On June 27, Google announced a change to their product branding that will go into effect in mid-July1, rebranding their ad business products into 3 groups: Google Marketing Platform, Google Ads and Google Ad Manager.
They will be phasing out the DoubleClick name, along with familiar acronyms like DBM, DCM, DFP, and other terms like AdWords. Google is communicating this as a direct response to marketer feedback, as a way to simplify their own ecosystem; however, it is also speculated that the change is more directly related to a similar branding of integrated tools released by competing for stack solutions like Adobe and Oracle2.
What exactly is Google changing?
Google is merging their advertising product suites into 3 ecosystems – focusing on large marketers, small business advertisers, and publishers.
1. Google Marketing Platform – for large marketers
Google Marketing Platform will be the combined suite of Google’s analytics and ad serving platforms, pulling together;
- Google Analytics 360; and
- DoubleClick products, specifically
- DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM),
- DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM), and
- DoubleClick Studio (DS)3.
It will also consist of many re-branded products, consolidated in one place for large marketers.
- Display & Video 360: A consolidated platform, integrating features from:
- DBM: DoubleClick Bid Manager, the Google DSP
- DCM: DoubleClick Campaign Manager, the primary advertiser ad server (formerly known as DFA)
- Studio: Rich media/dynamic ad builder
- Audience Center: Customer data organizer
- Search Ads 360
- The new name for DoubleClick Search
- Analytics 360
- Same name and functionality as before
- Additional products under the Google Marketing Platform:
- Tag Manager 360
- Data Studio
- Surveys 360
Google has not provided any insight yet as to how all these products will flow together. We will stay tuned to see if Google provides any additional insight here.
2. Google Ads – for small business advertisers
The new name of Google AdWords. The functionality is not changing, with the exception of what they’re calling Smart Campaigns – which are intended for small business advertisers and are in line with Google’s existing efforts at automating aspects of campaign setup, targeting, and management.
Outside of this, the branding change is primarily a reflection of the shift from AdWords being a platform to buy keywords to a platform that is, in reality, about keywords, videos, banners, and much more.
3. Google Ad Manager – for publishers
Combines DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdEx), unifying the publisher product experience.
Why is Google making these changes?
The new branding and consolidation are being done both to simplify Google’s offerings, but also as a reflection of how Google sees these products being used in an optimal way, with the brand and ad buying teams working more collaboratively with analytics and measurement teams.
The overall outcome of this consolidation is most likely that the pace and scope of integrations between the many products in the platform will accelerate, as Google aligns internally on this as a more coordinated “stack-level” solution.
As noted in the Google blog: “Google Marketing Platform helps marketers achieve their goals by building on existing integrations between the Google Analytics 360 Suite and DoubleClick Digital Marketing. The platform helps marketers plan, buy, measure and optimize digital media and customer experiences in one place1.”
How do these changes impact a Brand’s media?
At this time, the functionality of these products will stay largely the same.
The removal of the DoubleClick brand and consolidation under the “Google” umbrella will inevitably make some advertisers increasingly uncomfortable, and potentially only heighten concerns about “buying in” fully to a stack where they both buy and measure a significant portion, if not the majority, of their digital advertising.
This is Google’s attempt to continue to establish themselves as a marketing technology platform and compete with the likes of Adobe and Oracle2.
While the separation between the DoubleClick unit and Google advertising unit at Google has lessened over the past few years, this formal, if only “branded” shift, does seem to put an end to that separation. And to be clear, Google is saying that advertisers will see stronger performance in a more integrated stack.
Lastly, Google is careful to note that the Google Marketing Platform products such as Search Ads 360 will maintain “interoperability” with other networks such as Bing.
Does anything need to be done?
For the immediate future, there is no action needed from advertisers, as access to individual platforms will remain the same.
Google will be in communication about any future needs, if and when any migration of services will be required. This change will start sometime in mid-July, so logos and aesthetics of their platform will begin to change in the coming weeks.
Google mentioned in their press release that more additions to each platform will be coming in July, which they will provide more detail about in the coming weeks.
More updates will be announced during their annual Google Marketing Live conference, particularly covering the Display & Video 360 and Google Ads products (note: the conference can be viewed via live stream4).
This POV was written in collaboration between Resolution Digital and Annalect Consulting.