DoubleClick’s adaptive settings: Taking bid automation a step further

Have you used DoubleClick’s adaptive settings yet? By allowing DoubleClick to automatically segment your targeting settings for locations, remarketing and even shopping product groups, you can make your targeting segmentations much more granular. This then enables DoubleClick bid strategies to apply more granular bid adjustments, leaving no stone left unturned.

But how do you go about using DoubleClick’s adaptive settings? The requirements to enable adaptive settings are straightforward and the process couldn’t be easier – here’s a handy overview.


In order to meet the requirements, your campaign needs to:

  • Have a campaign goal. This is a bid strategy based on conversions or revenue, and not average position.
  • Have a minimum of 15-20 transactions/day
  • Have at least one location, remarketing, or product group already in place
  • Be within AdWords and not Bing ads, as it’s not fully supported by the latter

How to set up adaptive settings

  1. Whilst in DoubleClick, head into your campaign settings
  2. You will then be able to see ‘bid strategy setting’
  3. Ensure a campaign goal is applied (it is automatically applied if the campaign is already in a bid strategy)
  4. Tick the relevant options under “adaptive settings” ie. location, remarketing, shopping
  5. Finally, scroll down and click save

How to use the bulk upload process

  1. Download the campaigns that you want to apply adaptive settings too. No specific columns need to be added!
  2. Input the name of your DoubleClick search bid strategy in the “advertiser bid strategy column”
  3. Input “on” in any of the relevant adaptive setting columns:
    • Adaptive setting: product group
    • Adaptive setting: remarketing targets
    • Adaptive setting: location targets
  4. Input an email address (or addresses, separate using “|”) into the “adaptive notifications” column (optional)
  5. Upload the bulk sheet back into DoubleClick


  1. Make sure you have ticked the box, when creating your bid strategies, which allows DoubleClick to optimise the new geo and RLSA segmentations, created as a result of the adaptive settings.
  2. Make sure you tick the box to enable notifications when you first apply adaptive settings. DoubleClick will send you an email containing a link, allowing you to view the newly created items.
  3. If your campaign does not have 15-20 transactions per day, fear not! The adaptive setting simply won’t make any changes, therefore it does not hurt to opt in on smaller volume campaigns.
  4. Adaptive settings can be applied via bulksheets to multiple campaigns at once!

The results so far

After turning on DoubleClick’s adaptive settings, we saw new targeting segmentations being created on a regular basis. The email updates contain a hyperlink directly to the DoubleClick interface, showing the details of the new items created. Even the bid adjustments are displayed for your convenience!

The bid adjustments made to the newly created segmentations were very reasonable – between -30% and +30%. We saw plenty of new shopping product groups and locations were created, but we saw few additions to remarketing (note: adaptive RLSA does include similar lists!). On top of the creations, we also saw segmentations were deleted due to not having enough volume. This is beneficial as bid adjustments shouldn’t be applied to segmentations with insufficient data, also, as data is not duplicated, these small lists could be reducing the list size of our more important audiences. (note: with audiences, less is more!)

The below results all stem from campaigns within DoubleClick bid strategies.

PPC continues to take steps closer to automation, resulting in smarter and more granular bidding. Adaptive settings are a prime example of how a simple box tick can reduce the need for manual tasks and drive further efficiency.

Contact us if you need help getting the most out of DoubleClick’s adaptive settings.

by Conor Kingscott
2 May 2018



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