Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Buzzing towards victory with native: BuzzFeed on DFP

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 |
Native advertising is a becoming a dominant force in the online 
advertising industry and at DoubleClick, we’re building tools to power publishers’ native solutions. Today, we’re shining a light on BuzzFeed, who is using DFP to succeed in this space. 

BuzzFeed is a leading social news and entertainment company whose popular website curates viral and shareable online content to over 100 million unique monthly users worldwide. Their mantra is “great advertising is content” and they’ve applied this across their entire monetization strategy. Eric Harris, BuzzFeed’s Executive Vice President of Business Operations explains that the site exclusively uses ‘social advertising’, a form of native advertising, to ‘communicate the aspirations and attributes of the brands we’re working with...and promote it on our site in a way that’s clearly marked as advertising, but similar to how we promote our other content.” Scaling this burgeoning format to a large user base is no small feat. So, we caught up with Eric to learn how DFP is helping BuzzFeed execute against this strategy.

Scaling for success

BuzzFeed needed a customized and robust infrastructure that could keep up with its growth and reliably serve ads across different platforms. The team turned to DFP for it’s scalability, enabling them to “focus on what we do best, and giving us the credibility that comes with working with the industry leader.” Using DFP for ad serving and inventory management has been critical for BuzzFeed’s success. “We haven’t had to worry about anything with DFP – it just works.” Eric emphasizes.

Integrating the best of BuzzFeed with DFP
In addition to ad serving, BuzzFeed leverages the openness and flexibility of the DFP API to integrate its proprietary technologies- which help determine the content to promote- with DFP’s ad targeting and delivering capabilities to serve the ads.

When it comes to tracking, DFP also enables BuzzFeed to accurately measure its social advertising: “The fact that DFP easily integrates with other third-party tracking solutions and our custom analytics – with low discrepancies – is a big benefit for us,” says Eric.

Taking engagement cross-device
Moreover, with over half of its traffic (and growing) coming from mobile devices, BuzzFeed deeply values the ability to work fluidly and consistently across platforms with DFP. “It is hugely important for us that we can work with just one vendor – DoubleClick – to serve ads seamlessly across desktop, mobile web and mobile apps,” notes Eric.

Powering long-term growth
As it examines the future of its native advertising program, BuzzFeed has three clear goals: leadership in social, content-driven advertising, continued growth in mobile, and international expansion. Eric notes, “with the flexibility, scale and robust infrastructure that it offers, DFP plays an important role in all three of these goals.”

To get the full scoop on BuzzFeed’s success with native advertising, download the full customer story here. Stay tuned to the DoubleClick for Publishers blog for even more customer success stories.

Posted by Jane Brinkley, Product Marketing Manager

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An important step by the Media Rating Council toward a viewable impression currency

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 |
Yesterday, the Media Rating Council (MRC) announced that it is lifting its advisory on transacting on viewability for display advertising, originally issued in November 2012. In taking this step, the MRC is signaling that great strides have been made toward the goal of transacting display advertising using viewable impressions, and the industry is ready to begin the process of adopting viewable impressions as a standard metric. We applaud this move and are thrilled to see the industry move closer to the reality of a true viewability currency.

Google has been a longtime supporter of this effort and we’ve partnered with the industry, the Media Rating Council and the IAB, as part of the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative, to help guide the definition and adoption of a viewable impression standard. Last April our viewability measurement solution Active View received accreditation by the Media Rating Council and, in the coming months, we’ll be making Active View reporting available to all DoubleClick customers across our platform. We believe that giving marketers, agencies and publishers access to a common, integrated viewable impression metric will set the foundation for viewable impressions to become an actionable currency.

But measurement alone will not make viewable impressions a currency. To become a currency we need technology that allows advertisers and publishers to not only measure, but also transact on viewable impressions. In December, we took our first step toward making viewable impressions a true currency by giving advertisers the ability to target and buy only viewable impressions on the Google Display Network. We’ve seen a strong positive response as thousands of advertisers and brands have adopted viewable impression buying on our network, but we’re not stopping there. We’re investing heavily in Active View and working quickly to enable our DoubleClick platform clients to value, buy, sell, serve and optimize to viewable impressions across the web. 

The MRC announcement represents an important milestone in the journey towards a viewable currency. As marketers and agencies adopt the viewable standard we can start to build a new display market that is more transparent and actionable for brand marketers.

Posted by Sanaz Ahari, Senior Product Manager

Monday, February 24, 2014

Turbocharging the News Business with the Local Media Consortium

Monday, February 24, 2014 |
Publishers are the lifeblood of the web. Local news providers in particular play vital role in our society, helping us stay in touch with our communities and keep up to date on the news and issues that most closely affect our lives.

