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6 DoubleClick for Publishers Case Studies to Learn From

6 Case Studies of major publishers who used DoubleClick For Publishers to scale everything from CTRs to Engagement to Audience Retention.

Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers is the go-to ad serving platform that major publishers gravitate to. With 30% of the market share, Doubleclick for publishers or DFP as it is known in common parlance is considered the best ad serving technology out there, be it for web, mobile, or video. Launched in 1996 as an independent, and then revolutionary,  ad serving agency for the web, DoubleClick Inc. was later purchased by Google and redressed as DFP. One of the major reasons why DFP remains the most used ad-serving technology is their ability to unleash innovative and vertical focused solutions, guides and knowledge throughout the year.

Take  look at the innovation of DFP in 2014 and you’ll see why publishers, big and small, love DFP.

DoubleClick for Publishers 2014 Innovation

So we decided that since we have already spoken quite a bit about DoubleClick for Publishers and its pros and cons, how about we take real world examples and success stories of major publishers who scaled their publications with the help of DoubleClick for Publishers, be it CTRs, Revenue, Engagement, Campaigns, Time Efficiency or Cross-device presence. Take a look and find the reasons why you, dear Publisher, should love DoubleClick for Publishers too.

Case Study 1: Buzzfeed

DoubleClick for Publishers Buzzfeed Case Study

In 2006, when BuzzFeed launched, they chose to evolve from merely a curated content sharing platform to an advertiser who chose Native Advertising. More specifically, Buzzfeed chose the maxim “great advertising is content”. As Eric Harris, Buzzfeed’s Executive Vice President of Business Operations put forth:

“We create content that communicates 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 content.”

With over 199.4 million unique monthly visitors, BuzzFeed needed a reliable ad serving platform that could provide a seamless experience to their advertisers and readers alike. This reliability they found in DoubleClick for Publishers. Eric Harris explained:

“Ad serving is one of the few things we outsource, because Google’s DFP does it well. DFP provides scalability and reliability that enables us to focus on what we do best, and it gives us the credibility that comes with working with the industry leader.”

Eric also quoted in the case study about how DFP is their prime choice because its ability to deliver ad serving across devices:

“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.”

So how did they do it? How did DoubleClick for Publishers deliver BuzzFeed with the perfect nexus of Native Advertising with intelligent user targeting and a holistic cross device presence?

Simple. BuzzFeed incorporated DoubleClick for Publishers API into its content management system. The attribute that helped BuzzFeed with the integration was its previous experience and ongoing excellence at integrating native advertising with all its tools, including its content management systems as well as the content itself. DoubleClick API is able to work with BuzzFeed’s in-house tools as well as third party tracking solutions and BuzzFeed’s own custom analytics.

The Result: As stated in case study, BuzzFeed’s three major goals for its future in alignment with taking the next step in native advertising are:

1. Leadership in social, content driven advertising.

2. Continued growth in mobile.

3. International expansion.

The impact of DoubleClick for Publishers on BuzzFeed’s ad servings and the impression it has made is evident by Eric Harris’ quote about the future of BuzzFeed and DFP’s long term relationship:

“With the flexibility, scale and robust infrastructure that it offers, DFP plays an important role in all three of these goals.”

Takeaway for Publishers: DoubleClick for Publishers API is a seamless integration for your CMS. Don’t miss out on combining the power of intelligent targetting and testing with the analytics that you value.

Case Study 2: The Hollywood Reporter

DoubleClick for Publishers The Hollywood Reporter Case Study

The Hollywood Reporter is considered the prime voice of the entertainment industry. And for good reason. THR is ranked at 1138 (Alexa) worldwide as of the writing of this sentence. It has a massive audience demographic and over 38000+ sites link back to it. With such impressive traffics, The Hollywood Reporter required a one stop ad serving solution to take care of all their needs. Their content reaches across web, mobile, tablets and even print. They have recently given a design overhaul to their website and come out on the top of the engagement. But the bottleneck is that THR advertising is primarily focused on Video Advertising.

