Product Review: Google’s Audience Center 360
Audience Center 360 is Google’s first data management platform for clients. Its purpose is to aggregate media campaign data to learn, optimize and inform research for future efforts. The platform does the job it sets out to accomplish, so long as you’re working in their suite of products. This final piece of tech completes Google’s client offering of a one-stop-shop for marketers. If you’re looking to execute a campaign with a strong YouTube investment, DoubleClick Search and programmatic while serving your ads through DoubleClick Campaign Manager, utilizing Google’s new Audience Center 360 is a obvious choice to better your reach and frequency cross-channel at scale.
What truly makes Audience Center 360 unique in the marketplace is the integration between Google’s suite of products.
- Ability to aggregate campaign audiences obtained when ad serving through DoubleClick Campaign Manager
- Slice and dice campaign targeting to fit your needs from real time data
- Easily action against data in media buying directly through integrated platform DBM, DoubleClick Big Manager
- Strong benefits when layering against other Google products
- You can also layer first party or additional third party sources
What truly makes Audience Center 360 unique in the marketplace is the integration between Google’s suite of products. Primarily, this integration focuses on a universal cookie tracking methodology from Google’s search, ad server, DSP, and DMP. The benefit of a universal cookie means very zero discrepancy in what would be a match back process. In other DMP integrations, match over from to a buying platform typically results in lowering the audience size. This is because the company will receive a list of cookies, then try to locate them, which they’re never going to locate all of them. Some companies have much higher match rates than others naturally, but in this Google suite there is zero loss.
Main competitors for Google’s newly launched DMP are a few strong companies that have been around for quite some time, mainly Oracle and Nielson Catalina. The difference in these companies is they allow you to build your first party/third party campaign data while also layering on their huge marketplace data for purchase. However, unlike Google, you will have sometimes very large drop off in audience count as you attempt to push into segmentation or buying platforms. Audience Center 360 offers a unique application when you layer additional Google services along with the ability to purchase audiences from large suppliers such as Oracle, however the depth of AC 360 in ability to purchase data is not as great as its competitors at this point in time.
Campaigns | Going Live & Optimizations
Once you have segments live and counting, pushing these segments to DBM is simple with your Google rep support. The times it takes for the DBM to have this data ready depends on the size, however your Google rep can help you set expectations early one for proper timelines. Once live, Google DMP and member services do an excellent job presenting reports that help you understand what your audiences is doing, where missed opportunities are, how to adjust bidding structures and more. With Google managed services, your Google team will lead the heavy lifting of this work, checking in with you each step of the way for alignment.
With Google in the business of selling audiences now, it is understandable that you might be concerned about uploading your own proprietary data. Rest assured, that data in fact remains your private and confidential data. Google does not claim ownership or even attempts to learn for this data to benefit any entity aside from your client needs.
Audience Center billing structure will depend greatly on your DCM account billing structure. Contact your Google representative for how to enable Audience Center 360 for your business.
Audience Center 360 site in the Google stack nicely, layered into DoubleClick’s Campaign Manager. With proper access, you can login to AC360 from your standard login
As the central location of information and starting point, the main dashboard shows basic information such as:
- Total cookies: Total number of unexpired cookies in the audience
- Active cookies: Total number of cookies seen on the Google Display Network in the last 14 days
- CPM: Cost Per thousand impressions
- Published status: If the audience is actively counting or not
- Open membership: New cookies that match the audience definition will automatically be added to the audience.
- Closed membership: No new cookies will be added, but existing cookies will remain until their expiration.
- Lifespan: The number of days that cookies will remain in the audience.
Audience data is captured through DoubleClick Campaign Manger’s standard campaign metrics and their product called Floodlights. Floodlights are special tags used to track users beyond click and impression metrics of the campaign. To begin counting, you must first setup the segment in DCM. This information can be aggregated when from the time the segment is live. The segment cannot retroactively bring in data if the segment wasn’t made, which is true for any tech in this space.
Building an Audience
Upon basic label information, building a segment is relatively easy in the UI. In preparation for building a segment, contact your Google rep with any external audiences you want to show up as an option. Google reps will work with your data center or 3rd party team to get these audiences absorbed and available for use. In Edit Audiences, you simply name the audience and pull in or exclude audience lists, select a lifetime for cookie exposure and save.
Google White Paper
Google Product Overview