Bear Group’s Experience With DoubleClick

DoubleClick was one of the first ad server companies on the market, founded in 1996 in the early days of the internet. DoubleClick works to assist publishers with delivering strategized advertising on their websites, and since it’s founding has powered many ad networks. For advertisers managing an ad program, it’s a useful organizational system and provides self-service tools for advertisers to purchase space on a publisher’s website.

Although DoubleClick originally focused on generating banners, it has since expanded and can be used to create and manage a wide range of media types. Perhaps more than any other ad server company, DoubleClick’s innovations have played the strongest role in shaping modern online advertising.

In March 2008, Google acquired DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, and it is currently a subsidiary of Google. Since it's acquisition, DoubleClick for Publishers has replaced Ad Manager. 

We have worked with DoubleClick for Publishers (you can see their page here) for larger enterprise clients including Precor, Electronic Arts/PopCap, PBS and Universal Music.

The Process of Integration

The integration work for an ad server like DoubleClick begins with the graphic design process. Ad locations need to be worked into the page layout, and become part of the page. Often this leads to many discussions around ideal placement options, working to integrate advertising deeply into the content to encourage clicks or impressions. For example, sometimes we take an article or a slideshow and instead of delivering it in a single page, break it up into carousel pages so each can serve as a new ad impression for a publisher. Or, we work advertising in with image carousels to help encourage visitors to “see” or click on the ads.

Once designed, the next step is placing zones or blocks. These can be done in the template layer or through the block systems in your CMS (Content Management System). From that point, all the work happens in the DoubleClick interface. Typically scenario testing will be run for each ad spot against potential targeting scenarios. For example, ensuring the banner for a particular customer displays for a specific number of impressions, and only if the user has come in on a specific URL.

The Benefits of DoubleClick:

  • Supports Different Ad Sizes: The system arranges ad zones in the page layout to support various ad unit sizes. IAB maintains a comprehensive list, which can be a good resource for incorporating ad sizes into the page layout.

  • Comprehensive Admin: Once zones are in place on the website, the publisher can use DoubleClick’s admin tools set up targeting rules (for example, “display this ad to users who have clicked on five pages and their IP address is in New York”), impression caps, as well as provide advertisers with an admin account to upload, manage their media, and pay for placements.

  • Modernized Tracking: Older systems used DART tags - invisible 1-pixel gif image files - to provide tracking data but DoubleClick has replaced this with more modern JS/cookie tracking. This provides a more accurate number of impressions.

  • Remarketing Advertising: DoubleClick can track a user’s movement across the web, and provide “remarketing” advertising or suggested advertising that matches up with interest profiles. This can become highly targeted advertising. For example, I was on the Staples website researching routers for our company. On a visit to Accuweather (a completely unrelated website but part of the DoubleClick network) to check if Little League would be a rainout, I was served a Staples banner ad with exact product category matches to what I was shopping for.

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When Do We Recommend DoubleClick

Any customer considering DoubleClick, or similar ad server tech, will likely have advertising as part of their revenue model and a larger ad strategy in place. DoubleClick is a good investment for marketers who publish content online, and have an audience of readers with a fairly sizable number of page views.

DoubleClick has offers tiers for small publishers and large enterprise websites. They have positioned the latest incarnation of DoubleClick as a Revenue Management tool, and have really strengthened the reporting, administration, and self-service tools for advertisers. They also integrate with ad networks, so publishers don’t need to directly sell ads, they can participate with ad networks.