Tag: google

3rd party ad serving certification from Google, plus DoubleClick learnings


This week turned out very Googley for Canned Banners. Two things:

Canned Banners is now a Google-certified 3rd party ad server

Think we’re pulling your leg? Check it out.

Why is this important? Basically, after rigorous testing of our dynamic ad platform, Google has given us its blessing to run dynamic creative (hosted on our dynamic ad server) on Google’s DoubleClick and AdWords display inventory (aka: the Google Display Network). We’re extremely proud of getting this certification, and it’s great for our clients and partners, who can now utilize their Google ad inventory in dynamic display ad campaigns.

DoubleClick training

DoubleClick for Advertisiers (DFA) is a major ad serving platform (owned by Google). One of our clients recently needed some DFA-related assistance during setup for a dynamic ad campaign. We were able to solve the problem with our clever little brains, but we realized we could use a lot of a little formal training on DFA for the next time a client using DFA needed help with dynamic ad setup.

Luckily, Google had a training session available just a few blocks away, and we got schooled up.

And Google Lunch was provided! Yes, it is as good as you’ve heard. Here’s what a typical plate of Google Lunch looks like:

Not pictured: frikkin’ Ritual Roasters coffee and bottled
Mexi-Cokes from the office fridge.

So if you want to run dynamic ads on Google display inventory, or if you want to serve dynamic ads through DFA, just drop us a note.

Canned Banners mentioned on Search Engine Land, plus thoughts on search retargeting


Dax Hamman, Chief Revenue Officer at search retargeting platform Chango, mentioned us in a piece today on Search Engine Land. The piece describes the huge opportunity available to search engine marketers (SEMs), who can now use search retargeting to extend their PPC dominance to the world of display advertising.

Why is search retargeting such a MASSIVE opportunity for SEMs?

Here’s a hypothetical scenario: when someone searches for “laptop” on Google, they’re probably looking to buy one, or at least researching products and seeking out retailers and pricing. This intent is incredibly valuable advertising data; someone searching for “laptop” has just raised their hand to a sea of retailers and announced: “Hi, I have between several hundred and several thousand dollars to spend on a laptop.”

Search for “laptop” and dozens of companies instantly start competing for your business.

The searcher may click on one of the ads, but they probably won’t immediately make a purchase; laptops are expensive and a consumer is bound to research several models before making a decision.

If I’m a search marketer at Lenovo, do I only get one chance to grab the buyer’s interest with my search ad? With traditional search, the answer may be yes…the buyer might make a decision after an initial search for “laptop” that puts hundreds of retailers and products out of the running. For example, the buyer searches for “laptop,” does a little research, and from then on, only considers buying Apple laptops, meaning that Lenovo, along with the entire PC laptop industry (which is massive), is out of the running after only one Google search.

A great opportunity to sell a laptop, LOST.
Not quite…

Enter search retargeting (a little more on how it works). The laptop buyer may not have clicked on my search ad, but search retargeting lets me capture the buyer’s intent and use it to show the buyer follow-up display ads. This gives me, the marketer at Lenovo, dozens of additional chances to recapture the buyer’s attention as they surf the web. And if the buyer refines his/her research by searching for “desktop replacement” or “best laptop battery life,” then I am now able to feature display ads for Lenovo’s desktop replacement laptops that have great battery life.

When this kind of targeted follow-up advertising is aggregated over millions of searches and tens of thousands of potential buyers, the lift in performance and ROI over traditional search ads alone can be massive.

Helping search marketers transition into display

The key, of course, as Dax points out, is scaling and segmenting your display ad creative in the same way that SEMs can quickly test, refine, and segment their text ads.

But display ads are so much more complex (more on text-only ad versus display ad complexity). Given that creating text-based search ads requires no extra software or resources at all, the challenge of moving into display can seem quite large, as it may necessitate hiring expensive designers, and going through lengthy review and revision cycles.

