Advertisers see Shopping campaign success with new optimization, reporting tools from the DoubleClick Search Commerce Suite

Thursday, August 28, 2014 | 7:42 AM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Search blog

In March, we introduced Shopping campaigns support in DoubleClick Search, offering a simpler, more flexible way for retailers to manage their Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Thanks to these tools, advertisers have already seen success with Shopping campaigns. As Casandra Jones, Associate Director at iProspect, says: “It’s been incredibly helpful having DoubleClick Search be first to market with a solution for Shopping campaigns. We were able to transition to Shopping campaigns more quickly and determine best practices that work for our brands -- giving us a competitive edge, long before the majority of retailers hit the market.”


Since then, we’ve been focused on building solutions with the scale and speed you need to capture every retail opportunity. Now, we’re excited to announce three new tools from the DoubleClick Search Commerce Suite to help make your reporting and optimization even easier. Below, we’ll unpack these features by highlighting the what, the why, and how customers are using our solutions today.

Automated campaign optimization with adaptive Shopping campaigns


What: Adaptive Shopping campaigns is a new way to dynamically create and optimize your Shopping campaign structure, based on product performance. Native integration with Google Merchant Center means we’ll monitor your feed and automatically subdivide existing product groups by product ID, based on the conversion rates of the products in each group.

Why: We’ve found that 90% of the median advertiser’s cost comes from only 9.5% of its products(1). However, advertisers often lump these high-spend products into bid groups with other, lower-converting products -- leading to bid values that are not optimized, based on relative performance. Adaptive Shopping campaigns ensure your most popular SKUs get the right bid by creating product groups for each item earning high traffic.

What do customers think? Andrea Bywater, Marketing Coordinator of Paid Search at BuildDirect, says: “Using adaptive shopping campaigns will be incredibly helpful in helping us group ‘winning’ SKUs together -- especially when things get even busier with the holidays and Black Friday just around the corner. Not only will this be more effective in saving time; it’ll also help us save money on products with lower conversion rates.”

Smarter, faster bid optimization for Shopping campaigns


What: Earlier this month, we rolled out bid optimization for Shopping campaigns -- giving you the ability to extend the same powerful bidding algorithms from our Performance Bidding Suite to your Shopping campaigns, with smarter bidding based on near real-time data.

Why: We know bid optimization can make or break campaign results. Bidding strategies need to be flexible enough to meet your business objectives, while algorithms need to be fast enough to act quickly in a competitive landscape. With bid optimization for Shopping campaigns, you can:

  • Easily define your goals -- setting individual bid strategies, or combining different strategies, just as you do with your DoubleClick Search text ads.
  • Target precisely and efficiently by setting Shopping campaign bid strategies on campaigns, ad groups, or even product groups.
  • Reach shoppers on the go by automatically setting a mobile bid modifier.

And as with the rest of your bids, bid optimization for Shopping campaigns benefit from up-to-the-minute conversion data. This means you can use fresher data to more closely track to your promotion goals -- even during the busiest marketing days.

What do customers think? Ashlee Wiltshire, Analytics & Technology Account Manager at Performics, recently helped her team implement Shopping campaign bid strategies for several of their key retail clients. Wiltshire says: “Within two weeks, we've seen CPCs come down 11.2% and ROAS improve by 3.4%. It's also freed up a lot of the teams’ time, and as a result we’re able to build out more granular campaigns without worrying about manually updating bids."

Better transaction insights with purchase detail reports (beta)


What: Purchase detail reports (currently in beta) let you better understand the products consumers purchased, and the ads that drove those sales. Once you specify the products sold in a transaction using the DoubleClick floodlight tag, you can customize and report on specific product sales by any attribute, including color, size, product line, and style. Best of all, these reports are available for any type of campaign -- whether that’s text, Shopping, on AdWords or on Bing.

Why: With ever-changing shifts in seasons and trends, retailers often focus on selling a certain products at a given time. Fashion advertisers, for example, need to sell the latest styles before they fall out of favor. In the past, figuring out if your search advertising actually lead to these product sales has been complex -- requiring lots of time and effort in reporting analysis. Purchase detail reports give granular transaction details for better insights into your campaign performance:

  • Identify the impact of your advertising on achieving core business goals like maximizing profitability or selling off inventory.
  • Improve ad targeting by matching ads to the products that consumers are most interested in purchasing.
  • Understand the real value of brand and general terms in selling your highest margin or most important products.

What do customers think? Justin Johnson, Paid Search Manager at Cabela’s, says: “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. With this data, 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 actually better or worse at driving profitable traffic than we anticipated helps us be more thoughtful with our spending.”

