Top 10 Mistakes Marketers Make in Google’s Display & Video 360

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Here at Adswerve, our team of 200+ media and data experts is proud to deliver data insights that inform our clients’ programs and drive better media results. Take our expert Programmatic Media team, for example, which works with hundreds of clients to determine the right approach and tactical mix for their programmatic media. In addition to strategy, our team also handles campaign trafficking and tagging, audience development, optimization and campaign reporting. In short, every day we dive into programmatic platforms like Google’s Display & Video 360 (DV360) to help our clients make the most of their media. As we worked to prepare brands and agencies for the very busy 2019 holiday season, we started noticing quite a few common mistakes being made regularly by our clients in DV360. We thought we’d outline them here as a way of showcasing what not to do — and also to help you manage your campaigns more effectively. 
  1. Setting and Forgetting Once the campaign is set up and live, the effort doesn't stop. Even if you’re leveraging auto-bidding strategies, without additional checks and balances for targeting adjustments, a campaign can fail to reach its max KPI potential. Technology is great, but it’s still important to check in and make more optimization decisions beyond budget allocations and bid strategies.
  2. Not Taking Advantage of Unique Audience Opportunities + Features DV360 is full of many valuable opportunities, but few are leveraging them within their campaigns. Some that stand out are:
    • Similar audiences, especially now that Google Affinity and In-Market segments are now included
      • Extend the reach of qualified audiences through Google’s Lookalike targeting opportunities. Leverage Google Affinity and In-Market similar audiences if you’re just ramping up in DV360 and don't have large enough first party audience lists from which to create similar audiences.
    • Activity-Based Audiences
      • Create and target new audiences based on interactions from your past DV360 campaigns like clicks, conversions, views and impressions. Audience-level frequency capping is also available as an activity-based audience.
    • SA360 Remarketing Audiences + GA360 Audience Linking
      • Remarket to audiences who have clicked on your Search Ads 360 media to better link campaign strategies and messaging. GA360 allows marketers to also remarket to audiences based on site interactions, user flows and time spent on your website. Both of these platforms help to unify a campaign and drive users down the conversion funnel.
    • Remarketing Recency Suppression
      • Delay the time between a user’s visit to your website and when they are served an ad. Whether there is a consideration phase or delay between purchases, this functionality helps ensure your brand messaging appears right when an audience is ready to re-engage with your brand.
    • Custom Intent and Affinity Audiences
      • Create audiences based on app ownership, websites visited, page keywords and/or interests to hone in on the exact audience you’re looking for. These free audiences help you better target your audience without the need for CPM fees or time spent creating custom audiences with a vendor. Even better, include competitor websites to capitalize on those who already have an interest in your competition.
  3. Keeping Media Siloed in Campaign Manager Instead of Consolidating into DV360 Media consolidation helps with audience frequency management, cost efficiencies and attribution reporting. Don’t keep your media that’s booked directly with websites in Campaign Manager. Instead, run as a Private or Guaranteed deal in DV360. YouTube running in Google Ads can also be implemented in DV360.
  4. Cramped Line Items The key to easy optimizations is clear and concise line items. Applying a combination of audience types, such as remarketing audiences that signify different intents or a combination of third-party data segments and Google In-Market and Affinity segments, can make it tough to understand what’s driving performance or what’s causing campaign issues. Mixing free Google audiences with CPM-based third-party data segments can also muddy waters for cost-based KPIs such as CPC and CPA.
  5. Throwing Many “Conversion” Floodlights on One Line Item Think of the conversion pixel as the ultimate goal of your campaign. Typically these are thank you pages, confirmation pages or store locator pages. If you apply too many, it will be difficult to know which line item, targeting detail or audience is driving the best performance. We recommend that you leverage Google Analytics 360 if you’re utilizing conversion pixels to help paint a picture of onsite traffic from media.
  6. Intense Frequency Caps Frequency caps are a great way to ensure your audience isn’t oversaturated with a brand’s message. The optimal frequency cap can be determined using Campaign Manager reports to see how many impressions it takes before an audience drops off.Prior to understanding the optimal frequency management, we recommend applying a 5x/day frequency cap per Line Item on your campaign. Lifetime frequency caps should never be implemented as an audience can always re-enter your brand’s lifecycle funnel. Similarly, weekly and monthly frequency caps can cause impressions to be unevenly spent if an audience uses to many URLs on the first day and maxes out impressions all at once.
  7. Too Many Audiences, One Line Item Each Line Item has a set amount of budget it can or will spend per day. When many audiences are targeted within one Line Item, they all have to share that budget. This causes audiences to win impressions without making a huge reach impact when the ratio of audiences to budget is in favor of the audiences. Start small with just a few key audiences, pull reports to see what is working and what is not and then remove or add audiences as needed.
  8. Conversion Goals or Floodlight Tracking Without Excluding Converters Exclude converter audiences from prospecting and remarketing campaigns to continually target qualify audiences but not waste dollars on those that have already converted. Apply recency settings on the excluded audience for those that could convert multiple times, i.e. retail. Recency settings can be best determined from Time Lag Reports in Campaign Manager.
  9. Inconsistencies Between Insertion Order and Line Item Settings Insertion order settings, if leveraged, should be settings that apply to all line items within it. Due to how the DV360 campaign hierarchy functions, do not remove any line item settings that were copied from the insertion order as they will not remain in effect from the insertion order (pacing and frequency aside). The most important insertion order setting we’ve seen removed is the geo-targeting!
  10. Too Many Line Items Running Given the Available Budget Make sure you’re doing the math. If your Line Items split the insertion order budget evenly among them, will they at least have $50-$100/day to spend? If not, cut down on the Line Items and focus on what’s most aligned to your audience. You can always pause underperforming Line Items and add in new Line Items to test. Marketers frequently  waste media budgets when there aren’t enough dollars/impressions to make a meaningful presence in the market.
  Have more questions about DV360? We’d be happy to help you learn how to use this platform to plan campaigns, manage creative, apply audience data, negotiate and buy inventory and optimize your campaigns. We can also help you integrate it with other industry tools to easily connect data across products, increase workflow efficiencies and deliver better results. Simply get in touch with us at .