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Digital marketing is a fast-paced world. To stay on top, we need the best tools. One such tool is Google's Display & Video 360, also known as DV360.

But what exactly is DV360, and how can it help you in your marketing efforts? Let's dive in.

What is DV360?

Display & Video 360 (DV360) is a unified marketing tool where you can buy digital ad placements automatically and in real-time, and manage your campaigns across display, video, TV, audio, and other channels in one place.

Launched in 2018 as part of the Google Marketing Platform, DV360 has since become an essential tool for marketers due to its advanced features and integrations with other Google products. 

On this platform, you can:

  • Manage all your digital advertising campaigns in one place
  • Collaborate effectively across creative, data, and media teams 
  • Ensure your ads reach the right audience at the right time 
  • See exactly how much you’re spending and how your budget is distributed
  • Automate tasks like bidding and optimization 
  • Get insights and recommendations to optimize your ad ROI
DV360 as one of the parts of Google Marketing Platform suite, along with Analytics 360, Search ads, Data studio, and more – Adriel

What is DV360 vs Google Ads?

While both DV360 and Google Ads are great for digital ads and can be integrated with other Google products, they are used for different things. Here are some key differences between DV360 and Google Ads:

Google Ads

Ideal for: Businesses looking to drive traffic and conversions quickly, especially on a smaller scale.

Key Features: Search, display, and shopping ads.

Scale: Smaller scale.

Type: Pay-per-click advertising platform.


Ideal for: Businesses that need a more comprehensive and strategic approach to their advertising campaigns.

Key Features: Large-scale, programmatic ad buying across various channels and formats, including display, video, mobile, and more.

Scale: Larger scale.

Type: Demand Side Platform (DSP).

Is DV360 a DSP? 

Yes, DV360 is a Demand-Side Platform (DSP). A DSP is a type of software used by advertisers to buy digital advertisements. 

Here’s what it means and how it works on the backend: 

  1. In the programmatic advertising ecosystem, an advertiser uses DV360 to bid for ad placements. This process is automated and happens in real-time, which means the advertiser can buy ads on an impression-by-impression basis.
  1. The bid from DV360 is sent to a Supply-Side Platform (SSP). An SSP is a software used by publishers (websites, apps, etc.) to sell their ad spaces.
  1. The SSP then sells the ad placements to the highest bidder, in this case, DV360.
  1. The publisher then displays the ads on their platform (website, app, etc.).
  1. Finally, the user (the person using the app or website) views or interacts with these ads

So, in simple terms, DV360 helps advertisers to buy ad spaces from publishers in an automated and efficient manner.

Flowchart showing the role of DV360 as a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) – Adriel

How does DV360 work?

DV360 works by automating the process of buying and managing digital ads. Here’s what it means and how it works on the frontend:

  1. You set up campaigns, define your target audience, choose your ad formats, and set your bidding strategy. 
  1. DV360 then uses real-time automated bidding to purchase ad placements that match your criteria. 
  1. You can monitor your campaign's performance in real-time and make adjustments as needed. 

What are the key features and benefits of DV360?

DV360 has many unique features and benefits that make it a tool of choice for digital marketers. These include:

  • Unified Platform: DV360 is a one-stop platform for planning, buying, measuring, and optimizing digital media campaigns, making the ad management process a breeze.
  • Inventory Access: With DV360, you get a broad range of inventory across media types like display, video, TV, and audio. This includes both Google's properties and other publishers' sites via exchanges.
  • Advanced Targeting: DV360 has advanced targeting capabilities, including demographic, geographic, behavioral, and contextual, so that advertisers can reach their target audience more accurately.
  • Integration with Google Products: DV360 integrates well with other Google products like Google Analytics, Google Ads, and YouTube, creating a more smoother advertising experience.
  • Programmatic Buying: DV360 has the features of real-time bidding and programmatic buying, which means advertisers can buy ad placements on an impression-by-impression basis. This means they can target specific audiences and pay only for the ads that reach their intended audience.
  • Audience Management: You can build, manage, and analyze a wide range of audiences with DV360. You can use first-party data, third-party data, or Google’s unique audience data to reach the right people with the right message.
  • Measurement and Attribution: DV360 syncs with Google Analytics, Google Attribution, and other measurement tools. So, you can easily measure a campaign's impacts and get a clear picture of the customer journey across various channels and devices.
  • Advanced Bidding and Optimization: DV360 uses machine learning to optimize bidding and improve campaign performance. You can also set custom bidding strategies based on your specific goals.
  • Brand Safety and Fraud Protection: DV36 uses advanced technology to detect and prevent ad fraud.
Infographic showing key features and benefits of DV360 – Adriel

How do you create a campaign on DV360?

To create a campaign on DV360, you need to follow the below steps:

  1. Navigate to the "Campaigns" module and click "New Campaign."
  2. Fill in the details, such as campaign name, start and end dates, and default targeting settings.
  3. Create an insertion order within the campaign.
  4. Within the insertion order, create line items and assign creatives to them.
  5. Once everything is set up, activate your campaign.

What should you include in a DV360 dashboard?

A DV360 dashboard should have a detailed overview of your campaign performance and key metrics. Here are some key elements to include:

  • Campaign Overview: This section should provide a high-level summary of your campaigns, including the number of active campaigns, total spend, and overall performance.
  • Performance Over Time: Include a graph or chart that shows how your campaigns are performing over time. This could be a line graph showing daily or weekly performance, or a bar chart comparing performance across different months or quarters.
  • Audience Insights: Provide data on the audiences you're reaching with your campaigns, such as demographic information, geographic distribution, and audience interests or behaviors.
  • Creative Performance: Show which creatives are performing best in terms of clicks, conversions, and other metrics. This can help you understand what types of creative elements are resonating with your audience.
  • Inventory Insights: Provide information on where your ads are being shown, such as the top-performing websites, apps, or video content.
  • Optimization Opportunities: Highlight areas where your campaigns could be improved, such as underperforming creatives, high-cost placements, or low-conversion audiences.
  • Integration with Other Google Products: If you're using other Google products like Google Analytics or Google Ads, consider integrating data from these platforms into your DV360 dashboard for a more detailed view of your marketing efforts.

Create a stunning DV360 dashboard in minutes

DV360 helps you run end-to-end automated digital marketing campaigns across multiple platforms. 

However, if you want a complete marketing command center where you can not only visualize and monitor DV360 data, but also your data from all other marketing channels, then Adriel is a better choice.

On Adriel, you can connect to 650+ channels in a few minutes, and monitor cross-channel performance on one dashboard. It’s 100% code-free and super easy to use. 

Save hundreds of hours on reporting and supercharge ROI with these powerful features of Adriel BI:

  • Interactive dashboard: No need to mess around with SQL and codes to design your dashboard. Just drag and drop widgets and whitelabel both your dashboard and reports.
  • Real-time alerts: Get notified immediately when KPIs trend up or down and make data-driven decisions–fast.
  • Goal pacing widget: Marketing agencies can’t live without this. They use it mainly for budget pacing. 
  • Creative Intelligence Suite: See exactly which ad creatives, keywords, and emojis drive conversions on all your marketing channels. 
  • Datastream: Connect, harmonize, and load data into spreadsheets, databases, or BI tools in a few clicks.

Book a demo or explore our ready-made dashboard templates.

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