Stepping up from Google Ads: why marketers needn’t fear DV360

If your enterprise is looking for more oomph for its ads, Google has brought its DoubleClick and AnalyticsSuite together under one brand.

Switching to Display & Video 360 might involve a sizeable initial investment, but it could pay dividends say Nadia Ozeri, Director of Buy-Side, Total Media Solutions

Advertisers often ask what the difference is between Google’s two demand-side platform (DSP) offerings, DV360 and Google Ads, and which one they should choose. With Google Ads so widely available, its strengths have been well discussed, but many are still in the dark over what DV360 has to offer. 

Google positions DV360 as a platform ‘for enterprises’. It offers an impressive arsenal for those who are working with large budgets or looking to scale, but what can it actually do that would make it the right choice of DSP for you? 

Widening the net

Firstly, it’s worth considering the reach of DV360. Google Chrome makes up just under 70 percent of the internet browser market share globally, while Gmail has more than 1.5billion active users, and YouTube has over 2billion logged-in active users each month. Google Ads allows advertisers to run search and display campaigns across Google’s own ad network, Google Display Network (GDN), including its products such as YouTube and Gmail. This allows Google Ads users to reach around 48 percent of internet users. However, DV360 dramatically widens that net, allowing advertisers to reach 90 percent of the internet, as well as opening up around 90 ad exchanges such as AppNexus and OpenX.

Digging down

Not only can DV360 reach more potential users, but it also allows for segmentation on a more granular level. In Google Ads, marketers are able only to target via their first-party data or Google’s audience information. DV360 allows for the combination of both these data types, creating a more accurate audience profile, as well as access to Google’s own data segments, such as affinity groups, in-market audiences, and custom intent data. To complement all of this, advertisers can leverage third-party data to better find their target audience. This abundance of data can then be used to precisely target audience segments, by region, operating system or even browser.

Placement of advertising alongside contextually relevant content is shown to greatly improve response, with 69 percent of consumers more likely to engage with contextually relevant ads. By enabling contextual keyword targeting, DV360 enables brands to not only maximise the effectiveness of their ads, but also ensure their brand suitability.

Purchasing power

While it offers the same manual bidding process as Google Ads, DV360 massively expands bidding and purchasing capabilities with two unique methods that harness the power of algorithms and machine learning – outcome-based bidding and custom bidding:

  • Outcome-based bidding allows advertisers to purchase ad slots based on the metrics that truly matter to them. For those looking to drive performance while keeping a close watch on their budget, it can be a powerful tool. This automated strategy is able to examine over 40 factors to optimise bids – marketers can choose to optimise their buying by either performance or brand impacts. Objectives can be set on a number of factors – whether clicks, impressions, increasing ROI or giving clearer metrics – and then combined by the algorithm with past data. When maximising performance, DV360 will automatically purchase to gain maximum clicks and conversions while prioritising spending the full budget or a target cost per click or cost per action. If maximising for brand impact, however, DV360 can optimise for viewable cost per thousand impressions bids or maximise quality video impressions.
  • Custom bidding is a relatively recent, but incredibly powerful, addition to the DV360 arsenal. Users are able to write a custom Python script that defines how much an impression is worth based on specific criteria. The machine learning built into DV360’s platform then combines with a brand’s own insights to evaluate impressions, creating a custom algorithm to allow for multi-layered bids. Attribution models can be built into the custom bidding, allowing for budgets to be adjusted accordingly.

New frontiers

The power of video in advertising is no secret. Consumption of video has massively increased over the last year  – 82 percent of all consumer traffic is expected to come from online videos by 2022. With nearly two-thirds of customers saying they’d prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service, video is an increasingly powerful way to engage customers.  

The expanded inventory of DV360, when compared to Google Ads, benefits advertisers in numerous ways, but the access it gives to video is unparalleled. While Google Ad users are able to access ad space within YouTube, DV360 offers more than 35 video exchanges and premium video spots across the web. DV360 also allows for the expansion into CTV – the fastest-growing video advertising platform, OTT and television buys via programmatic.

Native ads are increasingly effective as a way to build brand awareness –  users are twice as likely to click-through them than a banner ad, making having access to them in more areas of the web a powerful tool in a marketer’s toolbox. Whilst Google Ads offers text, images, rich media and video ads, native ads are currently only available in Gmail. DV360 expands this further, allowing access to programmatic native ads in three formats: content ads, app install ads and video ads. 

There is no question that Google Ads is still a powerful tool. For brands starting their advertising journey or smaller brands serving customers in their niche, it is indispensable. But for marketers looking to scale their advertising, DV360 provides them with power to do so. That is not to say Google Ads should be discarded completely by those marketers; in fact, DV360 is most useful when used alongside it. For example, Google Ads’ ability to generate leads and demand perfectly compliments DV360s ability to collect those requests and turn them into sales. 

Though the initial cost of DV360 is high, its ability to better analyse audiences, buy ad slots using machine learning and reach customers in a range of environments can make the investment more than worthwhile.


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