Wednesday, October 29, 2014

with DoubleClick: The promise of programmatic

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 |
This post is part of the with DoubleClick series, highlighting stories and perspectives from industry leaders about how they’re succeeding with an integrated digital marketing platform.

You may have seen the research we shared with you last month that looks at how programmatic buying is changing advertising. Today’s with DoubleClick episode takes a personal spin on that study, focusing on a few of the people who are both seeing and driving those changes.

We talked to leaders from Universal McCann, VivaKi, MAGNA Global, and The McClatchy Company to find out how they’re thinking about the shift to programmatic. Reach and relevance were top of mind. With greater efficiency and richer audience insights, they’re achieving both goals across screens and formats. As Deborah Gaudette, SVP and Group Partner at UM, points out, this ultimately helps create advertising that consumers want to be part of. That’s a promise we can all get behind.

For ideas on how to adopt a programmatic strategy, take a look at last week’s webinar with Aaron Fetters, Director at the Kellogg Company.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In-stream video tools support video ad targeting

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 |

For the past week, we’ve discussed the ways that advertisers can pair smart creative with their media buying strategies, to produce successful digital campaigns. Today, we’ll talk about our fourth and final creative and media pairing around in-stream video -- advertisers should make sure they have the right video ad creative to run in their video ad placements. 

Did you know? In 2014, over a third of mobile phone users streamed or downloaded video on their mobile devices. In 2015, the percent of people watching video on their phones is expected to jump to 40%. (1)

Rather than simply reusing TV commercials for their digital campaigns, advertisers can make their video ads work better for digital by building in interactivity. Interactive in-stream video (VPAID) allows advertisers to add additional layers of information on top of their video assets. This functionality turns a linear video into an experience that resembles a micro-site -- consumers can interact and learn about the brand all within the single ad unit, without having to navigate away from the original page. 

Easy, automated in-stream video 
Our new VPAID Layout allows advertisers to take an existing video asset, upload it into the Studio Layouts tool, and create an interactive ad unit in minutes. Here’s a demo of the process:

Smart serving technology for mobile video ads
When you build ad units with video in them and then serve them to mobile devices, you have to remember that video files are large, and mobile devices have slower and often fluctuating bandwidth connectivity. DoubleClick Campaign Manager has smart serving technologies to allow you to provide the best quality video to consumers based on their available bandwidth.

DoubleClick will now transcode and segment your videos so they can be served in a file size that will load on the viewer’s mobile connection (3G, 4G or wifi). The video can even be altered on the fly, if the connection changes during playback. 

It’s important that advertisers pair smart creative with their media buying strategies. A campaign is only as good as the creative that shows up, so developing creative strategies that align with the media buy from the outset of the campaign is critical to campaign success. Advertisers that do this will benefit from more successful and engaging digital campaigns.

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

(1) eMarketer Comparative Estimates, August 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

HTML5 and in-app creative tools support mobile ad targeting

Monday, October 27, 2014 |

Last week, we talked about how creative strategies support the media buy in successful campaigns. Without ad creative that is engaging and relevant to people, a campaign will fall short of its advertising goals. Further, with consumers spending much of their time on smartphones and tablets, these engaging and relevant experiences need to work across screens. 

Our third creative and media pairing focuses on creating successful cross-screen advertising: If your media agency is including mobile inventory in the media buy, your creative agency needs to build mobile-compatible creative to be served to those placements. The best way to build those ads is in HTML5, which allows you to provide the same interactive experiences for mobile as you do on desktop.

Did you know? There are more people in HTML5-compatible environments today than in Flash-compatible environments (1) yet 84% of rich media ads are still built in Flash. (2) 

Here are four best practices for building cross-screen ads to pair with your mobile media buys:

Build in HTML5
Building mobile-compatible ads in HTML5 is getting much easier, as new tools come onto the scene to help expedite the transition from Flash. With our HTML5 and in-app layouts, advertisers can upload their existing creative assets and create multiple formats in minutes. For more custom HTML5 units, Google Web Designer provides a robust and intuitive suite of design and animation tools to allow for more creative flexibility.

