They made it happen
On June 27th Google announced their newest suite, the Google Marketing Platform. New products, new features? Not so much, most of the newness comes from the rebranding. It is essentially a repackaging of their current on-site (Google Analytics) and media (Doubleclick and Adwords) offers, hinged on the idea that maybe, just maybe, they were not closely linked enough and hence were providing painful user experiences for agency account managers!
This new platform that includes Analytics (formerly GA360), Display & Video 360 (formerly DoubleClick), Data Studio, Optimize, Surveys, Tag Manager, and Search Ads 360 (formerly Adwords) finally makes the Google “full stack” vision a reality, by combining all the elements of the data value chain: activation, measurement and insights.
“The underlying products are not changing,” says Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce at Google. “This is a better representation of what our products are and more importantly where they need to go.”
What is behind this announcement?
First of all, from a technological point of view: this unified platform gives advertisers a single control tower to manage activation, measure performance and find insights. This is in line with a clear market need to improve coordination between all digital marketing channels, and create bridges with offline channels: as customer journeys evolve to include an ever-growing number of marketing touchpoints, robust attribution modelling is no longer a secondary concern.
This product update also provides simplification and clarifies Google’s positioning as a real full-stack technology suite, aligning them with their competitors (Adobe, Oracle, SalesForce, and others) that have been seducing advertisers with “one stop shops”. Google is making a stand.
The third major element of the rebranding is the evolution of Google’s sales strategy and their relationship with data and media agencies. A new training platform has been created to allow marketers to certify their ability to work with the GMP suite, and three levels of partnership are going to be available: Individual Certification, Company Certification and Sales Partner Certification. The last level of Sales Partner Certification will allow a small number of agencies to resell Google products and provide services to small and mid-market businesses with specific terms and conditions.
But what’s the real impact for advertisers and agencies?
As the world adjusts to GDPR, combining the two separate products stacks – Doubleclick and Google Analytics – allows Google to centralise data storage and processing, reducing the amount of links in the data processing chain. The new three level partnership model is also a way to transfer GDPR responsibility to partners working or reselling GMP suite products. A clever move from Google in the light of the fact that big firms are increasingly internalising their media activities!
If more and more advertisers own their technological accounts through the reseller program, we are likely to see an acceleration in market shifts.
Firstly, internalising some operational management activities will drive advertisers to gain a better understanding of their digital ecosystems. Agencies will then be able to spend more time on consulting and other higher-value projects, such as attribution modelling, performance measurement, data management, or media quality to reach better advertising efficiency. These topics, key drivers for efficiency and growth, often came second to more operational tasks managed by separate entities. Contracting directly with technology providers takes advertisers one step closer to independence from their agencies; having to re-set up campaigns, tracking and data will no longer be an argument tieing firms to their agencies.
Secondly, having a fully integrated technology stack allows for a more complete analysis of the customer journey, covering all marketing touchpoints and providing true measurement. Too many advertisers are still unable to analyse the impact between different touchpoints, and are thus unable to reach consistent performance measurement. This was in part due to Google’s previously siloed organisation where teams were focused solely on their product and were not able to advise on possible synergies and integrations with other platforms. We hope the introduction of GMP will address these issues. Understanding how the different stages of the funnel work together, combined with data-driven attribution modeling, will allow advertisers to move beyond the last interaction model and improve the budget allocation between channels and between so called “branding” and “performance” strategies that have historically (and we believe wrongly) opposed.
Before GMP, only the most advanced advertisers were linking ad-centric performance (Doubleclick suite) to site-centric engagement (Google Analytics), and digital marketing budgets where concentrated on partners that brought volume rather than quality. We truly hope that GMP will reconcile both strategies, and shift budgets back towards more efficient marketing channels.
A complete Google ecosystem?
Google’s consolidation and rebranding naturally makes us wonder where this will end. Full stack integration will also mean complete dependency on a sole (and already powerful) tech partner, as well as locking-in long term technology and media budgets. We are, however, optimistic that Google will recognise the value in the expertise and objectivity provided by independent actors, and continue to foster innovation by creating a more open tech ecosystem.
As for us, we’re hoping that Google’s next step will involve yet another of their acronyms: GCP, Google Cloud Platform. As an agency of data experts, we obviously work with both GMP and GCP and we see the huge potential of tighter integration between the cloud and marketing tools, allowing more intelligent bidding strategies, more precise attribution measurement and more efficient customer personalisation. Is Ads Data Hub the first sign of a larger shift? Let’s keep in touch 🙂
In summary, what is the value of Google Marketing Platform, and what’s next?
Integrating measurement and media is a natural step in aligning marketing and analytics, both for agencies and advertisers. Combining the data from GA360 and DoubleClick provides efficiency, clarity, and a better user experience in one complete measurement system.
At Artefact, we already work extensively with the GA 360, DoubleClick, and Google Cloud Platform solutions, leveraging existing integrations for advertisers such as AccorHotels, Groupe SEB and Monoprix across our key markets. Complete integration between those platforms is only a matter of time, and this is Google’s first step towards a no-silos 360 degree customer-centric approach. As an agency focused on advising our clients on data, digital and AI technologies, we cannot wait to take the next steps in further reducing repetitive tasks and eliminating inefficiencies in order to drive better customer experience.
More details to be announced during the Google Marketing Live event keynote on July 10th. We’ll keep you updated!
Get in touch with our expert team to learn more about Google Marketing Platform!