Last year was a busy one for Google. From their ad exchange finally moving to first-price auctions, and purchasing the data platform Looker, to talks of privacy-based changes to their Chrome browser. The underlying trend is Google is consolidating their technology stack to set it up for the future of marketing.
In 2019 Google Marketing Platform (GMP) steadily grew its capability, with changes mainly benefiting advertisers using the 360 suite (DV360, SA360, GA360). Whilst all of these platforms have their own strengths, bringing them together has proven to have game-changing results. There has also been signs of Google streamlining its stack, as less premium products, such as the dynamic creative offering Studio, are integrated into core ones.
But, the interplay between GMP and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is the one to watch this year. Whilst these are two very separate entities, GCP offers advertisers and agencies a glimpse into Google’s long-term plans for its advertising offering.
Google Cloud already performs important roles within adtech, most notably data storage and the ability to analyse large sets of data with Big Query. On the marketing side Data Transfer allowed smart vendors to build around the log level data from Google platforms. Even though this has been less impactful since, in the run up to the implementation of GDPR, Google removed the User ID, there are still benefits to accessing this impression level data.
However, the future is clear, GCP and GMP will be brought closer together. Ads Data Hub is the perfect example of where these two parts of Google meet. This increasingly useful product allows marketers to query the Google ID in a privacy-safe way.
The adoption of cloud features into GMP are further extending its capabilities. GCP is now integral to advertisers using Custom Bidding via DV360 to develop their own custom bidding and optimisation algorithms. And Google’s roadmap is signaling there is more to get excited about in this direction in the near future.
It’s important not to lose sight of how Google consolidation of products and platforms could be seen as moving further into areas of regulatory scrutiny, such as monopolisation of the marketplace and data privacy infringement.
But, in this pivotal year in Google’s assembly of its new world, marketers cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities coming out on the union of GMP and GCP. There is little time for advertisers to waste in actively evaluating how to make the best of these to evolve their advertising.
Although, as things are getting simpler they are also getting more complicated. Consolidation within GMP may simplify some processes, but a deep understanding of Google Cloud is needed to gain the most for the new wave of Google products.
Jonathan D'Souza-Rauto, Biddable Product Lead
This article is part of the Digital Media Trends 2020 series, read more trends here.