What you Missed at Google Marketing Live

Last week, I was fortunate enough to travel to San Francisco to take in the sites, scenes and abundance of information at Google Marketing Live. With partners, brands and agencies in attendance, the scene was set for Google to announce several changes and developments within their suite of advertising products.

Fresh off the heels of I/O 2019 where browser privacy was put front and center, we continue to see a concerted effort by Google to communicate the importance of protecting user privacy extended to their suite of advertising products. We’re also seeing significant pushes to create integrated and visual ad products across multiple sources of inventory including Search, Display, YouTube and Discover.
So which shiny new ad formats or developments should advertisers be most excited about? Let’s dive in.

Discovery Ads 
This is an entirely new campaign type and is an image based unit that can run across the YouTube home feed, Gmail, and for the first time, the Google Discover feed. Similar to Universal App and Local campaigns, any ad running under this campaign type will be auto-opted into all inventory sources and optimize towards a performance goal. As a result, this will mean a reduced level of advertiser control. 

Gallery Ads
Visual Search remains at the forefront of this ad format. Although Gallery Ads are not entirely new, they are getting a much-needed makeover. Gallery Ads can be described as the Carousel unit of Search which allows brands to provide users with a more seamless, visual and informative experience within the SERP.

Google Shopping Redesign
This is a big one and could be considered Google’s main answer to Amazon. Google will now enable users to make purchases directly within the shopping interface by leveraging readily available information within their Google account, including address and credit card information. 

Deep Linking in Apps
In an effort to provide users with a frictionless shopping experience, users who have a brand’s App installed on their mobile device will be directed to the App experience as opposed to the mobile web experience. Ultimately, this enables a more personalized and expedited shopping and checkout experience.

Maximize Conversion Value
A new Smart Bidding strategy, similar to Maximize Conversions, allows advertisers to maximize the value of their conversions within a given budget. This will allow the strategy to take into account the value of a conversion instead of maximizing the volume.

Bumper Machine for YouTube
Introducing an AI-powered creative recut machine! Leveraging existing video creative, the new Bumper Machine will generate multiple 6-second ads to help facilitate the activation of Bumper ads. This new feature is set to launch later this year and will be available to advertisers at no additional cost.

Custom Audiences
Merging Custom Affinity and Custom Intent audiences into one cohesive audience type aptly named Custom Audiences. With a decreased emphasis on cookie-based audiences, the combined power of first party audiences and advertiser creativity will be integral to help reach the right audiences. It should be noted that this new audience is not yet available for Search campaigns, only for Display, Gmail, YouTube and Discovery ads.

Campaign Level Conversion Optimization
Conversions can now be assigned at the campaign level instead of the account level. What does this mean? This allows campaigns within the same account to optimize towards different definitions of Conversions.

New Conversion Value Rules
This new feature will allow advertisers to layer logic rules on top of their conversion performance in order to obtain a better picture of the value being delivered.

Audio Ad Inventory via DV360
Reach users while streaming music and podcasts.

Audience Expansion Tool
Google’s answer to the lookalike audience. A new slider that will allow marketers to expand the reach of their audiences to users who show similar behavior and/or characteristics.

Real-Time Bidding on SA360
Until now, SA360 was only able to leverage API data when making bulk bidding changes. SA360 has now introduced a direct pipeline to Google Ad accounts which will let both optimization engines work in tandem to deliver against the portfolio goals identified in SA360. This effectively will provide SA360 with real-time bidding for Google Ad accounts only.

My two cents now that it's all said and done?

It’s clear through many of the product announcements and innovations that Google intends to go head-to-head with Amazon and Facebook. Many of the product announcements and changes unveiled at Google Marketing Live take the best of these platforms and plug them directly into Google’s suite. 

Keep an eye on our blog as our team begins to test some of these new products and features.