Google Marketing Live Signals Next Innovation Horizons for Advertising and Commerce
Transparency and insights took center stage at this year’s event, while privacy and cookie deprecation underscored much of Google’s product roadmap. The event unveiled how Google plans to roll out more machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate ad campaigns, while also promising to better integrate first-party data and provide insights back to marketers about conversions and campaigns.
Google’s insights pages are slated for an overhaul this year, with a focus on a new attribution section and better integration with first-party data, to help advertisers get a better view of what drives performance for campaigns. The push toward new ways of managing and measuring campaigns will require advertisers to rethink how they structure, measure and optimize to take advantage of a more visual and connected Google advertising experience.
In the backdrop of this year’s event, there continue to be growing calls for regulation, including the recent introduction of the bipartisan Data Privacy Act, as well as Google’s ongoing efforts to evolve the industry away from third-party cookies by 2023.
Jerry Dischler, vp and general manager, ads at Google told Digiday: “We’ve heard loud and clear more advertisers want increased transparency, and so we’re going to provide them with a whole bunch of more transparency…We’re also taking the existing Local Campaigns and Smart Shopping campaign types and upgrading them to Performance Max.”
This year’s event emphasized how Google continues to focus on enhancements to ad products that span the full customer journey, not just specific channels. With the transition to Performance Max, Smart Shopping and Local Campaigns getting underway, search and shopping campaigns are about to get more integrated, sophisticated and visual than ever before.
Performance Max (PMax), representing one of the most anticipated rollouts of 2022, was a major focus of this year’s event, which introduced seven new updates. One of the most notable is the ability to optimize toward store sales goals to drive more in-store sales, store visits and local actions, giving brick-and-mortar businesses more reasons to test PMax campaigns in their accounts. In addition, Google is introducing optimization scores and automated recommendations for new customer acquisition, along with a new “boost” feature that will set a timeframe to optimize ads against in-store and seasonal goals. Google also says it will provide advertisers with expanded insights and intelligence around PMax campaign performance, better management and reporting integration through the Google Ads App and Search 360, and that it will create a suite of ‘experimentation tools’ to help drive incremental performance, which will first be tested and rolled out in Beta for non-retail campaigns.
Hotel marketers can also anticipate the introduction of hotel advertising using Performance Max campaigns in the second half of 2022. This will allow hotels to leverage PMax to promote properties across all Google channels, including property-specific queries on Google Search. These ads will feature pre-populated asset groups for all hotel properties, along with auto-generated images, descriptions and videos.
Shoppable ads were also prominently featured at this year’s event. One of the biggest shopping enhancements will be swipeable shopping ads in search that pair with organic shopping results for a highly visual shopping experience, specifically for apparel brands. In addition, later this year advertisers will be able to connect product feeds to campaigns to create shoppable video ads on YouTube Shorts, another product prominently featured during this year’s event as Google responds to TikTok’s continued growth.
Augmented Reality, currently used by more than 90 percent of Americans for shopping, is also coming to search through the ability to feature 3D models of products directly within the search engine results pages (SERPs), though no details or timelines have been released. Google also introduced Loyalty Ads Integration and Checkout on Merchant, which is currently part of a closed pilot. Loyalty Ads Integration would allow advertisers using PMax and a product feed to drive more loyalty sign-ups across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps, while Checkout on Merchant would streamline transactions by driving directly to merchants from the product listing.
Google used this year’s event to roll out a slew of new video advertising enhancements, including:
Video ads in Discover. The announcement of video ads showing directly in Discover.
Google Audiences for Connected TVs. Advertisers will soon be able to use connected TV campaigns to target viewers across YouTube and “most” other connected TV apps, bringing affinity, in-market, and demographic audience segments to connected TVs.
Asset Library. A new feature that will help advertisers leverage current ads and assets outside of Google as a “one-stop-shop” for asset collaboration and storage for images and video content.
YouTube Video Creation in 60 seconds. From within the Asset Library, Google announced that advertisers can create a video ad and publish to YouTube in as little as 60 seconds.
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While many of these new features remain to be rolled out, tested and integrated into advertiser’s campaigns, this year’s Google Marketing Live clearly illustrated that a reinvention of digital marketing is underway. As these new features and enhancements come to market, PMG is here to partner to best understand how to continuously innovate and optimize to meet marketers’ goals.