I've been advertising with Google since way in the beginning of their PPC platform and continue to run very large search marketing campaigns. I've also run huge (north of $130 million in online advertising) display/banner advertising campaigns since 1997 and always have used an ad server for placing my ads, tracking results, measuring post-click conversions, and etc since 1997. I've tried them all - MatchLogic, BlueStreak, Atlas, and of course DoubleClick.
So, unlike other blogs that claim to have experience (especially in the political marketing blogosphere), I actually have a ton and continue to work in this space. One of things that's always been tough is having a single source for reporting, optimization, trafficking, planning, and counting conversions (more on that in a second) and now with a stroke of a pen and $3.1 Billion in cash (yes cash or as Henry Blodget wrote: a few quarters of free cash flow) Google solves advertisers problems by acquiring DoubleClick.
Now why does this solve a lot of problems? Simple. Let's take a look at how this helps advertisers and agencies:
- I've never been a fan of DoubleClick's customer service, although to be perfectly fair, I haven't experienced it in the past 5 years, but combined with Google I may give them another shot
- Counting conversions becomes a lot easier now that I can use one source for tracking display ads and search ads. Sure, you could have used a combined platform in the past, but that needed long redirects and a PHD in setting up tracking tables; and it gets more complicated with rich media executions
- Double counting of latency conversions should now be a thing of the past because theoretically, GoogClick will have a complete picture of the post-click tracking
- Hopefully, the reporting platforms will become easier to use like Google's today
- One name to present to clients and upper management for reporting and tracking - Google
- Finally, it should be easier for optimization because both the advertiser and Google will have a complete picture of the media buy and the relationship between display and search advertising
For Google, the advantages are huge starting with the fact that they used cash and kept DoubleClick out of Yahoo's and Microsoft's hands. They can combine search, display, blogs, email and site targeting into one neat package; plus, retargeting efforts become that much more ubiquitous. I never bought off on Google's complete search tracking package, but now I might. Finally, imagine all of that data they now get to go through and analyze; it can only improve their targeting capabilities which is currently top notch, but could use a boost (just check out some of the ads on my blog to see what I mean by targeting mistakes).
Finally, where does it leave Microsoft and Yahoo? Yahoo, probably not that much worse off because I know they have powerful targeting tools already and analyze the data on the family of websites. Microsoft? I think they are fighting against a strong current and looks like every stroke they try to take in the online river, they just end up going back towards that waterfall. Nice move Google.