Author Archives: Casper Verhoofstad

Drive differentiated value with Display & Video 360

Enterprise marketers and agencies are increasingly turning to automation to handle many of their complex ad operations. Automating tasks is key for swift execution. Together with machine learning, it also lets you deliver relevant ads without reliance on sensitive data.

Display & Video 360 combines automation with customization so that you can create your own secret sauce to boost performance. You can harness your proprietary data and insights and combine them with Google's strengths in machine learning to achieve better advertising outcomes.

Custom bidding is a great example of this. It allows you to stay in control of your bidding strategy and curate a differentiated approach. And many of you have already turned to this tool to boost return on investment. For example, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty reduced cost per acquisition by 29% with custom bidding. As a luxury beauty retailer, it sells high-end products that drive fewer conversions at a higher price. To account for the fact that the brand had fewer conversions on which to optimize, it used a tailored full-funnel algorithm that factored in relevant event data higher up in the user journey. For example, the retailer started valuing visits, clicks, and ad viewability as new input signals.

Today, we’re announcing two new custom bidding functionalities in Display & Video 360.

Optimize to capture people’s attention

A growing number of marketers are looking to optimize their bids with the goal of capturing user attention. Attention is a particularly relevant metric for brands reaching their audience in lean-back environments such as connected TV. Optimizing towards users’ attention is especially beneficial when direct conversions are difficult to measure. For example, buyers can estimate the attention an ad will get based on its size or whether the video ad is audible or muted.

We drive marketing effectiveness using custom bidding algorithms that can optimize ad attention for the brands in our portfolio. Phil Jackson, Global Digital Marketing
Effectiveness Innovation Director, GSK

So on top of metrics like ‘complete in-view & audible’ and ‘time on screen’, we’re adding new custom bidding signals such as “player size” and "audibility", and extending custom bidding support to CTV. This gives you a chance to create attention-based algorithms using your own definitions.

Optimize for user paths on your site

Bidding towards the most valuable stages of the purchase journey is another winning strategy. To do this, leading brands are using first-party data from their Google Analytics accounts to tailor their bids and strengthen campaign performance in Display & Video 360.

We know that many of you have moved or are working on moving from Universal Analytics to the new Google Analytics. So we made sure that data coming from any new Analytics 4 property — either standard or 360 — can be activated in Display & Video 360.

Stay tuned to learn about more upcoming Display & Video solutions designed for brands and agencies to customize how machine learning and automation is applied.

What’s new with automated bidding in Display & Video 360

Automated bidding in Display & Video 360 helps advertisers improve performance by adjusting bids in real time to achieve the results they care about. Using Google’s advanced machine learning, it evaluates and tailors your bids for every auction to help predict the likelihood of a conversion.

Today we’re introducing improvements to the automated bidding solutions in Display & Video 360. First, we’re introducing a new interface where you can set Custom Bidding multipliers without writing any code. Second, we’re adding support for pay for viewable impressions to outcome based buying. Lastly, we’re introducing a new report to give you more insights into how automated bidding places bids to hit your goals.

Simplified setup for Custom Bidding

Custom Bidding is an automated bidding strategy that allows you to assign values to different events, such as a conversion or a purchase. Marketers told us that Custom Bidding delivers great results because it helps tailor their bidding to their unique goals, but we also learned that they can’t always use it because they might lack the technical resources to build the required scripts. In addition to uploading a custom script, you now have the option to select Floodlight activities and assign them the value you want in an easy-to-use interface. For example, you can assign a higher value to high-value purchases, so that your ads are tuned to specifically increase revenue instead of driving more transactions. In the future, you will also be able to use Analytics 360 goals in the same way.

User interface for Display & Video 360 features Floodlight activity and Custom Bidding

Choose goal builder to assign values to different Floodlight activities and use them for Custom Bidding.

Outcome based buying for branding campaigns

Up until now, outcome based buying only supported performance campaigns by allowing marketers to pay per click for campaigns that use target cost per acquisition (CPA) or maximize conversions strategies. To make better use of your branding budgets, we’ve introduced pay per viewable impressions (as measured by Active View) for your display and video campaigns. This allows you to optimize for maximize active view. So you’ll reduce budget waste and achieve better performance by only paying for impressions that are viewable instead of each impression.

