Google Marketing Live 2019. Today is the annual event where Google celebrates marketers, announces big new directions in both ads and other products, and creates a lot of buzz and excitement for the advertising industry.
Google Marketing Live (GML) is the annual unveiling of the search giant’s newest products which starts today. It runs for two days, and anyone can register to watch the event live and on-demand from any device connected to the web. Marketers can engage directly with product managers through live Q&A, learn new best practices, and get an inside look at how Google’s latest products are developed. You can watch last year’s event here.
Here are some quick links to get you up to speed quickly:
Google Marketing Live 2019 Key Themes
Skai has been a Google partner for over a decade—and we have even taken our relationship one step further recently—so we’ve been partnering for months on several of these initiatives and excited to finally be able to talk about some of these announcements and new products.
In the Ads Innovation Keynote this morning, Google’s SVP, Ads and Commerce, Prabhakar Raghavan, outlined some of the key themes that will be at the center of 2019’s Google Marketing Live:
Ads should be helpful. Google’s goal is to market new solutions that make the right information faster and easier to find. One example of this evolution is the way hotel listings have changed in Google Search. Instead of just having an organic link, they have reviews, distance, price, etc.
Evolving with the changing consumer journey. Google aims to offer advertisers ways to reach people at every point within the path to purchase. It is in a unique position across multiple properties to best understand how consumers broaden and narrow their consideration set on the way to purchase.
Responsible data usage. Consumer trust is important for marketers to grow as fast as they want while providing transparency, choice, and control for consumers. Privacy and respect in a user-first mindset are how Google will keep this at the core of every product and ad experience.
Key product announcements
We’ll be sharing our perspectives on the various announcements in the coming days. Several stood out from this morning’s keynote.
Google Marketing Live 2019: Gallery Ads
50% of online shoppers said images of the product inspired them to purchase, and increasingly, they’re turning to Google Images. Overall, Search is becoming more visual and we know that Google has been planning a lot of things around visual search options for some time now including shoppable ads and Showcase Shopping which have been added to Google Images. In fact, our data indicates that more than 25% of AdWords ads across our customer base in Q1 2019 were graphical vs text (up 6 percentage points from the same period last year).
Google formally announced today the next addition to the visual search ad format: Gallery Ads. Gallery Ads is a new, visual ad type (that somewhat resembles the Carousel Ads in paid social advertising) with 4 to 8 images each with their own unique 70 character taglines and up to 3 headlines to test calls-to-action. Early testing shows that Gallery Ads can drive 25% more engagement than standard text ads.
This is going to be a new world for Search marketers who never really worked with image ad formats before. With our years of expertise with the highly visual ad formats in Skai Social, we are excited to help our clients step into this new world. Search marketers might also benefit from tapping into the expertise from their social advertising partners and colleagues in order to think about things that impact visual ads such as ad fatigue—especially as these now will be across channels.
Google Marketing Live 2019: Enhancements to Smart Bidding
Google announced it will be launching Maximize Conversion Value which completes Google’s planned portfolio bidding strategies for Smart Bidding along with Target CPA, Target ROAS, and Enhanced CPC. There will also be seasonality adjustments for Smart Bidding which will give marketers added control and input so that it better understands the context on why metrics might spike or dip due throughout the year and react accordingly. For example, if you know that consumers generally convert at a higher rate during the end-of-the-year holiday season, you will be able to make that a bit clearer to the system so it knows that it is supposed to happen.
Skai has made a lot of investments in the last 12 months to allow advertisers on our platform not only to take advantage of Smart Bidding if and where it makes sense but to enhance its performance if you’re using it. In our recent blog post, Skai Makes Google Smart Bidding Even Smarter, we shared that when Smart Bidding is combined with Skai’s Budget Navigator, our customers benefit as Skai maximizes the efficient return on ad spend (ROAS) across a search marketer’s entire portfolio. You can also use Skai to forecast the opportunity at different levels of spend, as well as set spending goals and efficiently and automatically pace to those targets.
Combined with the option to use Skai Portfolio Optimization for your program instead, or in parts of your program that require more complex objectives and/or more focus on the upper funnel, Skai + Google Smart Bidding is a powerful combination to give you best performance and full control.
Google Marketing Live 2019: Local Campaigns
Consumers increasingly turn to their mobile phones to do research and plan before they head into a store. Because of this, marketers have a huge opportunity to assist and influence customers’ purchase decisions before they even make it to your brick and mortar location.
Local campaigns are the first campaign type in Google Ads specifically designed to help marketers drive foot traffic to stores, restaurants, auto dealerships and more. Early adopters are already seeing great results. In recent global studies with 10 advertisers across several verticals, Google found that Local campaigns helped brands drive a median 5x incremental return-on-ad-spend from their business locations.
In addition, Google is updating Google Maps with advertising options such as Promoted Products, Promoted Pins, and Promoted Locations to give local advertisers more control over how ads in its popular map service are served to consumers.
Skai made a big investment to enable local advertisers on Google many years ago. With more than 46% of all searches on Google have a local intent, the rise in local searches has grown in part due to the rise of mobile devices and mobile searching as people are on the go.
Other sessions to look out for at Google Marketing Live 2019
We know that many will not have the time to tune in to the entire Google Marketing Live 2019 event. Here are some of the sessions we think will be most interesting and valuable for you to try to make or try to watch the recordings after the event.
Day 1, May 14th @ 1:30pm EST
In this session, you will learn where Search is going next and how AI and other innovations are making it possible to help users in entirely new ways. This session will be led by Ben Gomes who has worked at Google for 18 years so he knows a thing or two about where Search is headed.
Marketing Live 2019 Post Show: Delivering Frictionless Experiences Across the Mobile Web and Apps. (Day 1, May 14th @ 2:10pm EST)
A more in-depth look at the biggest keynote announcements, followed by live Q&A with product leaders and best practices to set you up for success.
Step Inside the Product Sandbox (Day 2, May 15th @ 12:35pm EST)
Join the Google product teams as they showcase the newest products and demos from the Product Sandbox experience.
Unpack Optimization Score and Impression Share (Day 2, May 15th @ 1:00 pm EST)
Learn the ins and outs of optimization score and the new impression share metrics.
Check out Google Marketing Live 2019
The news and announcements will be things to watch out for throughout the year. We’ll continue to share perspectives in the coming days.