google marketing platform guideline

There’re a lot of strategy goals from a business and the goal is different based on strategic needs in different business stages.

Some examples to visualise different goals

  • As a music App, the company might target the growth of paid users who download the app and pay subscription.
  • As a merchant seller on Amazon, she or he might aim to drive quantitive sales number rather than persisting in high profit margin, when competitors are mad at increasing market share.
  • Profit margin should be a key goal to achieve at the end, so it’s totally acceptable when sales figure starts dropping on the financial table, after cutting off those customers with very low profit margin.

So it’s all about strategy and different goals on a business roadmap. However please let us step back, nothing is worse than no sales at all. Thus in this article, I’ll focus to talk about a guide to boost sales through Google marketing platform. No matter you are running an online retail store, selling B2B solutions, or operating a restaurant offline, I think you can learn from my guide to leverage Google marketing platform resources to analyse sale performance, optimise the performance and implement integrated strategies to boost sales at the end.

What’s Google Marketing Platform

google marketing platformGoogle marketing platform is a unified advertising and analytic platform for smarter marketing and better results. It unifies different Google marketing products into one cloud platform, such as search, display, video, data platform and web analytic etc. And the most beautiful part is GMP further improves the integration capacity and facilitate the connection between one and the other product, including the 3rd party data management platform (CRM, DMP or CDP). It’s all for the purpose to solve data silos and access much intelligent insight when single view of audience profile is easy to create.

Here is a table to summarise Google products and one-click integration capacity for your reference

Product Category

Platform NameIntegration Capacity
Advertising PlatformGoogle Ads

Google Analytic, Salesforce CRM, Youtube, Google console, Display & Video 360 (Former Doubleclick campaign manager and bid manager), search console, survey, Google optimize

Advertising PlatformDisplay & Video 360

Google ads, Analytics 360, Tag manager 360, salesforce audience studio (formerly call Krux), Oracle Bluekai, Livecamp, Adobe audience manager, data studio

Advertising PlatformSearch Ads 360

Google ads, Yahoo Japan, Baidu, Yahoo Gemini, Bing, Adobe analytics, Analytics, Google campaign manager, data studio, Google merchant centre

Web AnalyticsGoogle Analytics

Search ads 360, Google ads, optimise, salesforce sales cloud, surveys, search console, Adsense, Ad manager, data studio, ad exchange, Postbacks

Web AnalyticsAnalytics 360

All basic Google analytics capacity + Display & Video 360, campaign manager,

Web Content ManagementGoogle Optimize

Google ads, Google analytics

Web Content ManagementGoogle Optimize 360

Google optimise + GA audience targeting 

Tracking & Pixel ManagementGoogle Tag ManagerN/A
Tracking & Pixel ManagementGoogle Tag Manager 360Google tag manager + multi division approval flow feature + Google tech support
Dash boradData StudioDisplay & Video 360, search 360, campaign manager, BigQuery, Google ads, search console, analytics, tailor-made connector
SEOSearch ConsoleAnalytics, Google ads, data studio
E-commerceGoogle merchant centerSearch ads 360, 
Publisher MonetizationGoogle AdsenseGoogle analytics, Google console
Publisher Inventory SellingGoogle Ad ManagerCampaign manager, display & video 360

As you could see from above table, Google market platform provides 360 degree marketing features, so you could very easily adopt these features to drive earned and paid traffic, and then manage your brand asset, and also engage better with segmented audiences through personalised messages and products, and boost sales at the end. 

For example, if you are running cross-broader e-commerce business, relying on SEM to reach Chinese and Japanese buyers, search ads 360 can help integrate Baidu, Yahoo Japan, Google SEM into one single interface and data library to create, optimise campaigns.

Also if you are using salesforce audience studio, and are implementing search, social, DSP etc omni-channel advertising strategy,  you are able to consolidate audience data into one studio, and execute user matching, for the purpose to deliver accurate and personalised messages on a customer journey in GMP as well now. The method is Display & Video 360 can connect with Salesforce audience studio by just one-click button, cool right? So this is the beauty of GMP and we could do lots of things as long as we can imagine and get a strategy.

