DoubleClick Bows Optimization Tool

DoubleClick has unveiled a new optimization tool for its DART ad-serving platform that lets publishers use statistical modeling technology to match ads with the audience that will deliver the greatest return.

“Optimization solutions are emerging as an important area in the market. Ultimately, it’s about how to drive the best conversion, to increase the effective ROI for advertisers and increase the value of the inventory for publishers,” Brad Bender, VP of optimization solutions at DoubleClick, told ClickZ News.

DART Adapt learns from anonymous user activity to determine the appropriate ad to server to a given user, based on publisher-defined goals. It is integrated with the DART for Publishers platform, with little set-up required of publishers, Bender said.

More than 100 advertisers have been running ads through a handful of publishers during the beta testing period, with campaigns that have both branding and direct response goals, Bender said. While direct response advertisers traditionally have more easily measured goals for online ads, brand advertisers are interested in driving performance as well, and can set the optimization against their own goals for their campaigns, he said.

“DART Adapt was founded on taking traditional marketing methods and principles and applying them online. The feedback loop online is such that you can get almost immediate feedback to drive your optimization,” Bender said.

The approach has some similarities to behavioral targeting, where users are put into a segment based on their online behavior, and then served an ad based on that segment. Where it differs from behavioral targeting is the way the targeted users are chosen, he said.

With behavioral targeting, advertisers generally choose a segment to target. With DART Adapt, the segments are created based on performance data, instead of matching a user to a certain segment tied to their behavior. Ads are then targeted to the specific, anonymous users that have exhibited behavior that is associated with a higher conversion rate.

“Ultimately, behavioral targeting drives audience. Optimization is about driving performance,” Bender said. “With behavioral targeting, you might assume that a certain target audience may perform, but that may not be the case. Optimization lets the anonymous data speak for itself to find those pockets of performance.”

Ad serving and optimization company 24/7 Real Media has offered behavioral targeting with its Insight ACT product for the past two years, as has Falk eSolutions, which DoubleClick announced plans to acquire last month. Several ad networks also offer some form of optimization and behavioral targeting capabilities.

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