Build for apps
80% of the time that people spend on their smartphones is spent within a mobile application. (3) Mobile web is very different from a mobile app, so what works on a website experience doesn’t necessarily work in a mobile application. Make sure to build ad creative that is designed for the app experience.

Use device form-factor
Desktops, smartphones and tablets all have different form-factors, or device-specific attributes and interaction modes. Smartphones and tablets have touch screens and accelerometers or motion sensors that sense movement and orientation of the device, while a laptop does not. Smartphones have much smaller screens, while tablets and desktops have larger, “lean-back” screens. Smartphones also have calling and texting capabilities. These are all opportunities for incorporating cool things about the device into your ad creative. 

For example Burberry took advantage of device form-factor in their Burberry Kisses campaign. This campaign captured the shape of someone’s lips, digitized it and put it onto a digital letter that could be emailed to a loved one. To provide the same experience on different devices, the designers had to be smart about form-factor. 
On desktop, they could use the video camera on the computer to capture a person’s lips. But smartphones and tablets don’t have a front-facing video camera that would work. Instead, the developers used the touch screen capabilities of these devices to allow people to kiss their screen. The device was able to understand the size and shape of the person’s lips via the touchscreen and digitize the image. This provided the same overarching brand experience for the user, but utilized a different way of executing it on different devices.

Use geo-location
Smartphones have the unique characteristic of travelling with us wherever we go. When a user opts to share their location information, the advertising they see has the opportunity to become more relevant to the physical world around them. Advertisers can send specific messages about their store or retail outlet to people who are traveling within a specified area around it.

By building HTML5 ads that work for apps, use device form factor, and provide geographically-relevant info, advertisers can ensure their ads reach consumers successfully on every device and environment. 

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

1) StatCounter
2) Internal DoubleClick Data, Sept. 2014
3) Flurry analytics, Apr. 2013

Friday, October 24, 2014

Dynamic creative tools support programmatic media buys

Friday, October 24, 2014 |

As we introduced on Wednesday and explained further yesterday, it’s critical to pair your media buying strategies with smart creative strategies to develop more successful digital campaigns. A media buy is only as good as the creative that goes into it! 

Our second creative and media pairing revolves around the idea of programmatic: When you are buying your media programmatically (automatically, in real-time, with granular information about each viewer) you should also be building your creative messages automatically, in real time, for every viewer. Dynamic creative is a technique that advertisers can use to accomplish these real-time messages.

Did you know? Consumers are twice as likely to engage with real-time advertising than they are with generic ads.* 

Dynamic creative is a powerful and flexible system that lets marketers create a single ad template and then swap in creative variations to fit each viewer. What's more, it does it in real time: changing headlines, images, copy and calls to action depending on variables like the user's demographic, their location and the device they're using at the moment they see the ad. 

People may be familiar with the idea of dynamic creative for direct response campaigns (i.e. showing a product based on what someone already viewed), but there are also clever ways to incorporate dynamic creative for brand awareness campaigns. 

For example, Nike used dynamic creative to fuel their real-time “Phenomenal Shot” campaign for the World Cup. Nike wanted to deliver experiences that related to live moments in the soccer matches. They used an HTML5 dynamic template, which allowed them to create and manage one flexible ad—instead of hundreds of custom-built ads—that could run across screens. 

To accommodate dozens of ad alternatives localized for 15 different languages, they created a Google Spreadsheet template that served as their dynamic feed to generate ads. Once the dynamic feed was set up, they could generate the ads quickly by updating the spreadsheet, which minimized the effort and speed of releasing ads in real time. The spreadsheet was robust yet simple enough that the ads could be updated without assistance from technical or creative employees.

