Well, Google Marketing Live 2022 happened on Tuesday… and yes, that is the best opening line I have for it!
This year’s event, at least to me, felt like a whole lot of sizzle and barely any steak. What do I mean by that? Well, it was a lot of grand concepts and not very much in things you can now or in the very near future start testing. It was also extremely skewed toward e-commerce, more so than in years past and that is saying something.
According to Jerry Dischler (Vice President/General Manger, Ads, Google), the purpose of GML is to:
- unveil new tech
- share insights
- get advertiser feedback
A note here – this is a very long post. I rewatched the keynotes and tried to capture the important parts via text and screenshots. It also gets saltier toward the end.
So, what did they actually announce?
There was a lot of high level and philosophical talk about video, automation and privacy. That was certainly the overriding theme of the event. More on that later. For now, what concrete things did they actually discuss or announce?
Jerry Dischler talked about how Google is changing the search experience more than anything else.
- Multisearch – searching via image and text simultaneously in Google App.
- Reimagining search in a “more visual way”.
- Changing the SERP (search engine results page) to an “endless stream of visual ideas”.
Including more visual ads throughout the SERP (think more ads interspersed through the page, particularly visual ads):
Also according to Jerry Dischler, “online video is a MUST buy”.
Google is now automatically adding YouTube Shorts into Video Action and App campaigns, so your ads in these campaigns will also run on YouTube Shorts.
Video ads on Discover are coming too:
How about Google Audiences for Connected TV?
Well, only in Display & Video 360… so, if you use Display & Video 360 you can use your Google audiences to advertise on connected TVs and on certain streaming services that show ads.
Jerry Dischler said advertisers have asked for more transparency, so Google is going to provide it. How are they adding transparency?
Adding experimental tools for Performance Max where you can run A/B test for incremental lift:
Adding new insights and explanations for Performance Max campaigns;
Not sure you can actually act on anything you see, here, but you’ll see some more things?
And, now for the thing that literally no one was asking for… Performance Max campaigns will not be included in account optimization scores! Get ready to be penalized for not using Performance Max.
He also announced that Performance Max campaigns are now supported in Ads 360 and the Google Ads mobile app.
Moving on to “Building resilience for tomorrow” which is about how measurement must change with the upcoming loss of cookie data.
You will be able to do performance lift tests right in Google Ads and Ads 360.
Conversion and search lift tests also available:
That’s it for Jerry Dischler.
Next up Vidhya Srinivasan, VP/GM Ads on Google Properties, Buying & Measurement.
Hum to search feature. Cute, but not terribly useful for advertisers.
And now the real topic – machine learning. And not surprisingly, the push for broad match keywords + smart bidding. You will be able to do a single click experiment to see if broad match + smart bidding would be better than your current strategies:
She claims that accounts that were using exact match keywords (no mention of bidding strategy) when switched to broad match + smart bidding (using a target ROAS) will see an increase in conversion value by an average of 20%.
Using automation for your creative…
Later this year, responsive search ads will be able to pull information from your landing pages (this sounds an awful lot like DSA?) and all of your existing account assets to create ads. If you opt in, your site will be crawled to find the best content and may use content (headline for example) from a different ad group.
Coming soon – via Google Business Messages, searchers can message advertisers directly from search ads. Plans are for an open beta by the end of the year.
Google is making the Asset Library feature available to all advertisers:
You will be able to create video from your assets in 60 seconds from 5 image, logo and text assets to make a video ad.
And Google Analytics 4 has entered the conversation:
They have applied this kind of technology to Google Ads, with Insights:
New audience insights, which will “soon” include first party audience data:
Get ready for optimization score to be pushed harder in 2022…
Privacy! Privacy! Privacy!
Speaker is Saurabh Sharma, Senior Director, Product Management, Google.
My Ad Center for people to exercise more control over ads they see (or don’t see):
Customer match in Performance Max, coming to other campaigns “later this year”:
Get ready to hear MMM (marketing mix modeling) from Google…
Google is improving its MMM reporting:
So, they talk about conversion modeling very generally, with zero detail on how it is going to / being done and what it looks like. Can’t wait to discuss this with regular, non huge brand, advertisers…
Moving right on to DDA (data driven attribution). Google has made it available to all advertisers and to all levels of conversions. It is also the default conversion model for most actions. Again, zero details.
Now onto on device conversion measurement. This will somehow magically happen on the device and never be shared with the publisher or advertiser? Again, no detail other than “it works”.
Simplified site tags – in the “coming weeks” Google will have a more simplified tagging setup:
Not sure how this is going to interact with Google Tag Manager? Love how he said that right now trying to troubleshoot tags could drive you to drink… good lord. Get ready for tag headaches and build it in to your budget/fees and schedule. Let clients and stakeholders know that this change will be coming.
New lead funnel reporting – but there is a catch! You have to upload data from your CRM (this is a recurring theme that you should absolutely pay attention to. More on this later):
Actual acknowledgement that this stuff might be a bit too much for small businesses! Wow! And then an example of how a small business did it…
Example was Zoe Financial. They used Google and Hubspot to combine data, including their customer data (again, pay attention to this!). Hubspot will soon support enhanced conversions for all of their customers.
Shifting of risk for customer/searcher data away from Google Ads onto advertisers
I am going to take a moment to include here my thoughts on customer data and uploading it to an ad platform like Google Ads. This represents a gigantic liability shift for data away from Google and onto advertisers. This is not Google collecting user data via cookies or other tagging. This is you (and by you I mean the advertiser) uploading data that you are certifying that you have permission to use into an ad platform. This is very different and the risk shifts to the one uploading the data.
Do not blow this off. I am not an attorney, but I would strongly encourage you to start talking with your legal representation about this issue. Make sure you are covered when it comes to sharing customer data. Ignoring this and freely uploading customer data could be disastrous.