Alex Boyce, (GM, Digital) of The Hollywood Reporter says:

“The entertainment space is inherently visual, so original video content creation is one of our most important assets.”

The Hollywood Reporter needed an ad serving vendor which will allow them improved ad targeting, efficient ad campaign schedules and a cross device presence that simplifies their ad ops. After going through several competitive platforms, Boyce and his team chose DoubleClick for Publishers Video, an ad tech platform built to optimize value from video content.

Boyce’s team struck up a camaraderie with the DFP Video team even before deployment, allowing them to articulate their unique targeting needs and how they intend to leverage the industry adoption with collaboration. With just a few hours of integration time, Boyce and his team worked closely with DFP Video team.

“We feel like partners instead of clients, which is one of the seemingly intangible elements of vendor selection that actually makes a significant difference to our overall business from a monetization standpoint.”

So what set DFP Video apart and how was it useful for THR? A major improvement in THR’s ad ops was due to the DoubleClick for Publishers Video’s Transcoding feature, which ensured that the right video ad format gets served to the right user, regardless of their device or connection speed. This intelligence in targeting reduced Boyce’s team’s effort down from a few hours to a few minutes in major cases.

The content ingestion feature added another capability for THR by providing efficient time management by providing seamless ad management and targeting without the need of tag changes as previously required on a case-by-case basis.Additionally, Alex Boyce explained how the content ingestion feature opened up a new possibility for THR,

“This feature gives us the flexibility to rethink the way we are able to bundle inventory across content type.”

Additionally, the reporting function of DFP Video played a key role in tracking the impact of campaigns for THR. The ability to empower forecasting and reporting engines with content level insights by DFP Video’s reporting feature provided a clear articulation previously unavailable to Boyce’s team.

“We’re able to provide insights and a level of granularity in reporting previously unavailable to us.”

Even in its initial analytics, The Hollywood Reporter noted a 25% increase in their ad ops efficiency quotient as well as eliminating the need for per-campaign video player development with DoubleClick for Publishers.

Alex Boyce is confident in his belief that DFP will continue to provide benefits and impact positively the bottom line.

“DFP Video is clearly going to make a significant impact to our overall video advertising revenue, by providing a greater level of flexibility, and staging efficiency.”

Takeaway for Publishers: DoubleClick for Publishers Video is a robust video ad serving platform to leverage. If you want to engage with your readers in a visual first campaign without diminishing the user experience, DFP Video can and should be your primary choice for ad tech platform.

Case Study 3: Gawker

DoubleClick for Publishers Gawker Case Study

Gawker is known as a behemoth of impressive numbers across the eight different publishing properties such as Gawker, Gizmodo, Lifehacker and more. With more than 2 billion monthly impressions, an Alexa rank of 467 (Global) as of today, Gawker’s advertising is practically a war machine. Erin Pettigrew, Chief Strategy Officer of Gawker Media articulates on their need for an ad tech platform that can handle their large-scale ad ops efficiently and relieve them of the time spent on analyzing impact.

In order to upgrade their ad ops and efficiency, Gawker’s traffic team transitioned from using DART to the new DoubleClick for Publishers platform. The transition was prepped for Gawker with the help of DFP’s consulting services who proactively provided the team with a read only version of their DFP account and dashboard. Gawker team educated themselves on the features offer by DoubleClick for publishers. Another important attribute which allowed Gawker a seamless transfer from DART to DoubleClick for Publishers was that DFP was already integrated with Gawker’s third party technology partners such as Ad-Juster.

Gawker’ Chief Strategy Officer Erin Pettigrew on integrating DoubleClick for Publishers:

“With the time that DFP saves, we can focus on other priorities – optimizing, troubleshooting, and improving client relationships – that help further build our business.”

