As many of you know Google Marketing Live is one of the most important Marketing events of the year. Speakers across nearly all the technical and marketing departments from Google take you through their thoughts and developments whilst the keynote speaker runs through Google direction and key focuses for the next year.
I attended this year along with Steve Hyde who founded Push 11 years ago with Ricky Solanki
Data and privacy has been a huge talking point over the last year in Europe with the new GDPR rule changes coming into play in May. However, it’s not just Europe. Some of you who have previously run Gmail targeting campaigns will know that this was seen as controversial (targeting by content in people’s private emails) and this was stopped this year. Most sessions on how to use data to target effectively started with three key points:
The trustworthy part continually mentioned user options and privacy being integral to everything Google do.
Google pushed that you can actually customise your privacy settings on your Google profile. For anyone interested to see how Google profiles you in terms of what you like and what you’re in market for you can see your profile here and customise it:
My advice – you’re going to see ads anyway so they might as well be relevant so don’t go crazy on it!
Google Adwords is (was) no longer all about targeting words and words only. You can target by interests, ‘in market’ signals, on videos, in emails, image and pop up ads on the display network, native ads and so much more. Keywords is still the core product but the future isn’t about keywords targeting. As we switch to voice search more and more the future of keyword targeting is becoming uncertain.
At some point we will realise we can speak to a device by voice 5x faster than type on a keyboard.
With a far more diverse product range calling something Google ‘Adwords’ no longer fully represents what Adwords does to new users. As a result Google Adwords will now be called Google Ads officially starting 24th July.
Google’s other main changes are their Doubleclick platform and analytics 360 (both enterprise level solutions for programmatic buying and reporting) are being rolled into one and being renamed the Google Marketing Platform. Whilst this won’t be relevant for smaller advertisers, anyone using Doubleclick already will benefit from a stream of new features.
Taking into account ‘voice’ and the future move away from a keywords focus new features are already on their way; The days of complex, 30 campaign, 10,000 keyword accounts could soon be a thing of the past. Everything you do in your campaigns needs to be done with data and numbers in mind. The improvements in AI and machine learning mean you need to be utilising Googles bidding and automated campaigns at some level in your business. These work best when you have campaigns and ad groups with large numbers of conversions to work with.
They will be nowhere near as effective with campaigns segmented by device and match type and specific terms where each ad group only generates 1 or 2 conversions a month.
If this is how your accounts are structured then you need to have a rethink asap.
The future is about signals and buying intent. The in market technology Google use is getting better and better all the time.
This is used for display targeting, enhanced CPC bidding, CPA bidding, smart goals and smart lists and bidding and lot more.
How it works is Google tracks users behaviour across youtube, searching on Google, what sites are read etc in the past 5 days and measures signals that highlight someone is looking for a holiday in France for example. The liklihood they are ready to buy then influences what the value of each person at each stage for bidding automation and where and when to serve ads.
The recommendation on where to start on the audience side from the event for advertisers of all sides:
We need to move away from just search and start testing intent based targeting on the display network. There’s three key areas Google have pushed for advertisers to start this journey with.
Custom intent in particular is a very creative way of creating your own audience and Google showed multiple case studies to back this up. How it works is by entering keywords that you know your target audience would use and Google will then go find a list of people that have done that or something similar. Start with your current keyword list and it will take less than 5 minutes to set up.
New Tools and features
Finally, there are some fantastic new features and tools coming available to marketers (this is the juicy stuff for account managers!) most of which involving some level of automation. Have a look through and any questions on these don’t hesitate to reach out to us:
All in all it was a fantastic event and there are so many new exciting features and tools becoming available to advertisers across the rest of the year. The key focus from Googles side is on data management, privacy and automation. Advertisers not using any automation need to adopt it now and fast. We’ve been using scripts and automation for 3 years now and I cannot tell you how much it has helped our business!
We are offering free and paid scripts to agencies and in-house marketers so if you want to give some a try and have a quick chat about them please do get in touch!