HUGE Google Announcement: 4 Biggest Takeaways for Direct Marketer

by | May 26, 2016 | PPC

by Natalie Eagling, Account Manger, AIM.

google-adwordsOn Tuesday, May 24th 2016, Google held a ground-breaking Live Performance Summit; a keynote streamed via YouTube. The topic: Google’s latest mobile-first innovations… You can watch it here.

(But why would you do that? I’m going to tell you everything you need to know, so you can pretend you watched it… and save yourself an hour. You’re welcome).

Check out this video for everything you need to know…

Don’t want to disturb your colleagues? Simply read on to get the full scoop.

Before getting into the 4 biggest takeaways, there are some key vocabulary words to add to your already lengthy lexicon. So if your boss asks, or you want to look good when discussing with your colleagues, keep these in your back pocket.

Key phrases to add to your vocabulary to help you look good in front of your peers and your boss…

Micro moments

The Scoop: “Life isn’t lived in years, or days, or even hours. It’s lived in moments”

It’s the time when you just make it to the train, and realise you could really do with a new pair of runners. You reach for your phone thinking “I-want-to-know which are the best running shoes”, and Google it.

Later, you’re at your desk and you’re thinking about those Nike trainers you saw earlier. So you turn to your nearest device – your desktop – thinking “I-want-to-go to the nearest store stocking Nike Roshe”, and Google it.

That evening, you’re browsing on your iPad and decide “I-want-to-buy Black Nike Roshe Runners”.

Check out this short video on micro moments.

Mobile-first world

The Scoop: It’s described in the example above. Increasingly, people search first on mobile, and then transition to tablet or desktop. In fact, nearly one third of mobile searches are related to the location of something we want to purchase. Google believes now that the starting point for consumers is a 5-inch screen; this should be the starting point for advertisers too.

Intent + demographics, context and interests

The Scoop: Google’s solutions are there to provide intent, coupled with demographics, context and interests. In short; the right message, to the right person, at the right time (anyone who came to our Courtomer training will have had this drilled into them all week!). In particular, the Google Display Network is being hailed as a revolution in programmatic advertising (and that’s a story for another time!).

So, now that your advertising vocabulary has strengthened a bit more, and you’ve blown away every fellow Google fan around you, here are the main points to remember from the presentation. Get ready to educate the masses!

4 Biggest Takeaways for Direct Marketers

Google have effectively rebuilt their entire platform, from the ground up. They have built the platform with “mobile first” (see above) in mind. They’re making changes from the way mobile ads look, to the way bids are set. (Oh, and the interface has also had an overhaul too. In case there weren’t enough changes coming along…)

So let’s get to the 4 biggest things you should know, that will change the way your campaigns behave and will have the biggest impact on your businesses…

1. Ads: Text Ads are Getting BIGGER

First impressions are lasting impressions. Text ads are the first thing a searcher sees. You’ll remember that earlier this year, Google removed right hand (link to chicken little blog) ads, to make the desktop and mobile view more consistent. Well, now they have gone a step further. This is the first major update to text ads since the platform was first launched 15 years ago.

Optimised for the 5-inch screen, expect to see “expanded text ads”. Google believes mobile ads are no longer the add-on, they are the imperative. Advertisers can now expect to see 50% more ad text, leading to a potential 20% increase in CTR (cue groans from the SEO’s in the room).

Here’s a quick overview of the changes:

Google Adwords 'Changes' screen shot

The scoop: Direct marketers LOVE copy. So we’re delighted that we get more copy to play with, and finally, we can use our best control headlines in our ads. Plus, aesthetically the headline is the standout part of the ad. We can really emphasize the message in the headline of the ad.

Google Adwords 'Changes' Before and After

2. Bidding: Bid Adjustments are now available for tablet!

Oh the hours I’ve spent trying to figure out a hack to adjust bids for tablet devices. Sadly, there was no easy fix. But finally, the Google gods have heard my prayers, and announced that we can now bid according to every device. Moreover, we can set the default device to be either desktop, mobile, or iPad, and bid up or down from there. (Currently, the default device is desktop).

The scoop: This is great news for direct marketers. We care about the quality of our traffic and the downstream effect of mobile and tablet conversions. If on a lead gen campaign, there are a high number of iPad conversions, we can now break this out into a separate ad group, with its own tracking code, and watch the lifetime value to truly understand the value of these devices to our business.

3. Targeting: Targeting just got a LOT more sophisticated

OK, this is a biggy. And it breaks into 2 parts…

Similar Audiences for Search…

Google (and its advertisers) have seen huge success with remarketing. They are taking this one step further: similar audiences for search. Reach searchers who have similar interests to those who latestly visited your site. For example, if users on your remarketing list have searched for “gold” and visited your site, Google can help you be there for when someone has searched for “gold” but hasn’t yet visited your site.

This reinforces any direct marketers biggest goal and opportunity; right person, right message, right time.

Demographics for Search…

This will pique interest in those marketers who have seen success with Facebook ads, combining the powerful demographic data Facebook holds, with other layers such as page connections, lookalike audiences and interests. Over the coming months, expect to see Google combining user intent with age and gender targeting. Plus, you’ll be able to adjust your bids based on these demographics.

This is great news for marketers in the financial and health publishing world. It can be tested on campaigns, adjusting bids for 40+ males for example. Again, we can reinforce the goal; right person, right message, right time.

4. GDN is going to be easier to manage, and deliver more volume

Mobiles - GDN

There are two big announcements for Google’s Display Network.

#1: Ads are changing

We’ve talked before about how frustrating it can be to build display ads. But Google are about to make that a whole lot easier (and the blog I wrote about it null and void… thanks Google). Soon, all you’ll need to provide is a URL, a headline, description and image. Google will then create fully responsive ads for you, to adapt to all placements… even native. Yes, native.

#2: Reach is expanding…

Google are extending the reach of GDN and remarketing, giving us access to the “cross exchange inventory” (yeh, we weren’t sure what this fluff was about, but I’m sure it will be revealed…). In short, it’s expanding to additional websites and apps around the world, while still delivering the same high quality traffic.

(Easily memorisable) Conclusion:

The full keynote was an hour long, there was a LOT of information… and a lot of fluff.

The focus of the presentation was mobile; its impact over the last 3 years on user behaviour, how advertisers should and could be responding to this seismic shift in behaviour, and how the platform behind this can support us. But with that have come some very exciting new developments, especially for marketers like you and I. The ads, bidding and targeting opportunities are going to revolutionise how we do things, and how our campaigns perform.

They were a little vague with dates, but expect 2016 and the first part of 2017 to be a roller coaster ride!

Until next time,

Natalie - Signature

Natalie Eagling
Account Manger, AIM.

P.S. Not a fan of roller coasters (or at least Google shaped rollercoasters)? Don’t worry about it. We’re adrenaline junkies. Get in touch if you think there’s something we can help you with.