As I sit wide awake on an American Airlines flight to California, when really I should be sleeping, mainly down to the horrendous ‘Angle flat’ beds I started thinking of the blog I wrote a year ago called ‘A Frictionless Web’
It talked about how Google wanted to streamline the whole cookie process and launch for the first time a ‘true stack’ something that had raised some eyebrows at the time mainly because Google had been excellent in many areas but had been flawed on Doubleclick and bordering on slow in the DSP space after purchase of Invite.
Google presented the new DFA and lots of new brand names like DDM – Doubleclick Digital Marketing, DBM, DC Bide Manager, DS3 and so on. Funny to think back then that even the Google people on stage were struggling to remember to use this terminology rather than good old Invite, DART etc etc. Neal Mohan presented credibly what the future would look like and that it was going to be powerful. At the time I thought, sometimes out loud and to the dislike of the DBM competition that this could really strike a blow to the competitive ecosystem if it turned out to be true.
Fast forward a year. In my opinion a big part of that dream has turned out to be right. Let me start with some of Audience On Demand’s change. We were well known for working with Invite and were heavily crticised for it but we stuck with it, especially as I saw the content of CAB 2012. The London office of AOD, powered by Geoff and Danny migrated all accounts to DBM (we say that now instead of Invite with out reminder!) the London office was and probably still is the largest user of DBM anywhere in the world and that includes the US, that does not happen often with something like DC.
As a result we were the first in the world to use the Search remarketing opportunity where DBM joins seemlessly with DFA and DS3. I cant reveal the results to that as thats my presentation at CAB but we learned an awful lot and that is still a big USP for us in the market as not many people have lined up DBM, DS3. DBM itself had a rocky start but again is now delivering the promise and we are pleased we got out there early and set the pace, working closely with the US team.
Bigger and more ominous for the competition however is that the new DS3 has really started to roll and two big things have happend. The first is that the product itself is good, widely acknowledged to be an improvement on some systems without the extra cost. I have seen across Europe business being returned to them from the companies that jumped in to fill the void of a quality Google product for years. The second is DFA in general has started to win back some lost ground from others in its own right. A good job Facebook bought Atlas as that was literally dead in the waters and amazingly those few major clients who continued to use them had seen the light and were off.
But the real success has been where advertisers or whole agencies are swapping to DS3 and DFA because they are or are about to be heavy users of DBM and want to benefit from the frictionless web. I work with people a year ago who were nowhere near wanting to work with DFA and were proudly using Mediamind or Flashtalking etc and have now switched and are happy. One major advertiser held a pitch right around now this time last year and the Stack solution was sold but was a just a little early with DS3, DBM all untried for them. One year on that shift is well under away. This is the fruits of the Stack and it is pretty compelling, Google in a year has transformed the display sell and regained an incredible amount of ground in such a short period of time.
There is work to be done of course around social tools and dynamic creative but hasn’t everyone? I am looking forward to presenting the amazing work the UK Audience On Demand team have done at this years CAB and hearing the next stage of the revolution. Over to Neal Mohan…