Three key takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2019

Smart Devices, Machine Learning and User Privacy. These three themes were emphasized at Google Marketing Live 2019.

Google kicked off its annual event Google Marketing Live on Tuesday with the latest insights about how to best use Google Ads to optimize your campaigns and get better results in your advertising efforts on the platform.

The event started off with the Ads Innovation Keynote by Google Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler.

Over 5,000 people attended from 60 countries and thousands more tuned in online.

Schindler identified three industry revolutions reshaping advertising online and which Google uses as a guiding principle behind the new products it creates.

1. Only the very best results matter

More and more smart devices are merging together and the lines between different surfaces are disappearing.

Whereas before you could clearly distinguish between traditional advertising and digital advertising, this distinction is no longer so clear.

At the same time, user interaction around devices is becoming more natural, spurred on by the rise of digital assistants.

But while consumers are becoming more accustomed to smaller screens, this is also raising expectations for search results.

Just compare how big a desktop is to how small the screen on your mobile phone is.

And with a smart speaker there is even less room to display answers.

All this means the quality of answers that Google provides needs to be much higher.

As a result, the company is shifting away from text-only answers.

Schindler called this the idea of "voice in, image out."

In particular, the example of someone searching for an Iron Man costume was brought up.

If someone uses voice to search for iron man costume, they would not want a description read out to them of what the costume looks like. They would much rather see an image of it.

Google plans to take this one step further with 'Voice in, augmented reality out.'

Because why stop at an image? Why not have your search result appear in 3D, so you can view it from all sides.

Schindler emphasized that all of these innovations were being driven by the mobile phone.

Stay close to the evolution of mobile, and marketers will be prepared for the changes ahead.

This doesn't mean forgetting the basics, like site speed.

Mobile phones are the number one platform for consumer engagement, so marketers that ignore it do so at their own peril.

After all, one trillion searches occur each year on Google, and over half of those are done on mobile phones. That number is only set to grow.

2. Machine learning advancing at breakneck speeds

The second 'revolution' in online marketing is being driven by machine learning on the back of rapid advances in cloud computing.

Schindler brought up the example of Google Assistant.

Three years ago image recognition technology could barely tell the difference between a cat and a dog.

Today, Google Lens allows users to buy their favorite products with the camera on their phone. Or translate texts directly just by pointing your camera at a sign in a foreign language.

Expect Google to use machine learning in more and more ad products it launches in the coming months.

3. User expectations for privacy have shifted

2018 saw massive privacy scandals, and users are now as aware as ever to how they are being tracked online.

And according to the Google exec, privacy is the top priority for Google.

Not only does privacy need to be reserved for users, but the entire online eco system needs to be built around it.

It is only by respecting privacy that a free and open web can be maintained.

Schindler then went out to outline four areas where these three marketing revolutions are being applied by Google and the company's teams.

Insight Gathering

While machine learning has made it easier to gather data to make better decisions, such as with smart bidding, it is important for marketers to understand just how these machine learning bidding processes work. As a result, Google plans to make it easier for marketers to understand the logic behind how certain algorithms work for different smart bidding strategies.

Campaign Management

The consumer journey now involves much more touch points and surfaces than before. So it makes sense to not only be able to segment in terms of device, but also by costumer. Google's new products will offer more ways to access inventories across channels while minimizing clicks.

Creative creation

User expectaions for your creative are higher than ever, and more often than not marketers are spending too much time on it. Google's new products will make it easier to not just test and tell a story, but also offer new ways to create richer ads that connect with customers.

Marketing measurements

The consumer journey has shifted and old metrics to measure ROI on campaigns have to continuously be updated. All the while being done in a way that respects user privacy.

As a result, Google plans to launch several new ways to measure the success of your campaigns, with new features in Google Analytics to be expected this year.

Wrapping up

These four areas are Google's focus going forward, according to the keynote address at Google Marketing Live 2019. Expect these themes to run through the philsophy behind each ad product the company plans to launch this year.

Marketers that pay attention to how Google is thinking about the industry will be adequately prepared to take advantage of these opportunities when they do launch.

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