Some announcement's from this year's keynote, such as in-market audiences for Search campaigns, has already been revealed prior to the event, but this did not make Google Marketing Next any less impressive. It was a grand unveiling of some exciting developments in the world of AdWords, Analytics and DoubleClick.
The event started with Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce at Google, who opened by praising the energy of the marketing enthusiasts in the room, as well as making jokes about fidget spinners and being a 'YouTube star'. His then focused on mobile, as he outlined that 87% of smartphone users turn to search first in a moment of need. This statistic truly highlights the power of capturing those key micro-moments that Google are so passionate about. He then moved on naturally to talk about the rise in voice search, as well as the role of AI in identifying differences between seemingly identical search phrases based on context, identity and intent.
AMPs for Search and Display
Ramaswamy then went on to cite a statistic that many in the digital sphere know and love: conversions can fall by up to 20% for each additional second that it takes for a page to load. Users want speed, which led Google to launch their AMP project back in 2016. Now Google is launching a beta for AMPs for Search ads, which you can sign up for here. This is exciting stuff for advertisers - conversion rate for campaigns could increase significantly with the adoption of AMPs for your landing pages. Not only were AMPs announced for Search ads; Google announced that they will be automatically converting a significant number of Display ads to use AMP technology - no beta sign up required! Read more about it on Google's AdWords blog.
Why AMPs and speed are so important. Image courtesy of Google.
Location extensions and store visits for YouTube ads
Another big announcement followed, as Ramaswamy told us that location extensions will now be available for YouTube TrueView ads. This will allow advertisers to display local business information with their ads. They will also be able to measure how many of their TrueView ads have resulted in visits to a physical store, as Store Visits will be made available to YouTube advertisers too. This has been trialled by Wendy's and allowed them to reach 8 million potential restaurant visitors.
Better audience targeting
Next up was Bhanu Narasimhan, Director of Audience Products, who spoke about having a broader reach to your customers and creating a more seamless experience. Now you will be able to stay with your customer throughout their whole journey - if they learn about your brand on YouTube, you can be there when they search for related terms in Google. Narasimhan was also sure to highlight that users are always in control of what ads they see, as privacy is one of the most important principles to Google.
Google has also added two new audiences, based on consumer patterns and life events, which you can use to target your ads. Perhaps the best part of Narasimhan announcements was in-market audiences now being added to Search campaigns, so you can target your customers based on whether they are in the market for your product.
Google Attribution and Attribution 360
Bill Kee, Group Product Manager, took to the stage to tell marketers that he was here to help them answer the question 'Is my marketing working?'. He then made the bold claim that this year, Google was going to solve the attribution problem with Google Attribution - a free tool that will be available to all advertisers. This is powered by AI to help advertisers evaluate the success of their campaigns using something other than last-click attribution, as well as estimate conversions. It has a user-friendly interface, allowing advertisers to easily link their Analytics and AdWords accounts.
It's a well-known fact that the user journey often takes place across multiple devices and screens. That's why Google is also introducing Unique Reach reporting, available now, in AdWords and coming to DoubleClick in the next few months. This will allow advertisers to make the most of their budgets and make frequency capping more accurate, ensuring that they don't reach the same user too many times across multiple devices.
A new AdWords!
Group Product Manager, Karen Yao, came to announce that there will be a new look AdWords which will have been rolled out to all accounts by the end of the year. This will feature a new 'Landing Page' feature, which will allow advertisers to test and tweak their landing pages when integrated with Google Optimize - no coding required! The new tab will also provide data on current engagement rates for your individual landing pages to all AdWords users.
An example of testing the landing pages for ads. Image courtesy of Google.
Surveys for your ads
Next out with some announcements for DoubleClick was Roshan Khan, Senior Product Manager. A campaign manager is coming out now for DoubleClick, which will allow advertisers using the platform to plan and execute their campaigns. It will also make use of AI and past campaign data to optimise your future campaigns. He also announced that Surveys 360 can now be integrated with your AdWords, allowing advertisers to get tangible data from people that clicked on their ads to use for further optimisation - available now in the States and Canada.
And finally, Google Assistant and Shopping
Jennifer Liu, Director of Google Shopping, came out to talk about buying with Google Assistant. The conversational aspect of interaction with the Google Assistant was the main focus here, as Liu gave the example of using her Google Home for directions to a store to buy a certain product which she searched for the day before on her phone. It was cited as a vehicle for marketers to 'talk to your customers at scale' in a conversational way. For all retailers out there, they are able to send their local inventory data to Google now and this will be made available on the Google Assistant in the coming weeks.
Until next time...
The Google Marketing Next keynote showcased a variety of new features and products for us to begin making use of, many of them available now. Unsurprisingly, the keynote took a strong focus on machine-learning, highlighting how marketers can work with AI to reach their customers in the right place at the right time in their journey. Will these features really allow us to up our marketing game and start showing results in our PPC campaigns? Only time will tell.
Let us know your thoughts on the marketing keynote and which features you'll be making use of below!