Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is Google's pay-per-click online advertising program. With Google Ads users set their budget and choose where their ads appear in search listings, and on partner websites. Google Ads uses cost-per-click (CPC) bidding.
Ad Serving & Retargeting Platforms
Best Ad Serving & Retargeting Platforms
- Best Ad Serving & Retargeting Platforms include: StackAdapt, OpenX, Criteo Dynamic Retargeting, Basis DSP, TubeMogul, Google Ad Manager, Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform (formerly DoubleClick), Facebook for Business, AppNexus, AdRoll, and TerminalOne OS.
- A complete list of Ad Serving & Retargeting Platforms is available here.
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Ad Serving & Retargeting Platforms Overview
What is Ad Serving and Retargeting?
Ad serving and retargeting software is most commonly used by marketing departments. It involves displaying text or rich media ads on a website, and re-exposing viewers to customized ad materials. This can be either the company’s own or another website that has auctioned off digital real estate (such as a blog or news site).
Some ad serving products take a self-service approach, allowing users to micromanage, test, and deploy these campaign elements themselves. Others use a managed service approach, where the vendor conducts negotiation of price and placement for advertisements on the user’s behalf.
Retargeting involves targeting individuals/audience segments who have already been exposed to a company’s promotional material again. An individual’s prior behavior, called ‘intent’ data, give clues about a person’s interests and needs and is used in the retargeting process. The goal of retargeting is to identify potential new prospects and display relevant content based on intent data.
Onsite and offsite retargeting
There are two different types of retargeting that marketing teams can conduct: offsite and onsite targeting. Offsite targeting has traditionally been the retargeting avenue of choice. It involves identifying individuals who have already visited your company’s site and exposing them to more promotional materials (e.g. emails, ads on other sites).
Onsite targeting, also called ‘behavioral targeting’, involves re-exposing site visitors to specific promotional material while they are still on your company’s site. This style of retargeting relies heavily on visitor behavior while they are on the website.
Advertising Management and Ad Tracking Software
Some ad serving & retargeting software allows users to manage and track advertising campaigns across multiple channels. This is also called cross-channel campaign management or cross-channel advertising. Ad performance is measured in terms of conversion - either purchasing something at that moment or later on in the customer’s journey. More advanced ad management tools have analytics features that can help users optimize ad spend for maximum engagement or conversions.
B2B vs. B2C Retargeting
Technology and marketing practices around ads aimed at consumers, including retargeting based on offsite behavior, is more mature than ads aimed at businesses. However, B2B marketers are becoming more sophisticated at using automated personalization methods like retargeting and sequence targeting within their complex sales cycles.
Currently, several B2B ad serving & retargeting products are steering the market towards account-based advertising. Account-based ad targeting is a component of account-based marketing (ABM), a B2B marketing strategy that is quickly growing in popularity.
Ad Serving & Retargeting Platforms Features & Capabilities
Ad Campaign Features
The first major function of ad serving & retargeting software is to allow users to create and/or display ad campaigns. Common features include:
Ad campaign creation: Allows users to programmatically create ads and build new campaigns within the tool.
Ad deployment: Allows users to quickly and easily deploy new ad campaigns from within the tool.
Display advertising: Supports banner and rich media display ads, including video, audio, mobile, etc.
Ad display and retargeting segmentation: Allows users to display and retarget ads to audience segments based on demographics, location, account, role, or other profile aspects.
Sequence targeting: Allows users to create ad sequences for individual viewers on a website. This provides very fine control over brand messaging and storytelling.
Integration with ad exchanges: Integrates to a digital marketplace where advertising space (for display, video, mobile ads, etc. ) is bought and sold in real-time auctions.
Ad Reporting & Analytics Features
Ad serving & retargeting software also allows users to understand the results of their campaigns and adjust future campaigns accordingly. Common features include:
Ad dashboards: Dashboards for analyzing and/or optimizing ads.
Ad performance reports: Allows users to generate reports comparing the performance of various ads.
Ad conversion tracking: Tracks ad conversions by campaign and type of conversion (e.g. product purchase, newsletter subscription, filled out a form, downloaded a whitepaper).
Ad attribution reporting: Generates detailed reports that attribute conversion to a combination of different touch points (ads, and other factors) leading up to conversion.
Cross-channel ad management: Provides an integrated view or control panel that allows users to manage their ad campaigns across a variety of platforms in one place.
