Contact us
How to use GA360/DBM integration

How to use GA360/DBM integration to supercharge your remarketing campaigns5 min read

5 min read

Co-written by Ellie Ball and Felicity Cusack

Croud recently attended a DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) and Google Analytics 360 (GA360) Integration Workshop at Google’s offices. With this being the first workshop that DoubleClick have run, it was, as anticipated, in high demand and heavily over-subscribed.

The session was designed to teach us the power of using DBM in conjunction with GA360, and safe to say it didn’t disappoint. Here’s a look at the key lessons from the session.

Poor data = lost revenue

To put into perspective the sheer quantity of data at one’s fingertips just by using Google Analytics, we know that around 20-30% of revenue is lost due to poor data. This lost revenue can be influenced by a number of factors, including poor audience set-up or audience stagnation caused by neglecting to keep strategies up-to-date and fresh.

Supercharge your ads

There are around 2.4m Google searches every minute, which translates to around 500bn recorded data points on GA properties every day. We rely on these signals to help us paint a picture of who, where and what the user wants.

Harnessing these signals can give the advertiser the power to supercharge their ads and to deliver a seamless and relevant retargeting campaign, as well as build relevant seed audiences to model lookalikes for new customer acquisition.

Floodlight audiences that are run through DBM will only get you so far in remarketing. However, by familiarising yourself with some of the great possibilities that are now available to you with a GA360/DBM integration, we are excited to share with you our newly acquired knowledge on how to make a remarketing campaign more intuitive, more relevant and more lucrative.

How to make your remarketing campaign more intuitive

First things first, you’ll need to link DBM to your GA360 property to allow you to combine earned (programmatic) and owned (site metrics) data.

One of the main benefits of linking DBM and GA360 is that the integration will allow DBM to pass back to GA360 any campaign data based on the GA360 audiences. You’ll now be able to see impression, click and spend data from DBM at an advertiser/insertion order level within GA360 and a virtuous cycle of data-sharing begins.

 DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) and Google Analytics 360 (GA360)

With over 250 possible dimensions to choose from when building a new audience, the best starting point would be to define your client’s business goal and shape your audience rules around that.

Quick wins

There are a few quick wins that you can get set up before you really start to get stuck into granular audience setup.

  • Smart Lists: This option allows GA360 to create lists of users who are most likely to convert. Analytics will apply machine learning of a user’s likelihood to convert and group these users into a list targetable within DBM.
  • All Users Lists: Best used for lookalike modelling. This takes a core list from GA360 and then can be used with the Similar Users feature in DBM.
  • New users and Returning users: New users comprises those who have only conducted a single session on your site. Returning users will target those who have previously interacted with your site or app.
  • Completed a Goal or Transaction. An easy way to bucket users who have transacted for either positive or negative targeting in DBM.


Beyond the quick wins, using behavioural attributes gathered in GA360 can really give your lists an edge over Floodlight audiences.

We’ve listed out a few behavioural strategies below:

  • Bounce Rate: An oldie but a goodie. Bucketing bouncers shouldn’t be overlooked as it’s a great way to re-engage site leavers.
  • Viewed a Specific Page: This could combine visits to a URL with time spent on site.
  • Cart Abandonment: For example the audience definition could include an attribute of Event action “addtocart” but transactions = 0. Get more creative with cart abandoners for specific products.
  • Converting Browsers: Great for using as a seed audience on which to model lookalikes.
  • Exclusion Lists: Any audience can be used as an exclusion, and every remarketing campaign should have them! Equally, your gathered users in GA360 audiences could/should be used as exclusions from any prospecting activity.
  • Upselling Contracts: Do you have a client whose transactions are contract or subscription based? You can build remarketing lists of users near the end of their contract or subscription ready to retarget when they’re back in-market.

If you’re not convinced that the behavioural attribute audiences will have much of an impact, then a great new feature can help with that.

Session Quality score is now available within the Behaviour area in GA360. It applies similar machine learning to Smart Lists and estimates a user’s proximity to conversion expressed as score from 1-100 within your set date range.

CRM data

Quick wins and behavioural strategies are essential to build your audiences, and once these have been achieved you can start getting creative with CRM.

Achieve post-sales from your loyal or happy customers; have they returned and are adding to their basket but need the final push?

Use your CRM data to also turn a one-off purchaser into a loyal purchaser and pinpoint their relationship with your brand. CRM will require some hard work, but is an incredibly powerful tactic in the long term to identifying your existing customers to re-engage with and upsell.

Our top tips

To conclude, we’ll leave you with some (Google sanctioned) top tips for DBM and GA360 audience integration.

  • Experiment with different combinations of dimensions
  • Test and iterate on performing audiences
  • Start with Smart Lists
  • Try not to be too granular; balance reach and relevance
  • Utilise quick wins in GA360 to make the most of audience building with minimal effort
  • Be creative with audiences

Now that you have fancy new audiences to experiment with and report on, try using the new Solutions Gallery feature in GA360 to extract insightful information about your campaigns. The Solutions Gallery is essentially a database of templated reports previously built by other GA360 users. All actual data is of course removed, as is any identifiable information, so that all you’re left with is a neat template which might just be exactly what you were looking for.