Google Marketing Live 2019

New and improved ad formats announced by Google at Google Marketing Live 2019. Automation, machine learning & mobile first creative takes centre stage.

On the 14th of May 2019, we, the community of advertising and marketing professionals, once again focused our attention on the annual Google Marketing Live conference which took place in San Francisco, California. Aside from delivering ad innovations, google uses this platform to also inform us about the latest digital marketing trends and technologies. This year, Google’s senior vice president and chief business officer, Philipp Schindler, delivered the keynote which unveiled digital marketing innovations that Google believe will help marketers to better connect with consumers and further assist to grow businesses. #GoogleMarketingLive is highlighted by google as one of its biggest ads and marketing events of the year (the other google events are Google IO, YouTube Brandcast, Google Cloud Next, the Android Dev Summit) and they used this year to bring us Google Ads innovations that are absolute gamechangers. We’ll take a look at each innovation in a deep dive, in a sec.

Schindler kicked off by mentioning 3 (r)evolutions which sit at the core of Google’s current efforts towards assisting people to live and work better each day. These 3 were:

 1. Voice Search

The usage of google assistant to do voice searches is on the rise, thanks to the growth of Android. More and more, people are doing voice searches and in return expect to receive image, video, text or voice results faster, on their smart device. Site speeds are getting faster, especially on mobile and mobility is no longer limited to the pocket smartphone. Mobility has now extended to smart speakers and smart TVs, all working together to make the user experience faster, safer, convenient and of course, very personal.

2. Machine Learning

Due to Google’s strategic advancements in cloud computing, device hardware as well as neural network architectures (fancy term for data science), machine learning is evolving. A smartphone’s camera, for example, is no longer just for taking selfies. It’s also a visual tool used to read and translate signs and signals in any language as well as to explain captured objects back to the user.

3. Privacy

Ever heard of federated learning? Yip, I know. It sounds like something Tony stark would say either in Iron Man or the Avenger Movies. Federated Learning allows mobile phones to work together to learn a shared prediction model, while keeping all the training data securely on a single device. Precisely, like J.A.R.V.I.S. Schindler said that in order for internet users to feel safe online, privacy protocols need to be upgraded and that’s exactly what Google has been working on over the past few months.   

Here are the Google Ads innovations that were announced for marketers:

  • Native Discovery Ads: A single campaign type that runs across the Google Discover feed, YouTube home feed and Gmail promotion & social tabs. Discovery ads are mobile first, with rich imagery and leverage on google signals and machine learning to deliver a compelling ad experience.
  • Gallery Ads: Image & Text combined in one, these will allow users to swipe through a visual ads gallery. They feature a headline above the image and a tagline underneath the image for easier and convenient product descriptions.
  • Bumper Machine Ads: Using any YouTube video (less than 90 seconds), Google will auto trim it down to 6 seconds and offer marketers multiple ad variations to choose from. Mobile video demand is on the rise and Google is capitalising on this demand to deliver relevant shorter video ads to users.
  • Shopping Campaigns with Partners Ads: Retailers will now be able to directly connect with their brand partners, all inside Google Ads, to collaborate and offer products or product categories in a single seamless and collaborative process.
  • Showcase Shopping Ads: These are not new as they were launched sometime last year, but what’s new is that they’ve now been extended to Google images, YouTube and Discover on Google Search.
  • Google Shopping Ads: New google shopping homepage experience that’s customised towards each user’s in-market products. Consumers will then be able to buy products directly on merchant sites, in any local store or directly on Google. This is soon to launch worldwide across all Geo’s.
  • Local Ads: Local campaign ads are also not new as they were launched some time ago, but what’s new here is that they’ve been revamped to be all inclusive and available in Search, YouTube, Maps and Display, inviting brands and marketers to drive those key local actions such as store visits and phone calls.

There were also some Travel innovations that were announced to help travelers plan and budget before booking trips while giving marketers the ability to be visible within the user’s itinerary, making their products and services easily searchable and reachable. Over the 2-day conference, the one thing that all Google speakers highlighted the most was that Machine Learning is here and it is here to offer great assistance and convenience. This year’s strong emphasis focused on the clever tools that Google just deployed or will soon roll out to help us marketers focus on the human relationships with our clients & partners while Google helps us execute efficiently and effectively. Automation & smart bidding techniques will assist us to get the best out of machine learning. Google will do the heavy lifting of campaign setups and ad management so that we marketers focus on maximising conversion values, extracting and evaluating insights, harnessing all capabilities of clever creative to better manage our business portfolios in Google Ads.

In summary, we are living in a time where it constantly feels as though there isn’t enough time in a day to clear out the daily schedule. Clients and brands are now more than ever demanding a lot out of us marketers. I personally think that we as marketers also ought to demand more from our ad tech partners and Google is certainly doing their bit in making life easier for us. Clever machines that are constantly taking creative and instruction then apply data and learning to deliver better insights, uncover better paths to purchase and manage complexity to enable us to work and live better in this fast-paced world are what we all need and deserve. Day 1 of the Google Marketing Live event is available here, and Day 2 is available here.