I know everyone reading this has probably had enough of acronyms (myself included), but if there’s one that you should pay attention to, it’s GMP.

CMP, or Google Marketing Platform, is Google’s new solution that for the first time brings both advertising and analytics into one unified ecosystem. The key driver behind this decision by Google was to make it easier for marketers to understand their customers, and to use this information to execute against them in the most efficient and effective ways.

With this in mind, the first question you should ask is: how can I use GMP to understand my customers better? The answer is simple: get your house in order.

And how do you do that? Start with Google Analytics.

Everything grounded in analytics

Google Analytics is the heart of GMP, and to have a successful setup you need to make sure that your heart is healthy.

Start with the basics: conduct an audit on your account and see what needs fixing and how to make your setup more efficient. Then move on and start to look at what other information you can collect about user behaviour on your site. This means taking the time to identify each step of the consumer journey to really understand the events and actions that you would deem relevant when measuring the importance of a visitor.

If set up correctly, you can collect a whole range of information about your users, including their propensity to actually make a purchase, and their online lifetime value.

Once you’ve laid your analytics foundation, you need to bring in all your data from the different GMP technologies you use. This means ensuring that all your integrations with Search Ads, Campaign Manager and Display & Video 360 are set up correctly. Without this, you won’t be able to capitalise on the full power of GMP.

Understanding and activating against audiences

Now comes the fun part: building audience segments. Audience segments are basically buckets of users that are segmented based upon their behavioural decisions.

For example, you could segment users who are likely to make a purchase or users who have download a brochure in the last 30 days. With these audiences defined, you’re then able to pass this data into either Search Ads or Display & Video 360.

With all three tools together, you’ll have the power to reach to customers you know have engaged with your brand and convince them to come back to you to make that purchase.

Beyond that though, using the power of Display & Video 360, we can use the information we’ve collected from Google Analytics to target look-a-like audiences of those we know have certain tendencies but haven’t yet engaged with our brand.

This means we can find a whole group of consumers who look like our current high-value base, and target them with programmatic activity in the hope of having them engage with us, building out a wider, more valuable customer base from us to build from.

Integrating your non-Google data

But it doesn’t end there. With this year’s announcement around the Google Analytics integration with Salesforce Marketing and Sales Cloud, this opens the door to even more opportunities. By sharing information and cross-matching Salesforce’s CRM data and Google Analytics’ web analytics data, you’ll be able to grow and enrich your audience segmentation.

Customer traits that are collected by Salesforce (i.e. frequent shoppers or registered users interested in fashion) can be pushed to Google Analytics, grouped into buckets, and push into either Search Ads or Display & Video 360. Knowing who your customer is and being able to reach them has never been this easy.

Is GMP a DMP?

You may be asking yourself how this has anything to do with Data Management Platforms (DMPs).

The answer is simple: a DMP is a database that is used to execute personalised advertising. In this regard, your GMP setup could well be doing the job of a DMP. More importantly, if you want to know if a DMP is right for you but don’t want to have to pay the hefty price (and resource cost) to put it in place, GMP could be the place to try it out.

When using your GMP account to the full extent of its capabilities, you’ll be able to start personalising your adverts straight away, using the data you already have. Imagine being able to reach customers you know are engaging with your content, but not having to pay a huge price tag to reach them.

Trying to be efficient in your marketing, especially in trying to achieve personalised marketing, can be hard, time consuming and costly. But now marketers are a step closer to achieving that goal quicker than ever before.

Once you have all the pieces in place, your GMP can be one of the most effective marketing tools you’ve ever had. If you want to know more about GMP, Google Analytics or any other Google tool, feel free to reach to the iProspect Data and Analytics team.

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Thomas Galluzzo

Thomas is the Director of Analytics at iProspect Australia. Thomas’s role is to work with clients on improving their analytics capabilities and advise them on the performance of their website and paid media.