Marketers / Marketing Cloud / Marketing Ops

Integrate Google Analytics 360 With Marketing Cloud to Manage Ad Spend

By Robert Gelo

Increasingly, customers are demanding great digital experiences from brands across all their interactions. And with eCommerce growing exponentially, the evolution of the digital landscape means brands are increasingly turning to online marketing to reach customers. 

However, creating an online storefront alone does not engage customers. Digitally savvy shoppers have higher expectations and requirements for brands, so they must completely transform their marketing process. Google Analytics 360 can be integrated into Salesforce to help you achieve this…

A Single Point for Managing Ads 

Setting up your digital advertising strategy in Salesforce correctly will bring you significant benefits, even before you get into platforms like Google Display Ads and Facebook Ads. The Salesforce Advertising Studio is integrated with Google Analytics 360, giving you access to a world of digital marketing and analytics possibilities. From Advertising Studio, you can also access advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google (including AdWords, Gmail, and YouTube). 

To meet the needs and expectations of their all-digital customers, brands must transform every part of their marketing process. So how can you meet the ever-changing needs of your client and consumer?

  • Implement strategies to reach customers through email, social networks, and mobile applications.
  • Use data-driven insights to personalize customer touchpoints and experiences.
  • Keep all of this within budget while meeting business objectives.

Your starting point should be role management in Salesforce Marketing Cloud/Advertising Studio. The importance of sharing consolidated data among team members cannot be overstated. Manage the information flow between the Marketing Cloud Admin and marketing/advertising manager, as well as with external partners such as digital advertising agencies and graphic designers. 

Role management is crucial for tasks that will come along the line such as creating, editing, and publishing audiences, adding social and ad accounts, scheduling, editing emails, etc.

Users are set up in Marketing Cloud using Setup and Administration.

Next, you have to make sure that Advertising Audiences and Lead Capture are enabled in Marketing Cloud.

Add Ad Accounts in Advertising Cloud

Having created accounts for every social channel your company (or client) plans to use, it is now time to add these accounts to your Marketing Cloud. It must be done in cooperation with those who manage your social media accounts, whether they are internal or external. 

The next step is to create new audiences (if you haven’t already) that correspond to your social channels in the Advertising Studio (administration tab). 

You will need to grant permissions to Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., just like you do with your personal social accounts. Following the on-screen prompts is all you need to do.

Top tip: Ensure that the user credentials for each social channel are stored, updated, and available to your team members.

In essence, these steps are:

  1. Verify that Marketing Cloud features are enabled.
  2. Review the advertising user roles and permissions.
  3. Establish advertising (social) accounts (if not already done).
  4. Login credentials for all social and advertising channels should be kept, managed, and shared.
  5. Make sure your ad accounts are connected.
  6. Take a look at your data within the Marketing Cloud and create new data extensions as necessary.
  7. Decide who you want to advertise to (identify your target audience).

Identify Your Audience (on Facebook)

After setting up your social media and digital advertising accounts, you can start taking advantage of a wide range of budget management and optimization options. When you start spinning, creating a top purchasers audience to suppress your ad spend is the most effective way to reduce your spend. Therefore, you need to identify the target audience that is not yet familiar with and involved with your customers’ brands.

To connect an audience to a Facebook campaign, you must navigate to the overview page and select Create New Audience. In this example, you can name the audience Top Purchasers and give it a description. Select the Facebook account as the destination and make sure the Ad Account is selected correctly.

You will need to verify from where you obtained the data by clicking the “Configure” button, selecting the Data Extension, and looking for “Top Purchasers”. Since you will be working on Facebook accounts, select “Provided by users” (1). The data extension attributes must be mapped to Facebook Identifiers (2). If a new event occurs related to this audience, you may want to add your email address to get notified.

Once you have entered and reviewed all the data, click the “Activate” button. From here you can choose whether to manually refresh the database or schedule a refresh.

Top tip: After activation, wait 24–48 hours for a stable audience before you start using it.

Lookalike Audiences

With the aim of finding new buyers, doppelgängers (or lookalikes) allow you to leverage the big data available on Facebook. In Marketing Cloud, you can create lookalike audiences based on your Facebook audience. As a result of Facebook comparing your Marketing Cloud audience data with its own users and generating a new audience that resembles your original list, you will need to do it in Advertising Studio for Facebook. 

There are two ways to match.

  1. Optimize for similarity: Find the top 1% of users who are similar to what you are looking for. This will produce a more accurate match to your current customers, but the audience size will be smaller.
  2. Optimize for reach: Find the top 5% of users that match. This will give you a larger audience, but may not be well-targeted.

Integrate Marketing Cloud With Google Ads

As well as social networks (as described above), Salesforce Marketers can now take advantage of Google’s vast opportunities. With Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360 integrated, you can now access cross-channel and content engagement data for each customer journey in Journey Builder, so you can easily track the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

In order to do that, you must have implemented Analytics 360 and a Marketing Cloud account with Journey Builder enabled, as well as purchased and installed the Google Analytics 360 Integration SKU for Marketing Cloud.

Through the new Journey Analytics Dashboard, you will have instant access to Google Analytics data and will be able to see how consumers interact with your messages and content across digital channels.

The dashboard components: 

  • A Google Analytics Goal tile displays completed activity for referral traffic generated by Marketing Cloud messages and journeys on your website, so you can determine how Marketing Cloud referrals contribute to the overall success of your marketing campaign. A goal is a completed activity, or a conversion, that contributes to your business’ success by measuring how well your site or app fulfills your target objectives.
  • The Email Performance tile allows you to view important Marketing Cloud email performance metrics aggregated for each journey.
  • The Google Analytics eCommerce tile shows metrics such as Revenue, Transactions, Average order value, and eCommerce conversion rate.
  • Using Google Analytics’ Usage tile, you can monitor how many subscribers browsed, viewed pages, or even left as soon as they arrived.

Google Analytics Content Tab

Those who use Journey Builder or Content Builder to create and manage content in Marketing Cloud can view this tab. Click the Content tab on the Journey Analytics dashboard, then click the “All Content” tile to view content metrics (such as click-through rate).

You can add up to 14 metrics as columns and customize your reporting view under the Content tab to see how your content impacts engagement and purchase decisions after a click. Unique Pageviews, Goal Conversion Rate, Goal Completions, Average Search (Page) Depth, Average Session Duration, Pageviews, Average Order Value, and eCommerce Conversion Rate are among the metrics.


Digital experiences have led brands to turn to online marketing due to customer demands and the explosive growth of eCommerce. In order to engage digitally savvy customers, brands must completely overhaul their marketing process in addition to creating a digital storefront.

Salesforce enables access to a world of multi-channel digital marketing and analytics possibilities, including platforms such as Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. In order to meet the needs and expectations of all-digital customers, brands must transform every aspect of their marketing process.

The Author

Robert Gelo

A journalist and editor with a technical background, Robert has gained experience in marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media. He was introduced to Salesforce as the CMO of a consultancy.

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