Nike cleverly used dynamic creative as a way to bring live moments into their ad campaigns in real-time. Knowing that their viewers were on their phones as they were watching the soccer matches, Nike made sure their ads could show up on smartphones and tablets, to grab users’ attention and engagement during commercials or breaks in the game. 

As brands buy more reservation-based ads through programmatic channels, using the information about their audiences in their creative is going to become increasingly important. To accomplish these smart creative campaigns, Advertisers must include both the media agency and the creative agency in the room at the outset of the campaign. This will enable the agencies to develop creative and media plans that are aligned. 

To learn more about how to pair dynamic creative with your programmatic media buy, visit our dynamic solutions page and select the vertical that is relevant for you. 

And come back on Monday for our third pairing: Mobile media buys and HTML5 creative. 

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

*source: “Media Economy Report: How Data is Changing our Business,” Jan. 2014, Magna Global

Thursday, October 23, 2014

DoubleClick Search: Using real-time data to optimize your search ads and Shopping Campaigns

Thursday, October 23, 2014 |
This is the second in a series of posts on real-time advertising. Last week, we wrote about the real-time gap and how access to real-time data can positively affect online sales and results. This week, we’re writing about how real-time data can help you optimize text ads and Shopping campaigns.

Don’t underestimate the long tail 
Retailers today often have hundreds or thousands of products, but a recent study shows they only advertise an average of 49% of their inventory with search ads. There are two main reasons for this. One is that advertisers just can’t manage millions of keywords and bids on their own. The other is that they often don’t see the value of their long-tail inventory items.

However, forgetting the long tail can mean missed opportunities. While each additional item advertised may not contribute a lot of sales on its own, aggregated sales for long-tail items can have a significant bottom-line impact.

Create and optimize Shopping Campaigns with inventory-aware campaigns 
Our customers have told us Shopping campaigns are a critical tool to automate ad creation, management, and bid optimization. Integrating with Google Merchant Center - from feed to ad creation - helps retailers be “real-time” in responding to the many seasonal assortment changes, new product launches and inventory status changes. They can afford to traffic and manage the full product catalog, without risking losing track of a promotion or out-of-stock and paying for that “ad to nowhere”. Last year Piston saw big success with inventory management, with over 50% gains in both ROAS and conversions.

Umut Dincer, The Home Depot’s Director of Online Marketing shares: “Our strong partnership with DoubleClick Search has been a great source of revenue for The Home Depot using the Google Merchant Center and Shopping campaigns to merchandize inventory.”

Organize products intelligently with Adaptive Shopping Campaigns
Beyond expanding product coverage, advertisers can also improve performance with sound product group structure. Adaptive Shopping campaigns leverage real-time conversion data to automatically change Shopping Campaign structure to optimize performance gains. When items in product groups have similar conversion rates, DoubleClick Search can assign better bids and reduce inefficiencies in spend.

By looking at advertiser data, we found, for example, that 90% of the median advertiser’s Shopping campaign cost came from only 9.5% of its products.* Often, it turned out, advertisers were lumping high-performance products into product groups with other, lower-converting products. The end result: bids that were too low for their top-selling products and bids that were too high for their lower-revenue items.

Andrea Bywater, Marketing Coordinator of Paid Search at BuildDirect says, “Adaptive shopping campaigns will be incredibly helpful in grouping ‘winning’ SKUs together—especially when things get busier with the holidays, and with Black Friday around the corner. Not only will this save time; it’ll help us save money on products with lower conversion rates.”

Link purchases to ads with Purchase detail reports 
A third way for retailers to increase their advertising efficiencies with real-time data is to allow them to connect their ads with product sales. Linking ads and sales used to be a complex task requiring deep analysis and a lot of data. As a result, advertisers often skipped over this analysis, missing out on key insights like which keywords sold which products. We designed Purchase detail reports to meet this customer need.

