Bringing Clarity to Google’s Advertising Products: What is Google Ads, Google Ad Manager, and Google Marketing Platform?
In the middle of 2018, Google made some significant changes to the structure and nomenclature of its disjointed advertising products. While more than a decade of acquisitions led to this consolidation, it didn’t solve all of the confusion. Google AdWords becoming Google Ads was a simple change, but the introduction of Google Ad Manager and Google Marketing Platform resulted in a lot of client confusion.
So what’s the difference between Google Ads, Google Ad Manager, and Google Marketing Platform?
Google Ads went through the smallest of changes — a simple rebranding from Google AdWords — and continues to be the easiest gateway to advertising across Google properties. Google AdWords was originally founded on paid search, but over the years it expanded to display, video, maps, and apps — which makes Google Ads a much better name for all the platform offers.
Google Ad Manager brought the welcomed consolidation of DoubleClick Ad Exchange and DoubleClick for Publishers. Google Ad Manager allows publishers to manage everything from the sales process to serving ads on their digital properties, ideally for large content publishers. Google AdSense remains unchanged and is the monetization platform of choice for the majority of small-to-medium publishers.
Google Marketing Platform went through the biggest consolidation by bringing together Google’s highest-tier advertising platforms and their paid Google Analytics 360 suite, which went through its own rebrand a couple of years back from Google Analytics Premium. Google Marketing Platform is the overarching brand for Google’s 360-branded products: Google Analytics 360, Search Ads 360, and Display & Video 360.
What does all of this mean?
In short, unless your organization has an 8-figure marketing budget or you’re a publisher with millions of visitors, you’re all set with Google Ads and Google AdSense. But hey, if you do have an 8-figure budget and are looking for a partner to help you navigate these waters, you know who to call.