Reach out to your DoubleClick Search representative or our support team at ds-support@google.com.

To learn more about upcoming DoubleClick Search Commerce Suite developments in easy workflows, insightful reporting, and smarter optimization, stay tuned to the DoubleClick Search blog, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Google+.

1. DoubleClick Search internal data, 2014

Introducing DoubleClick Planning: unifying cross-channel planning and buying

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | 1:51 PM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertisers blog

Starting today, DoubleClick clients will have a brand new way to manage their planning and buying: DoubleClick Planning. In today’s fragmented media landscape, marketers need a simple way to put their marketing dollars to work across channels and screens, whether the media is bought programmatically or traditionally. DoubleClick Planning begins to unify programmatic and traditional reservation inventory management, enabling you to carry out all of your buys in one place. 

We will host a live webinar (register here) and discuss the feature at IAB MIXX, but in the meantime, we chatted with Adam Champy, lead Product Manager for DoubleClick Planning, to hear his thoughts on the changing digital media landscape and thinking behind DoubleClick Planning.

Q: What is the vision for DoubleClick Planning?
A: Marketers can only make better decisions if they are looking at their media plans holistically - across all channels and screens. Our goal is to help marketers and agencies make smarter buying decisions, seamlessly coordinate with inventory providers, and ultimately drive better campaign performance. To achieve this, we had to rethink how buyers and sellers communicate - challenging today’s methods and timelines in the traditional RFP process. The vision for DoubleClick Planning is to help marketers and agencies do just this: plan, discover, and acquire inventory in one place, across channels and screens. 

Q: How does DoubleClick Planning fit in today’s digital media buying landscape?
A: We are seeing that digital media teams today are trying to break down the silos that are in the way of making fast, smart decisions. One critical divide has been between channels and media - as specialized teams and platforms were built to tackle one particular piece of the digital marketing puzzle - such as programmatic-, mobile-, or video-specific platforms. As a result, most products in the market today don’t help marketers and agencies actually make decisions across channels and all types of buys.

We started to address this with the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform, built to unify the process and enable a true cross-media customer experience. Now, DoubleClick Planning is a tool within the platform that brings together reservations and programmatic capabilities to help marketers and agencies discover and buy the best inventory, regardless of how it is bought. DoubleClick Planning was built to help teams work better together, across the customer journey, with the following features:

Today
  • Two-way sync between planning and campaign execution 
    • Most of the information required to traffic campaigns is already generated during the planning process. Now you can take advantage of that, with the seamless integration of planning and campaign execution, by pushing campaign information directly into trafficking.
  • Efficient Request for Proposal (RFP) process
    • Create, issue, and track RFPs so publishers can provide inventory options that meet your goals. You can also track negotiations and publisher provided inventory electronically.
  • IO management and billing actualization
    • Create order documents like insertion orders and change orders with custom terms and contracts. And create billing actualization reports to measure delivery against contracted amounts.
In the next few months
  • Unified Alerts
    • Automatically get alerts and notifications about discrepancies between planning and trafficking, including under-delivery and verification errors.
  • Integrating DoubleClick Insights 
    • Learn from previous campaign data and optimize media allocation across channels and inventory sources with auto-generated insights built directly into DoubleClick Planning.
Q: What is the plan for MediaVisor?
A: MediaVisor has served our customers well over the years, but this new world of buying and planning requires new tools. We’ll be winding down support for MediaVisor by the end of 2014 and working with our customers to transition them to the new tool

Q: Looking ahead, what are the major opportunities for digital planners and buyers in the next year?
A: First, there is a major opportunity to make media planning and buying even more efficient. For example, in the next few months, we’ll be bringing automation to traditional reservations. The elements that make products like DoubleClick Bid Manager so powerful - direct access to inventory, zero-discrepancy clearing, and buyer data and targeting - will become available for guaranteed reservation deals. 

Second, marketers will begin to consolidate their insights across channels and screens, building one, integrated media plan across all types of buys. Whether a published proposed inventory or you are buying on an exchange, you will be able to put together a multi-channel plan, and get a unified view of your inventory portfolio.

Faster and more efficient cross-channel planning will enable more responsive strategies, better discoverability of unique inventory sources, and ultimately, better campaign performance.

Learn more about DoubleClick Planning by registering for our webinar with the product team, which will include a live demo and time for Q&A.

You can stay on top of new updates by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on Google+ and Twitter.

Are your Product Listing Ads ready for August 31st?