Post deployment, Gawker discovered an estimated 15% rise in operational efficiency, thanks to the intuitive and user friendly interface of DoubleClick for Publishers.

“With more efficient trafficking, we’re booking more revenue into our system than ever before. And fewer screens and simpler processes, we have a much happier traffic team.”

With streamlined workflows, multi-tab operations of DoubleClick for Publishers and the ability to book an item right after forecast are key impacts of DFP on Gawker Media. Erin Pettigrew adds:

“It’s also great to have Google’s search and analytics technologies working across our entire ad systems.”

With DFP, the Gawker media team was able to access performance data of a campaign within 20 to 30 minutes of delivering (as opposed to 24 hours minimum with DART), Gawker has found the ability to monitor their ad campaigns and engage with client side requirements in real time.

“Being able to confirm correct delivery for a client just hours after launch has given much needed confidence to our sales and account teams.”

Takeaway for Publishers: DoubleClick for Publishers is a ready to deploy ad tech platform. Even if you are stuck with a considerably dated ad tech, transitioning to DFP comes with no campaign downtime.

Case Study 4: FairFax Media

DoubleClick for Publishers FairFax Media Case Study

Fairfax Media is one of Australia’s largest content providers across formats. From news publications like The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age to ecommerce portrals like TradeMe and popular niche properties like The Vine and Essential Baby. Fairfax leverages these properties to collect and quantify an immense repository of user data across multiple demographics throughout the audience spectrum.

Ed Harrison, now former Group Sales Director of Fairfax Media, currently the CEO of Yahoo7, said this about Fairfax’s audience knowledge repository:

“Through our proprietary audience platform, Fairfax has a unique understanding of who our audiences are and where their interests lie. We are offering clients new ways in which to reach these audiences at scale through our sales team.”

Due to their in-depth knowledge of their audience base, it was natural for Fairfax team to find ways to leverage this information and utilize an ad tech feature which will enable them to create incremental revenue streams for their clients.

They found this in the Audience Extension feature of the DoubleClick for Publishers. The Audience Extension feature allows a publisher to buy inventory off-site using their audience data.

ZenithOptimedia, A Sydney based agency was the first to respond and engage with Fairfax’s audience extension capabilities. Emily McConnell, Business Director at ZenithOptimedia says,

“[Our client]DrinkWise wanted to maximize product awareness and reach parents within Fairfax’s premium audience, so we decided to trial Fairfax’s new audience extension product as part of our overall buy.”

The results were heartening, to say most conservatively.

“We saw an immediate uplift in the performance. Compared to standard contextual placement, the product delivered a 75 percent increase in CTR for Drinkwise”

With DoubleClick for Publishers, Fairfax can use the Audience Extension feature to analyze how their audience interacts with the content and advertising across multiple devices and create audience segments which are of high value to certain advertisers. This segmentation enables Fairfax to create incremental revenue streams and provide their advertisers with these segments, in addition to Fairfax’s owned and operated ad inventory, via DoubleClick AdExchange across the web.

Takeaway for Publishers: Much like Buyer personas of Marketing, knowing your audience makes all the difference between success and failure. Audience Extension feature of DoubleClick for Publishers can help you evaluate your audience and their interests and refine your ad inventory to maximize CTR and optimize your revenue as well as their engagement with your publication.

Case Study 5: Weight Watchers

DoubleClick for Publishers Gawker Case Study

Weight Watchers is a premium healthy-living brand with tens of millions of customers across the continents. They serve 140 million ad impressions monthly with addition 5 million mobile ad impressions to boot. Weight Watchers is a website known for their content and their long term strategies to provide their customers with quality content on how to inculcate a healthier lifestyle. Because of their niche, Weight Watchers cater high relevancy ads to their audience.

