This year’s Google Marketing Live event set the buzzword world of marketing on fire this year. After all, Google Adwords is dead. Cue Google Ads, perhaps the only time Google has ever taken a page out of Bing. This year we learned every good Google presentation is built upon three core concepts, starting with Google’s primary principles; Valuable, Transparent and Trustworthy.
Among the many sales pitches presentations, we heard a common theme - our job as marketers is tough. Real tough. People want relevance, personalization, questions answered immediately - all while not sharing any private data. At the end of the day, Google is looking out for its users and wants brands to provide actual value quickly, effectively, straightforward and most of all relevant …all so people keep coming back to Google, duh!
If you read one thing from this update, it’s this. It’s not about keywords anymore. In fact, people are converting more on YouTube today than on Google. Conversions on YouTube are up 150% year over year. You can’t be thinking about search and only search. It’s an entire ecosystem and Google let us know they are changing their ways to cater to the ecosystem.
Enter the big announcement, Google Marketing Platform. The short version? It’s migrating all of their siloed tools to a complete suite of products for an end-to-end solution, not to mention a seamless integration between the various platforms. It’s about time! They’ve rebranded the products and leveraged the “360” naming convention they had when they rolled out Analytics 360. Now instead of Doubleclick, you have Display & Video 360. Bid Manager is now Search Ads 360 and so on. I learned by walking around talking to the product managers at the Sandbox (which was really, really cool BTW) that mostly everything with a 360 in the name, costs money.
But first, coffee in the Product Sandbox. Major highlight!
Here are some new things and enhancement Google is planning to roll out in the near to distant future. (LOL every Beta announcement was “end of this year” or “early 2019” come on, give me something now!):
- YouTube Form ads. A form field in the ad unit? Yes, please.
- YouTube True view for Reach (CPM based bidding) and True View for Action (advertise based on recent searches for your products/services).
- Responsive search ads. Google can now run a number of combinations of headlines and descriptions and serve the best combinations. Perhaps gone are the days of creating ad copy by hand...
- Landing page speed score. Assesses the speed of your landing page and the score is integrated directly within Google Ads. Pretty cool.
- Affiliate location extensions. Think tracking retail in-store visits for manufacturers. At least an attempt.
- Smart campaigns. See; a (much?) better version of Adwords Express/smaller budgets.
- Auto-optimized landing pages. This will live within Smart Campaigns and will make it easy for those without landing pages that will actually work for paid ads.
- Local campaigns. In Sridhar Ramaswamy’s keynote, he shared that Google has seen a 10x increase for the phrase “open near me tonight.” The goal of local campaigns is to drive foot traffic to stores because as customers, we don’t even have time tell you where we are now.
- New Ads editor is coming (finally!)
- Data Studio launched “data blended” which is essentially data aggregation in addition to data visualization. More on that to come as we dive into the true capabilities.
- Budget planner rolling out to Google Ads. This one is a 2019 initiative, but looking forward to it!
- eCPC for value bids. Optimize for conversion value rather just all conversions.
- Cross-device reporting within Google Analytics.
- In-store measurement via Google Analytics.
We are very excited about all the new changes Google has "in store" for us. We are staying updated on the new rollouts, so stay tuned for our take once they come to a city near you! Until then, see ya' around.