Google Marketing Live 2023
This sh*t was bananas! No seriously, after a full day of great conversations and learnings, the sun set on the Bay View Google Campus as Gwen Stefani took the stage to close out the annual event, and all of us marketing geeks went… well, b-a-n-a-n-a-s!
GML is an anticipated summit in the marketing world, bringing together digital professionals, advertisers, and industry experts to explore the latest advancements in the Google landscape. From the Keynote speeches, which can be watched in full here, to small group roundtables, attendees were given direct access to talk to product developers, learn about upcoming roadmaps, ask questions, and provide feedback.
This year’s theme revolved around AI – artificial intelligence, always improving. Probably not a huge surprise as machine learning in the marketing world continues to grow and drive proven results.
This conference showcased Google’s innovative marketing solutions, cutting-edge technologies, and insights into the future of online advertising. As new updates to existing products roll out, and new Beta opportunities are on the horizon, Location3 is excited to work closely with our partners to test and learn with these new capabilities. There was so much covered, so be sure to contact your Strategy Director to get started – but now let’s dive into some of my highlights from the event!
We know marketers love a good acronym, so you’ll want to remember this new one – SGE. Google showcased a new experiment in Search Labs, called Search Generative Experience, or SGE for short. Utilizing Bard, their version of ChatGPT, Google aims to improve a user’s experience, making it easier than ever to travel through a Search journey quickly and successfully. With the ability to ask follow up questions and more, the AI capabilities allow for you to have a seamless conversation style, with context carrying over from each of your steps, allowing for a natural exploration and deep dive.
Beyond how Paid Search efforts, like PLAs, intertwines with this, it’ll be interesting to see how these newer AI interactions may impact SEO strategies! Let’s discuss how you can get SEO & CRO into your media mix strategy to stay ahead of the curve.
By now we know video is king. And according to data from Neilson NMI, YouTube accounts for over 72% of top ad supported streaming watch time. It’s also the second most used search engine, behind Google – so if you’re not leveraging this channel, what are you waiting for?! Continuing the theme of the day, Google shared new AI supportive creative tools making it easier for advertisers to not only generate video from still assets, but to also reshape to a variety of orientations such as Square for mobile devices, and Vertical videos which is preferred for Shorts.
There are also a few new features rolling out in DV360, the most exciting being expanded privacy-first solutions that will help with improved reporting and insights for connected TV campaigns.
When attendees at the GML Summit were surveyed on which area of marketing they were most excited for AI to transform, 40% responded with creative!
This hot topic carries over from last year’s event, and whether you love them or question them, they are here to stay. Performance Max campaigns received a few enhancements that may help convince you to finally take the leap.
First and foremost, creative – a revamped asset creation flow, Google AI can now learn about your business, directly from your website details. From there it’ll provide a variety of creative options to add to your campaigns, you can pick and choose to your liking, and even further customize based on your vision. These new high-quality assets remove the creative barrier that many advertisers face.
In addition, new transparent reporting aims to give a clearer picture on what’s driving results. With asset recommendation insights, revised search term insights, expanded search term categories and more, the team at Google are making steps to improve the reporting side of things.
There are also new optimization goals available to maximize value from new and existing customers. You can acquire new high lifetime value customers, and also reconnect with existing value customers who haven’t interacted with your brand in a while, by using your first party data and PMax driven AI to bid more for these categories of users.
When it comes to e-commerce, imagery is key. High-quality and visually appealing images capture the attention of online shoppers, so it’s exciting to hear Google has introduced AI tools to help combat marketers’ creative struggles. Product Studio is a new design feature that makes it quick and easy to apply a number of edits and optimizations to product images such as increasing the photo resolution, removing backgrounds, and adding in custom product scenes!
Google is also making it easier for businesses to list on the engine. Gone are the days of shopping feed manual updates! Merchant Center Next, an update to Google’s Merchant Center, will make it simpler to build a business product feed, by automatically populating products directly from a website. Other new features include comprehensive views and insights reports with an upgraded Performance tab.
And of course, the day did not go by without the mention of GA4. And in case you missed the countdown clock, and the banner flags annddd the warning emails – the July 1st deadline to transition over from Universal Analytics is quickly approaching. If you’re dragging your feet on becoming accustomed to the new interface, you’re not alone. Other marketers in attendance expressed their hesitation on committing to the new program, but Google product managers did give insights to new updates and features on the way. Most notably, Google Analytics 4 can improve your measurement foundation to drive better outcomes with easier ways to manage first party data and new innovations, all with a privacy first approach.
GA4 can link with Google Ads to further improve performance with features such as enhanced conversion, new audiences builds and data driven attribution models that can now apply fractional conversion credits.
There is No Doubt that AI technology will change the future of marketing, but one thing I think it’s important to remember, that while the unknown with AI can be intimidating, the human prompts needed to seamlessly integrate with your MMMs and Strategies are just as important. Here at Location3 and LOCALACT, we have excelled with our people + technology approach and are ready to partner with you and help tell your business’ story.
“Companies that deploy machine learning based technologies, with active human supervision, can boost campaign performance by an additional 15%.” (Source).
TL;DR version: Check out Google’s own top takeaways video here. And reach out to day to talk with us about all things #GML2023 and beyond!
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