Having a clear and popular niche helps Weight Watchers with their advertising operations immensely. In 2006, Weight Watchers began using DART serving system by DoubleClick. They were also eager to use the Google Publisher Tag (GPT), available exclusively on DoubleClick for Publishers Platform. Weight Watchers had three goals:

1. Better Ad Targeting

2. A User Friendly UI

3. Leveraging DFP products to optimize revenue

Weight Watchers upgraded to DFP in 2011 and began using GPT. With GTP, Weight Watchers found five levels of targeting criteria to utilize with precision. Enhanced by a dynamic path created between the user’s browser and the ad server, targeting became efficient. In words of Jordan Tuck, Assistant Manager (Ad Sales Ops) for Weight Watchers,

“The ad tag updates based on whoever visits the page. Instead of having hard-coded data with specific attributes assigned to each ad tag, our ads are now dynamic formulas where code updates based on that user. This ensures we serve the most relevant ad available.”

With this capability, Weight Watchers registered the follow growths:

  • 100% Increase in Efficiency
  • 4x Number of Campaigns per month using GPT Targeting
  • CTR increase by 250 percent after switching to AdX
  • After adding GPTs, 13 percent increase in CTRs for ads across all sizes
  • CTR increased by 76 percent for Ad Size 728 * 90

Weight Watchers’ ad ops were simplified due to the dynamic rules of GPT tags. Along with GPT, the shift to DFP enabled Weight Watchers to leverage Dynamic Allocation the utility of AdExchange (AdX ) to monetize indirectly sold inventory.

Jordan Tuck, Asst. GM, Ad Sales Operations of Weight Watcher says,

“DFP and GPT free up time for our sales team to focus more on building custom sponsorships, and for all of us to make sure we’re optimizing our inventory as efficiently as possible.”

Takeaway for Publishers: DoubleClick for Publishers is a platform that integrates multiple ad technologies for the benefit of the user and a user intuitive interface for the convenience of the user. A more intelligent targeting and a better filter for relevancy is one of the surest ways to optimize revenue and maximize CTR.

Case Study 6: InsideOut Media

DoubleClick for Publishers InsideOut Case Study

InsideOut Media is a Chicago based publisher of high end and niche travel publications such as iExplore and Travel Mindset. As a result of their niche, InsideOut Media, led ably by Kirsten Larkin Hardy, the Ad Ops Manager, is a busy publication.

InsideOut Media had been using DART by DoubleClick for their ad tech operations but when Kirsten found an opportunity to scale her efficiency with DoubleClick for Publishers, she didn’t miss a beat.

“I used to have to switch between so many screens when implementing new tags. It was a much longer process, and there was a great margin of error. Now I can pretty much setup everything on one screen, so it’s easier to review, start and manage campaigns without having to click 50 times.”

Post integration of DoubleClick for Publishers, Kirsten found a major upscale of her time efficiency as well as her ability to monitor and review data within a fraction of the time previously needed.

“I can look at up-to-the-minute accurate data and then provide my clients with the most up-to-date reports. I can optimize with data from 20 minutes ago instead of yesterday.”

With DFP, Kirsten and InsideOut Media ad operations increased their efficiency by 50 per cent, freeing up a significant part of their time which they used to strengthen relationship with their clients.

The switch to DoubleClick for Publishers was a smooth one for InsideOut Media due to the proactive Google team who assisted her in the preparation.

“In addition to videos and articles, Google’s team also sent a mock of the new platform so I would get to know the interface. I knew what it was was going to look like, what was going to be deleted and updated.”

Kirsten had nothing but glowing recommendation for DoubleClick for Publishers,

“The interface is clean, user-friendly and organized. DFP is relatively easy to learn, and if you focus on training at the start, you can save yourself some time later. I definitely recommend this platform.”

Takeaway for Publishers: DoubleClick for Publishers is designed with an interface that allows even the beginners to hit the ground running. The Google’s consulting team and the readily available tutorials enable any publisher to seamlessly integrate their ad operations to DoubleClick for Publishers.

We hope you find these case studies inspiring in reaching out to DoubleClick for Publishers. For more info, check out the additional resources below: