Google recently announced a new cloud advertising analytics platform, Ads Data Hub, to give eCommerce merchants and other advertisers insight into the performance of advertising campaigns, with a particular focus on mobile. In recent years, brands have become increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of advertising data available from mobile campaigns, and Ads Data Hub hopes to give them a powerful tool for aggregating and analyzing advertising data from multiple sources including, but not limited to, the Google Display Network and DoubleClick.
Ads Data Hub is intended to help eCommerce advertisers to assess the value of advertising strategies and focus budgets where they’ll be most effective. Using a combination of big data analytics techniques and Google’s extensive cloud analytics infrastructure, Ads Data Hub allows retailers to collate large amounts of data from multiple channels to give advertisers insight into customer journeys in a way that has been difficult to achieve as mobile evolved to become the dominant computing and communication platform.
In the early days of eCommerce advertising, it was relatively straightforward to track the effectiveness of advertising. Most people used only one desktop machine, and tracking users from first contact with an advert to conversion didn’t present much of technical headache. On today’s mobile-centric multi-device web, it’s more difficult to establish the value of advertising campaigns and to target advertising effectively.
The lack of good data and a way to combine data from a fragmented mobile landscape discourages brands that expect to see a clear return on their advertising dollars. That’s bad news for Google: the vast majority of Google’s profits come from advertising.
Ads Data Hub is based on Google’s BigQuery platform, an industry-leading cloud big data analytics service that is capable of analyzing very large datasets very quickly. Advertisers will be able to pull together all their advertising data, including cross-device activity data and customer data from other sources, such as demographic data and search data. With the ability to collate all relevant data on a single platform, advertisers can build a complete picture of user journeys. The insights provided by Ads Data Hub can then be used to plan advertising campaigns and place advertising where it will generate the best return.
Measuring the effectiveness of mobile advertising is particularly problematic for eCommerce retailers. A common source of problems is the mismatch between advertising data and sales data, which rightly makes brands suspicious that advertising data isn’t as reliable as it might be and decreases confidence in the advertising data provided by Google’s existing tools, including Google Analytics. Without good data, advertisers have no clear idea of whether their marketing budgets are being spent effectively or where advertising should be targeted for an optimal return.
In theory, at least, Ads Data Hub will help eCommerce retailers to tie together all the relevant sources of data and gain a more complete picture of their customers’ journey to conversion. Ads Data Hub is currently in limited beta.