Thursday, August 21, 2014 | 8:20 AM

Cross-posted from the Inside Adwords blog

Earlier this month, we introduced an upgrade tool for advertisers to upgrade to Shopping campaigns quickly and easily. If you’ve already upgraded, then you’re all set. If you haven’t upgraded yet and don’t do it by the end of this month, the following is what will happen to your regular Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns come September.
  • Phase 1: Limited functionality of all regular PLA campaigns - Starting September 2nd, you will not be able to edit your product targeting, max. CPC bids, promotional text and destination URLs anymore. Campaign statuses and budgets will remain editable so you can manage your spend until your regular PLA campaigns are auto-upgraded to Shopping campaigns.
  • Phase 2: Auto-upgrade to Shopping campaigns - Throughout September, regular PLA campaigns that received impressions in the preceding few weeks will be auto-upgraded to a new Shopping campaign with a similar campaign structure. Some regular PLA campaigns, settings and bids might not carry over to your new Shopping campaign due to technical limitations. Once your regular PLA campaigns are auto-upgraded, you’ll receive an email notification and your regular PLA campaigns will stop serving PLAs. Further details on the auto-upgrade are in the AdWords Help Center.

Don’t wait to upgrade
As a final reminder, upgrade your campaigns before September to ensure they are set up as you’d like. We recommend using the upgrade tool as it walks you through the upgrade process step by step.

For more information, visit this help center article on the retirement of regular PLA campaigns and the automatic upgrade to Shopping campaigns. If you have any questions, reach out to the AdWords Community Forum or contact us.

Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

When the Path to Purchase Becomes the Path to Purpose

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 | 12:35 PM

Today’s consumers are spoiled for choice. With new technologies delivering more media on more devices than ever before, their options for content are limitless. Faced with this surplus, consumers are choosing to engage only with content that is personally relevant to them, their purpose and their passions. This new consumer mind-set has implications for their purchasing behavior—consumers shop with the same purpose that they consume content. To understand how to engage them on their "path to purpose," Ogilvy, TNS and Google surveyed recent purchasers of auto vehicles, beauty products and smartphones. THE RESULTS uncovered three new opportunities for brand advertisers:
  1. Purpose = Purchase. More than ever, brand purpose is critical to break through the clutter and drive purchases.

  2. Power of Influence > Power of Time. Counterintuitive as it may be, our research shows very little correlation between media usage and media influence. We need to focus on influence over usage.

  3. Experience > Exposure. Brands that provide consumers with deep experiences of their product—and manage to generate an emotional experience of ownership—win at the point of purchase.
Click here to learn more about the findings and the implications they bring to marketers.

New Shopping Campaigns Upgrade Tool

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | 6:00 AM

Cross-posted from the Inside Adwords blog

This is the final stretch. At the end of August, regular Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns will retire and be replaced by Shopping campaigns. A majority of you have started upgrading to Shopping campaigns, but if you’re one of the few who haven’t yet, we’re introducing a new upgrade tool that’ll help you upgrade in a matter of clicks.

This tool creates a Shopping campaign from your regular PLA campaign, with a campaign structure and bids based on your regular PLA campaign and historical performance data.



If you haven’t started your upgrade, we encourage you to use this tool as a jumping off point for your Shopping campaigns. Be sure to check your campaign budgets, settings and bids so they’re customized to your business needs.

Note that not all campaigns are compatible with this upgrade tool. If, for example, you use AdWords labels or groupings in your product targeting or inventory filters, you must update your data feed with custom labels before you use the upgrade tool, unless you’re happy to use another attribute to subdivide your inventory in AdWords directly.

You can access the upgrade tool, and check which of your campaigns are eligible, in the Settings tab of your existing Product Listing Ads campaigns. Learn more in the help center.

We’re here to help
We want to make sure you’ve thoughtfully upgraded and are ready for the holidays. Join us for a Learn With Google Hangout on Air on August 12 at 10:00am PST to walk through the new upgrade tool. If you have any questions, reach out to the AdWords Community Forum or contact us.

Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

Learn about DoubleClick Dynamic Creative Solutions and join our webinar series

Monday, August 11, 2014 | 9:27 AM

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Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser blog

Last week’s updates to Google Web Designer included cool new features that make it easier for creative designers and developers to build robust HTML5 creative. These features, combined with DoubleClick’s audience and environment information can help advertisers and agencies improve creative messaging for even more successful cross-screen marketing campaigns.


Today’s consumers expect to see tailored and relevant ads, and DoubleClick Dynamic Creative can help you use the information about who is viewing an ad to build smarter and more relevant creatives for every viewer. Learn about DoubleClick Dynamic Creative today by visiting our Dynamic Solutions page on the Rich Media Gallery and joining this week’s training webinar series.

