Home Platforms Google Display Network’s Brad Bender Discusses Teracent, Remarketing And Acquisition Costs

Google Display Network’s Brad Bender Discusses Teracent, Remarketing And Acquisition Costs


TeracentToday, Google announced performance results for Google remarketing offering in AdWords in comparison to standard display advertising. Also, the company announced the pending availability of new enhancements to its remarketing capabilities offered through AdWords on The Google Display Network. This includes adding Teracent to the remarketing toolkit, the company’s dynamic creative technology acquired in 2009. Read more on Google’s Inside AdWords blog.

Brad Bender is director of product management for the Google Display Network. He spoke about the update to GDN’s remarketing/retargeting capabilities.

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AdExchanger.com: What sort of timing can we expect for launch of enhanced re‑targeting capabilities such as Teracent? Do the updates affect those that are buying through the API or just AdWords?

BB: We don’t generally comment on future timing. With dynamic ads technology integration, we’re currently in beta testing, and presumably, if that all goes well, within a quarter (3 months) time frame we will have more general availability. I can’t specifically say when it will be available.

So, specifically [the dynamic creative update] was intended for AdWords in terms of what I’m talking about, but the reality is that Teracent is a platform technology that could be leveraged through a third party ad call, and, that type of combination can be leveraged by other players in the market across inventory that they might buy across the Double Click Ad Exchange.  The work would be done on their end. The integration itself will be built into Teracent, so if they have their own re‑marketing list they should be able to do a similar type of integration.

What we’re trying to do is really simplify it so that any marketer can use re‑marketing. It’s democratizing access to this powerful technology.

Is Google going to be providing on a one‑off or  ala carte basis Teracent technologies to DSP’s and ad networks that want to use it within their own systems? Or are you doing that already today?

Teracent is a technology that is leveraged by many other players in the market, including, I believe some other ad networks. So, it’s similar ‑‑ the way they think about it in terms of congruence ‑‑ similar to DFA, right? We think there are benefits for the entire ecosystem with certain types platform technologies to power the industry.  Teracent falls in that camp.

You could buy Teracent independently running via the [Google Display] Network.

So, you have to be running DFA to use Teracent technology? Is that what you’re saying?


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No. I’m just trying to create some congruence. It’s a separate technology but it’s similar to DFA in that other advertisers whether they’re advertising on Google’s Display Network or not – they’re using DFA. It’s similar like whether you’re working with us on GDN or not, you could use Teracent.

Can you talk a little bit about why Google uses the term re‑marketing instead of re‑targeting like most of the industry?

Yes. In general it stems from our initial announcement which was in March of 2009 where we were announcing generally we were getting into the space of interest-based advertising as an umbrella. We really were trying to be as ad specific as we could be in a way that we felt could be generally understood by users as well as by the other players in the market. Re‑marketing as an end user is just something that is more understandable than some of the other terms. And then same thing with interest-based advertising. We’re just trying to be as clear as possible about specifically what we were going to be doing.

In terms of tweaks to a “back end code or algorithms” and things that are improving the CPC’s you’re seeing, what’s really happening here?

The way to think about it and some of the real power that is now driving the Google Display Network overall is this culmination of contextual understanding, in tandem with audience and previous site visitation behavior. So, that’s really what goes into these back end changes. It’s enabling us to algorithmically do a better job of predicting which combinations are more likely to be resolved into clicks. The majority of our time is still spent looking to optimize clicks and conversions. What we’re able to do is help them modify those bids in real time to best reach their goals.

What’s your view on frequency capping today? You’re dealing with hundreds if not thousands of neophyte re‑targeting marketers that might see an uncapped delivery of impressions as a good thing. How is Google controlling the potential for “pants” trailing people all over the Internet?

It’s an area we are actively researching because in a perfect world you would end up with some form of dynamic frequency cap, but we are not quite at that world, yet. So, there’s still a great deal of experimentation that makes sense. There are some categories of ads and creatives that are working very effectively and they have what’s called a “second bump” where they actually see a higher performance. So, as an advertiser you want to make sure you’re not missing out on that by curtailing after your first step. But going in, [marketers should] use a methodical approach to determining which frequency cap is best suited for their campaign objectives.

So, you’ve talked a lot about how re-marketing can add  revenue and show performance. But shouldn’t this revenue lift and this display of performance be tied to the acquisition cost that got the user to the site in the first place?

We definitely view it more holistically. It’s really about managing your campaign through the acquisition funnel and the reality is there are tactics that are preferable in an upper funnel building your brand awareness, even getting someone to search on your brand name in the first place. And we have some tools like Campaign Insights that have been demonstrating to advertisers when they run a display campaign that they are actually seeing lift and branded searches and website visitation. So, there’s definitely upstream behaviors that have to happen first, and really what re‑marketing is doing is closing the deal and it presumes that you’ve done the work upstream. One of the things that we’re actually working on is tools that help connect all these dots. You’ll see more tools like that coming from us.

Are there any plans to bring some sort of first party data enhancement to re‑marketing campaigns on AdWords?

So, we’re currently in beta for demographic targeting also. What we generally find is there are many complicated, client use cases when clients are implementing their own trading desk. They’re bringing their own data to bear and a lot of those clients will end up working with us through Invite [Media] and then access that inventory via the exchange. And what we’re seeing in general on the AdWords side is it’s really about how can we create a flexible way for advertisers to create different lists, combine them in different ways, but do it all within AdWords. So, if an advertiser wanted to they can do some more sophisticated things, they could ad tags to pages that then can get transferred through.

For instance, they could add a tag for a product like a TV to all the pages where they sell TV’s and have that flow through AdWords. There are definitely advertisers doing some of the things you’re talking about, but we definitely do try and segment the use cases.

It’s very similar to when you have a financial goal and you’re deciding whether you want to work with a service broker, or whether you want to go to an online site and do it yourself. And depending what somebody wants, we have both options. In a lot of ways GDN is the full service broker, we’ll do it all for you, make it very, very easy.

What are you’re objectives? Great, we’ll help you do it. If you go to a self-service online interface, you bring your own sophistication and data to bear.

By John Ebbert

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