Google Marketing Platform partners summit 2018: A sneak peek of 5 new features | Articles

About a month and a half ago, we attended the Google Marketing Platform partners Summit in San Francisco (#GMP2018). During two days Google product managers and developers gave presentations on the latest developments in Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio, Optimize, Google Ads, Search Ads 306, Display and Video 360 and Big Query.

Historically the summit used to be focused on Google Analytics mainly. For the first time ever, this year’s summit integrated advertising platforms and was focusing on all the products of the Google Marketing Platform suit, which is a big game changer for us at Semetis.

Although most of what was presented is still confidential and under NDA, there are already a couple of exciting elements we can share with you from this 2-days event. Find below our selection and top 5 (of the updates we can already share on):

Error Tab in GTM preview mode (released)

If you recently used the Google Tag Manager preview mode, you may probably have noticed that there is a ‘new’ (since end October) Errors tab. This new Errors tab shows you the number of exceptions thrown by GTM’s tag templates on the page. In a nutshell, if the firing of the tag didn’t happen due to an error, this is the tab in which you will find more details about it.


Advanced Analysis in Google Analytics 360 (beta)

Advanced Analysis in GA360 was introduced earlier in 2018, but strangely we didn’t hear much about it. After having seen the live demo during the summit and the possibilities Advanced Analysis offer, I can tell you that I am very excited to use it for my 360 clients.

Advanced Analysis helps you improve your understanding of how your website visitors interact with your site and allows you to use those insights to deliver better experiences and improve your performance.

Advanced analysis – 360 clients can view these reports already above the discover button.

Advanced Analysis has 3 powerful techniques/reports available: Exploration, Funnel Analysis, and Segment Overlap. These reports have a similar drag and drop interface style to Data Studio.

The Exploration report enables you to easily drag and drop segments, dimensions, and metrics to build a report and instantly visualize your data in a single view.


The Funnel Analysis report helps you understand the steps that users take to complete an action on your site. You can also add different segments to compare the funnel steps for different types of users.

The segment overlap report, as its name indicated, allows you to see how certain segments you have created, overlap with each other. For example, it could be interesting to create a segment for your Facebook campaign and compare it with the purchasers of your website to see if your customers actually come from your Facebook campaign.


What I like the most about it is that you can build audiences using any of these 3 reports, making it very easy to take actions from the learnings you just discovered in your analysis.

Cross-device reporting in Google Analytics (beta)

By activating Google Signals in Google Analytics, you will now have access to a series of cross-device reports under the Audience section in Google Analytics. These cross-device reports help you gain insights over the use of various devices across the customer journey.

There are 4 reports available:

  • Device overlap
  • Device Paths
  • Channels
  • Acquisition device

I found these new reports particularly interesting for all the clients that don’t have the user-id view activated in their Google Analytics account.

However, at the moment of writing this articles, the advanced segments cannot be changed, giving us a view on all users only. This is a pity as it makes the analysis possibilities very limited, I hope this will change very soon.

Calculated metrics for blended data in Google Data Studio (released)

We have been amazed by all the developments that Google is currently working on for Google Data Studio.

After the release of data blending earlier this year, Google is now launching the possibility to create calculated metrics for blended data. In a nutshell, calculated metrics for blended data allows us to create a calculated metrics and apply it on different data sources (GA, FB, AW,...) within one single data element in data studio (table, bar chart, you name it).

For example, on the screenshot below, we have combined the Facebook spent with GA goals in order to calculate the cost per acquisition (based on GA goals and not on the Facebook pixel). Neat and handy, as we like.

Google Data Studio visualizations (beta)

Another evolution that was realized during the GMP summit, is the Data Studio Community Visualisations (still under beta). Data Studio Community Visualizations allow you to build and use your own custom visualizations in Data Studio.

Community visualizations offer:

  • The flexibility to use any visualization library and custom JavaScript and CSS for your visualization.
  • The capability to define which style elements your visualization requires in the Data Studio property panel.
  • An event-driven model that posts data and style information to your visualization as users interact with the report.

By opening up visualizations library to the community Data Studio will for sure up its game and start competing with dashboard solutions that are very good in visualizations but maybe more limited in terms of data sources.

These are only a couple of new exciting features that were presented during the Google Marketing Partners summit 2018. Even though there were no major announcements, unlike previous years, the fact that the summit is now dedicated to all the Google suite products of GMP is for us a very positive thing as it matches perfectly with Semetis positioning of bridging digital advertising (Google Search, Display & Video 306, etc.) and digital business intelligence (GTM, GA, Data Studio, etc.). Next to that, we also had some very insightful discussions with different agencies from all around the world, technology partners and Google engineers.

Are you ready to test out these new cool features?

publication author jennifer hubert
Jennifer Hubert

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