A few months ago, Google revealed new brands and solutions for their popular marketing and advertising products: Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager. They announced that they were unifying products within DoubleClick advertiser and the Google Analytics 360 Suite under a single brand named (drum roll please)… Google Marketing Platform.
Google has combined these solutions with the aim of enabling marketers to plan, buy and measure digital media from within one single platform. Google has broken their Marketing Platform into two categories; solutions geared towards small businesses (5 solutions) and solutions geared towards larger enterprises (7 solutions). Five of the enterprise solutions are expanded versions of the small business solutions and in case you’re curious, the additional 2 enterprise solutions are Search Ads 360 and Display and Video 360. Without further ado, let’s dive the solutions that make up the Google Marketing Platform to see how they can be used for your B2B business.
1. Analytics for Small Businesses & Analytics 360 for Enterprises
Google Analytics produces statistics and insights to help marketers analyze and understand their website traffic and evaluate the performance of their marketing content. Marketers can use the straightforward report generator to obtain insights on their website activity and better understand their audience so they can take steps to improve their website.
These days, consumers regularly research online to shop around and explore their options using multiple devices before making a purchase or conversion decision. Thankfully, Analytics has responded to this behavior with cross-device reporting and remarketing, making it much easier for marketers to measure the full value of their efforts across multiple channels.
Analytics 360, available to ‘enterprises,’ uses machine learning capabilities to surface further insights, statistics and observations. Enterprise marketers can also use a built-in connection with Google Cloud, giving them access to more tools to identify and measure insights.
We’re regular users of Google Analytics and find it an incredibly useful tool for measuring our marketing efforts and using the insights provided to A/B test and tweak websites as necessary, if you’re not already using Analytics, or another website analytical tool for that matter, then you’re missing out!
2. Data Studio
This free tool provides marketers with the ability to generate interactive dashboards and reports, making them easy to present and understand. Data studio has ‘pre-built’ connectors to import data from Analytics, Google Ads, Google BigQuery, Campaign Manager, MySQL, and more.
Google recently added a new feature called ‘Data Blending’ to facilitate the joining of different data sources into the same chart. Marketers can use this to combine data from various sources, such as Spreadsheets, Google Ads and Analytics, to generate reports and dashboards to illustrate the information without the need for coding or SQL queries.
This enables marketers to mix and merge a host of information from all kinds of data sources, plug it into Data Studio, which works its magic and spits out an easy to digest report that can be tailored and branded, what a useful tool!
3. Optimize & Optimize 360 (The Enterprise Version)
Optimize and Optimize 360 are integrated with Analytics so marketers can quickly understand how to make optimizing decisions to improve their websites. Sounds interesting, but how exactly does it work you ask? Using this tool, marketers can test and optimize a website or landing page, say for a Google Ads campaign, to explore what works best and incorporate customizations for the best combination to drive more conversions.
Google Optimize supports redirect tests / split URL test, whereby marketers can conduct A/B split tests to test completely separate pages against each other. This is a great tool for testing features to drive conversions or to test the best approach for a page redesign.
The biggest advantage of Optimize, is having Google Optimize data in Google Analytics and vice versa; Google Analytics data in Google Optimize. This gives marketers a holistic view as they tailor and customize landing pages to suit different audiences.
4. Surveys for Small Businesses & Surveys 360 for Enterprises
Google Surveys take the hassle out of collecting survey responses…for a nominal price! Marketers can customize surveys (up to a maximum of 10 questions), target specific demographics and filter respondents with screening questions. You’re probably wondering how much do Google surveys cost? Well, it’s important to note that Google surveys are priced per completed response so you won’t be charged for abandoned surveys. With no screening questions, general population questions cost $1USD for 1-10 completed surveys. The cost of a survey with screening questions starts at a minimum of $3USD per completed response and depending on the survey length, target audience and incidence rate (minimum of 5%), maybe more.
Google surveys are distributed through Google’s media partners and the respondents are real people browsing the web. They’re typically presented with premium content, encouraging people to respond to a survey in order to gain access to content. The survey results are available in about 3 days and marketers can use built-in dashboards and reports to analyze and present the results.
5. Tag Manager for Small Business & Tag Manager 360 for Enterprises
Google tag manager enables users to create their own tags to better understand conversions, site analytics and more. The great news? The standard tag manager is free to use and there’s no coding involved so you don’t need to pester a web developer every time you want to add or update a tag on your website. Marketers can upload and add their own tags without needing to know or touch the site code.
First, all you have to do is paste the google generated ‘container snippet’ onto each web page on your site and once that’s done, you can manage, update and publish tags as often as you like through Google tag manager.
The not so good news? There can be implications on your website such as faster or slower load times and the more tags you have the harder they are to manage so be mindful of this when using Tag manager.
The Lowdown on the ‘Enterprise Only’ Solutions
6. Search Ads 360
Search Ads 360 provides up-to-the-minute data to improve the performance of search campaigns with ‘Smart Bidding’, which taps into Google’s machine learning technology to simplify the bidding process and provide better insights.
Search campaigns can be optimized for mobile devices and better results can be achieved with audience targeting and activation. The budget management feature of Search Ads 360, helps to address budgeting issues and concerns by enabling marketers to manage and forecast campaign budgets and performance within the same platform. Hmm.. managing and tweaking within the same platform? We’re sensing a common theme here! What happens if your budget is heading in the wrong direction? Well, Google will provide a list of actionable recommendations to help you get your budget and forecast back on track and inline with campaign performance.
7. Display & Video 360 (Enterprise)
Display & Video 360 brings together features from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio and Audience Center. The premise behind this fusion is to allow agency, creative and media teams to work together and collaborate more efficiently so that they can deliver more aligned campaigns, from within a single solution.
According to Google, there’s a 1.5 times improvement in campaign performance when creative strategies and design are aligned with media, compared to when creative is operating in a silo, which makes sense. Campaign insights can be shared across teams to improve media buying and creatives, with the aim of delivering enhanced campaigns.
In a nutshell, the Google Marketing Platform appears to have successfully achieved its aim of incorporating insights and applications into single solutions so marketers can quickly make more informed decisions. We get great value from using the above tools and most businesses can likely derive benefits from some of the solutions that make up Google’s Marketing Platform, particularly the ones that are free! We’d love to hear about your experience with the Google Marketing Platform in the comments below, let us know which features you enjoy working with and those that you feel could be improved?
A graduate of the Management of Technology MBA program from Simon Fraser University (SFU) and a former Board of Director for the SFU Alumni board, Erica finds balance through academic challenges as well.
As a self-diagnosed digital marketing junky, she spends most of her days studying search engine algorithm updates, A/B testing her own confirmation biases and building digital marketing strategies for various B2B clients.
When unplugged from the Digital World, Erica spends her time brewing beer, ultramarathon running and exploring the vast north of the 49th parallel with her husband, kids and vizsla.