Can Google Analytics be my DMP?

What’s a DMP?

A DMP is a data management platform typically used in digital marketing & advertising to collect, build & distribute target audiences across various platforms. It typically acts as the heart of a Marketing organization as it holds all relevant data used for targeting incl. behavioural data (web- & app-tracking), 1th party CRM data (incl. socio-demographics & transaction data) and advertising feedback data (who saw which ad).

More information about a DMP can be found here. Typical vendors are Adobe (Adobe Audience Manager), Salesforce DMP (Krux) or Cxense 

Can Google Analytics be my DMP?Can Google Analytics be my DMP?

What’s Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is the most used digital website & app tracking tool. It allows website owners to track & monitor their website to evaluate visit metrics (pageviews, unique users), visitor metrics (recurring users, time on site) & page metrics (bounce rate, attention time). There are two type  of using Google Analytics:

  • Most website owners leverage the free version allowing to track up to 10 million hits per month.
  • For bigger website or website with extensive tracking, Google Analytics 360 is preferable allowing (1) tracking with no limits & (2) access to the raw tracking data for analytics & reporting purposes.

Can Google Analytics be my DMP?

Yes, Google Analytics has DMP functionalities

Google Analytics has some key DMP functionalities:

  • Google Analytics allows to track users on your website including tracking any events you deem needed (e.g., clicking on a button, accessing a menu, etc.)
  • Google Analytics allows to create audiences based on this behavioural data
  • Google Analytics allows to import 1th party CRM data.
    Google Analytics allows this through Direct Data Import; a batch- or API-process which can link your CRM data through an identifier used in your Google Analytics tracking (e.g.; visitorID). This is, in essence, the same process on how a DMP links 1th party data with behavioural data
  • Google Analytics allows to push audiences to Google’s Ad tools incl. Google Ads (previously called Adwords), Google Display & Video 360 (DSP) & Google Ad Manager (previously called Google DFP) allowing advertisers to truly target certain audiences with bannering or video advertising.
  • Google Analytics allows to use Google’s Sociodemographic data (i.e. 2nd party data) to build audiences. An advertiser thus has direct access to the widespan known reach of Google.

No, Google Analytics isn’t a DMP

Google Analytics doesn’t aim to be a DMP (yet). These are DMP features GA doesn’t support:

  • Google Analytics doesn’t allow to build audiences across multiple properties.
    Website owners with multiple websites or an app + a website will thus struggle in creating an audience across their web- & apps.
  • Google Analytics doesn’t connect to Facebook, Bing or any non-Google execution platform.
    Using your Google Analytics as a DMP thus limits you as you cant’ leverage these audiences in (among others) your Facebook Business Manager, Snapshot advertising platform, Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Adform DSP. Google has announced a partnership with Salesforce towards 2019 where this would be partly offset & allowing to push audiences to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. However, GA will never have that many connections as most DMPs have
  • Google Analytics doesn’t allow to run & use look-a-like modelling
  • Google Analytics doesn’t allow access to 2nd or 3rd party data except for Google’s own data. Google’s sociodemographic data can be used in Google Analytics when enabling this in Property Settings.
  • Google Analytics doesn’t allow to track advertising impressions & clicks; GA only tracks visits & users on your own website. This prevents users to create audiences based on advertising feedback data or to leverage GA as a tool to control & manage capping across all execution tools (which is possible with a DMP)

Google Analytics has DMP functionalities for customer goings Google-only
(not for all others)

Google Analytics has some key DMP functionalities & supports most DMP use-case only if you are

  • An advertiser with a Single Platform strategy on Google & thus not focusing on e.g. Facebook or other non-Google Advertising. This means you are using Google Advertising platform, Google Analytics, Google Optimize, etc.


  • An advertiser with only 1 domain thus not requiring tracking across multiple domains

In any other case, Google Analytics can’t support you as a DMP platform & you’ll need a dedicated DMP platform to enable DMP use-cases.

What’s element61’s role & expertise in this?

element61 act as an independent expert supporting advertisers, agencies & publishers in the area of data-driven marketing, Our Data Strategist act as catalysts & accelerators who can help you define your DMP or data-driven marketing strategy, help you choose & implement tools and help you coach & organize your team.

Contact us to get started.