GMP and data integration: how does it work?


Jimmy McCann

Head of Digital Strategy


Google Marketing Platform

The Google Marketing Platform is a suite of tools that combines advertising and analytics to help brands deliver their digital marketing strategy. On their own, these tools are advanced platforms, which can be used to enhance the performance of individual marketing channels.

However, using two or more of these tools in conjunction with each other gives brands the ability to gain cross-channel insights and deliver an integrated, data-driven strategy, taking performance and results to the next level.

Integrating your technology stack is a prerequisite to data-driven marketing

Data-driven marketing is not a new concept – good marketers have been using data to guide their strategy for years.

Unfortunately, many may be using incomplete or incorrect data to guide their decisions due to the way they track data. Analyzing performance on a channel by channel basis doesn’t give a holistic overview of the customer journey; without integrating the tools you use to monitor digital performance, you are only using half the picture to build a marketing strategy.

By integrating your digital marketing technology platforms, you can build up a 360 view of your customers and the path they take to conversion. This insight will allow you to make informed marketing decisions and design an integrated marketing strategy which will achieve your business objectives and digital KPIs. An integrated marketing strategy has been shown to reduce marketing spend while increasing results and comes with other benefits such as increased workflow efficiency due to the deduplication of work.

Connecting the GMP stack

Tools within the Google Marketing Platform are able to natively integrate with one another – the more products you have, the more you are able to connect the data between your digital channels and build up an accurate overview of the full customer journey.

Analytics 360 – the heart of Google Marketing Platform

Analytics 360 (GA360) can be thought of as the main hub for the GMP as it holds native connectors to each tool within the suite, meaning different platforms can connect to each other via Analytics 360.

In this blog, we will run through the unique benefits that can be had by connecting each tool to GA360.

Campaign Manager

Campaign Manager is a tool which can be used for ad serving, trafficking, and reporting on ads, allowing marketers to streamline ad management. The platform has several features and benefits that make it uniquely positioned to manage and execute campaigns from start to finish – you can read more about Campaign Manager here.

Why connect Analytics 360 and Campaign Manager?

Integrating Campaign Manager with Analytics 360 allows marketers to view their campaign data within GA360 alongside non-paid channels. Results across channels are de-duplicated so that you can correctly attribute results to the right channels.

By connecting the two platforms, you can build a better picture of how paid and non-paid channels work together and what their roles are in the path to conversion.

Display & Video 360 (DV360)

Display & Video 360 is The Google Marketing Platform’s demand-side platform (DSP) which can be used for end to end campaign management. The platform has several advanced features that make an enterprise-level tool for buying media – you can learn more about the benefits of DV360 here.

Why connect Analytics 360 and Display & Video 360?

Integrating DV360 and GA360 allows marketers to see what happens to users post-campaign – i.e. what their journey looks like once they have clicked on a display advert. Not only does this give a clearer view of the customer journey, but it also allows marketers to better understand campaign performance in line with their business objectives.

In addition, integrating these two platforms allows you to import your analytics audiences into Display & Video 360 so they can be targeted in your programmatic campaigns.

Search Ads 360 (SA360)

Search Ads 360 is Google’s enterprise-level search management platform. SA360 has several premium features which can be used to improve the performance of your search ads campaigns which you can read about here.

Why connect Analytics 360 and Search Ads 360?

There as several ways you can benefit from integrating the two platforms. As mentioned in Display & Video 360, connecting the two tools allows you to report on your paid campaigns within Analytics 360, which means you can better understand how the user interacts with the website post-click.

A major benefit is the ability to export your GA360 goals into Search Ads 360 and use these as a bidding signal so that campaigns can be optimized towards these goals. You can also import your analytics audiences into SA360 (via Google Ads) and use these as signals for auto-bidding too.

Optimize 360

Optimize 360 is Google’s enterprise-level optimization tool which can be used to test website variables to see how they affect conversion rates. There are several advantages to using this tool over the free Google Optimize which you can read about here.

Why connect Analytics 360 and Optimize 360?

Connecting Optimize 360 with Analytics 360 makes it easier to build CRO campaigns using real customer insights, as well as understand how CRO tests impact your digital marketing activity. Once connected, you can target customer segments via your GA360 audiences to deliver personalized pages and better understand how website variables affect specific customers. You can also build tests around goals set in Analytics 360 to understand how changes impact your KPIs and objectives.

CRM systems

Linking up your CRM system with Analytics 360 provides a holistic overview of your customers and enables you to understand how online and offline activity works together in the customer journey. GA360 natively integrates with Salesforce but for those who use a different CRM system, it is possible to integrate the two systems in other ways using measurement protocol.

Why connect Analytics 360 and CRM systems?

By integrating your CRM and analytics data, you are able to build an in-depth and comprehensive view of your customer to understand how both digital and offline channels influence the customer journey.

Joining up your CRM with Analytics 360 also allows you to build audience lists based off real customer data which can then be targeted in your ad and remarketing campaigns.

Once the two datasets are connected, there are advanced analysis techniques which can reveal insights that can impact your marketing strategy – for example, joining up offline sales with online behaviors can help you to identify which behaviors are more likely to lead to high-value conversions.

Google Cloud and BigQuery

Google BigQuery is a cloud-based data warehouse which can be used to query large datasets to gain much more in-depth insights into your data than is available in GA360 alone.

Why connect Analytics 360 and BigQuery?

Connecting the two platforms allows marketers to set up an automated export of their raw session and hit data from Analytics 360 into BigQuery. Once the data is in BigQuery, you can conduct more complex queries and find patterns in your data that you would not be able to do in GA360. Data in BigQuery can be sent back to GA360 to be used to create audiences, signal auto-bidding, and more.

The Google Marketing Platform makes it easier than ever to connect your digital platforms and gain cross-channel insights which can be used to build an integrated marketing strategy. Learn more about how the Google Marketing Platform can help drive your business forward here, or get in touch.  

Need help getting your data in order?

This blog is part of our wider B2B Playbook that is designed to help B2B businesses with all aspects of their digital marketing from leveraging data, acquiring more traffic, creating assets that resonate and succeeding internationally.

In the data section we’ve compiled useful insights on everything you’ll need to know, from capturing data to building advanced machine learning solutions using your first-party data.

View all of our B2B data sources

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