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DoubleClick debuts search management tool

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DoubleClick, which provides digital advertising technologies and services, announced the North American launch of DART Search last week at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York.

The self-service technology gives agencies and advertisers the ability to manage keywords, bids and reporting. Because the tool is integrated with DoubleClick’s DART for Advertisers ad management platform, advertisers will be able to track display, rich media and search ads in one central location.

Moreover, DART Search will employ the same “spotlight tags” used with DART for Advertisers, so no changes need to be made to an advertiser’s Web site. “They already have the tags on their Web site,” said Dave Fall, senior product director of DART Search. “Any advertiser that now wants to add paid search onto their existing display campaigns can do so very easily without having to incorporate another tag.”

Starcom Mediavest is among the agencies using DART Search. “Sun Microsystems is one of our [b-to-b] clients using this system,” said Stephen Governale, VP-director of SMG Search, a division of Starcom Mediavest Group located in Chicago. Governale said that he is using the tool for a majority of clients, but added he also uses other search technology partners, such as iCrossing, for search engine optimization.

Havas’ Media Contacts is another interactive agency using the technology. “With DART Search, we are able to manage and optimize our clients’ sponsored search campaigns with a great degree of immediacy and control,” said Robert Griffin, VP-U.S. Search, Media Contacts, in a statement. Some 14 agencies were announced as early adopters of the DoubleClick tool.

“We consider ourselves an SEM provider, and it’s an adjunct to our strategic services,” Governale said. “DART is partnering with agencies to give them tools to manage keyword programs.” He added: “The technology allows traditional agencies to become SEM providers.”

Any meaningful centralized tracking of display ads and search advertising is close, but not quite there yet, even though all the data are available.

“What have all the data there, but what do you do with them?” Fall asked. The data are not currently linked, he said. “That’s what we’re trying to build out,” he said. “Once we can make the link between the two, advertisers will be able to see the effect of the two different mediums. This is the first step.”

Governale said he looks forward to that stage in the DoubleClick product’s evolution. “Ideally, long term, we’ll be able to marry those data up to traditional display ads,” Governale said. “That allows us to marry search ad performance with banner ads and skyscrapers, and look at those data collectively. That isn’t fully happening yet, but it’s in the near future.”

Despite the new tool and its agency relationships, DoubleClick said its Performics division will continue to offer clients comprehensive search engine marketing services, which include paid search, natural search and data-feed marketing, as well as leading affiliate marketing solutions for retailers and catalogers. Performics Search is a full-service offering that provides marketers with high-level strategy, industry-leading service and in-depth knowledge of search engine marketing. The DART Search technology was largely built on Performics’ proprietary technology that DoubleClick gained when it acquired the company in 2004.

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