Watch this video:


Find DoubleClick Dynamic Creative solutions by vertical.
Check out our Dynamic Creative Solutions page in the Rich Media Gallery to learn how to get started with DoubleClick Rich Media Dynamic Creative. You’ll find industry-specific information, best practices and creative examples for retail, travel, auto, and telecom verticals.

Join this week’s DoubleClick Dynamic Creative webinar series.
Want to learn more in an interactive environment? Join our product experts for this week’s DoubleClick Dynamic Creative webinar series. See the schedule below and register through the links below.

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Introduction to Dynamic Creative – 8/12 at 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST
Learn about the benefits of DoubleClick Dynamic Creative and see how it works. You’ll also learn the differences between basic and advanced formats, how to set up and make changes, and how to use advanced targeting. Register

Advanced Dynamic Creative Workflow – 8/13 at 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST
Learn the advanced dynamic creative workflow. We’ll cover the pre-launch, launch, and post-launch processes for advanced formats, along with advanced dynamic strategy kits. You’ll also learn troubleshooting tips and tricks to help you with the more advanced dynamic creatives. Register

Dynamic Creative Best Practices – 8/14 at 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST
Build your knowledge and learn best practices for designing, developing, and revising dynamic creative. We’ll cover advanced features, like creative dimension filtering, autosizing, and more. Register

If you’ve taken Fundamentals training for DoubleClick Campaign Manager and DoubleClick Rich Media, these resources will help you better understand how to implement dynamic creative. If you haven’t already, be sure to take DoubleClick Campaign Manager Fundamentals and Rich Media Fundamentals and get your certificate of completion.

Watch a pre-recorded webinar.
Can’t make this week’s webinar series? No worries! You can watch a recorded webinar in our Help Center to learn more dynamic creative best practices. While you’re there, be sure to read about ourlatest release notes.

Stay connected with DoubleClick Training by subscribing to training updates.

Posted by Ilinka Zaharčeva, DoubleClick Rich Media Product Trainer

One year in: An updated Google Web Designer

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 | 12:52 PM

Almost one year ago, we launched Google Web Designer, a free, easy-to-use, professional-grade HTML5 authoring tool. Over that year, we’ve seen increased adoption of HTML5 and Google Web Designer across the industry.

Fast facts, one year in: 
  • In the first half of 2014, DoubleClick Rich Media ad impressions from HTML5 grew 140% compared to the second half of 2013. 
  • Ads built with Google Web Designer have garnered 2.5B impressions since the launch of the product.
  • Over 20% of Google Web Designer’s user base are returning users and 72% are located outside the United States. 
  • Advertisers are seeing performance improvements as a result of adopting HTML5. For example, TalkTalk decreased their eCPA by 12% and reduced their backup image rate by 13% by adding HTML5 to their campaign. 
So what’s launching in Google Web Designer? 
The launch provides more granular control and creative flexibility to creative developers and designers, and allows them to easily build more interactive and animated HTML5 content and get it published quickly. 
  • Revamped Events and Components allow designers to make any element interactive
  • The updated timeline provides more granular control for designers to easily build animated content. 
  • Tighter integrations with Google Drive, DoubleClick Studio, DoubleClick Campaign Manager and AdWords let users collaborate on their works-in-progress and publish finished units more quickly. (This integration marks the first time that AdWords will support HTML5 upoads.) 
For this launch, we wanted to push the boundaries of what HTML5 ads could be. So we asked one creative designer to come up with a "Google Web Designer Thought Experiment."

Check out the awesome HTML5 ad unit that he came up with, read through his process developing the unit, and get a peek into his creative design process:



Simplifying cross-screen advertising
In addition to Google Web Designer, we are continuing to develop tools to make it easier for advertisers and agencies to build successful cross-screen advertising campaigns. 

We recently launched several features in DoubleClick to help you execute and measure your campaigns across screens, including in-app remarketing and conversion tracking in DoubleClick Campaign Manager. We also launched MRAID 2.0 support in DoubleClick Studio and we have certified 69 large publishers and networks for in-app formats, meaning developers can build mobile in-app ads with the confidence that they’ll be accepted across more publishers and networks.

Want to learn more?
  • Creative Agencies:
    • Visit our revamped website and download the product for free. 
    • Register for our Google Web Designer overview webinar on Wednesday Aug. 13th. Our lead Product Manager and Creative Technical Consultant will walk through the new Google Web Designer features and demo some cool creative executions. 
  • Media Agencies:
    • Register for our third webinar in the Make Mobile Work Series, focused on best practices for mobile targeting, on Tuesday, Aug. 12th. Google will be presenting alongside speakers from Millennial and Facebook.
Posted by Sean Kranzberg, Engineering Manager, and Tony Mowatt, Lead Product Manager, Google Web Designer