Edmunds builds industry's fastest automotive ad platform with Adzerk

Edmunds builds industry's fastest automotive ad platform with Adzerk
"Before Adzerk, our ads were reliant on just Google Ads Manager, leading to little feature control and non-ideal user experiences. Thanks to Adzerk we built the exact automotive ad platform we wanted, giving us an edge over our competition."
Keith Sader, Director of Ad Engineering

What Edmunds built on Adzerk

Edmunds's results: fast ad response times, 30% more revenue
  • Edmunds is reliably seeing < 35ms response times, much lower than the response times of standard ad servers
  • Edmunds saw a 30% jump in marginal ad revenue thanks to the speed and fined-tuned controls of the platform
  • The engineering team estimated that using APIs led to a 90%+ reduction in dev build time

How fast are Adzerk's response times?

See below for a clip showing how Adzerk's promotion appears even before organic content With no other software would Edmunds have seen ad response times that were on par with - and often faster - than the speed of their organic content (which is already very fast).

"Adzerk's APIs helped us build the fastest, most innovative ad product in the automotive space."
Keith Sader, Director of Ad Engineering

Edmunds's challenges & solutions

Edmunds's Goals Where they stood with just Google What they acheived with Adzerk
Control over all targeting/display rules Limited ability to customize the platform Could customize their delivery rules any way they wanted, enabling them to design the exact ad platform they wanted
Truly native ad units Sizes were pre-defined and never fit in seamlessly With Adzerk's server-side ad insertion tools, Edmunds could make the ads mirror the look of organic content
Fast ad response times JavaScript tags can see 500ms - 2s+ 35ms, thanks to a joint effort by Edmunds's and Adzerk's engineering teams to optimize it down
Revenue growth Without the customization needed to make the platform more innovative, growth was difficult Already seeing a 30% revenue growth from these ad units after implementing new ideas enabled by Adzerk
Launch new platform quickly N/A Released the new ad platform after just a couple of months of dev work - much faster than trying to build all the features from scratch

Edmunds uses Google Ads Manager/DFP, but Google offered little in terms of customization of audience messaging, ad speed, and user experiences. While still using GAM, Edmunds layered on Adzerk as the server-side decision engine. Ad responses from Adzerk contain information about the winning ad, as well as the GAM tracking pixels (which are automatically uploaded to Adzerk via Management APIs on a nightly basis). This provides a way to track campaigns in GAM while getting the flexibility to better define their targeting, prioritization, and delivery rules.

Edmunds wanted to give their users and advertisers the best user experience possible, so ad response times was a deal-breaker. Though a joint effort between Edmunds's and Adzerk's engineering teams, Edmunds reliably sees < 35ms response times. This means their ads don't detract from the car-shopping experience, and advertisers don't have to worry about their ads timing out.

"If you're fine with standard programmatic ads, use Google. For everything else, use Adzerk."
Keith Sader

Edmunds wanted the ads to fit into the surrounding content With Adzerk's Decision API, Edmunds can send an ad request to Adzerk and get details about the winning ad in JSON. They can then insert this information into their content management system, so that this native ad has the same look and feel as organic content. A standard ad server that uses JavaScript would not have such flexibility.

Edmunds wanted to release their solution quickly. Edmunds didn't have to build this customized platform from scratch because of Adzerk, letting them launch in a fraction of the time as trying to do it themselves.

About Edmunds

Edmunds is an American online resource for automotive information. With Edmunds you can research new and used cars, view dealer inventory listings, compare vehicles, get car buying advice, and more. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.