Ad forecasting and optimization: Ad forecasting models predict campaign performance to assist with optimization.
Self-service SMB Ad Serving and Retargeting Platforms cost about $1 per month per account. A managed service engagement is likely to cost in the region of $1,000 per month. Enterprise self-service platforms can be significantly more expensive, but there is a tendency to only charge for the number of people who actually engage with ads.
Ad Serving & Retargeting Products
Listings (1-25 of 118)
Facebook for Business is a search engine marketing solution built to drive sales and increase brand awareness via custom ad creation, ad targeting, and robust analytics.
Criteo Dynamic Retargeting aims to deliver the right ad at the right moment in the shopper journey. The vendor says Criteo Dynamic Retargeting consistently wins 90% of competitive performance tests and generates an average 13X return on ad spend at significant sales volume. It is used by 18,000 m...
Google Marketing Platform (a combination of former DoubleClick advertiser tools and Google Analytics 360 Suite) is a set of tools for marketers to manage their advertising campaigns. DoubleClick was acquired by Google in 2008. It focuses on uploading ads and reporting their performance and also p...
Marin Software is a very popular cloud-based cross-channel marketing advertising campaign management platform which integrates many tools and functions, and it is the name of the company in San Francisco that issues the software. Marin touts cross-display (including mobile-optimized) advertisemen...
Twitter Ads is a search engine marketing tool built around features such as objective-based campaigns, promoted trends, and in-depth analytics.
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is a recently (2015) expanded marketing platform for reaching audiences through the popular Linkedin work-oriented social network that includes modules like the Lead Accelerator (supporting segmentation features to improve conversion), Sponsored Updates, LinkedIn Onsi...
Terminus Account-Based Marketing helps B2B marketers orchestrate ABM campaigns to engage key decision-makers at best-fit accounts. No contact data is required. According to the vendor, Terminus finds the right people in those companies and serves them ads across the web, mobile, video, and social...
Acquisio is a performance marketing solution that enables digital marketers to manage, report, and optimize on all digital advertising initiatives in one easy-to-use dashboard, across search, social, and display. According to the vendor, this solution provides the most powerful optimization algor...
Kenshoo Infinity Suite is a cross-channel advertising solution for search marketing, social media and online advertising. The product aims to give advertisers and agencies the control and automation needed to make better investment decisions across search marketing and online advertising.
OpenX is an ad serving platform. It is sold option as a hosted solution for can be purchased as an installed application. It allows for easy inventory management , geo-targeting of ads by country, and provides statistics for each ad placement.
StackAdapt, headquartered in Toronto offers their native advertising specialized DSP, supporting programmatic advertising with audience discovery, B2B targeting, and engagement analytics among other features.
AppNexus AppNexus offers online auction infrastructure and technology for data management, optimization, financial clearing and support for directly negotiated advertising campaigns. It integrates with advertising sources including Google's DoubleClick, Microsoft's AdECN, and aggregators.
Sizmek is the rather extensive eponymous advertising / marketing platform from the company of the same name recently formed and gone public as a separate entity from its former body (Digital Generation, Inc, or DG) in 2014. It's focus is on broadness: it is meant for advertisers and agencies wis...
Basis DSP from Centro is a programmatic ad buying platform supporting digital advertising buying and placement across varying channels. Since the acquisition of SiteScout the platform also contains technology from the SiteScout AdServer.
Adobe Media Optimizer is an ad management product and is part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud. It delivers a rules-based bidding solution that improves the performance of search engine marketing campaigns and is integrated with Adobe Analytics.
LinkedIn Lead Accelerator is part of LinkedIn's Marketing Solutions and based on the technology acquired with Bizo in 2014. Bizo no longer exists as a separate entity.
Google Ad Manager is a platform for publishers that combines the former DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange products.
Adobe Advertising Cloud is housed under the Adobe Marketing Cloud suite of products. It is a cloud-based demand-side platform (DSP), and includes tools for ad optimization, personalization, and performance analysis.
Sprinklr's Modern Advertising solution offers users tools to plan, publish, and report on paid and earned advertising across social media platforms.
Simpli.fi is the eponymous flagship product from the company headquartered in Fort Worth, for programmatic media buying. It is a data management and demand-side buying hybrid platform (DMP / DSP).