– A Recap of Google Marketing Live 2019 in San Francisco
Last week I had the fortune of being able to attend Google Marketing Live (GML) in sunny San Francisco.
GML is Google’s annual event for marketers where they showcase the latest in advertising and announce many (many) new product developments.
While the full list of product announcements from Google can be found here for Google Ads and here for Google Marketing Platform, there are a couple in particular that really stood out for me. Predominantly because they open up the competitive landscape between Google, Facebook and Amazon as they all fight for the marketers dollar:
An ‘in feed’ ad unit that is available via the new Google Discover product on mobile. This is a new form of visual advertising product from Google that is designed to target customer earlier in the purchase journey and help them discover new products or services they might be interested in and will compete head to head with Facebook and Instagram. Discovery Ads will also be surfaced in Google Discover, YouTube and Gmail. Full details can be watched here
New Google Shopping
A redesigned shopping and checkout experience that will compete directly with Amazon. All the details can be watched here
I did want to share the key themes that I think will shape the marketing industry over the coming years as we move into a brand new era for advertising and customer experience.
THE TWO KEY THEMES WERE:
The overarching and pervading theme was privacy, or put another way, responsible marketing. If I was playing buzzword bingo on the word ‘privacy’ during many of the keynotes and presentations I would have been very busy.
But all jokes aside, privacy is the new normal. I was impressed to learn how privacy is the core design principal for all of Google’s products moving forward. If they can’t solve a problem or provide a solution in a privacy complicit way, then the product (or feature) doesn’t get built.
Firstly the idea that one day we will be able to measure absolutely everything with 100% accuracy down to the individual customer level is gone.
This has massive implications for marketers. Firstly the idea that one day we will be able to measure absolutely everything with 100% accuracy down to the individual customer level is gone. That’s not to say that marketers should not pursue a complete view of their customers based on their own first party data (more on that soon). Being able to bring in all the data from multiple platforms (3rd party data) to understand the entire customer journey across devices, networks and platforms is technically not possible in a privacy-first world.
The implications are that marketers will need to get comfortable with having incomplete data. However the good news is that with the massive advancements in machine learning, predictions can be made from aggregate data that help us develop a more complete picture of the customer journey and customer preferences.
This was Google’s word for personalisation. Being able to anticipate the customer needs, wants and preferences and provide them a solution at the precise moment they need it.
Google has embedded personalisation into all of its new ad products and innovations and is making it easier for marketers to target those users at the right moment through some of its audience buying features in Google Ads and in Display & Video 360.
From a Google perspective, having so much unique data on all their users and having a unique insight into users intent enables them to offer many valuable advertising solutions for marketers and turn those ads into a relevant and rewarding experience for their users.
Without a robust first party data strategy and a centralised marketing data store there is no personalisation.
For a marketer, the key to personalisation is first party data. Without a robust first party data strategy and a centralised marketing data store there is no personalisation.
My take away around personalisation is for owned platforms by the marketer (think website, ecommerce store, app etc) your first party data is the fuel that will drive personalisation and anticipate customers needs. There maybe some enrichment available from 3rd party data sources but this will become less over time as privacy continues to drive to the fore.
For earned or paid platforms like Google marketers will need to rely on sharing their anonymised 1st party data (in a privacy complicit way) with the platform to assist with more accurate targeting and personalised advertising but there are limited opportunities for data sharing back the other way. Ads Data Hub is solution available to Google’s enterprise customers using Google Marketing Platform that does provide some anonymised data back to advertisers that can be used to complement and extend their understanding of the customer journey in aggregate format.
If you’d like to learn more about more about any of the ad innovations from Google Marketing live or how to harness the power of your first party data please reach out to myself or feel free to hit up the team at Datisan here.