by Jennifer


Internet Marketing, Online Advertising

Refine your Search Campaign Targeting with DoubleClick Adaptive Campaigns


Google’s search management platform, DoubleClick Search (DS), is used by many agencies and advertisers to achieve efficiencies across their SEM campaigns. Whilst DS comes at a cost, it is entirely possible to offset the fee (and some!) by making full use of the platform features to automate manual tasks and boost productivity.

In this series of blog articles, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of using DS versus managing campaigns directly through the search engines. Let’s kick off with an introduction to a handy feature called DoubleClick Adaptive Campaigns.


What are Adaptive Campaigns?

Adaptive Campaigns automatically adapts the targeting of your AdWords and Bing campaigns according to your marketing goals. Using a combination of historical performance data and your conversion goal or DoubleClick Search bid strategy, the platform will automatically add or amend location targets, remarketing targets and product groups to improve campaign performance.

Let’s take a further look at each option individually:

  • Adaptive Location Targets (AdWords) – for campaigns that target a high-level location such as a country or city, DS will automatically add new targets for locations that have historically performed well for a particular campaign or adgroup. For example, if you’ve set your campaign to target Spain, with Adaptive Targeting switched on, Madrid and Valencia might be added as new target locations if the system considers performance to be strong in those areas. You also have the option to let DS set bid adjustments for each new target that is created.
  • Adaptive Remarketing Targets (AdWords) – a remarketing target is a remarketing list applied to a campaign or adgroup, that you can set a bid adjustment on. By syncing your AdWords remarketing lists with DS, the platform will automatically create new remarketing targets that have potential to perform well against your performance goals. Remarketing targets are added at a campaign or adgroup level to manual, shopping and mobile app install campaigns and as with Adaptive Location Targets, you have the option to let DS set bid adjustments for each new target that is created.
  • Adaptive Shopping Campaigns (AdWords & Bing) – with this option, you can save time on manually monitoring the performance of individual product groups. DS will automatically subdivide your inventory feed into focussed product groups according to your performance goals (as defined by your conversion goal or bid strategy). For example, a group (Group A) might be created for products that generate £20 of revenue per click, and another group (Group B) created for products that generate £5 of revenue per click. It will then be possible to boost revenue by increasing bids on Group A, and save budget by dropping bids on Group B.

With DS Adaptive Campaigns enabled, some advertisers will understandably have concerns about not being able to keep track of performance across an ever-growing number of campaign or adgroup targets. However, rest assured that DS will remove automatically-created targets if, over a period of time, those targets do not maximise return on investment.

Additionally, if you’re worried about handing some control over to DS, you can set up alerts so that you receive an email each time a location target, remarketing target or product group is changed. Notification emails contain a link to the change history so you can see exactly which campaigns or adgroups have been affected – and if you don’t like the changes, you can always revert back. 


Ready to Adapt?

To get going with Adaptive campaigns, there are a few things to bear in mind:

  • You will need to have auto-tagging enabled and a minimum of 32 days’ performance history in a campaign.
  • Campaigns need to contain at least one of the targets that you want DS to adapt. For example, DS will only be able to refine location targeting for a particular campaign if it already contains a location target.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

ConversionWorks is now Media.MonksVisit us at