Since its acquisition of DoubleClick in 2007, Google has been knitting together the pipes that power online advertising. Google's bet: that publishers, agencies and marketers want one dashboard, one technology "stack" to manage their ad inventory and campaigns, rather than a hodgepodge of solutions pulled from the menagerie represented by Terry Kawaja's online display ecosystem chart.
It's Google's biggest bet for display, as well as best chance outside of YouTube for a slice of the nearly $200 billion advertisers still spend offline -- on print, TV, billboards, magazines and the like. Their latest move is a marketer-side dashboard, DoubleClick Digital Marketing, which pulls together display, search, mobile, video, auction-based buying, Google analytics and ideally, the interactions between them.
"Our mission has been to provide a single platform that advertisers and agencies have been asking for," said Google VP and display chief Neal Mohan, the DoubleClick veteran who has been buying and integrating string of startups including Teracent, Admeld and Invite Media. "Our promise has been to bring all this together and remove the complexity."
As part of this, Mr. Mohan said Invite Media -- which allows advertiser to buy audiences across many websites -- has been rebuilt from the ground up and will become "DoubleClick Bid Manager." Incidentally, Invite co-founder Nat Turner just left the company.
Google is hardly alone in attempting to consolidate the online ad ecosystem. Venture funds are still pouring into companies like Pubmatic, which raised another $45 million today, and companies like AppNexus, Adobe, WPP's 24/7 Real Media, IBM, IgnitionOne, MediaOcean, Rubicon Project and others are all pursuing variations of the same goal.
Google display VP Neal Mohan outlined Google's approach at Ad Age Digital in April and introduced DoubleClick Digital Marketing at an event on Tuesday. To hear him talk about the changes, skip the preamble and start watching at minute 10.