Purchase detail reports help advertisers:
  • Identify the impact of advertising on business goals like maximizing profitability or selling off inventory
  • Improve ad targeting by matching ads to products that consumers are most interested in
  • Understand the value of brand and general terms in selling your highest margin or most important products
Justin Johnson, Paid Search Manager at Cabela’s explains, “Having insights into where we spend our money, in addition to what people are looking for, has been invaluable in helping us make better decisions. We have a better look into where we may not have adequate coverage, and are able to quickly make changes to address that. Being able to pull in margin data to see if certain keywords are better or worse at driving profitable traffic than we anticipated helps us be more thoughtful with our spend.”

Real-time in real life 
In the next edition we’ll shift our focus to a real-time use case: smartphone launches. We’ll have a look at how real-time capabilities make a difference on big sales days, where competition and volatility are high.

*DoubleClick Search internal data, 2014

Powerful creative management tools support large-scale campaigns: A deep-dive into Asset Library


Yesterday, we announced 13 updates to our DoubleClick Creative Solutions and explained how advertisers can develop more successful campaigns by pairing their media buying strategies with smart creative.

Pairing #1 from yesterday’s post centered on scalability: Creative agencies need robust creative management tools to keep up with the scale and complexity of increasingly large media buys. The new Asset Library tab that launched this week in DoubleClick Studio provides just that -- it allows creative agencies to easily scale and manage their assets across their creatives. 

With Asset Library, you can host, manage and update all of your creative assets for free, from a single cloud-based location within DoubleClick Studio. Easily manage your assets across all of your DoubleClick campaigns and update live campaigns immediately with new creative.

Six things to know about the new Asset Library tab:
  1. No waiting: You don’t have to wait for a hosted URL from the DoubleClick team, so you can get your ads live faster.
  2. Larger file sizes: Upload individual creative assets up to 60MB, and upload any total file size that you want. 
  3. Share assets easily: Advertisers can use Asset Library to share their creative assets directly with their creative shops, all in one place.
  4. Batch Update: Automatically update a batch of creatives with one click in Asset Library. You can also refer to assets uploaded to Asset Library within your dynamic creative feeds.
  5. Automatic video transcoding: Asset Library automatically transcodes videos into all necessary formats when uploaded into the platform.
  6. Update live campaigns immediately: Edit your asset in Asset Library and push it live to the locations you want in your campaign immediately, no 24-hour review cycle or re-trafficking required. 
Here’s what some of our beta testers have said about Asset Library:

"We’ve used the asset library to host HTML5 assets and then pull them in dynamically within DoubleClick Studio. This has made file management more efficient and enabled us to change assets quickly when pricing, messaging changes and creative tweaks have been necessary." ~David Morgan, Director, 22Design 

"We use DoubleClick Studio to build 99% of our creative and appreciate how Asset Library has simplified video serving. Instead of handing off files, we can manage the serving ourselves through our Asset Library folder." ~Kate Bush, Associate Director of Project Management, Isobar Detroit

"I have been using Asset Library with a dynamic ad campaign for one of our major clients. Having all of the assets accessible in DoubleClick one place has saved me so much time and energy. I can keep all my assets in a well documented and simple way. It also makes the data feed that I put into Google Docs a lot smaller and easier to manage when dealing with vast amounts of data in the dynamic ads. It is the most beneficial upgrade to date." ~Darren Stevenson, Head of Digital Display at UK creative agency Partners Andrew Aldridge

Over the next couple quarters, we’ll be integrating Asset Library into Google Web Designer, DoubleClick Campaign Manager and DoubleClick Bid Manager, so you’ll be able to access your creative assets from every management tool within the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform.

Ready to give it a try?
Simply login to your DoubleClick Studio Account and click on the new Asset Library tab in the top navigation bar. You can also check out our Getting Started guide

Come back tomorrow for creative and media pairing #2 around programmatic. 

