DV360 (Display & Video 360) is Google’s Demand Side Platform (DSP) and is designed to help businesses run, manage, and optimize digital media campaigns programmatically. 

DV360 is one of the tools in the Google Marketing Platform, which includes Search Ads 360, Tag Manager 360, Analytics 360, and Data Studio. The aim of DV360 is to simplify the process of creating and optimizing highly personalized campaigns through campaign management, audience targeting, data integration, and advanced analytics.

Since DV360 is an enterprise-level tool, it’s distinct from Google Ads, which is a solution aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. 

Today, we’re going to walk you through the basics of DV360 and the steps you’ll need to go through to set up your first campaign. But first, why should you use DV360? Let’s take a look at its pros and cons. 

The Benefits and Drawbacks of DV360


Perhaps you already use Google Ads and are wondering what the big deal is with DV360. Essentially, it offers greater versatility and functionality, including the following benefits:

  • Access to Google’s large inventory selection, as well as other premium inventory across multiple third-party ad exchanges, including Open X, App Nexus, and Rubicon.
  • Advanced targeting capabilities. This includes contextual targeting, precise audience segmentation (including demographic and geo-targeting), and remarketing. Although Google Ads also offers these features, DV360’s abilities are more sophisticated.
  • Seamless integration with other Google tools, such as Google Analytics 360 and Google Cloud.
  • Increased control and transparency over media buying and ad placements. For example, you can see exactly how your ad budget is being spent and where your ads are running. 
  • More advanced campaign analytics, measurement, and reporting capabilities.
  • A wider range of ad formats, including display, video, audio, and native ads, as well as programmatic digital-out-of-home (pDOOH).


  • Minimum spend: Running campaigns in DV360 requires a minimum media spend of $50,000 per month. However, by partnering with Grapeseed Media, you can avoid this minimum spend and set up a campaign that fits your budget.
  • Complexity: Although it’s a powerful marketing tool, DV360 requires specialized knowledge, expertise, and skill to execute — which is another great reason to partner with DV360 experts like the Grapeseed Media team.

The DV360 Hierarchy


Before setting up and running a campaign in DV360, it’s essential to understand the platform’s hierarchy, which informs campaign structure. There are seven levels to DV360:

  1. Partner: A partner is an agency, trading desk, or large individual advertiser that uses DV360 to manage their advertising campaigns.
  2. Advertiser: An advertiser is a client of a partner. Advertisers create campaigns in DV360 to reach their target audiences.
  3. Campaign: A campaign is a collection of ad groups that share a common goal. Campaigns are used to track performance and optimize results.
  4. Insertion order: An insertion order (IO) is a contract between an advertiser and a publisher that specifies the terms of ad delivery.
  5. Line item: A line item is a specific allocation of budget within an IO. Advertisers can use line items to target specific audiences, placements, or devices.
  6. Ads and ad groups: An ad is a piece of creative that is displayed to users. Ads can be text, images, videos, or a combination of these, and an ad group is a collection of ads that share a common theme and target specific audiences and keywords. Note that ads and ad groups are only applicable to YouTube and TrueView ads. 
  7. Creative asset: A creative asset is a piece of media that can be used in an ad. Creative assets can be images, videos, or text.

Setting Up and Running A Campaign in DV360

Use the following steps to set up and run a campaign in DV360:

  • Create a campaign in Advertiser view by clicking on ‘New Campaign” and inputting information into the fields such as Campaign Name, Planned Spend, Planned Dates, etc.
  • Create an Insertion Order: In the Campaign view, create a new Insertion Order (IO) by clicking on “New Insertion Order” and selecting “Real-Time Bidding.”
  • Enter key fields such as:
    • Insertion Order name (the campaign name), 
    • Budget, Start & End date: You have the option to segment the budget using the “Add Segments” button. For example, you can set weekly budgets by assigning an amount to specific weekly dates. 
  • Pacing
  • Campaign goals
    • Billable outcome: This will always be set as impressions
    • Targeting: Add targeting options by clicking on “Add Targeting.” This will give you options such as “Brand Safety,” where you can exclude sensitive categories, use third-party verification services, and add a blocklist. Adding these exclusions to the IO automatically adds them to line items.
  • Click on “Create” to create the IO. This will act as the blueprint for the rest of the campaign.
  • Create line items: After creating an IO, create line items (including both prospecting and retargeting line items). Make sure you’re in the Insertion Order view to do this.
  • Select “New Line Item” and choose the appropriate line item type — such as Display, Video, or YouTube. The type of line item you choose will affect the targeting options available.
  • Select inventory sources and targeting parameters.
  • Allocate your budget to suit your campaign goals. As a rule of thumb, this is usually around 20–30% for prospecting and 70–80% for retargeting, but this will depend on the campaign.
  • Input other fields such as your flight dates, bidding strategy, and frequency cap (so people don’t see the ad too many times per day), and assign Creatives.
  • After creating the first line item, you can duplicate it when creating other line items to save time.
  • To create a retargeting line item, go to “Audience Lists” and add “ret” for retargeting.
  • For a YouTube line item, select the “YouTube & partners” line item type, then create an ad group and an ad.
  • Once your IO is up and running, it’s important to conduct regular campaign optimizations. For example, you might choose to exclude a geographical area with high impressions but low conversions from the targeting list.

Grow Your Business with DV360 and Grapeseed Media

DV360 is a powerful digital marketing tool that can help businesses like yours increase ROI on their programmatic advertising efforts. 

That said, it requires expert programmatic knowledge to maximize DV360’s potential by correctly setting up, analyzing, optimizing, and troubleshooting campaigns. 

For this reason, many businesses prefer to partner with programmatic DV360 experts like the Grapeseed Media team. 

Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you or chat with Grape Bot about all your programmatic questions.