Google Marketing Suite is a unified solution for cross-channel digital marketing. It consists of a helpful toolbox of advertising and an analytical suite of products to help digital marketing campaign managers optimize their online marketing strategy efforts.
The Google Marketing Suite allows you to think smarter and faster with the automation of your mundane day-to-day processes. Instead, spend your time on what matters: strategy. Additionally, it will enable you to hone in on precisely what parts of your marketing strategy is working.
To refine your digital marketing strategy, Google Marketing provides audience insights that connect your data with Google cross-device and intent signals to zero in on your most important audiences. Finally, combined reporting and digital analytics mean you can share ideas across your entire marketing department.
Before we dive into the specifics of Google Marketing, let’s take one step backward and talk at-large about Cross-Channel Marketing.
What’s Cross-Channel Marketing?
We all do it. You check your work email, hop over to Facebook, browse the web, and then voice-command a few things to your phone as you’re walking to lunch.
Today’s consumers are hyper-fragmented in their attention. For example, take a look at this study, which tracked one woman across over 900 digital interactions before she purchased a car. For the record, 71% of her interactions were on her phone. And her journey doesn’t feel particularly far-fetched!
As a marketer, our job is to cut through this noise and seamlessly communicate with our audiences across multiple channels.
That’s cross-channel marketing.
But there’s more!
Cross-channel marketing, if done right, increases engagement, loyalty, and effectiveness. It allows your brand to offer a unified picture of who you are, what you offer, and what you stand for. This consistency is key.
As customers gear up to make a purchase, they come to expect the feel-good sensation of making that purchase. A “buyer’s high,” so to speak. Don’t burst this bubble by offering an experience that feels discombobulated and complicated.
To do that, think about streamlining all of your marketing.
The companies who are leading the pack are bringing together the full labyrinth of paid search, display ads, social engagement, finance, contact forms, and more under one umbrella.
Perfecting Your Customer Journey is What It’s All About.
Let me explain.
What is The Customer Journey?
Think of it as a map. It outlines how you customer became aware of you, interacted with you, and more. It’s the sum of all of their experiences with your brand.
Getting familiar with your customer journey helps you optimize and avoid losing your customer somewhere along their experience.
Where do you start, you ask? Get a pen and paper.
How Do You Optimize For Your Customer Journey?
SurveyMonkey outlines a great example of the customer journey and inserts “pings” at points in which you can optimize the experience for your customer:
“Your potential customer is shopping downtown and sees your storefront and signage (ping). She walks in and sees the layout of your store (ping). Your employee greets her (ping) and offers her help (ping). The employee is also friendly (ping) and knowledgeable (ping) and helps her pick out a smashing pair of shoes (ping) that’s good quality (ping).
Your new customer is assured that if she does change her mind about her purchase, she’s able to return the shoes, no questions asked (ping). And you collect her email address for future promotions (ping). Later in the day, your customer tweets a picture of her new shoes and mentions your store (ping). She even recommends your store on yelp.com (ping), as she’s feeling loyal toward your brand (ping). A couple of weeks later, you send her a promotional email (ping) that offers her a discount (ping) and reminds her of your brand and its core values (ping).”
Sit down and do this with your potential customers. Where are all the touchpoints? Think of the obvious places: social media and your website. But get in the weeds a bit too. Customers service line? Yelp reviews? Note customer actions, motivations, and challenges.
Highlight as you go. When you reach a “ping” that doesn’t feel positive and encouraging for your customer, highlight.
In the end, your areas for improvement should be clear. That’s where you should begin with Google Marketing Suite.
How Can You Use the Google Marketing Suite For Your Business?
Google Marketing Suite gives you powerful solutions together in one platform.
To help you streamline, the Google Marketing Suite merged its Google Analytics 360 products and DoubleClick this past June to now contain the following components:
- Analytics 360
- Optimize 360
- Display & Video 360
- Search Ads 360
- Data Studio
- Tag Manager
Let’s talk about what each element offers your business:
Start with who. Google’s recent survey showed this was the marketer’s number one wish. Until you know your audience, like you know your inner circle of friends, you’ll never master the right way to talk to them.
Analytics 360 gives you detailed customer behavior and segmentation so you can deep dive into what your web and app audiences are engaging with. Weed out the noise that’s ineffective.
From there, machine learning helps you understand where your most potent strategy lies—and connect that to your results. In the end, this user-friendly interface provides shareable reports so you can collaborate efficiently among your team.
Like most elements of Google Marketing Suite, Optimize talks to the other platforms. Therefore, it leans heavily on your Analytics data to give you powerful opportunities to customize your website.
Like most things, one size rarely fits all. Tailor your website experience to different categories of visitors.
With Optimize, you’re able to run A/B, multivariate, and redirect tests to optimize your website and create custom landing pages from your Google Ads.
Display & Video 360
Put your digital media mix under one umbrella. Here, Google has combined five modules: Campaigns, Audiences, Creatives, Inventory, and Insights. Align each of these elements for a better internal collaboration and customer ad experience.
Display & Video allows you to manage all your spending in one place—including reserved and open auction buys. It also manages automated bidding and inventory recommendations.
By tying all of this together, you’ll reach more unique customers with less effort than a piecemeal approach.
Search Ads 360
Ah, search campaigns. Marketers feel the pain of this fast-moving world.
Search Ads allows you to respond and pivot quickly with up-to-the-minute data and bid automation. See the effect of your search ads across every channel and understand that all-important customer journey we talked about earlier.
Let’s be real. Analytics is tough. Marketers often skip the critical step of digging into the numbers because it’s cumbersome, tedious, and confusing.
Not with Data Studio. This element will allow you to form informational, easy-to-understand reports in no time.
Pull data from Google Analytics or even a Google Sheet—meaning your Facebook data, if put into a Google Sheet—is now admissible!
Change fonts and add your logo to brand these customizable reports to look like yours.
YouTube has a solid video for getting your footing here.
Let’s face it. Market research is timely. And costly.
Surveys allow you to evaluate customer behavior and predict market trends in as little as three days.
Create custom surveys and hear from real users as they browse the internet—answering your survey to unlock coveted content. Your audience lists in Analytics, Search Ads 360, Google Ads, and YouTube are all available for surveying.
Editing code is intimidating for newbies and tedious for the experienced. Google Tag Manager lets you skip that task altogether.
Add and update tags to efficiently understand your site analytics. Don’t fret about erroneous tags as the platform also offers error checking, security features, and quick tag loading.
Then, jump into Google Marketing Suite—a la carte options are available if you’d like to tackle one or two aspects at a time. With your prep work behind you, you’re now able to reap the benefits of a collaborative suite of marketing tools.
Pricing of most 360 products is volume-based, and much of it can be utilized for free. For example, as long as you do not exceed 5 million impressions per month, Google Analytics is free. Good news for most small businesses!
There’s a lot to navigate for a marketer these days—a litany of channels to pay attention to and many customer demands including privacy, transparency, and control. Let Google’s Marketing Suite take this on with you.