This morning, I’ll be kicking off thinkDoubleClick, our annual industry event where we discuss the future of digital media. At this same event last year, we unveiled DoubleClick Digital Marketing, the unified platform we’re building to help advertisers and agencies manage the entire breadth of their digital marketing efforts.

Our goal with this year’s event is to take a deeper look at how digital helps us forge deeper connections within organizations, with our partners and with consumers. We also have several exciting pieces of news to share about investments that will help our advertiser and publisher partners make the most of these connections.

Connect your business
At the core of of digital media is its ability to build connections, and we’ve seen that it can be incredibly valuable in helping our partners connect across their business, offering a holistic picture of how all their marketing efforts work together. This was the vision behind DoubleClick Digital Marketing, and today we’re making two key improvements:
  • A new DFA: DoubleClick Campaign Manager. We’re excited to announce a brand new version of DFA, which we are calling DoubleClick Campaign Manager. In the biggest upgrade to our core ad server in the 15 years since its inception, DoubleClick Campaign Manager completely re-imagines the ad management and ad serving process. DoubleClick Campaign Manager will be available to all advertisers globally in the coming months. 
  • DoubleClick goes social. Today’s digital platforms play a critical role in helping marketers adapt to constantly evolving formats and channels. Today, social is a good example of that; it has changed the way we communicate, share and interact. And not just with our loved ones -- 80% of consumers say social interactions with brands influence their purchase decisions. It’s why we acquired Wildfire last year, and today, we’re happy to announce that we’re taking steps to integrate Wildfire into the DoubleClick platform. Now, marketers can address a critical part of the customer journey, and do it alongside search, display, rich media, video and mobile as part of the broader DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform. This is just the beginning of how we’re incorporating Wildfire’s technology. There are more exciting things to come in this area.

Connect with your partners
Technology is also about connecting you with your partners - bringing buyers and sellers together at scale. We’re introducing a few new ways to make this happen as well:
  • Shared sales with YouTube in DoubleClick for Publishers. For our publisher partners, we’re hearing that video, and YouTube in particular, is becoming an increasingly important part of your selling strategy. But when you have a partner like YouTube that is also selling this inventory, we’ve heard that the process of booking these shared sales was incredibly cumbersome. So I have some news: in the coming months, we're introducing a new feature called Cross-Sell in DoubleClick for Publishers, to automatically and easily manage joint sales for our YouTube partners. Our goal is to let your sales team work hand-in-hand with ours to maximize every sales opportunity and to give you extra time to focus on your advertiser relationships. 
  • Making native native... to DoubleClick. Recently, “native formats” have emerged as an important new model. They provide new types of brand experiences, like sponsored stories, that are unique to each publisher. We want to support formats like this that connect advertisers and publishers in a meaningful way, while also creating real value for users. We're already testing this capabilities with a handful of publishers and will be looking to expand in the coming months. Our goal is to make this technology seamless for publishers who want to have flexibility in implementing native formats and making the most of them on their properties.
  • Making a viewable standard a reality with Active View. To help publishers tap into the accelerating brand opportunity, we’re focused on unlocking new ways of measurement with the rollout of Active View in our core publisher products: DoubleClick for Publishers, AdSense and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. Publishers using these products will be able to measure what inventory is viewable. In early tests, we’ve found that Active View can help uncover “gold below the fold.” Click-through rates double for viewable inventory below the fold - in other words, users that are engaged with the content are also engaging with the ads. Active View complements our other investments in making digital an effective medium for brand marketers and their awareness-building campaigns, like Lightbox ads and TrueView in AdMob and games. These efforts appear to be paying off for brand advertisers: we saw a 65 percent increase last quarter alone in the number of brand advertisers using our brand formats and buying tools. We think these investments will be mutually beneficial for publishers, their advertiser partners, as well as users. 
Connect with consumers
The third (and in my mind most important) type of connection that digital helps create, though, is with consumers. As you all know, we are now living in a multi-screen world. Consumers are effortlessly shifting from screen to screen. In fact research has found that 90% of multiple device owners switch between screens to complete tasks. We’re investing in helping advertisers and publishers connect with them across screens as well:
  • Google Web Designer. To help advertisers and publishers more seamlessly unlock the potential of cross-device programs, we are investing in a new HTML5 creative development tool - Google Web Designer. Available in the coming months, Google Web Designer will empower creative professionals to create cutting-edge advertising as well as engaging web content like sites and applications - for free. Google Web Designer will be seamlessly integrated with DoubleClick Studio and AdMob, greatly simplifying the process of building HTML5 creative that can be served through Google platforms.

No other medium builds connections like digital - it’s one of the reasons I remain so bullish on this industry. But digital is not just a medium. It’s the bedrock which enables connections between advertisers and publishers, within our own organizations, as well as brands and consumers. That’s why we’ll continue to invest in helping build these connections - between re-imagined creative tools, reinvented measurement solutions, and revamped ad buying platforms - that will accelerate and propel digital advertising into a $200 billion industry that funds and supports great content.

And this is just some of what we’ll be discussing today at thinkDoubleClick, I encourage you to tune in to our live stream to check out the entire program running from 9 am to 12:30 PDT today.

Posted by Neal Mohan, Vice President, Display Advertising