It doesn’t need to be that convoluted. Streamlining the display ad creation process for SEMs is one of many things Canned Banners is developing tools for. More to follow on how we’ll be helping SEMs tap into this massive opportunity.

MixRank: see your competitors’ most successful ads



Do you have competitors who advertise online? What a stupid question. Yes, of course you do. If you want to get the most out of your advertising, you need to be acutely aware of what your competitors are doing. You’ve probably got at least several dozen competitors, all constantly creating, testing, and optimizing ads and buying space on new websites. If you can find out what’s working well for your them, you should probably try it yourself.

Detail on a banner ad being run by Shopify.com.
MixRank gives you data on where your competitors are advertising and which ads are working the best. Just go to MixRank.com and type in any keyword or company URL to get a full competitive report. You can see search ads, display ads, basically anything that runs on Google (and they’ll be adding more ad networks soon).

Let your competitors spend the money to figure out what works best and then reap the rewards of their trial & error.

We’re not encouraging you to plagiarize your competitors’ ads (you’re better than that), but if your ads are under-performing (which you found out by going to MixRank), you might be able to look at your competitors’ best-performing ads get some insight into what’s resonating with your target audience. And if a competitor is getting an insane CTR on a website that you don’t currently advertise on, or with a keyword you’re not using, well then maybe you should start.

Detail on Shopify.com’s text ad performance.
Best of all, dear Internet people, MixRank is totally free. If you want to get serious, you can upgrade to MixRank’s paid version and get a helluva lot more data on your competitors.

May the best ads win!

Time for Self-serve Ad Platforms to Circle the Wagons?

Today ADOTAS.com saw fit to let me weigh in on the security and liability implications of Google’s apparent $500 million settlement with the Justice Department.

I doubt the self-serve ad world is going to come crashing down under pressure from government lawsuits, but it should give everyone a reason to ponder the implications of taking money from sleazy advertisers. With money at risk, self-serve ad platforms, and the online advertising world in general, may be a bit more judicious in choosing their clients and passing on the shady ones.

I think overall, a purging of scammy advertisers would be good for online advertising. It would raise the overall image that online advertising has. Despite some people’s privacy concerns, online advertising still has a tremendous amount of untapped potential to efficiently target the right ads and offers to the right people at the right time in the right place, and so on and so forth (as opposed to television, which gushes a never-ending stream of irrelevant, tacky ads no matter what your individual buying habits are).

With a lower proportion of shady ads, you might also see people click on ads more often. Any market economist will tell you, there’s nothing like trust to grease the wheels of commerce, and a lack of trust to bring everything to a screeching halt. If retail banking were like the internet, you could never be very sure whether a bank branch was just a phony facade trying to sell you counterfeit Certificates of Deposit. But it’s not. Why? Because of strict government regulation and the threat of punishment if banks engage in criminal behavior.

I’m indifferent to the particular case against Google…I have no idea whether Google did anything wrong. But if government oversight makes it easier for my company to make a legitimate buck on the web, then I’m all for it.

Anyway, go and read the column here.

Canned Banners mentioned in lecture: “Unraveling the Mysteries of Online Advertising”

Ad operations consultant Rainey Smith gave a lecture recently entitled “Unraveling the Mysteries of Online Advertising.” It’s full of really informative stuff for web publishers, bloggers, and website owners on how to sell and run ads on your website.

And who does she recommend as an easy, fast, do-it-yourself solution for designing banner ads? You guessed it: Canned Banners. We’re mentioned at about 27:00.

Grab some popcorn and have a look-see:

Seriously, this video is interesting to watch whether you run your own website or blog or whether you’re an industry insider who just doesn’t know much about the nuts and bolts of what it takes to run ads on a website. The above video (and many other good ones) can be found on UC Berkeley’s website here.

If you’re thinking of selling ads on your website and don’t know where to start, we’d advise contacting Rainey here.