Google Ads vs Google Marketing Platform: An In-Depth Comparison

by | Oct 17, 2023 | GMB

Google ads boost your business as Google reaches 3.5 billion people across the globe.  In 2018, the major changes in Google Adwords were the game changer in Online marketing.

Google ads are constantly updating with new features, and the potential is scaled up to new heights with the introduction of data analytics.

Google marketing platforms have witnessed major changes that have bought a new perspective on business. New platforms have come into the industry.

If you are new to online advertising and wondering how Google ads and Google marketing platforms are different, what are the key features? Here is a complete comparison of Google ads and the Google marketing platform.

1. Understanding the Purpose and Features of Google Ads

Google ads throw the attention of your audience toward your business. If you map your business on Google maps, it would be easy for the audience to locate it.

Google ads give you massive reach and capabilities that allows you a range of targeting. You can build credibility with your customers by adding images and videos. You have all the whole control of Google ad campaigns. You can decide your budget and maintain all bids at any point in time.

You can increase your bids and decrease them by day or week or month. When you are manually adjusting bids for your account, you can test different strategies. Google also has several automated bidding systems in place based on what you wish to achieve: exposure, clicks, and conversions or even trying to hit specific costs per conversion.

The key feature of Google ads is you can improve the quality of the score.  You can improve ad relevance, improve the experience of the landing page, and the click rate.

You can experiment with new ad formats and can review the performance of your ads with the help of insights.

1.1 Overview of the Google Marketing Platform

The collection of tools that deals with services like delivering and measurement of performance is called the Google marketing platform. You have free and paid platforms to improve user experience. Both small-scale and large-scale businesses can benefit from Google marketing platforms. This is the integrated solution for all marketers.

Here is the list of tools in the google marketing platform stack-

CM360: The centralized tool for video and display.

SA360: The interface to manage Google ads and other ads.

 DV360: The central hub for forecasting or optimizing creatives, placements, and audiences for display and video campaigns.

Analytics: The tool for advanced insights.

Optimize 360: The tool to test multiple versions and improve customer experience

 Surveys 360: The tool to collect insights from customers.

Tag Manager 360: The automated tool to edit your website code for platforms.

 Data Studio: The place for all data.

2. Key Differences Between Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform

Google marketing platform is not just an ads platform; it allows you to track your customer journey across the platforms in a single platform. However, google ads focus only on ads.

Google Marketing Platform collects and consolidates all your digital marketing, on and off Google, into one solution. Therefore, brands and marketing teams can use Google Marketing Platform to track all their cross-channel advertising, not just Google. 

Google ads are suitable for small-scale businesses that don’t require high control and flexibility. It is easy to set up and use but it is not a marketing tool.  Google marketing platforms offer customized and advanced data reports that are beneficial for large businesses.

Google ads have very minimalistic integration which is required for small-scale businesses. Google Marketing Platform supports APIs/integrations with other ad servers, data management platforms (DMPs), and demand-side platforms (DSPs) for large-scale businesses.

Google marketing platform supports you to consolidate all your data, unlike Google ads.

Also Read:

Google Maps Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide to Boosting Local Visibility and Engagement

Boosting Local Visibility with Google Local Marketing

3. Advantages and Limitations of Google ads

The powerful tool of pay-per-click advertising is Google ads. You can take advantage of it if you know how to use it. Of course, when there are benefits, there will be disadvantages too. Let us understand the merits and demerits of Google ads.

3.1 The Benefits of Using Google Ads

  • Google ads are affordable

Google ads cost 1 to 2 $ per click, which is affordable compared to other platforms.  This is beneficial for small-scale as well as large-scale businesses. The Google ads costs depend on the Industry as well, it varies from one industry to another. The average cost of all industries is also affordable. Keywords are less expensive in Google ads.

  • Keywords

The primary goal of Google ads is to display the best and most accurate results to users. To do so, Google has to figure out which business tops the list according to query. That means if the content of your site is most relevant than the competitor then yours will be prioritized. Here Google Ads shows the most relevant ads to users and makes marketers competitive in the marketing world.

  • Documentation

Google has prepared a supportive document on Google ads, how to create them, and how to run the campaign. It includes the complete documentation including keywords, steps to create Google ads, how to map your business to Google maps, how to market your business, etc.

  • Best tools in the market

Google ads offer certain tools that help you to create ads. The tools help you in various ways. There are different tools to support ad campaigns. For instance, a keyword planner is a tool that allows you to find relevant keywords. The keyword planner helps your keywords to trigger ads. It depends on various criteria like industry type, the content of the webpage, sales conversion rate, cost per click, etc. With the help of this tool, you can come up with the best keywords.

