Accompanying Nick to Google Marketing Live in Zurich

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Nick Oltvoort

Last week, Google hosted its annual Marketing Live conference in Zurich. During this event, the company behind the search engine announced numerous new Google Ads changes and additions. On behalf of Adwise, our head of advertising Nick was at the top of the list to get all the updates. In this article, he talks about his findings and takes you through all the important updates.


About Google Marketing Live

During the annual Google Marketing Live event, all new product launches that will be rolled out at Google Ads and the Google Marketing platform in the coming year are announced. A number of products have been launched immediately and a number are still in the works. This year, the event was attended both digitally and physically. For EMEA partners and customers, the physical edition was held in Halle 550 in Zurich. At the same time, the doors of the new (green) Google headquarters in Mountain View opened for North, Central and South America to physically attend Google Marketing Live. Prior to the official event, a networking event was organized for Dutch and Belgian agency partners. A total of 500 agencies attended the entire event. 


Impression of GML 2022 in Zurich

Tuesday May 24 - networking, keynote and a party
"GML started on Tuesday afternoon, after the networking event organized for Dutch and Belgian agency partners. The most important item on the agenda was the Global Ads Innovation keynote, where the most important product launches were shared. There was a continuous switch between speakers on stage in Switzerland and the head office in Mountain View via a live connection. After the keynote, I had a chance to recover from all the new impressions and information at the closing party. With a disco evening packed with famous main acts such as Nile Rodgers, Chic and Fatboy Slim, Google really pulled it out of the bag for the closing act."

Wednesday, May 25 - thought starters and roundtables
"The second day was dedicated to thought starters with industry leaders and roundtables joined by product experts from Google. Visitors were able to put together their own program and attend the sessions that seemed most interesting to them. The sessions I attended were: "How Search trends can help advertisers understand changes in consumer behavior" and "Decoding Decisions: Supercharging Search Ads in the 'messy middle' ". I also attended two roundtables, "Solutions for omnichannel retailers" and "Measuring media effectiveness using Attribution, Experiments and MMM". A very educational day where you learn a lot from real advertising heavyweights!''


The 6 most striking updates according to Nick

The focus of the new product launches was mainly on themes such as automation, privacy, performance max, youtube shorts, measurability, experiments and visual search experience. Google divided its updates into three themes: reimagine what's possible, drive results today and build resilience for tomorrow. The overview below shows the 6 most striking updates. For the full list of updates, scroll to the next section of this article.

1. Performance max updates
Performance max is a goal-based campaign type that allows you to access the entire Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. This is fully automated and will replace smart shopping campaigns, which means that the focus is on this type of campaign. These updates have now become available for this purpose: among other things, they focus on in-store goals, burst campaigns (short-term campaigns), experiment tools to assess potential lift, support for the optimization score and increasingly comprehensive insights. Currently, the transition tool for smart shopping campaigns is being rolled out in Dutch accounts, which enables an easy upgrade. Aren't you doing this manually? This will be done automatically later this year.

2. YouTube updates
The TikTok variant of YouTube is being pushed a lot and is already generating 30 trillion views a day worldwide. Youtube Shorts advertising is therefore a logical next step for Google. Advertisers who are currently running video campaigns and app campaigns will automatically appear on YouTube Shorts. Product feeds will no longer only be available for in-stream use on YouTube, but will soon also be available for YouTube Search & Shorts.

3. Search & Conversion lift tests
In connection with privacy regulations and browser restrictions, it is increasingly difficult to get a complete picture of the impact of your campaigns. Through experiments, Google tries to give advertisers tools to better estimate the value. Search & conversion lift tests (Incl. geo experiments) can be set up directly in Google Ads and DV360. This allows you to measure the incremental lift in the performance of your key campaign goals.

4. Checkout on Merchants
This launch gives you the option to go directly to the advertiser's checkout in your shopping product listing, in addition to the option to go to the product page. With the product already in your shopping cart. The example Google gave was based on a free product listing, but this could also be rolled out in an advertisement in the future. On the one hand, this ensures a faster checkout and (likely) a higher conversion rate, but it can lead to a reduction in the average order value. Because you will no longer be able to use upsell or cross-sell.

5. The AR/3D search models
If you have 3D models of the products you sell, you can display them directly in search or place the products in your environment with comparable products and by means of AR. Few details are currently known about this, but it does offer opportunities for furniture companies, for example. If this is also done within the Shopping Ads, this is an additional way to distinguish your company from competitors who only use static images.

6. Google Business Messages
Sending a message directly via Google Maps, Google Search or through the website or app was already possible. Soon, it will also be possible to contact a company directly through ads. You will be in direct contact with your customer and can help them make purchase decisions. Google gave an example of a company that gave 40k answers and gained 1300 new leads through this method.


All GML updates in a row

Reimagine Launched
Available soon
Immersive shopping ads
Visual product feed
AR in search
Performance max
Ads on YouTube Shorts
Video on Discovery
Google audiences for connected TV
Performance Max: experiment tools
Performance Max: insights & explanations
Search Lift tests
Conversion lift tests
Visual ad experiences in Search


Results Launched
Available soon
Asset Library
New Home experience in Google Analytics
Automatically-created assets
Message a business in ads
Insights page: attribution insight
Insights page: budget insights
Insights page: audience insights with first-party data
Insights page: available for manager accounts
Optimalization score for every campaign type
Product feeds in YouTube Shorts & Search
Store sales in Performance Max
Checkout on merchant
Loyalty Benefits on Google


Resilience Launched Available soon
Conversion modeling updates
Data-driven attribution as default
On-device conversion measurement
My Ad Center
Privacy-safe advertising
MMM improvements
Google tag
More support for enhanced conversions
Lead funnel


Conclusion and vision

Google has again made it clear that it is fully committed to automation and that all new product launches do contain a machine learning component. Through a performance max campaign, you can purchase all inventory within Google, which also makes it easy for Google to expand that inventory further within, for example, display, YouTube and discover. On the one hand, this offers opportunities for advertisers, but there is a great need among advertisers to gain more insight into this black box.

Another trend we are seeing is that search is becoming much more visual and increasingly resembling a social feed, especially in shopping, organic and paid product listings appear to be mixed more often. Finally, measurability is an increasingly important issue. Because cookies disappear in the long term, there are an increasing number of solutions that are not dependent on cookies. This includes marketing mix modelling and geo-experiment solutions.


Nick Oltvoort

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