We’ve had the good fortune to work with many local news publishers over the years to help power their ads businesses. Today, we’re thrilled to further that commitment with a landmark deal with the Local Media Consortium, an industry body comprising more than 800 daily newspapers and 200 local broadcast stations. Together, we’ll provide the consortium’s membership with a suite of Google advertising products for publishers:
  • A Powerful Private Exchange -- The Local Media Consortium will launch a new private ad exchange, powered by DoubleClick Ad Exchange technology. Programmatic buying is attracting growing budgets (analysts predict 75% growth in 2014). With 10 billion monthly impressions of top quality video and display inventory, this new exchange will enable the consortium to engage with the growing number of national advertisers and agencies investing in programmatic channels and looking to reach audiences at scale.
  • The DoubleClick Platform -- Members will also have access to DoubleClick for Publishers, our widely used ad management platform that lets publishers easily and efficiently manage their digital ads business, across desktop, video and mobile inventory. 
  • AdSense Contextual Ads -- Through AdSense, all members will also have the option to run contextually matched ads on their sites and search results (powered by Google Custom Search). 
The Local Media Consortium represents the best of what the web has to offer in terms of content and engaged local audiences. We’re looking forward to working with their leadership and members to build on this partnership and help grow the businesses of valued newspapers and news stations from across the country. 

Posted by Laurent Cordier, Managing Director, Americas Partnerships - News & Magazines

Friday, February 21, 2014

Investing in a cleaner, more accountable web with spider.io

Friday, February 21, 2014 |
Advertising helps fund the digital world we love today -- inspiring videos, informative websites, entertaining apps and services that connect us with friends around the world. But this vibrant ecosystem only flourishes if marketers can buy media online with the confidence that their ads are reaching real people, that results they see are based on actual interest. To grow the pie for everyone, we need to take head on the issue of online fraud.

This is a fight we’ve taken seriously from the beginning. Over the years, we’ve invested significantly in the technology and talent to prevent fraud and create greater accountability online. For example, we put extensive resources towards keeping bad actors out of our ad systems -- last year alone, we turned down millions of applications from sites looking to join our network because of suspected fraudulent activity. We also introduced new measurement tools, like MRC-accredited Active View, which lets advertisers buy only those ads that are viewable on a page. Active View offers greater peace of mind to all media buyers, but is especially important for brand marketers who want to know, first and foremost, that their ad has a chance to be seen.

Today we’re announcing our latest investment: we’ve completed an acquisition of spider.io, a company that has spent the past 3 years building a world-class ad fraud fighting operation.

Our immediate priority is to include their fraud detection technology in our video and display ads products, where they will complement our existing efforts. Over the long term, our goal is to improve the metrics that advertisers and publishers use to determine the value of digital media and give all parties a clearer, cleaner picture of what campaigns and media are truly delivering strong results. Also, by including spider.io’s fraud fighting expertise in our products, we can scale our efforts to weed out bad actors and improve the entire digital ecosystem.

Of course, this is not an issue we’re fighting alone. We applaud industry efforts like the IAB’s Traffic of Good Intent (TOGI) task force, which also play a critical role, as well as major commitments from others in the space. As an industry, we can address this issue and block those who seek to game the system. We can make digital the platform of choice for all marketers -- including brands -- to invest. And we can offer accountable media for all; we’re excited to take this big next step.


Posted by Neal Mohan, VP, Display Advertising

Monday, February 10, 2014

Investing in Better Measurement for Brands

Monday, February 10, 2014 |
The world’s major brands are now building their marketing campaigns for the digital world, from Dove's Real Beauty Sketches, to Toyota's Car Collaborator, to Kate Spade’s holiday ads.

Brands and their agencies want to better measure their digital campaigns, but they don’t want one-off science experiments or fuzzy numbers; they want metrics that are as meaningful and actionable as the click has become for performance advertising:

As we invest to improve brand measurement for the entire industry in all these areas, we are keeping a few things in mind. First, measurement should be actionable - real time insights to improve campaigns as they run, not after-the-fact reports that can only improve future ad buys. Second, we know our clients want measurement that is open and transparent so we’re partnering with the industry to create metrics that serve as a true currency between buyers and sellers, and offer flexibility and choice to marketers.

Today at the IAB Leadership Summit, I gave an update on a few of our brand measurement products:

Active View

Last year, comScore estimated that 54% of ads running on the web aren’t seen by the user. Maybe the reader scrolled past your ad; maybe she never got to it.

We’re supporting industry initiatives, like the IAB’s Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) to establish new standards. And late last year, we made it possible to buy based on viewability on the Google Display Network. This capability is based on our MRC-accredited Active View technology, a transparent and actionable viewability metric that we’re gradually rolling out to both marketers and publishers. It’s early days, but we’ve already seen more than 1,500 brands buying impressions based on viewability, across more than 100,000 sites on our network.

comScore vCE

In TV, marketers use the concept of a Gross Rating Point (GRP), by which they measure the reach and frequency of their campaigns among different demographics. For digital campaigns, there are a number of options for marketers wanting a digital GRP across screens. For example, last year, we started testing comScore vCE (validated Campaign Essentials) and Nielsen OCR (Online Campaign Ratings) for campaigns on YouTube and across our network.