Learn how automated bidding works for your campaigns

We’ve heard that you’d like to learn more about how the automated bidding algorithm places your bids. We’re introducing a new report, Bidding Insights, that will give you more visibility into how automated bidding is working. First, you will be able to monitor what the average cost-per-thousand impression (CPM) bid is based on the likelihood of an impression to lead to a conversion or a click. This way you’ll see that automated bidding is increasing your bids for impressions that generate better returns for you.

In addition, Bidding Insights will show you how many impressions you won based on their likelihood to lead to the outcome you selected for automated bidding. Bidding insights will become available after seven days of activity and after there is sufficient data to provide meaningful insights in all campaigns that are using automated bidding.

User Interface image of Access Bidding insights

Access Bidding insights at the IO level where the bidding strategy is displayed

These new bidding features allow you to quickly adapt to consumer behavior by giving you more flexibility and customization for your bidding strategies across both brand and performance campaigns.

This post closes our Display & Video 360 product announcements series covering new features to support your business recovery and growth. Stay tuned for additional updates on Campaign Manager 360 soon.

New automated bidding solutions in Display & Video 360

Automated bidding in Display & Video 360 helps advertisers respond to what consumers are seeking in the moment by using Google’s advanced machine learning to predict campaign performance and place your bids accordingly. As customer behavior changes, automated bidding adapts and tailors your bids in real time for every auction giving you more flexibility than a fixed bidding approach. Now we are making automated bidding more powerful by introducing Custom Bidding, a new way to incorporate your unique insights about what drives your business into your bidding strategies.

Here’s how it works: first, you identify a key performance indicator (KPI), such as revenue or brand lift, that you want to optimize. Next, you define the proxy signals that help predict success with your KPI. For example, you might select transaction value as a proxy for revenue or creative dimension as a proxy for brand lift -- you can choose as a signal anything that is measurable as a Floodlight activity or a goal in Google Analytics 360. Finally, you build a script that uses these signals to assign scores to ad impressions in order to define how much each impression is worth to you, based on its expected ability to drive your chosen KPI. Once the campaign starts, Display & Video 360 will use the scoring model built on your script to predict the value of each impression and adjust each bid accordingly.

Custom Bidding will be available to all Display & Video 360 accounts in the next few weeks. Support for including Analytics 360 goals as Custom Bidding signals will launch in the next few months.

Office Depot wanted to improve campaign performance by tuning its ads to specifically drive high value purchases, instead of optimizing for total transactions. They turned to their agency partner, Wavemaker, to see how they could tailor their bidding strategy to optimize for revenue and not conversions. Wavemaker recommended using Custom Bidding to inform Google’s machine learning with Office Depot’s transaction values. They then put it to test with the cost per acquisition (CPA) automated bidding strategy and saw an immediate improvement in their return.

By assigning higher value to larger sales, Custom Bidding allowed us to increase our return on ad spend by 30 percent in the test group compared to our previous bidding strategies. Calisha Anderson
Sr. Program Manager, eCommerce - Office Depot

Make better use of your advertising budgets

We’ve also heard from advertisers that they’d like options for buying digital ads that increase their chances of hitting their campaign performance goals. Outcome based buying allows you to only pay for the results that support your campaign goals, so that you can make better use of your advertising budgets. Outcome based buying currently supports performance campaigns by allowing marketers to pay per click for campaigns that use either target cost per acquisition (CPA) or maximize conversions strategies. In the next few months we’ll introduce pay for viewable impressions as measured by Active View both for your display and video campaigns, which will reduce budget waste and increase the impact of your branding campaigns too.

Select outcome based buying when setting up a new insertion order

Joyn, one of the largest digital video streaming services in Germany, used outcome based buying to support the launch of their new subscription service. They wanted to see if paying only for clicks would result in lower cost per acquisition (CPA) compared to their previous auto bidding strategy to minimize CPA. So they ran an A/B test and discovered that outcome based buying delivered a 69 percent lower CPA.

Outcome based buying outperforms our regular bidding strategy by generating more signups for our budget. In just a few weeks we have seen a 225 percent increase in conversions driven by higher click through and conversion rates. Marcus Liprecht
Senior Online Marketing Manager - Joyn

These new bidding features will help you be more responsive to changing consumer behavior by giving you the flexibility and choice you need to make every marketing dollar count across your brand and performance campaigns.