A refresher on Google’s new advertising brands: What it means for your business

Questions asked by Olga Zograf / January 2019

Earlier this year, Google rebranded its advertising products under three simple to understand groups: Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager. In case you missed the news first time round, Carolyn Scott, Google's Head of Platforms and Publisher Marketing EMEA, offers a quick refresher.

Why did Google decide to do a rebrand?

Carolyn: We're always thinking about what's next for our products and ways that we can make them simpler and more useful for our customers.

When Google launched its first advertising product eighteen years ago, the goal was to help people and businesses connect online. That fundamental purpose remains the same, but over time, almost everything else about digital has changed. Mobile is now a huge part of our lives, giving consumers unprecedented choice over channels, screens and formats. And as people’s behaviour has changed, advertising has had to change with it.

One of the most significant of those changes has been a massive increase in advertising products and formats, with the result that it hasn’t always been a simple task for advertisers to decide how best to achieve their campaign goals. The rebrand simplifies our product portfolio to reflect the reality of advertising today, bringing us much closer to our customers’ needs.

We spent a lot of time collecting feedback and reflecting on the needs of our customers. After many months of research, studying and planning, we decided to introduce simpler brand names, which would better resonate and reflect today’s advertising capabilities:

  • Google Ads has replaced Google AdWords
  • Google Marketing Platform combined DoubleClick Digital Marketing and Google Analytics 360 Suite
  • Google Ad Manager combined DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange

What does this mean for advertisers?

The new Google Ads brand name is more reflective of the full range of options advertisers might want to utilise, clearly signalling that we offer more than search, with display, video and mobile ads products across Google properties, YouTube and our partner sites and apps.

Google Marketing Platform offers a full set of tools that marketers can use both for ads and analytical deep-dives. It builds on the previous integration between Google Analytics 360 Suite and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, and helps advertisers plan, buy, measure and optimise digital media and customer experiences all in one place.

Finally, Doubleclick for Publishers and Doubleclick Ad Exchange have evolved into Google Ad Manager, a complete, unified platform for programmatic. With people accessing content on multiple screens, and with advertisers’ growing demand for programmatic access, publishers can manage their businesses more simply and efficiently, and monetise the full range of their inventory within a single interface.

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What are the key takeaways from the rebrand?

Even though the rebrand happened several months ago, it often takes time for new branding to settle and replace the old names in customers’ minds. Google AdWords, with its long history and extensive customer base, created a certain image around it, but within two months of the rebrand we could see that the majority were using ‘Google Ads’ instead of ‘Google AdWords’ when searching (per Google trends).

Other important lessons are well described in this article, which I’d summarise as follows:

  1. It’s important to listen to your customers. Insights from our customers were the source of the rebrand in a sense - telling us which tools they needed and how they wanted to use them to better respond to changing consumer behaviour.
  2. Cross-functional collaboration was key to executing the rebrand. Simplifying and unifying our offerings involved more than 20 teams and hundreds of employees from every part of Google — including engineering, product, design, sales, payments, and more.
  3. Local adoption was very important; we needed to understand how each market would respond to the rebranding, and adjust our approach accordingly.

The relaunch took place earlier this summer, introducing Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager.

Consumer behaviour is always evolving, creating a constantly shifting target. By stripping away as much complexity as possible from our own products, marketers across the region have been able to focus on what they do best – connecting customers with relevant, timely ads.

As consumer decision-making gets more complex, automation helps to simplify