3 benefits of in-housing the Google Marketing Platform

While Analytics software has typically been procured by companies directly for years, in many cases on the media side, digital media buying and creative services are delivered by agencies within their platform’s accounts.

In-housing the Google Marketing Platform is therefore, about taking control and ownership of your own digital media activities, the data and intellectual property associated with those activities, and whether those activities are still executed by your agency partners or whether the management of those activities is transferred to a team of practitioners within your organisation.

In this article, we explore the elements of Control, Data Ownership and Transparency that are achieved by in-housing the Google Marketing Platform within your organisation.

In-housing the Google Marketing Platform

What does in-housing the Google Marketing Platform mean for your organisation?

In-housing means that rather than having an agency run your campaigns within the Google Marketing Platform product suite, your organisation procures the licenses for GMP products including ad-serving (Campaign Manager), programmatic buying (Display & Video 360 (DV360)), paid search (Search Ads 360 (SA360)) & analytics (Google Analytics 360 (GA360)), and will typically have internal resources which have accountability of the performance using the platforms.

“91% of brands are moving towards In-House Digital Marketing”

Source: Search Engine Journal

In-housing doesn’t mean parting ways with your agency but by procuring the licenses for the Google Marketing Platform products, it means changing the model with your agencies.

Why in-house the Google Marketing Platform?

1. Control

Control is an important element in any form of marketing or digital advertising, it allows you to take a planned, measured approach to your campaigns and provides the opportunity to maximise the results.

Within the Google Marketing Platform, in-housing the licenses allows control of the granularity and frequency of reporting, given you now have direct access to the platform. This provides more transparency and the opportunity to make better, data-driven decisions. With data-based organisations being 3x more likely to record substantial improvements in decision-making compared to those that don’t, control often directly correlates to better outcomes.

Display & Video 360 (DV360) provides this granularity for your digital media buys across Advertiser, Campaign, Insertion Order, Line Item and Creative levels, providing transparent information about what and where your spend is going towards. By leveraging insights during campaign implementation you are able to determine if a campaign is successful or if adjustments need to be made to drive campaign goals – whether they be clicks, engagement, conversions, visibility, brand lift measures and/or ROI.

Some examples of of advanced media strategies and activations you can now directly implement include Social Integration or Inventory Management via Search Ads 360 (SA360), Dynamic or Data-Driven Creatives via Studio, Campaign Manager (CM) and Display & Video 360 (DV360), and for advanced analysis of campaign data, using Data Transfer to get your log files from Campaign Manager (CM) into BigQuery.

In addition to this, if your enterprise or organisation is currently working on Salesforce Marketing Cloud, then in-housing the Google Marketing Platform, specifically Google Analytics 360 (GA360), will provide you additional control over the marketing messages and audience across the entire connected customer journey.

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2. Data Ownership

By taking ownership of your data, it provides the transparency required to provide control, accuracy and accountability of performance reporting and media spend. In turn, this allows you to maximise the results from your campaigns.

Importantly, in-housing the Google Marketing Platform also allows you to future-proof your digital media buying by managing your audience data in the most effective way. Whether through Floodlight activities or Google Analytics 360 (GA360) audiences, your organisation’s 1st party data is owned and actionable in your media buying, with real value attached to it rather then within your agency’s licenses. Having direct access to the platform also means that when you create Customer Match lists, you are minimising risk by being able to upload data directly to your organisation’s instance in Display & Video 360 (DV360).

By having ownership of your own data, it allows more control of who has access and transparency to your organisation’s data, providing an additional layer of security and risk reduction of a breach. An example of this within Display & Video 360 (DV360) is providing transparency of and access to creative in the platform to your creative agencies or partners.

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3. Transparency

An example of transparency in the GMP includes the change history report within Search Ads 360 (SA360). The report provides a transparent record of changes made to an account, for example, to bid strategy changes and allows stakeholders to efficiently and effectively track context of performance for an Advertiser, Campaign, Ad Group or keywords. With data-driven organisations being 3x more likely to record substantial improvements in decision-making, this is an effective, transparent way to drive success of your platform usage.

Specifically, one of the most effective ways to have transparency across your campaigns is through verification on Campaign Manager. Here, you can set up custom alerts in the Verification interface for issues you’ve selected by enabling Email Status and adding the email addresses of relevant stakeholders to receive daily alert emails.

Further to this, with the control that comes with data ownership of procuring your own GMP licenses, it is also typically easier to justify the cost internally (rather than for an external partner) to procurement departments or senior stakeholders who look after ad technologies. With direct access to the platform for company employees, there is full visibility of conversion and budget spend which in turn, makes for a much easier business case and is typically the preferred option for these types of stakeholders.

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For many brands, in-housing their media solutions will be about control, data ownership and transparency. However, there are also opportunities to maximise the features, integrations and possibilities for your campaigns within the Google Marketing Platform and to drive Digital Marketing Maturity for your organisation.

For more information or consultation on how you can in-house the Google Marketing Platform, please get in touch with the FiveStones team today.