What factors affect online sale performance?

From business perspective, definitely GTM strategies, products, pricing and distributions etc are affecting the sale performance at the end. Customers are the final decision makers to pay or not, and these makers are thinking if these products can meet their expectation and needs or not. It’s a top level strategy for a business success. 

however, no matter how perfect this top level strategy is, all things will underperform if you are not able to reach your TA, communicate with them right and make on-going decisions without AI intelligent analytics support. That’s why proper tech and marketing platform adoption are so critical nowadays in business success. 

How To Analyse The Sale Performance Through Google Marketing Platform

1. Data tagging and label

Before analysing, first of all we must install tracking pixels on our web and mobile app, from different platforms now we are adopting to drive sales, and label the data we need for separating the events. Otherwise, how the data can be collected from web and mobile etc pages correctly?

google tag manager

Google Tag Manager is absolutely a powerful tool to centralise tag management work. It provides lots of platform one-click integration options and also offer friendly customised html or interaction event box for you to develop tailored-made tracking purpose. All in all, it’s easy to use, rather than all tagging work through FTP or CMS.

The platform has free and paid version, but I think free version is absolute enough to hand your web and mobile tag management, unless you’re running a large corporate which have long list of stakeholders to approve, handling more than 3 projects and need Google tech team support.

 

2. Centralise customer journey data into one interface

google data studio

From a digital marketing perspective, there’re many reasons why sale performance rises or drops. But for being easier to work on this regular subject, the second step is I suggest you centralising different source of data into one interface, which can show you directly data performance from different resources in a complete customer purchase journey. The journey can be from brand awareness, engagement, purchase and retention. Also, if you aim a profit margin like 30% (Net Revenue / net cost) from each transaction or grand total, you could create a formula and connect in-house financial system with data studio, so you can monitor P&L and stand on a higher position to review the business on-going, and make smarter decisions moving forward.

Last but not least, the pros of this approach is you can understand which section in micro perspective appear a higher drop-off rate, so that it causes user lost, affect the conversion rate and profit margin drop at the end.

Of course you can all manually set up synchronising formulate and automate the data update through excels, but why not use a free platform without additional effort on integration and visual presentation?

data studio

Data Studio is free dash broad platform. It definitely can click one button to integrate with Google products like Display & Video 360, Search 360, search console etc. But also it can customise API connector to integrate with your existing excel financial table or other data platform out there. google big queryIn more advanced approach, it can integrate with BigQuery, which is Google data warehouse platform paid by data volume. So if you have an AI system help you analyse and recommend, and even execute on behalf of you, data studio can be a raw data sourcing to store in BigQuery and support AI platform to learn through BigQuery.

3. Analyse Business Macro Dimension First And Then Deep Dive In Digital Micro Metrics

customer journey

Now tagging and dash broad ground work are done, so next step we need to look into what’s going on and where we could improve better on sale performance. From my perspective, I suggest you to look into business macro dimensions before deep-diving into digital micro metrics such as drop-off rate, conversion rate, CPA, CPV etc. The reason is micro first might waste your time back and forward, or even you might distort the understanding from a report before you understand what’s going on in macro level perspective, such as market, device, demographic, schedule, product, pricing, language, messages, tech issue etc.

Macro Dimension Analytics

display and video 360Take Display & Video 360 + Google analytics for an example. It’s called Doubleclick bid manager formerly. It’s a Google DSP platform. Advertisers can launch display, video, native and audio ads campaign to reach TA through this platform. I’m assuming you might often come across that cost per visit from DSP is very high (Visit is defined a real session from DSP ads clicks). You track and monitor DSP session performance by using GA UTM tags or directly integrating with each other in Google analyticsgoogle analytics. So such high drop-off rate causes you invest dollars but return super low volume of web and mobile site traffic. Then, less and less site traffic directly affects sale performance at the end.

