Google is bringing a clearer picture of advertising to the mobile world with three tech advancements it announced at a company conference in the Florida Keys today. With Neal Mohan still at the helm of the display ad business, Google unveiled new services that help advertisers more effectively measure digital campaigns across devices.
Mohan had been rumored to be in talks for a position at file-hosting company Dropbox, but is staying put as a key leader of Google's ad ambitions.
Today he headlined the DoubleClick Leadership Summit, which focused on Google's ad technology. The latest developments include new measurement tools, support for native advertising, and opportunities for programmatic-guaranteed ad buying.
Mohan spoke with Adweek ahead of today's conference to discuss the new capabilities, which come as Google fends off Facebook's attack for mobile advertising market share. Facebook has been able to give marketers a clear grasp on consumer identity to help serve targeted messages, and both it and Google are building up data services that can show what works.
"We're making sure advertisers and publishers have the tools they need to reach consumers in a mobile-first world," Mohan said in a phone interview. "One of the biggest announcements is cross-screen measurement in the DoubleClick ad stack."
This is a tricky technological achievement because understanding what piece of marketing pushed consumers to take an action is tough to follow when they are constantly switching devices. Cross-screen measuring is something all top ad players are focused on, including AOL, Yahoo, Twitter and other third-party data companies.
Now, Google says it will give access to cross-device measurement to all DoubleClick advertisers. Mohan said it will help brands and agencies capture a 360-degree view of the consumer's decision process, and is effective in instances like when a consumer sees a video ad on a desktop computer at work but makes a purchase on a laptop at home.
Google said search ads were found to be, on average, 16 percent more effective when cross-device measurement techniques were used.
Google also showed off new native advertising technology that allows it to work with publishers to serve custom-built ads. The ads are native because they look different for each publisher to fit the look and feel of their digital properties.
Publishers who use DoubleClick to sell ads can now include these native formats "just as seamlessly" as mobile, video and display ads, Mohan said.
"It truly allows native advertising to scale," he said, helping solve one of the top challenges to mass native advertising.
The last piece to today's event was a new programmatic guaranteed offering from DoubleClick that allows publishers to sell premium ads using an automated system. Mohan says that gives the publisher more control to negotiate prices, getting better rates than are typically associated with programmatic advertising. So it cuts down the steps it takes to place ad orders, realizing the savings while keeping prices at acceptable levels.
In fact, Google says rates are 15 times higher than the average programmatically sold inventory. Also, eight of the top 25 DoubleClick publishers sell 10 percent of their inventory programmatically, Google said.
Mohan said the new premium programmatic platform means more brand advertisers will be able to buy ads in this automated fashion.
"It's the promise of programmatic for brand advertisers," he said.