What Is Google Display & Video 360: Should You Use DV360 For Your Business

6 December 2021

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Olga is a digital marketing specialist @Viden, delivering results for brands through data-driven strategies and result-oriented tactics across Google & Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads & more.

What Is Google Display & Video 360?

Evolved from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Google Display & Video 360 (DV360) is Google’s own demand-side platform (DSP) – a programmatic solution that allows advertisers to bid on and buy inventory from publishers or ad exchanges outside Google’s network.

DV360 offers wide functionality for marketers and businesses looking to reach their audience with display ads through additional features for campaign planning, measurement, and optimization; designing and managing creatives, as well as organizing and applying audience data.

Inventory Marketplace

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Premium Inventory Marketplace

The platform provides access to ad inventory from more than 80 different ad exchanges, covering about 98% of all available ad inventory worldwide, which means an increased visibility and scaling potential for your display and video ads.

Aside from using the public inventory and participating in the open auction, with DV360 advertisers can negotiate and set up Private Marketplace (PMP) deals, ensuring the priority of their impressions before the general auction, and Programmatic Guaranteed (PG) deals to streamline the media buying process, skipping tag exchanging, troubleshooting, or complex invoicing.

DV360 significantly simplifies the process of running direct deals with publishers, providing tagless trafficking options and a centralized hub for reporting and billing across all publishers.


Unlike Google Ads, which, despite allowing media buying through Google Display Network (GDN), has limitations around reach, creative formats, and deal types, DV360 comes with extensive audience buying capabilities, enabling advertisers to appear across a wider array of websites.

When it comes to Google DV360, there’s also a higher degree of flexibility in terms of its targeting in general, providing access to Google’s rich audience data at no cost. Advertisers can not only reach their prospective customers through demographic, income or geo-targeting, but also set up their audiences on the basis of user interest in similar products, competitor brands, or life events, personalizing their messaging to the audiences they utilize. PMP and PG deals also permit to use publishers’ own data to heighten the accuracy of audience targeting.

Besides that, though at an additional CPM fee, ranging from $0.5 to $2, a multitude of third-party audience lists is available within the platform, compiled by dozens of trustworthy data providers. For brands that are looking to expand their reach and acquire new customers, purchasing third-party audience datasets to complement first-party data is a viable solution to boost their growth.

Audience targeting 360dv

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However, considering the abundance of audience lists available to advertisers, it’s a good idea to develop an effective testing strategy to evaluate and optimize the benefits of third-party audience data for a specific brand.

Using third-party audiences along with additional, more traditional settings of contextual targeting could be a powerful tool to target a highly defined audience, getting the right message to the right people at the right time.


The bidding across the DV360 platform is highly customizable, encompassing a wide range of available strategies. Whichever you should use, however, depends on your campaign objective.

Generally, it’s recommended to start off any new campaign on a fixed CPM bidding strategy, and move on towards automated strategies after the algorithm collects enough data to optimize towards key performance indicators, such as clicks, views, conversions, etc.

If you’re looking to maximize the performance of your campaigns, you could opt for the following strategies:

  • Maximize conversions/clicks, while prioritizing spending the full budget. This strategy will help you obtain a greater number of conversions or clicks, optimizing towards the best possible performance while using your full budget. This is a great strategy for the brands that seek to scale the volume of their campaigns, or for accounts with a limited amount of campaign data. 
  • Maximize conversions/clicks, while prioritizing a target CPA/CPC. This strategy optimizes towards a specific performance goal, which means that, most likely, your budget will be spent only partially. As long as you have already collected a sufficient amount of data (recommended amount: 100 conversions or 100K impressions) for the algorithm to successfully make “informed” decisions during the auction, it’s a good strategy to employ in order to maximize the efficiency of your ads’ performance. 

On the other hand, if your objective is to grow brand’s presence and awareness, you could consider the strategies, geared towards getting your brand in front of a bigger audience:

  • Optimize for viewable CPM bid. With this strategy, DV360 will adjust your bid depending on the probability that an impression will be viewable, which makes it perfect if your main goal is to show your ad to as many people as possible. A great benefit of the strategy is that it can be used for new campaigns with limited data.
  • Maximize quality video impressions. This strategy aims to deliver quality video impressions, while spending your entire budget, on the basis of three available definitions of a “quality video impression” you can choose during set-up: 1) Completed in-view and audible; 2) Viewable for at least ten seconds; 3) Viewable. 

Since 2020, there’s also an option to use custom bidding – an automated strategy, where advertisers can define how much an impression is worth via a Python script, which is then used to develop an algorithm able to predict the value of each impression and use this value to adjust bids accordingly. Custom bidding is useful if advertisers are looking to optimize their campaigns towards non-standard metrics such as time on screen or Floodlight activities, for example.

You can also improve the performance of your campaigns by utilizing bid multipliers. Whilst bid multipliers can only be applied when fixed bidding is selected, they allow to automatically bid higher for specific apps and URLs, audience lists, demographics, geo, date and time, device types.

Another useful feature of the DV360 platform allows advertisers to opt in and out of an enhanced automation pool that anonymously shares data, allowing advertisers to employ bid automation that leverages huge amounts of historical learnings.


