OUR TAKE Robert Knapp, Christopher Ulrich, Joshua Hill, Zhen Chen, Jessica Montes & Christine Shen
Google Marketing Next 2017: Showcasing the Future of Advertising

Google’s Marketing Next 2017 Presentation Showcases the Future of Advertising when Combined with Machine Learning and Mobile Innovations

Machine Learning. Artificial intelligence. Mobile First. Over the last few months and years, you have probably heard these terms brought up more and more within advertising industry articles and presentations. Google recently unveiled the future of its advertising products (AdWords, DoubleClick and Google Analytics) when combined with Machine Learning, AI and a focus on “Mobile First” capabilities.

In short: AdWords gets a facelift, faster Ads with AMP technology, new Google surveys and Google Optimize bring added consumer knowledge and efficiency.  Campaign Planning in DoubleClick Bid Manager gets “Smart”.  Google Attribution hopes to answer, “Is my marketing working?”, and a whole lot more! Read on to get the skinny.

What is New and Changing?

Below is a summary on the latest details.

Marketing Updates

Google’s emphasis on reaching the right audience and providing a memorable, clean experience has grown, thus introducing new technology on Google:

– Reducing Load Time to Increase Conversions – the introduction of AMP has helped load time significantly by using cached page content. Now Google is bringing AMP to ads with AMP landing pages from Search ads and AMP ads on GDN (in beta).

– Improving the Quality of the Audience – allowing advertisers to connect data cross channel to reach audiences already interested in the brand (i.e. utilizing YouTube data to execute on Search).

– Brand New Audience Segments – Consumer Patterns and Life Events based on intent-based signals was previously announced for YouTube, will also roll out to Gmail ads later this year.

– Broader Reach across Channels and Devices – Full rollout of “In-Market audiences for Search” (previously in limited beta) intended on reaching users who are more likely to purchase. This new targeting tactic has seen an average 10% increase in conversion rates thus far as reported in the announcement.

– Google Assistant – the increasing use of voice search helped introduce this feature which retailers can leverage to make shopping moments more personable and natural.

AdWords and Analytics Updates

The latest updates improve advertiser usability and updates set at generating deeper levels of consumer data, insights and learning never before available:

– *New AdWords Interface –The interface now allows advertisers to quickly build custom audiences and will now feature a new tool that provides landing page insights, such as bounce rate, mobile friendliness reports, etc.

New Campaign Creation and Performance Estimate Views – AdWords

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– Google Optimize – allows advertisers to easily create and test versions of landing pages (tailored to certain campaigns or keywords) without needing the help of a web master.

– Google Surveys 360 – to better understand the impact of ads and uncover insights into the customer’s behavior. This product leverages remarketing lists to help answer questions on ad recall, purchase intent, message effectiveness, etc.

– Store Visits on YouTube –Google is adding location extensions and tracking store visits for YouTube TrueView campaigns to help measure online to offline conversions. This update is powered by the same technology that powers Google Maps.

– Enhanced Store Sales Measurement Tools – not only track store visits, but sales as well by porting in data or utilizing Google’s 3rd party data that maps transactions back to Google ads in a secure way.

– Google Attribution & Attribution 360 – Google announced their new cross-channel attribution platform, which uses AdWords, Analytics, and DoubleClick data to provide attribution models beyond last-click. It integrates seamlessly with AdWords to make optimizing search campaigns based on different attribution models simple.

New Campaign Creation and Performance Estimate Views – AdWords

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– Unique Reach – Currently available in the AdWords interface, giving visibility to see how many unique consumers see their GDN and YouTube ads, as well as average impression frequency per user. This feature will be available in DoubleClick later this year.

– Improved Display Planning – Google also introduced a new workflow within DoubleClick Bid Manager (currently in beta) with improved display campaign planning functionality. The tool now allows advertisers to quickly receive impression and cost forecasts after inputting their budget and target audience, assigning viewability and brand safety constraints, and designating the primary KPI for their campaign.

What does this mean for Advertisers?

Google’s announcements bring a wide range of new updates and features that touch on all the major pillars of search advertising and beyond. 

A major focus was placed on finding the right user, learning more about them and delivering a better experience. AMP updates, refined targeting and improved reach across mobile, search and YouTube will allow for high precision campaigns, targeting and insights, all at an extremely large scale.

Attribution and analytics are pushing more brands and advertisers to look more intelligently at the complexity of the user journey by introducing their Google Attribution products. Other updates, like the rollout of “data driven attribution” (previously in beta) and store visit and measurement tools allow for greater views into the online and offline consumer journey.

Refinements in voice and image search, as well as an added emphasis on Google Assistant during the announcement indicate that Google is serious about improving the user experience around these growing behaviors.

Advertisers and brands alike should begin exploring how their digital campaigns are extending offline, if they haven’t already. The latest updates are aimed at measuring the “true” consumer journey which extends beyond the digital world. Begin taking advantage of the latest features as they become available to understand how your current efforts are working holistically. We encourage conducting tests and making optimizations with the latest features to understand how your campaign can adapt to the ever changing world of search.

Robert Knapp, Christopher Ulrich, Joshua Hill, Zhen Chen, Jessica Montes and Christine Shen of DigitasLBi’s Search Capability.