Happy First Birthday Google Marketing Platform

by Jim Cain

Thirteen months ago, there was a common refrain when we were talking to customers and prospects about all the benefits of the Google Analytics 360 stack. They often said, “We like and use the tools, but it doesn’t feel like they are really ready for the large enterprise.”

Part of this concern was easily sorted out, given the significant under-the-hood capabilities of the tools that Google has built (you can find a few examples here, here and here).  However, there was always a clear gap that existed when it came to a set of requirements that every large enterprise expects from their software vendors, including:

  1. Full account management, including all tools, integrations, and accounts
  2. Fine-grained user rights and team management, again across all tools and views
  3. Unified billing management
  4. A consolidated portal experience that allows for a single point of login and better workflow between teams
  5. More seamless integrations between the enterprise advertising and analytics platforms

Twelve months ago, Google launched the Google Marketing Platform and solved all of these remaining concerns.  The Google stack was ready for prime time with the medium to large enterprise.

We’ve seen a good amount of uptake with the platform in the last year, especially around the ease of enabling integrations between Google products like Google Analytics 360 and Display and Video 360. The ability to create audiences in GA360 and use them to drive more sophisticated marketing campaigns, and then report on those campaigns more holistically in GA360 is the answer the world’s largest marketers have been looking for in a marketing technology stack. 

Candidly though, I haven’t seen many companies take on the kinds of sophisticated analytics use cases the Google Marketing Platform is capable of that I outlined in a demo and launch presentation last year with Google and our friends at Jellyfish Agency.  Most users of Google’s 360 tools are still using it primarily for marketing, and aren’t incorporating it into enterprise-wide analytics workflows that are required to stand up a full scale digital practice. I think in this case Google is a victim of their own success.

Given the complexity of what Google Analytics 360, Google Tag Manager 360, Google Optimize 360, Display and Video 360 etc. can accomplish, they are astonishingly easy to use, meaning you don’t need to be a specialized professional to take advantage of many of its out of the box capabilities. This isn’t new, and applying the ‘K.I.S.S. principle’ to tools is a hallmark of the Google approach to software. While I’d like to see more advanced analytics use cases in the marketplace beyond the digital marketing team, I do expect to see more updates over time that make the GMP the path of least resistance to access the full stack, and to take advantage of not just the data but the workflows of combined analytics and adtech.

We’re doing our part to help with adoption by continuing to partner with our clients and their agency ecosystems on creating workflows that allow marketers, analysts, agencies and technical staff to all pull together in creating profitable and world class digital experiences.

Happy Birthday Google Marketing Platform!



Jim Cain

Chief Innovation Officer & Founder, Napkyn Analytics

Founding CEO of Napkyn Inc., it was Jim’s curiosity about how data can be leveraged by marketers that led to him establishing the company in 2009. He ideated, delivered and iterated all of the early services delivered by Napkyn to enterprise clients. Jim has a unique ability to connect the dots for where the industry and individual brands will and can go with their data-driven initiatives.

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