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14 Jun 2022
Digital Marketing

Key Takeaways from the Google Marketing Live 2022 Keynote

Google shared the latest updates to its ads and commerce products at the annual Google Marketing Live event.

Here are the key takeaways from the keynote at the Google Marketing Live 2022, which took place on 24th May 2022 in a live stream event.

Google Search

The structure of a search results page has been reimagined, surfacing more images, articles, videos, products and answers to questions.

Google explains it as transforming the search results page into an endless stream of ideas to satisfy your curiosity. Starting in the U.S., search results will display more rich visual content instead of the “10 blue links” of search results.

Google Ad Experiences

Images

Along with the more visual search comes more visual product ads, interspersed with organic results to make a more natural experience for someone searching for content.

A mobile phone screen showing Google’s new visual search results for the search query “shop snowboard jackets“

If you’re not already making sure that your product photography is on point, then now is the time to start!

Video

According to Google, our online video watch time is up by 34% per day and short-form video content through YouTube Shorts now has 30B+ average daily views - up 4x in just over a year.

Google is developing a full range of new solutions so that advertisers can reach audiences through video on every device.

Google has been experimenting with Ads on YouTube Shorts. And today, they will roll this out to more advertisers with video action in-app campaigns.

Video ads are also coming to Discover in the Google mobile app so that users can naturally engage with your brand's videos.

For advertisers using Display & Video 360, it will soon be possible to reach affinity, in-market and demographic audiences through connected TV campaigns across YouTube and other ad-supported connected TV apps. Read more about Google audiences with connected TVs.

Results with Automation

Google has learned a lot to try and automate advertising campaigns, such as Performance Max campaigns. A.I. Driven advertising is the future of Google Ads. According to Google, advertisers are seeing an average increase of 13% in total incremental conversions at a similar Cost Per Action (CPA) with Performance Max campaigns.

Google has recognised that advertisers want more trust and transparency in what the automation is doing and are therefore providing experiment tools to run A/B tests on Performance Max campaigns, along with new Insights and Explanations into what’s working and why with campaigns.

Measurement and Privacy

By 2023, 65% of the world’s population will be covered under more modern privacy regulations and laws similar to GDPR.

Digital advertising needs to be re-written for the next chapter and consequently, Google is building tools that advertisers can trust to ensure that ad spend is properly valued with privacy-safe measurement tools.

Search and conversion lift tests are also coming in a secure and safe way, including the ability to run Geo experiments directly in Google Ads and Display & Video 360. These will enable more advertisers to see the incremental performance lift against key goals of the campaign, such as comparing regions where ads are shown vs regions where they don't.

Keep users in control of their data

Google My Ad Center - Google's new tool to keep users in control of their data

Google has created My Ad Center – a new place to give users control of the ads they see on YouTube, Search and Discovery. Users can choose to see more ads from the brands or categories they like.

Helping businesses

Building on the work that Google has been doing with Privacy Sandbox for Chrome and Android comes expanded testing (later this year) of interest-based advertising and remarketing in Google Ads and Display & Video 360, which will incorporate signals from the Privacy Sandbox APIs.

Google has been working with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), including on a set of legally-binding commitments to address the CMA’s competition concerns over the Privacy Sandbox.

You will also be able to combine your first-party data with automation in a privacy-safe way with Performance Max campaigns, with the ability to do this with other campaign types later this year.

Simplified tagging

In the coming weeks, Google will be introducing the Google Tag that will replace the existing Global site tag and enable you to combine your tags and manage to track centrally for destinations such as Google Ads and Google Analytics without additional code.

Insights

Similar to the Google Analytics 4 Home page that uses machine learning to provide real-time updates about prospects and returning customers, Google Ads is also getting a new Insights page.

Screenshots of the attribution, budget and audience insights reports

There’s a new Attribution insight to see what is working across Google channels, to quickly see how campaigns are helping customers across the entire conversion journey. With the new Budget insights, you can also see which campaigns are working and which are not.

The Audience insights will also support first-party data that you have supplied to Google as audience lists so that you can quickly see which audience lists are providing a high conversion value.

The new insights page will also be offered at the Manager account level, so that you can get a complete overview of your Ad accounts from a single dashboard to compare growth, for example, if you have an Ad account for each region where you sell.

Commerce

People are shopping on Google more than 1 billion times per day. At the same time, brick-and-mortar stores have made a comeback – rebounding by over 8% in 2021 to $21 trillion globally. Customers still enjoy omnichannel experiences, such as click and collect to have their products ready in the store.

According to Google, 2/3 of U.S. shoppers say that they first started their shopping online with searches like ‘near me in stock’.

Augmented Reality in Search

Augmented reality in Search provides a fully immersive shopping experience

Google is bringing Augmented Reality (AR) to Search, saying that this will be the next staple in how consumers will interact with products and brands digitally.

Google will display your products in 3D from the Search results page if you have provided the appropriate 3D images. If you are a Shopify merchant, you may know that you can already add 3D image files to your store and we will have to wait to find out how these will work with product ads in Google. Google specifically called out Shopify as one of their partners and the Google channel app, so it's assumed that support will be built in there.

Omnichannel

In the 2021 holiday season, shoppers who used at least five channels to inform their decision reported making twice as many purchases and spending twice as much on average compared to shoppers who only used one or two channels.

To get merchants in front of those shoppers, Google is testing new highly visual and immersive ad experiences that will blend organic results and shopping ads. This will roll out in the U.S. in time for the holiday season.

Checkout on the merchant

Mobile phone screens showing the search query "kids ski goggles". The first screen shows a shopping ad with a checkout button and the second screen shows the product from the ad in a Shopify checkout.

Google is introducing the ability to immediately checkout on your merchant store by clicking on a Checkout button from a shopping ad with the shopper being taken directly to the checkout on your site with the item in the cart.

The example shown in the keynote was a Shopify checkout page, and Google confirmed that they will be testing this feature in the coming month with select partners in the U.S., including Shopify and Walmart.

Loyalty

According to Google, shoppers are 77% more likely to choose a loyalty brand over their competitors.

A mobile phone screen showing the search query “hair blow dryer brush.” One of the results shows a tag that says “Get free shipping and earn points.”

Loyalty programmes are a great way to offer engagement and in the coming months, Google will be offering the ability to promote loyalty programmes right where shoppers choose where to buy from, such as discounts or points.

Additionally, through Performance Max campaigns you will be able to provide your existing loyalty customer lists to Google in a privacy-safe way, and then Google will display ads with your loyalty benefits for those existing customers.

Case Study: The Ordinary

During the keynote, Google's President for the Americas and Global Partners – Allan Thygesen spoke about the tools that are currently available and provided a case study with skincare brand The Ordinary.

Image shows brand logo and products for The Ordinary with a statistic for 5 to 1 ROAS

Thygesen talked about how brands that are ready for digital marketing should create agile and responsive marketing for the short opportunities and long-term resilience.

The Ordinary is a skincare brand that grew from a startup, looking for a global audience in the crowded beauty space. They were ready for the COVID-driven direct-to-consumer and self-care trends.

The Ordinary broke down its marketing strategy into three;

  1. Set clear objectives by focussing on brand awareness and customer loyalty
  2. Studied regional search trends by identifying the top markets where they could turn searches into sales using Google shopping campaigns
  3. Used automated tools to scale globally, seeding with data from their pilot shopping campaigns to scale globally

Using this strategy, The Ordinary achieved a 5 to 1 return on ad spend (ROAS).

Thygesen said that it's clear that brands who are ready should adopt a test-and-learn mindset with digital marketing and should make a digital transformation for their business a company-wide imperative.

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