1. Arcalea Knowledge Base
  2. Marketing & Advertising Approach

What is Google Marketing Platform and SA 360?

GMP combines capabilities for Search, Display and Video in a single platform with unique advantages

Google Marketing Platform (GMP) & SA 360

When the Google Marketing Platform (GMP) was launched in 2018, it unified a collection of Google’s ad and analytics services that work synergistically to provide an integrated end-to-end digital marketing solution. Search Ads 360 and Display & Video 360 are sophisticated and extensive tools for managing the digital ad campaigns across various channels; Google Analytics 360 uncovers insights to drive performance; Data Studio combines and slices data into custom visualizations to highlight and communicate results and insights; and Campaign Manager 360 delivers a complete view of all digital media campaigns. 

Search Ads 360 (SA360), the primary tool for search advertisers, is known for its centralized multi-platform management, advanced machine learning bidding strategies, and sophisticated tracking and attribution methodologies. However, the strength of the platform lies in the efficient administration of expansive coverage: from one UI, SA360 facilitates the management of all aspects of an advertiser across applicable platforms, campaigns, ads, and keywords, all powered by complex ML-driven analytics and decisioning.  

The result is the ability to control, optimize, and maximize returns on a vast set of variables and signals with fewer personnel.  Moreover, SA360 ensures that marketers can focus on strategic planning while the platform continuously optimizes globally based on brand goals. SA360 functions as an accelerator, speeding configuration, management, optimization, and, consequently, maximized returns.

Multi-platform Management 

Without SA360, marketers must manage each search engine’s ad initiatives separately, requiring resource hours as well as tedious and redundant local configurations for advertising components in each platform.  SA360 enables cross-platform optimization from one UI, providing the ability to set parameters across all targeted platforms: Google Ads, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Bidding Strategies

One of the key advancements of Google Ads was the introduction of ML-driven Smart Bidding.  SA360, however, employs a more powerful and sophisticated strategic bidding and optimization methodology.  Instead of manually setting bidding strategies for thousands of keywords across campaigns and platforms, SA360 can manage ML-driven bidding based on KPIs and goals set by the marketer. In addition to the overall bidding strategies driving keywords or campaigns, SA360 can also use auction-time bidding to assess contextual signals in real-time, optimizing for specific conversion probabilities during an auction. SA360 out-performs single ad platforms using combinations of powerful bidding algorithms, while requiring far less input and ongoing turning from the marketer.

Tracking Engine and Analytics

SA360 uses Floodlight for universal tracking, supplying the data for multi-layered attribution modeling, measurement, and reporting across channels. Because of the universal tagging, data-driven attribution is capable of building accurate attribution models based on actual clicks across channels, including social media, paid, and organic traffic. The ability to view multiple attribution models and automatically aggregate disparate channel data facilitates bid and budget allocation to gain the highest returns based on actual customer activity.  


Because SA360’s Floodlight tracking system runs concurrently with all targeted platforms, marketers have a consistent tagging toolset powering reporting and analytics.  As a result, the extensively configurable reporting engine enables consistent analysis of ads and keywords across platforms.  Without this universal tracking system, analysts would need to pull separate data structures from each, manually prepare the data with deduplication and transformation processes before analyzing.  SA360’s reporting engine provides unified reporting across multiple ad accounts, automated custom reporting, real-time executive reporting, and smart filtering of segments and dimensions to drill into trends not visible with Google Ads,


SA360 is an advanced platform that excels in multiple areas: centralized control of diverse platforms’ configuration and management, accessible ML-driven strategic bidding, unified tracking driving attribution and reporting. Altogether, SA360 delivers a centralized set of functionalities all aimed at driving operational efficiencies with measurable return across platforms from configuration to optimization and meaningful and rich reporting of results.