Over the past decade, the maturity of digital marketing and the goals of digital marketers have evolved.
Back then, the challenge was to achieve a low cost per click or a high click-through rate. Today, digital marketers are looking at personalization, audience frames, platform integrations, cross-channel attribution …
Fortunately, while the challenges of digital marketers have evolved, so have the tools we use to address them. The Doubleclick suite of tools purchased by Google in 2007 has been transformed into the Google Marketing Platform (GMP), described by Google as “a unified advertising and analytics platform for smarter marketing and better results.”
Now inventory is purchased at open auction on premium publisher sites around the world, without exchanging a single word. Private marketplaces are negotiated with publishers for specific audiences in their inventory and homepage acquisitions are purchased through guaranteed programmatic, with no single IO being signed or ad tag swapped.
“Regardless of how well thought out and executed a digital campaign is in terms of targeting, messaging and creative design, if the results are not measurable, it really serves no purpose.”
Google’s “unified advertising solution” includes Campaign Manager 360 (CM360) for media measurement and tracking, Display and Video 360 (DV360) for purchasing programmatic inventory, and Search Ads 360 (SA360) for search-based advertising. The “analysis” part includes GA360 (web and application analytics), Optimize360 (personalization and experiments), Surveys360 (online user survey), Tag Manager 360 (implementation of marketing tags on site) and Data Studio (visualization of data).
In many ways, CM360, the agency’s ad server, is the backbone of the stack. This is where the process begins with setting up advertisers and sites, creating Floodlight activities (pixels placed on advertisers’ sites to track conversions and drive audiences), and scheduling reports. CM360 is also used to create campaigns and upload creatives.
Before embarking on a digital marketing campaign, it is essential that you have the necessary monitoring to measure the KPIs of the campaign. Because regardless of how well thought out and executed a digital campaign is in terms of targeting, messaging, and creative design, if the results aren’t measurable, it really serves no purpose. Results measurement generally requires implementing conversion or tracking tags on a marketer’s site and requires developer resources, which are always in high demand and in short supply. A tag management solution, in this case Google Tag Manager (GTM), solves this challenge by placing a single container tag on the site only once, and then implementing all future conversion tags through the Google Tag console. Manager, whether it’s AdWords tags, CM360. Floodlight tags or even Facebook or Linkedin pixels. Tracking tags previously created in Campaign Manager can be published directly to the Google Tag Manager platform, without the need to extract tags and mail them to a developer.
CM360 complements Display and Video 360 (DV360 for short and formerly Doubleclick Bid Manager), a demand-side platform (DSP) used to programmatically buy inventory across websites, apps, audio platforms, and connected TV.
“While targeting the right audience in DV360 is vital to the success of any campaign, so is using the right creativity.”
DV360 offers marketers many advantages. Because CM360 and DV360 are so tightly integrated, creative uploaded to CM is automatically made available to DV360 for targeting, as are your own audience segments created for clients in Campaign Manager. DV360 also comes packaged with its own extensive audience data points (called affinity and in-market audiences) that can be used at no cost, while third-party data is also available and can be purchased at a CPM increase, if it is necessary.
Since most publishers also use Google’s publisher ad server (Google Ad Manager), more platform integrations between buyer and seller can be leveraged for guaranteed programmatic deals hosted by publishers and advertisers.
While targeting the right audience in DV360 is vital to the success of any campaign, so is using the right creativity.
Dynamic creative can be delivered through three different Google platforms: DV360, Google Studio, or Google Ads. Deciding which platform to use would depend on the type of dynamic campaign running. Studio is the most feature-rich of the three platforms and would be best suited for complex fonts and advanced logic, while DV360 offers a more streamlined workflow with plug-and-play templates for creating creatives and target audiences on the go. The dynamic capabilities of Google Ads are more limited and only run on the Google Display Network, but they are useful for product remarketing.
Search Ads 360 (SA360) is used to manage your search engine accounts, so not only Google, but also Microsoft, Baidu, and Yahoo. Think of it as a backbone for setting up and optimizing campaigns across all of your search accounts. This includes bid automation, budget management, and conversion tracking.
GA360 is the business version of Google Analytics and comes with a higher visit limit, more properties, custom dimensions, and metrics. Most important to digital marketers though, it also comes with native connections to CM360, DV360, Search Ads, Big Query, and Salesforce.
The integration of GA360 with the Google Marketing Platform purchasing components enables marketers to create audiences on GA360 and share them on DV360 or Search Ads to segment campaigns. While it is already possible to create audiences for targeting from tracking tags on a website, GA360 provides a different perspective for audience creation: think about time on site, depth of scrolling, user journeys, or user engagement. user with targeted marketing campaigns, or dividing site visitors between organic vs paid media campaigns for messaging and retargeting. This tight integration with the rest of the Google Marketing Platform also enables marketers to use GA360 as a single source of truthful information, providing a holistic view of site performance metrics, organic efforts, and paid campaigns where goals are set. and completed in GA360 can be linked to individual creatives trafficked in CM360 and purchased through campaigns in DV360. At the time of writing, GA4, the successor to GA360, is currently available on Alpha.
“While testing is important in finding the best performing execution, it’s also important to understand why a particular campaign, page, or creative is underperforming or underperforming.”
A / B testing is a common practice to determine which message or advertising message generates the best results. Optimize 360 provides marketers with the opportunity to perform A / B, multivariate, and redirect testing on their websites to determine which variations of site design and content generate the best performance. Through its integration with GA360, marketers can see from analytics how site performance is affected through these tests.
While testing is important in finding the best performing execution, it’s also important to understand why a particular campaign, page, or creative is underperforming or underperforming. Surveys360 enables digital marketers to conduct quick market research among their customers or site visitors (by targeting audience lists created in DV360, Google Analytics, or Google Ads) or broader audience verticals to determine brand awareness. , customer sentiment and creative efficiency. With Surveys 360 it is also possible to conduct remarketing surveys to see why, for example, certain users may have abandoned a shopping cart or abandoned a specific part of the conversion funnel.
With multiple campaigns running on the Search and Display Network and live experiments on GA360, it is important to understand all the data that is being generated. DataStudio, Google’s (free) data visualization tool, is the final part of the Google Marketing Platform and does exactly that.
At last count, Data Studio had 18 Google Product connectors (with many more additional third-party connectors), including connectors for CM360, SA360, DV360, and Google Analytics. These connectors allow marketers to create plug-and-play data visualizations with most of the popular reporting metrics on the platform, without the need for coding. There is even a library of templates available to get you started with GMP product dashboards. However, for more personalized data manipulation and cross-platform visualizations, Google’s Big Query can be used to extract custom data sets into a custom dashboard.
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