Google Marketing Live

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The paid team has been glued to our screens watching Google Marketing Live and absorbing the announcements and news. Here’s our initial take on the main points and things to be aware of.


Written by

Paid Media Manager

Google is doubling down on AI

More specifically this time the generative AI solutions that are propagating throughout the whole industry at the moment. We’re cautiously optimistic about this one. The solution we saw looks great, however, anyone that's used Google Ads in recent months will likely have an experience of where an RSA or Google’s automated ad creative has fallen flat or missed the mark.

At a glance, Google announced an AI “assistive experience” which will surface recommendations in real time, for campaign elements including keywords, headlines and description lines, ad extensions, fully AI generated image assets and more. For seasoned marketers this can really only be seen as a positive to help with creating ads, especially where clients lack creative assets like images and videos. However, this makes me a bit more nervous for time-poor, owner-managed GAds accounts, or where users are blindly following Google’s recommendations (you’ll need to keep a close eye on your search query reports).

Demand Gen campaigns

This looks like a great evolution of PMax’s integration of top of funnel placements, providing a unified solution specifically for upper funnel activity. We’ve been testing different PMax set ups, and have often found that for ecom clients ‘shopping only’ PMax gives more consistent, focused results. Specific demand gen campaigns will allow us to segment top-of-funnel activity, and then apply more relevant goals, targets, audiences and creative - so we’re all for this one.

They also announced expanding measurement solutions including brand and conversion uplift. We’ll reserve judgement until we can verify its effectiveness, but this sounds great!

An update to audience targeting

AI lookalike audience segments powered by 1st party data and a GA4 audience builder from the comfort of your GAds account. The audience targeting solutions in GAds were starting to feel a bit lacklustre, so this appears to be a solid improvement in line with present day privacy considerations and the new functionality that GA4 will be providing. We’re excited to get hands on with this especially paired with the new demand gen campaign type.

Privacy focused measurement changes

Privacy-centric, 1st party data integrations directly into Google Ads. This sounds brilliant, but insights and results will only be as good as the quality of data that you feed in. We’re already spending an increasing amount of time working with our clients on tracking, data validation and segmentation and in general, enhancing the quality of data that we feed into our ads platforms and reporting solution. At the very least, this announcement seems like it will streamline this work in-platform which is very welcome.

GAds interface changes

We’re scared.

The move to the current interface was a big change and one that I personally resisted for as long as I could, the “switch to previous view” button was my best friend for a good few months. In all seriousness though, I think we were all expecting this to bring the GAds platform more aligned with the GA4 interface. The cynical side of me is nervous about some elements of the platform being ‘hidden’ within random menus but otherwise we’re interested to see the new UI.

In summary

Lots of changes are being made to streamline campaign set-up and management. Some modernisation of existing features and a new campaign type. But fundamentally not all that much change. Foundational elements such as account structure, data quality, strategic decision making and the quality of your website are just as (if not more) important.