However, it’s too early to make decisions increasing or decreasing the bid or giving up the DSP, because we need to analyse where high drop-off rate from, such as from some secondary markets only, or only mobile device, or most of audience who are interested in porn, or ads size 250×250 etc. Probably web device performs low high-drop rate but avg. drop-off rate is pulled up due to mobile device, so that you would miss out web device good result due to only replying on a micro metric drop-off rate to justify.

Micro Metrics Analytics

On the other hand, micro metrics tell you insight and help you make an intelligent and smarter decision after analysing macro factors. Here I take Analytic 360 + Salesforce Sales Cloud for an example.

analytic 360

 

salesforce sales cloud

Different with Google analytic, Google Analytic 360 is able to integrate with salesforce sales cloud. So it largely automates the new leads information imported to Google analytics to further enhance the lead behaviour insight and data updated from a sale pipeline in salesforce sales cloud, such as who, when visit the web and where to browse etc.

lead generation funnel

A business deal takes time from lead generation, lead nurturing and deal closed, but even it’s identified as a qualify lead, it’s more important to understand what the lead is thinking in mind, or see if any methods to find more hints from the lead behaviour. A seller staff might have been already saved time on admin work by the help of sales cloud, and put lots of effort to communicate with potential leads from web. However, things still suck on the way to deal, due to uncertainties from the lead, like saying whether the lead is interested in and consider to buy, or just lying.

Thanks to this integration, a seller can analyse if the lead visit company web often and learn the pricing or content of a specific product; Or what content the lead spends much time on, which white paper the lead downloads the most etc. This can provide the seller a hint and direction to close the deal accordingly.

How To Optimise Sale Performance Through Google Marketing Platform

Now basic tagging ground work is done and they’re working automatically on data collection and classification. I suggest you refer a 3-layer onion optimisation strategy which are audience data, ads buying and right content at right moment from outside layer to inside layer.

louis lu onion optimisation strategy

1st Layer – Audience Data Quality Chain Effect

No matter how cutting-edge products you are selling online, you must be able to reach your target audience in 1st step. audience data chain effectMore target audience reach can help you capture more potential prospects storing in CRM and converting into sales. Then, more new customers in CRM imply that you could match more similar profile target audience through Google advertising by using new customer PII data or probabilistic data, which means further increasing accuracy of TA reach in marketing. It’s called audience quality chain effect. Here I take two examples: same-side chain effect & cross-side chain effect to elaborate how GMP can cater this ability.

Same-side chain effect: Campaign Manager (Formerly call Doubleclick campaign manager)

Same-side means audience data are from omni-channels, but you would store them into Google data management platform like campaign manager by using floodlight installed on pages, and activate retargeting and similar audience targeting (Similar audience means using converted data to match more similar potential prospects in Google data base) in display/video/search ads by using Google ads products as well. So audience data chain effect happens within Google walled garden.

search ads 360As you can imagine, those unconverted audience data from Facebook, DSP or Youtube ads etc with deep-dive content engaged performance on your web pages, you could implement a RLSA ads in Search ads 360 across Google, Yahoo, Baidu by offering a personalised messages or product offer to convert those audience who are considering to buy. Then, for any converted audience data, you could similar them in campaign manager and activate display, video or native ads by using these similar data in Display & Video 360 to reach more target audience.

Cross-side chain effect: Google Integration With Salesforce

google adsCross-side means audience data can integrate with the other brand digital platform and synchronising each other on-going as data amount rise up. Due to refund window or customer cancelation after payment, sales number from Google ads are not the final performance, so valid data in CRM after refund window are accurate to refer to. After integration with Salesforce CRM, Google ads report can show these data in metric option rather than only conversion numbers from Google pixel. With customer PII data arising in Salesforce CRM, you could integrate CRM with Salesforce audience studio (Formerly called Krux), which is a DMP product in Salesforce marketing cloud eco-system. The beauty of this platform not only can integrate with Google ads product, but also connect with Facebook, Amazon marketing etc other walled-garden marketing platforms. So you could use PII data and turn into user ID in salesforce audience studio, then integrate with other platforms audience library to lookalike similar target converted audience there, which further enhance your advertising sales performance.