On to E-commerce
Speaker is Bill Ready, President, Commerce, Payments and NBU, Google.
“Omnibuyers” is the term Google is using for people who shop online and in store as part of their journey. Not sure this is really a new phenomenon? Yes, the last 2 years made things weird for in store, but this was happening well before 2020.
Google is pushing the idea of shoppers wanting a “more visual and engaging experience” when shopping via Google.
AR in search – Google is betting on this being a big trend in how shoppers search/shop online. If you have 3D images of your products, you will be able to showcase them in Google ads:
And now more on retail ads (are you sensing a theme yet???)
Speaker is Tina Weyand, Senior Director, Product Management, Retail Ads, Google.
Did Google really just figure out that shoppers go on nonlinear journeys in their shopping? Have we not all known this for years? They are presenting it like is a new phenomenon since COVID.
The feed (at least what they are showing on mobile) is now going to be a combination of ads (highly visual and immersive of course) among organic content:
Everyone better up their photography budgets…
These new ad formats are supposed to roll out “just in time for the holiday season”. No further detail on when Google thinks that is/should be for retailers to use them well.
They highlight Levi’s as an example of how YouTube has increased sales for them. Not sure using a super established brand like Levi’s (they literally say they invented jeans in their little segment) is indicative of how this might work for other businesses.
Product feeds will soon appear in YouTube Search & YouTube Shorts
And now to Performance Max – it is supposedly designed to meet your online and in store needs seamlessly. Soon you will be able to optimize toward and somehow measure in store sales via Performance Max. Details are light on this.
Case study for this is Rothy’s. An established online brand. They used Performance Max and got good results. Again, very established DTC brand as the case study.
Now onto Resilience…
Speaker is Matt Madrigal, Vice President / General Manager, Merchant Shopping, Google
Again, this segment is merchant/shopping focused.
Checkout on Merchant is coming. Click on an ad and have the product put in the cart on your site ready for searcher to just checkout on your site. Will be piloted via Shopify and Walmart. No dates shared on this. This could be great as it means potentially fewer clicks (and places to drop out) of the purchase process.
Google Ads is adding the capability to see your product feed information at the account level to better and more easily manage your product data and information:
This is coming to accounts in fall of 2022.
Adding your loyalty programs to your Google Ads
This kind of seems to me like you’re paying for customers you’ve already acquired? If they have a loyalty card with you, they are probably more likely to search on your site? If you can’t make more sales to your loyalty program people, you probably have bigger issues, but here is what this will do if you upload your loyalty audience to Google Ads:
Get new loyalty members via ads. If you upload your loyalty list, and “Google does the rest through the power of automation”.
Finally – the last section! What is working now and preparing for the future…
Speaker is Allan Thygesen, President Americas and Global Partners, Google.
He actually said “being ready is a choice” and went on to say that those who were ready for the pandemic made big gains. Is he actually de facto dissing companies that were thrown by COVID? This is a bad look.
Time for an example of a company that was ready for the pandemic and did well when it hit – a DTC skin care company. Huh, you mean an existing DTC brand was able to increase sales when everything closed and online was the only option. That is amazing!
OMG! A B2B mention with Monday.com!
And the lesson is supposed to be test more? They use 30% of their budgets for testing. That is outside the norm, from my experience, by a lot.
And that’s if for B2B…
On to the last example – Kia. Which the presenter literally just said went through a rebrand to become a more “customer centric mobile solution provider”. Dude, it is a car company?
Kia connected their dealers CRM to Google Ads and saw a 4X increase in their conversion rates. Yes, that is called remarketing, is it not? And I would hope you got better results when you shared your customer database?
I was underwhelmed by this year’s Google Marketing Live. In our audio chat yesterday, Kirk Williams said to him it felt like a presentation to shareholders rather than an event for actual advertisers. I think this sums up my reaction to it too. It was a whole lot of conceptual talk about big ideas and themes (visual ads, video, privacy and using your customer data). Not very much on the details.
And it was even more e-commerce focused than past events, which is saying something, as GML has always been more big brand and retail centric. This year it was all retail/e-commerce though. That felt weird. One tiny mention of B2B with no features for B2B, just highlighting a company that used more automation and spent 30% of their budget on “testing”.
All of the video stuff felt to me like they are still chasing social ad dollars. The push for YouTube Shorts certainly feels like they want to get some TikTok traffic away from TikTok. It was so product focused and all of the “visual and immersive ad experience” stuff is great for brands with strong visuals and images and videos. It also seemed like they are trying to keep people off of Amazon with these new ads. But again, it felt like it was for the top 5% and not the rest of the Google Ads advertisers.
What were your thoughts when watching and upon reflection? Sound off in the comments here or hit me up on Twitter (@NeptuneMoon) or on the #PPCChat hashtag.
Want to read more about GML 2022?
- Building the future of marketing together
- Go beyond the search box: Introducing multisearch
- Reach customers where they are with Business Messages
- About the Asset Library in Google Ads
- Recap of product announcements from Google Marketing Live 2022
Google Marketing Live Posts
- Google Ads Adds New Audience Targeting & Reporting Features (SEO Roundtable)
- Google Marketing Live 2022: Everything you need to know (Search Engine Land)
- Google shopping ads get a ‘swipeable’ makeover (Search Engine Land)
- 7 updates coming to Google Performance Max campaigns (Search Engine Land)
- 16 Announcements From Google Marketing Live 2022 (Search Engine Journal)
- Google Announces New Ad Tools at Marketing Live, Including New Options for YouTube Shorts Promotions (Social Media Today)
- Google Marketing Live 2022 in Recap (Zato Marketing)