DV360 is highly praised for its reporting features with their outstanding levels of transparency of the performance, providing advertisers with a deeper multi-angled view on the results of their marketing campaigns, and enabling them to make better decisions and optimizations.

There is a number of insightful and useful reports available through DV360, allowing media buyers to gain a better understanding of their target segments, such as audience composition and audience performance reports, showing how third-party lists are performing compared to current activity, and indexing against their first-party data; reach reports, providing additional insights into the number of viewers reached by display campaigns, and the number of times they have been served an impression.


Another key benefit of DV360, being part of Google Marketing Platform, is its native integration with other Google tools and solutions, delivering cross-channel insights and improving the workflow:

  • Analytics 360

Native integration with Google Analytics 360 allows advertisers to target a variety of custom segments of first-party data in DV360 and obtain a more complete view of their campaigns’ delivery, providing visibility of the full customer journey, which makes it easier for advertisers to make optimizations through a cross-channel approach.

  • YouTube

Google Preferred, YouTube Reserve, and TrueView inventory are all available for buying in Display & Video 360.

  • Partner exchanges

Integration with partner exchanges allows you to bid on or exclude impressions from dozens of third-party exchanges.

  • Google Cloud

With this integration, media buyers can bring DV360 data together with other data sources and unlock insights through the use of BigQuery’s tools.


Display & Video 360 is organized around five integrated modules that work together to simplify the campaign management process and improve the workflow: Campaigns, Audiences, Creatives, Inventory, and Insights.


The Campaign module is a place where you can build and execute your media plan, from defining budgets to choosing where your ad placements. The module is provided with a combined view feature, which displays all elements of a campaign in the same place, making it easier to monitor performance and make optimizations.

Campaign module DV360

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The Audiences module offers a comprehensive view of audiences, which you can manage alongside your campaigns. It also has a couple of highly useful features that simplify the process of building and organizing in-depth audiences:

  • Audience profile analysis enables you to gather insights about your audience and build combined audiences across data sets on the basis of all available first-party, third-party, and Google data;
  • Activity-based audience builder allows you to build audiences from campaign activity in Display & Video 360, so you can target or exclude users based on specific actions or engagement with your campaigns;
  • Audience-based frequency caps. Set frequency caps across audiences based on all impression exposures.

DV360 Audiences module

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With the Creative module’s Format Gallery, DV360 makes the process of building and managing creative ads even more effortless. It has a variety of ad formats you can choose from that can easily be customized, creating engaging display, audio, and video ads.

It’s also possible to create different variations of each ad for campaigns that target multiple audiences, tailoring a specific version of an ad to a specific audience. By using a tailored, data-driven approach to building and managing your creatives you can significantly improve the performance of your ads, appealing to users’ desire for personalized advertising.

Display & Video 360 Creatives module

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This is the module, where media buyers can access DV360’s premium digital inventory and negotiate PMP and PG deals.

The module contains a tool for planning out Display and YouTube campaigns, allowing you to include such factors as targeting, budgets, and providing a forecast of the campaign’s reach based on your audience and spend.

Streamline media planning DV360

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With over 65 dimensions, 145 reportable metrics, and 20 types of available reports, the Display & Video 360 Insights module allows you to access all the information you may need for monitoring campaign performance and spend.

Here, you can easily access data in real-time and build tables, graphs and reports, gaining the most relevant insights and making appropriate optimizations upon them.

Instant Reporting DV360

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Is Google Display & Video 360 The Right Tool For Your Business?

While DV360 may be an incredibly efficient and well-built demand-side platform, preferred by many media buyers, it may not be the right choice for every type of business.

DV360, at its core, is a complex tool, aimed at large-scale businesses that look to expand their market share and build brand awareness. 

Unlike Google Display Ads with its relative simplicity, automation-oriented and user-friendly design, DV360 demands extra time, knowledge and expertise to be integrated into a marketing strategy and be successfully operated at scale. It provides the user with a higher degree of control over audiences and placements and enables them to use enhanced brand safety settings and advanced creative possibilities.

Using DV360 also comes with additional tech fees that, if working with a small budget, may just be a waste of money, not delivering any real value. When it comes to DV360 costs, it’s important to note that the platform takes an average of 13 cents of every $1 an advertiser spends.

In general, the switch from GDN to GV360 is recommended for brands with a display and video budget starting from $10,000 at the very least. 


Overall, Google Display & Video 360 is an efficient programmatic media tool for larger brands that look to drive growth and build brand awareness. It simplifies the management of programmatic campaigns, with advanced ad creation tools, targeting settings, expanded inventory marketplace, and reporting options, all of which have great flexibility and customizability.

With the ability to access Google data and third-party data, and DV360’s integration with Google Analytics 360, advertisers can easily set up highly relevant audiences. And with a wider array of websites available for ad delivery, there are more opportunities to show your ads to the right people, which means you might see a decreased budget wastage and better efficiency. 

If you’re considering using Google Display and Video 360 for your business, feel free to contact us. Our experts will be happy to address your questions and walk you through the process of transitioning to DV360.

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