I had the privilege of attending this year’s Google Marketing Live 2022 in person and I wanted to jot down some thoughts before the day moved away from me.
First, Google Marketing Live is an interesting event, and you kind of have to know what it’s about as a PPCer, otherwise your expectations will be very different from reality.
As my friend Matt Umbro noted on Twitter, it’s geared more towards executive level, big picture revelations. It’s about establishing direction... more strategic than tactical. So it’s normal for PPCers to wonder why XYZ specific entity wasn’t discussed, but that’s because there are other places Google does that.
Now, I personally think GML2023 could be a multi-day event. A main strategic “push” focused on execs, direction, etc. Then for the next day or two, Googlers could meet with specific tacticians to reveal and talk through more of the details of what is actually happening or changing for tactics, as well as get specific feedback from key PPCers. This could be exceptionally helpful for Google, because it would allow them to have in-person training and conversations to try to help guide PPCers, and it could also prepare them for what to expect in regard to pushback or confusion.
"But Kirk, this happens at the account rep level already!" No, it doesn’t really, at all. Those conversations are typically focused more on account questions, agency growth, Google desired optimizations, etc. They’re not really big picture, and they can’t be, because the key product makers within Google Ads aren’t in those conversations.
Anyway, I digress… but I think that could be a really cool way to bring actual PPCers and actual Google Product Leads into the room together for purposeful strategic conversations, and not simply quick hits that occur on a smaller level currently.
Second, the day before the event, I shot a quick video of my expectations in which I noted both Performance Max and Privacy would be *the* two core topics. You can see that original video here: PPCKirk on what to expect at Google Marketing Live 2022
Based on the keynotes alone, I’m going to give myself an 8 out of 10 star rating for that prophecy… though anyone paying attention to the world right now (and Google’s place therein), would roll their eyes at that revelation. It’s not like it was a complete shock to anyone.
That being said, privacy is the name of the game these days and continues to be *the* most impactful thing to happen to Marketing in this decade. I believe that statement, by the way. And, here is where we PPCers should be thanking Google.
What? Thanking Google?! When they continue to roll-back user control and automate everything? Well, I didn’t say you needed to thank them for everything… but let’s stop to take a realistic look at the world of privacy and digital marketing.
Google, unlike its social media sibling Facebook, has done a remarkable job anticipating and staying ahead of privacy changes in an effort to stave off a crisis (I believe that word is fair here) like the one iOS14.5 has caused to Facebook advertisers. There is a lot of discussion about whether iOS14 has primarily caused performance or attribution issues, but wherever someone may land in that conversation, one cannot dismiss the overall impact this singular event had on digital advertising… whether that be on budgets, perception, or all of the above.
Meanwhile, Google keeps plugging along, staying ahead of things with announcements like we saw today, such as On Device Conversion tracking and a new Google Tag…
…as well as the (in my opinion), surprising and welcomed investment in determining incremental sales impact for ads so brands can begin to better understand how their ads are contributing to incremental sales… not just the directly tracked attribution Google has long trumpeted as their sole means of measurement. This is where our brand clients are already in what they care about, so to hear Google getting here was a welcomed relief as we all work towards accurate measurement of actual impact from Google Ads, not simply assumed (or contrived) numbers.
Performance Max came up a lot today, and there’s not really that much to discuss here in my opinion. Additional insights are coming, but as far as I can tell not typically the increase in query data more detailed asset insights that many advertisers are hoping for, so 🤷🏻 🤷🏻 🤷🏻.
It is worth noting, that Google mentioned CTV inventory will now be available for Google Display & Video 360 users. This could really be an interesting thing to watch, and I would expect to see those CTV placements rolled out in the future to all Google Ads advertisers… though when and how, I’m not sure.