While we’re excited by the efforts in the industry to introduce GRPs to the digital market, we believe we haven’t yet reached the full potential of this metric. And so today, we’re excited to announce that we’re taking another step forward by partnering with comScore to turn vCE into a digitally actionable metric.

By working closely with comScore and the industry, we believe we can make a GRP metric that will be completely actionable: both advertisers and publishers will be able to see if a campaign is reaching the right audience in real time and make adjustments if it isn’t. No more waiting days or weeks for reports, no more wasted media, no more missed opportunities. This objective, third-party vCE metric is being built directly into our DoubleClick ad serving products, where it can serve as a transparent currency for both marketers and publishers to buy, sell and measure ad space across sites, formats and screens.

Brand Lift

At the top of the pyramid, brands want to measure the impact of advertising on core brand metrics like awareness, favorability, purchase consideration and, ultimately, sales. We're developing a suite of Brand Lift products to help here. Last year, we began a small test of surveys to measure the impact of a brand's campaign.

Measuring ad effectiveness by conducting surveys is not new. But generally they’re slow to provide results, and get very low response rates.

In our early tests, we’re seeing 20-30% user response rates (significantly higher than traditional surveys), coming through in near real time. This enables brands to turn the results into immediate action: brands that are using Survey Lift have seen an 82% lift in ad recall, along with a 64% lift in brand awareness. For example MasterCard was able to double brand recall for one of their holiday campaigns based on insights gleaned from surveys. Based on this early promising feedback, we’ll be rolling these surveys out more broadly, for more types of campaigns, in coming months.


Going forward

There’s lots more to come, and we're working on ways to help brands at all stages of the measurement pyramid. More actionable, open and transparent measurement will help bring more great campaigns and brands online, which in turn helps to fund web services and content. We’re looking forward to working with the industry and partners to help make this a reality.

“Making mobile work” for the advertising industry

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Today, almost 50% of the US population has a smartphone* and one in five webpage views now occur on mobile devices.** Even though consumers have quickly incorporated these devices into their daily routines, advertisers haven’t necessarily followed suit. While a few of the savviest advertisers are taking advantage of the multiscreen opportunity, it’s time that the entire industry think critically about how to make mobile a first class citizen in their campaigns.

One key aspect of “making mobile work” is using mobile-compatible ad creative; HTML5 creative works on smartphones, tablets and desktops, allowing advertisers to build a single ad unit that can run across all screens. By using HTML5, advertisers open the door to cross-screen branding opportunities, as well as enable publishers to monetize their highly-trafficked mobile properties.

To call out this need, the IAB today published an open letter, signed by Google, 16 US publishers and six UK publishers, asking marketers to use HTML5 for their ad creative so that their campaigns can show up properly across screens.

This plea to marketers is the first step in a larger “Make Mobile Work” Initiative, in which the IAB, supported by Google and the other publishers, will provide additional resources to marketers to educate them on how to implement successful mobile campaigns.

By fostering the conversation and educating marketers, we hope the “Make Mobile Work” Initiative will invigorate the production of mobile-compatible campaigns, enable marketers to take advantage of the mobile opportunity, and provide publishers with the inventory they need to monetize their mobile properties.

*source: eMarketer “US Mobile Phone Internet Users and Penetration, 2012-2017.”
**source: http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_vs_desktop-ww-monthly-201012-201312

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Advance Auto Parts takes AdX for a test drive – and finds a new source of revenue

Thursday, January 16, 2014 |

Advance Auto Parts (AAP) is a leading retailer of automotive parts, accessories, batteries and maintenance items with over 3,900 physical stores as well as a thriving e-commerce business.

In late 2012 AAP began testing DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) in order to offer ad placements on its e-commerce site. The aim was to derive additional revenue from non-converting traffic, and AdX proved a perfect fit:

More revenue, more conversions
AAP’s goal was to gain incremental revenue from the ads, but they were worried that existing conversion rates might be negatively affected. Fortunately, these fears were quickly overcome, as implementing ad units on the site in fact saw conversions increase.

Great tools equal happy customers
AAP was concerned about preserving brand safety as well a positive site experience for its users. Thanks to the robust set of tools and controls provided in AdX, AAP was able ensure ads from major competitors didn’t appear and that bounce rates remained unaffected.

E-commerce and ads: an ideal balance
“Working with AdX has taught us that online ads and e-commerce can certainly work together gracefully,” says Howard Blumenthal, AAP’s director of eBusiness platform solutions. “If you can get this balance right, you end up with the ideal situation.”

So what’s next? Howard reveals AAP has plans in place to use AdX to monetize the company’s mobile site, too. “We are always looking for ways to increase incremental revenue by optimizing AdX as much as possible.”

Read the full Advance Auto Parts story >>

Posted by Ian Cohan-Shapiro, Product Marketing Team