Google Ads Data Hub: Next Consumer Data Privacy Generation

July 13, 2020

Customer data privacy has become a top ad tech industry concern in 2020. Consumers care about transparency into how their data is used. The government supports consumers by releasing privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA. Companies like Apple and Google follow government initiatives by making changes in browser cookie policy restrictions.

Advertisers and brands use cookies to track users’ behavior across domains for ad targeting and content personalization. They also measure cross-channel attribution and set up frequency capping based on third-party data. A third-party cookie is a core data piece in the programmatic advertising landscape, and it’s blocking will significantly affect the whole industry. 

Advertisers and brands need to find alternative data collection methods to accurately track cross-device performance while protecting user privacy. One of the most efficient solutions is to make first-party data assets the center of your data strategy. 

Why is first-party data the most reliable? First-party data includes your own user behavioral data collected by your preferred analytics tool. This data is more accurate and transparent since the web or app property owner controls the way it’s collected and stored. 

Considering that all ad interactions happen outside the web or app advertiser’s property, analytics platforms don’t allow marketers to measure media efficiency. For this purpose, Google has released a unique technology where advertisers can store their online advertising data on the user level and connect it with Google ad platforms’ data for more advanced analytics. The solution is called Google Ads Data Hub (ADH).

What is Ads Data Hub?

Google Ads Data Hub is a secure, privacy-safe data warehouse where advertisers can access their impression-level media data from Google ad platforms like Display & Video 360 (DV 360)Search Ads 360 (SA360), or Google Ads. Advertisers can connect this data with Google’s data for customized analysis per their unique business objectives while maintaining data security standards.

Marketers can also combine their CRM data with advertising data to unlock in-depth insights into their audiences and cross-channel customer journey. These data-driven insights will enable marketers to measure the efficiency of their media buys, ensure their marketing efforts drive the desired outcome, and optimize their strategy to achieve better performance. 

Why Ads Data Hub is a unique solution?

Ads Data Hub is Google’s version of the Data Clean Room. Data Clean Room is a privacy-safe mutual environment where data from different sources can be connected to a common identifier and exported as aggregated insights without accessing raw data from each source.

Advertisers can merge user-level data (i.e., customer information), CRM data, or any other first-party data with Google’s own data set in ADH, including event and user-level data from various ad platforms for advanced data analytics. These data-driven insights will help marketers learn more about their customers, build audience lists to empower their ad campaigns, and ultimately improve their marketing strategy to achieve higher ROI, faster.

Ads Data Hub has additional aspects that make the tool unique:

How does Google Ads Data Hub ensure end-user privacy?

In the past, advertisers leveraged Google Data Transfer by uploading raw log performance data, including user IDs from Google’s ad server Campaign Manager (CM), to BigQuery. Since the release of GDPR and CCPA, downloading user data became prohibited because all user engagements happen on the publisher’s side, not the advertiser’s.

Aiming to achieve transparency when measuring the media efficiency and following all privacy requirements, Google made its cross-device user IDs available in Ads Data Hub. Google user ID’s data comes from users who logged into their Google accounts such as YouTube, Gmail, or Google Maps. It also can connect ad exposure and conversions data across devices and assign multiple IDs to the same person. This way, advertisers can better understand their audiences, reveal the best-performed channels, and reinvest their marketing budget to drive more conversions.

Campaign data collected in Ads Data Hub can not be exported, but only stored within Google’s system. Advertisers have access to a robust set of Google’s data for advanced analytics, including search results data, event-level data, and YouTube data.

How does the Ads Data Hub work?

Ads Data Hub is an SQL (Structured Query Language) based environment that is a part of Google cloud’s data warehouse solution, BigQuery. Ads Data Hub lives in two separate projects: a Google-owned BigQuery project and a customer-owned BigQuery project. The projects can interact only within the ADH data clean room environment.

Marketers can access Data Transfer logs in Ads Data Hub from campaigns that they run in DV360 and track in Campaign Manager. Also, marketers can have access to auction event logs from campaigns they run through Google Ads and event logs from YouTube Reserve campaigns.

For example, if you run campaigns in Display & Video 360, you can measure campaign performance in ADH at the impression level. By combining views from Campaign Manager, online purchases, and sessions from Google Analytics 360 with orders from your CRM in one SQL query, marketers can evaluate their media efficiency and optimize their strategy accordingly to achieve business goals faster.

Is Google Ads Data Hub the right solution for your business?

Marketers need to ensure they have a strong in-house data science team or consulting partner to leverage ADH since it requires data analysis and data science skills.

With Ads Data Hub, marketers can deal with advanced data analytics use cases that require sufficient data volume, and hence larger campaign budgets that are run through DV360, Google Ads, or YouTube.

ADH is a supplemental reporting tool available in the GMP user interface and does not operate as a substitution. So, Ads Data Hub is the right solution for companies with experience in GMP reporting and need to access raw log-level data to get more from their advanced analytics efforts.

Bottom Line

When customer data privacy became a leading industry concern, brands saw the importance of technologies that track cross-device advertising performance while protecting user privacy.

Ads Data Hub is a single solution for marketers to tap into cookie-level data and access cross-device event data from Youtube and Google Ads in a privacy-first environment. Matching this data with the advertisers’ first-party data provides marketers with advanced custom analysis to extract actionable insights while protecting user privacy.

Ads Data Hub’s unique capabilities allow advertisers to store post-campaign impression-level data and merge this data with customer and Google’s ad platform data. Advertisers can get an in-depth understanding of their audiences and build specific segmented lists to inform their campaigns. 

Furthermore, connecting different data sources in a single place empowers marketers to build a cross-channel customer journey that measures media efficiency and optimizes marketing strategy to drive better business results.

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