2nd Layer – Smart Bidding Tactics

“Cost efficiency is critical which means to spend same amount but return more”. With rising media cost, investing same amount of dollars might come across less traffic coming into your web, but it’s not an absolute answer because it can be cost efficiency to drive sales and maintain CPA or even lower CPA if bidding strategy implementation is proper.

Take Google search console + Google SEM ads for an example. google search consoleGoogle search console is a webmaster paradise, because its main purpose is to deploy, set up SEO and manage organic traffic performance. You can learn what keywords users are searching when your web pages appear in result (Impression) and what organic keywords have higher CTR (Click-through rate) to visit your web pages. Based on my experience, organic sales from search engine normally take up 30% of online sales on large corporation or even more than 50% on SME business. Furthermore, you can learn insight and demand from search engine users, so you can make a more intelligent decision to prepare content and product strategy. Thus, which keywords we should run in SEM and which keywords can be off from SEM to SEO focus is a smart tactics to optimise CPA and profit margin from a point of business view. I am not saying as long as SEM keywords can be off when those are performing in SEO, because we need to consider another factor which is competitive environment when SEM is stable to appear and protect brand appearance on the market, but in terms of sales objective with good profit margin result, it’s a key approach to leverage and keep search cost as low as possible

The other example I take here is SEM biding A/B testing experiment on the same set of keywords in the same period. Most of the people get a perception that CPA bidding is better in terms of ROI management. I agree on this point of view on budget management, but one point we need to bear in mind is most of digital ads platform allows advertisers to optimise by CPA rather than a real CPA buying model. Advertisers still buy the inventory by CPM or CPC model. Thus, to be safe because business model and competitive environment are varied, I suggest you to run CPC and CPA (OR ROI) bidding testing on the same set of keywords in the same period, for the purpose to compare which bidding approach work better on sales performance, instead of relying on perception. After all, advertising platforms are selling impression inventory which is different with affiliate network earning model.

Last Layer – Personalisation Content

Now you have 1st layer of audience data quality chain effect, and 2nd layer of smart bidding to save dollars, now it’s time to further deliver personalised messages at right time. After all, marketing is all about customer communication and digital marketing further facilitates the process and enhance efficiency. That’s the beauty. Also, users are on Internet, that’s why.

Take Google Product List dynamic retargeting ads for an example. google merchant centerIf you are online store owner, you might be very familiar with Google PLA. This type of ads can directly connect with your online product materials through API, so all your product information, image etc can show in Google search, display and Youtube ads. There’re many reasons why a prospect leaves the products in shopping cart but hasn’t checked out yet. You could leverage email marketing to call them action, but if without any PII data, Google retargeting dynamics ads is powerful at this moment. As mentioned based on audience classification in 1st layer, you could further deliver a personalised product and pricing to this prospect.

The other case is weather-based ads by using Google ads script function. google ads scriptsFor example, when you would consider access to an airport lounge? For lifestyle and show-off in social media to your friends, or flight delay you’re sucking in the airport? If you were a frequent leisure or business flyer, coming across flight delay is very common. So it’s a good time moment to deliver a personalised offer when users are sucking in airport, and searching places to go or are bored in browsing facebook newsfeed due to bad weather.

Google ads automation is a platform you can code and add API in scripts (Like weather information API) to tailor-made ads messages based on real-time data. Google spreadsheet, API source and a script are the three ingredients to build up a SEM, display automation campaign. Here are the links you guys can refer to

Last sample I like to talk here is to implement landing page content A/B testing by using Google optimise. google optimiseAds message is the 1st window to communicate with customers and hook them to click, landing page content and purchase experience are critical moment to drive sales. After all, customers pay because of your company credential, product quality, pricing and experience. However, customer experience sometimes is very difficult to fulfill 100% satisfaction due to personal favourite varied. For example, some customers prefer you highlight pricing more clearly and smart in landing layout. Meanwhile, other type of customers love more on your story and product review instead of pricing. So landing content and layout A/B testing is helpful to increase conversion rate in a process of target customer communication.