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick Creative Solutions

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

13 new DoubleClick Creative Solutions to make your campaigns more successful

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 |

Savvy advertisers know they need to pair smart creative with their media buying strategies, to accomplish successful digital campaigns. Today, we're making it easier than ever to do just that with 13 new tools across our DoubleClick Creative Solutions. These updates help advertisers succeed with four key creative + media pairings:

1. Powerful creative management tools support large-scale campaigns
2. Dynamic creative tools support programmatic media buys
3. HTML5 and in-app creative tools support mobile ad targeting
4. In-stream video tools support video ad targeting

Pairing #1: Powerful creative management tools support large-scale campaigns
Display campaigns are getting larger and more complex. To keep up, creative agencies need tools that help them build ads to suit every shape and size required by that campaign, in a fast and seamless way. 

Asset Library is a creative management layer launching today in DoubleClick Studio and rolling out across the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform in the next couple quarters. Asset Library allows advertisers to host assets for free in DoubleClick and easily manage and bulk update creative, even in live campaigns, without having to re-traffic them. 

“We have cut our development time considerably using Asset Library as part of our daily work flow. It's hard to imagine how we survived without it.” ~ Michael Douglas, Head of Production, SapientNitro

Pairing #2: Dynamic creative tools support programmatic media buys
Advertisers can use the audience information from their media buy to craft relevant ads for every viewer. Our new dynamic tools focus on making the process easier to manage:

  • A lightweight version of dynamic creative for retail and hotel clients is available in DoubleClick Bid Manager (Premium US users). Use six HTML5 templates to build dynamic ads that are aligned with the programmatic media buy. They work for Facebook right-hand side inventory too!
  • Advertisers can now pull their Google Merchant Center Feed into a dynamic remarketing creative in both DoubleClick Studio and DoubleClick Bid Manager. This makes it much easier to build complex retail campaigns without having to re-input the data.
  • Understand which products in your dynamic ad lead to which website conversions, using the new u-reporting feature in DoubleClick Studio. 

Pairing #3: HTML5 and in-app creative tools support mobile ad targeting
To show a successful ad unit on mobile and tablet placements, you have to build HTML5 ad creatives in formats that work well on smaller screens.

  • Build mobile-compatible ads in minutes, with 20 new HTML5 and in-app Studio Layouts
  • To build more custom HTML5 ads, agencies can use Google Web Designer and then publish their ads in one click to DoubleClick Studio. 
  • For a dynamic creative campaign, DoubleClick Studio supports HTML5 dynamic creative, so advertisers can ensure their real-time messages reach consumers wherever they are. 
  • Publish with confidence: DoubleClick supports MRAID 2.0 (the IAB’s latest mobile in-app standard) and has certified over 90 of the largest publishers and networks, to make sure their websites will support DoubleClick in-app ads. 

Pairing #4: In-stream video tools support video ad targeting
Make your TV commercials work for digital by building in interactivity. Serve your video ads alongside the rest of your digital campaign so that your data and reporting are consolidated. This can lead to better campaign insights. 

  • Our new VPAID Layout lets you easily build interactive in-stream video ads (VPAID). Simply upload your video asset and add interactive elements to create a complex ad unit in minutes.
  • You can also ensure people have a smooth viewing experience with your mobile video ads. DoubleClick Campaign Manager will transcode and segment your videos so they can be served in a file size that will load on the viewer’s mobile connection (3G, 4G or wifi). The video can even be altered on the fly, if the connection changes during playback. 

Digital campaigns are nuanced and complex, so having the right support resources at your disposal is important. We built the Creative Recommendation Tool to help you identify the best product to use based on your project’s resources. We’ve also integrated Chat Support into the Studio UI, so you can get in touch with a real person immediately, get your problem solved and get on with your work. 

While advertisers may be focused on scaling campaigns across big bets like mobile, video and programmatic, smart creative is a critical element of every successful campaign and can’t be an afterthought. Advertisers will achieve the best results when they combine creative strategies with media strategies from the outset of their campaigns. 

Over the next few days, we’ll dive into each of the four creative strategies listed above, to provide best practices for combining creative and media strategies in your campaigns. Stay tuned!

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick Creative Solutions