Rundown of the TOP news from Google Marketing Live 2018: A (r)evolutionary year is waiting for you

Rundown of the TOP news from Google Marketing Live 2018: A (r)evolutionary year is waiting for you

Článok je dostupný aj v Slovenčine Slovenčina

Google Marketing Live is the biggest event for marketing agencies and clients spending their marketing budgets on Google platforms. Google announces new services and features offering on the road map for the coming year. Additionally there is a two day conference packed with news and ideas dedicated to a select list of invited representatives from chosen agencies and clients.

A big event, 3,000 participants from agencies all over the world – American through European, Asian, Australian to African. This year was held in San Jose, a city that is the economic and cultural centre of Silicon Valley. Attending this conference is prestigious and a rarity. You need an invitation and need to spend a fair amount on airfares and accommodation, so there will always be only a select group from our part of the world. This year I only know of one Slovak participant (that’s my little brag) and four colleagues from the Czech Republic.

But enough of my introduction, let’s move on and look at what’s important.


Marketers from all local Google events used to hear – at least once during a presentation, the – “See-Think-Do” model. Guess how many times we heard the “See-Think-Do” at Marketing Live 2018? Not once. This is proof that this conference was totally different from what we know in Slovakia/Czech Republic and what we can see at Google Agency Live conferences.

On the contrary if we counted how many times phrases like “machine learning” and “A.I.” were heard, we would have given up after the first round of lectures. One of the main themes of the conference was the statement:

“Relevance drives results.”

Nobody will doubt its truth. But we (marketers) are well aware how difficult it is to recognise how Google chooses to search for a certain phrase, or recognise the needs of every individual user to whom we display an advert. And even if it does, then the question of what exactly should we show in the ad? arises. And then consequently, what should they see on the landing page so we can fully cover their needs? And here comes – ta-da – machine learning.

Indeed, there was surprisingly a lot of newly reported news based on “machine learning”. And I mean, A LOT. Below, we’ll go through all of the key news, but first let’s start with the biggest bombshells (at least for me personally).

What we were all anticipating, impatiently in the corridors, finally came out

Cross device reporting and remarketing in Google Analytics. Just to make sure, I’ll repeat it once again. Cross device reporting and remarketing in Google Analytics!

Finally, a new way to reveal the crossover paths of one and the same user across all the devices they use. I’m so excited. To investigate the use of devices in which the decision-making phase is used for the subsequent opportunity to engage in a relevant tailor-made advert. And for all those new attribution models that will surely follow imminently….Yippee!

Farewell to Double-Click 

Double-Click has been with us since 1996, so it has been blessed to survive 22 years. And from now on it will be integrated into the Google marketing platform. It already gathers all Google’s tools for planning, purchase and display management, search campaigns, and analytics tools of all kinds in one place. The Google marketing platform itself appears super-fast. Just click on any instant report and within a second it is populated with data. I did not have the opportunity myself to see the Campaign management live, but I have no doubt that it will be user friendly while at the same time without restrictions.

Another burst of news and changes 

Responsive search ads

Your copywriter prepares 14 versions of ad titles and 4 descriptions. Google will automatically create all possible combinations consisting of 3 ad titles and 2 descriptions (btw this will be 90% more text than we have today!) And it will try to put together the right combination for a particular user’s specific query. Of course, “machine learning” will be working away behind the scenes, which is going to ensure better and better and then even better results.

Smart shopping campaigns

The first major change is that you no longer need a product feed. Google will crawl and combine everything on your site very nicely, all by itself. And update.

And then machine learning will kick in, which will ensure that Google will correctly decide what to show to whom, so the campaign goals are met. Btw: new business goals that we can use will be added: Store visits and New customer acquisition.

Maximize lift bidding

Even good old Youtube has got it. A new format will be added: TruView for reach. And we’ll be able to combine it with a new bidding tip: Maximize lift bidding. And it looks like a decent mix of cocktails for those brands who want to effectively increase brand awareness among target groups.

Local campaigns

Based on Google data, the number of people searching for “{something specific} near me” and “open {something specific} near me” is rising. For example, “open power joga gym near me”. Everything will be generated and managed by Google (machine learning). Simply upload a few photos (such as a logo, interior, exterior, whatever) and set a budget. Google will pull the rest of the data from location extensions. Advertisements will run above Google Search, Display Network, Youtube, and Google Maps. So basically everywhere.

What is interesting about this type of campaign is that it will have one goal – to bring people to the brick and mortar shop.

Smart campaigns (for small business)

For small spenders, Google has prepared Smart campaigns. The background goal is that if you have a small advertising budget and you cannot afford an agency, everything will be sorted out by Google. Simply select a campaign goal (for example, if you want people to call you), budget, choose your type of business, prepare an advertisement link and you’re all done – from that moment on, Google takes over everything. From optimization to a choice, when and to whom the ad will be shown. I’ve tried this campaign myself and I can confirm – it’s really less than 5 minutes work. And no worries about optimization because machine learning does it for you.

And if that’s not enough – if you do not even have a website, Google will generate an auto-optimized landing page tailored to each customer. Wow.

Hotel campaigns

It is equivalent to Product search campaigns but adapted for hotels. With its own Merchant Centre equivalent. We can expect the Beta version at the end of the year.

Voice assistant

Even the voice assistant has got some news. Simply say what it is you need to buy and everything else is taken care of – from product selection to the shopping basket to the purchase itself. Our Czech buddies can also enjoy the fact that this year the voice assistant will learn to speak in Czech (and in another thirty different languages). But of course, do not look for Slovak among them.

Is that all?

That’s all of what we can publish right now. Google also introduced its other plans for each service, as well as the full and complete news. Unfortunately (for you) they are not in the public domain yet and we cannot leak them to the world before they are officially announced. But don’t get upset, many of these Google will officially announce this year, or at the latest Google Marketing Live 2019.

However, even the official news was so vast that I was spinning from it.

Which news is most interesting to you, or is there anything you miss? Share it with us in the discussion below the article.

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