How To Boost Sales From Business Perspective

I’m assuming your business is fully adopting Google marketing platforms to manage audience data, facilitate the advertising process. But, please bear in mind digital marketing is a part of business, so on-going resources and time allocation between digital strategy and business strategy are essential, for the purpose to avoid over emphasising and being excited on digital tech but ignore business model and product core value. Customers keep re-purchasing or renewing service because of a business pricing model, product quality, brand reputation and wide partner network application, instead of just your ads appearing on the Internet. Thus, below are I recommend 3 aspects to boosts sales from a business point of view.

1.Monitor Your Target Market And Competitor Activity

Business is not a static environment and is changing all the time. For example, you might have good profit margin on a keyword in SEM advertising last year, however this year other unknown competitors such as new similar brands, marketplaces, affiliate network publishers etc might bid the same keyword but launch new product functions or offers etc to buyers, so sales performance is affected heavily by these factors when your products appear same as usual. It’s none of your fault in terms of existing strategy, but just the environment has changed and affected your sales performance on existing approach.

Or assuming the product you are selling performed No.1 last year, however performance in this year is much worse than last year, because search volume of this product generic keywords dropped due to less demand than before. It’s also none of your fault in terms of existing strategy, but just the market demand is changing.

google trendsgoogle shopping insightgoogle alert

Thus, I would suggest you to leverage some tools like saying Google ads keyword planner, SEMrush, Google trend, Google shopping insight and Google alert etc tool, to learn the market demand trend and competitor activity insight. It’s for the purpose to maintain a business competition and profit margin by re-deploying content, product and pricing strategy and confronting the changes from markets.

2. Review The Pricing Strategy

pricing strategy

In digital world, you can say consumers are either of easy to compare pricing or difficult to compare service or product pricing. For example, when you search a flight ticket fare, there’re Google search engine, Expedia OTA, Google flight meta search, Facebook social media newsfeed etc for you to utilise. Thus, end consumers don’t lack of channels to compare the pricing nowadays. However, with AI capacity evaluating and being mature, dynamic pricing in omni-channel to respectively prospect, new customers and existing customer in loyalty program is very easy to execute. Also with loyalty award program, consumers are difficult to compare indeed whether the pricing is reasonable. So they might more reply on personal experience, user review and brand credential etc.

Digital world facilitates you to deliver dynamic pricing to customers (Here is an article I talk specifically about pricing strategy in digital). So basically you need to review if the pricing strategy now you’re implementing on respectively potential prospects, new customers and customer retention makes sense or not. None of marketers would like to see customers are losing to competitors, due to unknown pricing offer underground.

3. GTM Strategy

go to market

GTM strategy is a key to boost sales from a business perspective, because it implies how to allocate resources and where to focus on.

Take B2B2C business model for an example. As true to its name, this model mainly earn revenue from key account or partners and replies on them to deliver your product service to end consumers rather than you directly sell the product to them. Even you can sell to retail on your web or a store in marketplaces, but you clearly understand its presence and purpose is to set up a retail pricing benchmark for B2B clients and also build up brand awareness to increase brand image asset, so that B2B clients feel it’s worthy to invest.

Because of this strategy, GMP products can facilitate your business to generate leads, deliver latest brand content asset (image and videos) to communicate with end consumers and also enhance the experiences of customers from B or C end.

4. Digital Marketing Campaign Calendar

Single day festival in Alibaba Taobao and Tmall is on the spotlight every November. It’s a golden timing to boost sales and grow new customers and reward existing customers. As a business owner or marketer, you have to plan through a year what campaign would happen to drive sales, what PR activities would have to build brand reputation and content asset etc. Otherwise, please don’t explain why sales drops when every merchant launches discounted during single day festival, and you still are selling original pricing.

Conclusion

Google marketing platform are not 100% perfect and covering all aspect of marketing product features, but its pros features are powerful enough to help you boost sales no matter you are running a big corporation or SME business. Furthermore, the cost efficiency is quiet high because several products are free to access and use, and advertisers just need to share data at an exchange.

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Louis Lu

By Louis Lu

Growth Hacker & Digital Marketer, with a proven record of over 11 years experience in 20+ Asian markets, and 24,000+ connections in Linkedin

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