  • Easy to measure performance

It is simpler to measure the performance of every aspect with respect to Google ads. You can measure clicks, impressions, click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per click, and cost per acquisition. With these, you can measure ROI easily. You can easily measure the performance of your strategies.

3.2 Limitations and Challenges of Google Ads

  • You will have to pay for every click

The main disadvantage is you have to pay for the user’s every click. When users click on the ad, you will have to pay even if the click is not converted to sales. You may get clicks from people who have no intention of buying your products and services at all. Still, you have to pay for that click as well. This might be a little costlier for you then.

  • Short span life

When you have no budget for Google ads, then your Google ads will be turned off. This is the main disadvantage for small-scale industries.

  • Takes more time

The newbies or experienced tend to make mistakes when it comes to google ads. Hence it is a time-consuming process. You will have to ensure you have set up accurately and everything is done effectively. After setting up, you will have to monitor whether your campaign is converting or not. Handling Google ads individually takes more time.

4. Advantages and Limitations of Google Marketing Platform

The collection of tools in the Google marketing platform stack makes your process looks simple. Of course, it fetches a lot of advantages, but there are disadvantages as well. Have a look at it.

4.1 The Benefits of Using Google Marketing Platform

  • The success of marketing campaigns

The main advantage of the Google marketing platform is you can track your customer’s visits to your website. The tools help you to track offline behaviors along with online visitors. This will help you to create effective campaigns for the targeted audience.

The platforms analyze your clients and help you to interact with the correct customers. In effect, you will spend your company’s resources on clients that have high-revenue potential. As a result, you can offer personalized products and services to your clients.

  • Easily navigable interface

Google marketing platforms interface is compatible with beginners as well as tech-savvy.  You can analyze your visitors with the help of the dashboard. You can review data easily with help of bar graphs, pie charts, etc.

  • Insights are automated

Google marketing platform gives you a clear report of website performance, unlike Google ads. You can get information like the number of visitors, their location history, and demographics. With these insights, you can draw effective strategies for your business.

4.2 Limitations and Challenges of Google Marketing Platform

  • Time-consuming

Google marketing platform takes time to set up and verify the process. If you are not tech savvy, then you may have to take assistance from the support team. Google’s marketing platform provides a lot of insights and reviews, it takes time to analyze and figure out strategies.

  • Affordable

Google marketing platforms is not affordable for small-scale business as the detailed report is not necessary for them.

  • To much dependable on technology

Google’s marketing platform provides all data and insights. But as the name suggests we are dependent on technology too much rather than human intelligence. We do have human assets who can analyze and draft strategies.

It would be difficult to reach certain sections of society like elderly people as they are not friendly with technology. It would be difficult to access in remote areas.

5. Choosing Between Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform

Are you wondering whether to choose google ads or Google marketing platform?

Don’t worry, we are here to help you. Here is a complete analysis of factors that helps you to choose between google ads and the google marketing platform.

5.1 Factors to Consider When Making a Decision

While choosing an ad marketing platform, here are the factors we need to be mindful of.

  • Competition with respect to the budget

Most of our ad platforms are auction based, and we need to consider competition in correlation to budget. 

For instance, If the competition in the industry is more then the cost per click of Google ads will be more. But In Microsoft, the cost ad can be less.

  • Transparency

Most of the ad platforms charge more to disclose reporting. Look for a platform that encourages curious customers and features which give a detailed report.

  • The ROI

While choosing the ad platform, keep the brand of your product and services, company, and budget.

  • Targeting capabilities, cost, and performance metrics

Look at whether the platform will be able to reach a targeted audience or not.  Look for the cost of the platform, and whether is it effective compared to other platforms. Look at whether the platform will be able to set standards in the industry.

  • Integration with other channels

While choosing the ad platform, consider how to ease your platform can be integrated with other channels. Can I put the solution in all the channels I am running at the same time? Look for how quickly you can generate results considering the multi-marketing scenario.

  • Learning

Look at which platform requires more learning curve. Do we need the expertise to use this platform? Compared to Google ads, google marketing platforms need more expertise and a learning curve.

5.2 Best Use Cases for Google Ads

Here is a quick demo of scenarios that shows the success of Google ads.

  • Put your best foot forward(WIX)
Google Ads vs Google Marketing Platform: An In-Depth Comparison 2