performing best and should be optimized.

Once you’ve evaluated your campaign in a real-world context, you can ratchet your budget up to your desired daily spend.

When should you do a soft launch?

The soft launch is a crucial step that should never be skipped with data-driven campaigns; but if you have the flexibility it’s worth considering for all digital campaigns, even those with a more traditional bent. It occurs at the end of Step 4 in our recommended process for data-driven creative campaigns: after your team has:

  • Gathered data signals.
  • Collaborated on an all-hands kick-off.
  • Designed and developed creative.

Before moving on to the soft launch, your team will also traffic the campaign and conduct a cross-agency QA.

To learn more best practices for trafficking and QA’ing data-driven campaigns, as well as see examples of real campaigns in action, please visit The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

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This is part three of a five-part series introducing the creative process for data-driven campaigns as outlined in our new guide: The Creative Process for Programmatic: A Guide for Marketers.

A major shift is occurring in the way agencies work together to design and develop digital creative campaigns. Previously, teams were siloed: the media agency used data to determine ad types and sizes, and served the creative production agency with a spec sheet off of which to build executions.

Today, we’re moving toward a model in which all teams work together, using sophisticated digital tools for increased efficiency. In the model we put forth in our new guide for marketers, the brand and media team now share data with the creative production team, which uses it to create a strategy for the campaign’s creative based on audience insights and real-time environmental and media triggers.

We explored the topics of gathering data signals and getting all teams on board in previous blog posts. Here, we’ll talk a bit about how creative production agencies are using tools for increased flexibility, efficiency, and control in building dynamic creative.

What is dynamic creative?

Dynamic creative allows for variables such as copy, imagery, font, and color to easily change based on data signals, such as who is viewing the ad, where they’re viewing it, and when. It consists of two complementary pieces: the creative template, and the dynamic creative feed.

The creative template

Much like the blueprint for a house, this serves as the structure of the ad unit. When you use a blueprint, variables such as the type of flooring and color of the exterior may change, but the “bones” of the house will remain the same.

Similarly, the creative template provides parameters for variables such as:

  • Character counts for copy
  • Length of animations
  • Size and location of images

Within those parameters, the team can experiment with different headlines, images, and types of animations, as well as other factors.

The dynamic creative feed

This houses the creative assets that will get plugged into the creative template, as well as the logic that dictates which assets will be served to which viewers based on your data signals and campaign strategy. Using a feed to control your dynamic campaign strategy gives you maximum flexibility, allowing you to quickly and easily make changes to your creative on the fly.

The template and feed in action

When we worked with L’Oreal on a campaign for their Vichy sunscreen brand, the team selected several dynamic creative elements that would change based on data signals, including lifestyle imagery, product image, and call-to-action. Additionally, messaging driving to the nearest store could populate based on the user’s postal code.

The design team created a simple yet elegant template that accounted for all of these variables, and the dynamic creative feed signaled which variables would appear to which users based on their data signals.

To see examples of the creative from this campaign and learn more about best practices for data-driven campaigns, please visit our marketers’ guide to data-driven creative campaigns.

We’re also hosting a hangout on air on Tuesday, April 5th at 12pm ET, to discuss the research and provide some key takeaways from the guide. RSVP here.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick