AdServer Focus: AdManager 6.0
Making its official debut at the upcoming @d:tech Los Angeles conference on June 19, Engage’s AdManager Version 6.0 ad serving technology could prove to be a worthy competitor to the 800-pound gorilla that is DoubleClick.
AdManager Version 6 aims to offer clients easier and more cost-effective ways to manage and track their online ad campaigns. Thanks to significant improvements over the previous version, company officials promise, the system will allow for tracking of e-sessions (a.k.a. Surround Sessions); rich media formats and streaming ads will be easier to implement into the system; and users will have the capability to test and preview these campaigns before going live. Rich media templates also exist in Version 6, something that will work well in conjunction with Engage’s soon-to-be released rich media certification program (we’ll keep you posted).
AdManager Version 6 also boasts an auto-optimization feature that automatically changes the weight of active creatives. What does this mean? The success of different creative executions is evaluated in real time while a campaign is in progress, and the best-performing creatives are automatically moved to the top of the play list, while the worst-performing versions are eliminated. Another capability that was improved upon for Version 6 is user profiling. Interest-based targeting is an automatic function, and according to Engage’s senior product marketing manager, Pat Wharton, profiles are built in real time through caching, allowing clients to target in real time.
Depending on the privacy policies of websites visited, profiling can be done anonymously or by interest. Jordan Shultz, vice president of interactive sales at Engage, says, "There is a renewed interest in profiling now on the Web, in that publishers want to talk to the audience and not just the advertiser." Interestingly enough, while Engage has been enhancing its user profiling capabilities, archrival DoubleClick ceased offering that option to clients in January of this year. Richard Frankel, vice president and general manager of publisher solutions at DoubleClick, says, "DoubleClick stopped actively selling our profiling tool due to lack of demand from advertisers and publishers."
Time will tell if Engage can drum up enough advertiser interest to seriously compete with DoubleClick on the ad serving battlefield. The fact that the company managed to come back from the shadows, though, is encouraging indeed. — Amy Corr