Top Takeaways for Advertisers from Google Marketing Live 2023
Abby Long is the Senior Managing Editor at PMG.
This week, Google hosted its annual Google Marketing Live event, offering advertisers a first look at the latest ad innovations and technological advancements coming soon to Google’s ad products. Similar to Google I/O, artificial intelligence (AI) was front and center throughout the keynote presentation, with the most exciting ad product announcements centered around how advertisers can better leverage the power of AI to engage with consumers at the right times throughout their search journeys.
Google unveiled more than 20 new ad products at this year’s Google Marketing Live, with the majority leaning on AI enhancements to power improved efficiencies and performance.
Core themes from the event centered on customer connections, creative, and confidence, as Google presented products that aim to help marketers make decisions, enhance creativity, and solve measurement challenges.
Amid the flurry of AI-powered updates, Google released the AI Essentials Checklist, providing a helpful guide on how to take advantage of the latest AI tools and product updates.
Throughout the event, Google reinforced that AI is at the core of the Google Ads experience, with the future of Google advertising being one that is privacy-first and powered by artificial intelligence. With Google I/O and the YouTube Brandcast hosted just a few days and weeks ago, Google executives expanded upon recent announcements from those events, including the new features coming to YouTube advertising and the ins and outs of Google’s new Search Generative Experience (SGE).
With the transition to Google Analytics 4 on the horizon, Google unveiled new tech for making it easy to manage first-party data, activate against Google Analytics 4 (GA4) audience insights, and update conversion values to drive better performance results.
Related: PMG’s 4 Takeaways from Google I/O 2023
Google is committed to powering a privacy-first marketing experience, with countless privacy-enabled features launching later this year across ad platforms. Some of these include new tools to help advertisers streamline the management of first-party data in Google Ads, connect data sources, convert data to insights, and improve measurement accuracy, all within GA4.
Similarly, advertisers will be able to build and utilize GA4 audiences directly within Google Ads, with predictive audiences, as identified by Google AI, surfacing the audiences most likely to convert. Google will soon integrate Google Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox APIs into its ads platforms to help advertisers better manage the transition to more privacy-first advertising experiences amid industry-wide third-party cookie deprecation.
New features are on the way for Display and Video 360, including durable, privacy-centric audience solutions and an improved insights experience specifically for connected TV campaigns. One of the most exciting updates is optimized targeting, an AI-powered audience solution that uses AI signals to find new customers without relying on third-party cookies. Advertisers can also expect cross-device measurement for CTV campaigns to launch later this year. App campaigns are getting similar updates with new features that create a more seamless web-to-app experience, improve iOS measurement, and more.
Perhaps the biggest news coming out of Google Marketing Live was the new conversational experience within Google Ads. Using a large language model built upon advertising data and insights, this new feature allows advertisers to engage in a natural language conversation with AI to create new Google Ads campaigns. To start, advertisers will add the preferred landing page of an ad, and from there, Google AI will summarize the page and generate relevant keywords, headlines, images, and other assets for the ad campaign. Within Google’s new Search Generative Experience (SGE), advertisers will be able to experiment with new ad formats native to SGE that utilize generative AI for creating ads throughout a user’s unique search journey.
Google’s AI-powered campaign solution, Performance Max, is also getting a few upgrades, including asset creation capabilities, new generative AI enhancements, and access to Google’s new conversational AI campaign-building tech. Automatically created assets (ACA) for Search ads, which quickly generate headline copy and descriptions from webpage content, will soon be upgraded with generative AI features as well. Many of these new Googles Ad features will enter the testing phase with select advertisers in July 2023 before rolling out more broadly in the future.
Google Merchant Center is getting a makeover with a new version, referred to as Merchant Center Next, which is slated to replace the current platform by 2024. The most significant update to the platform, in addition to a new look and feel, is a new AI autofill function that sources information from a brand’s website to streamline product feed creation and management.
Google unveiled the AI Essentials Checklist, offering advertisers a helpful guide for how they can take advantage of the latest AI tools and product updates across campaigns and ad formats. The Checklist, available on the Google Ads Help Center, features recommendations, including foundational tactics like setting up enhanced conversions, tips for driving incremental demand, and strategic guidance for supporting a broader mindset shift within an organization for adopting AI enhancements and operating with agility.
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At this year’s Google Marketing Live, PMG’s Head of Search, Shopping, and Social, Jason Hartley, joined Vidhya Srinivasan, vice president and GM of Google Ads, on the stage in Mountain View, California, to share his perspective on the future of search and generative AI. The two discussed how these announcements will come to life in the weeks to come, with Jason reinforcing the importance for advertisers to adopt and engage with these tools now as we can expect even more AI advancements from Google in the near future.
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