Google Marketing Live 2024 Roundup: 8 key takeaways

AI was at the forefront of this year’s Google Marketing Live, as the 90-minute keynote event explored how advertisers can continue to use the world’s biggest technological talking point to make their services shine.

Other topics covered by the nine presenters included the power of Performance Max campaigns, improved reporting features within Google Ads, and how to make your demand-gen video ad campaigns even more profitable.

Keep reading for a roundup of the key takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2024, including how Embryo’s expert term of PPC specialists reacted to Google’s new vision.

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Machines vs marketers: Five key takeaways about AI

Advancements in AI were the primary talking point of Google Marketing Live – and with good reason. Since the last event, Google has worked hard to see just how far robots can go in convincing humans to part with their cash.

1. The Introduction of AI-Powered Guided Shopping Experiences

The messy middle doesn’t look quite so messy anymore with Google’s new personalised shopping recommendations and advice. The search engine is testing using AI to speed up shoppers’ decision-making process.

After searching for an item and clicking on a relevant ad, you’ll then be taken through a guided shopping experience. AI will ask you more detailed questions about what you’re looking for before suggesting the right kind of product and taking you through to a product page to finish your purchase.

If all goes well with this ad feature, Google announced it will soon be available for other verticals, too.

2. Shopping Ads Become More Immersive

Google’s shopping ads were also given the AI treatment as presenters explained several upgrades to create a more immersive (and more exciting) online shopping experience:

  • Virtual try-on will be expanded to apparel ads, allowing users to see how individual styles look on a range of body types.
  • Advertisers can now incorporate short-form product videos into ads. Shoppers can then view related products and enjoy styling suggestions, pushing them further down the funnel.
  • 3D product images can be generated and featured in ads. This marks another milestone in the future of generative AI in the retail industry.

3. New Automatic Ad Placements in AI Overviews

The recent introduction of AI overviews in Google’s search results has had a bit of a rocky start. However, they’re determined to look forward by trialling automatically placed Search, PMax, and Shopping Ads in these spaces, too.

To separate the ads from organic and AI-derived content, they’ll be put into a block labelled “Sponsored.” Note that advertisers don’t need to make any changes to target those placements, since Google will automatically cherry-pick the ones that best match both the search intent and AI overview.

4. More Help with Creating Assets for PMax Campaigns

For some advertisers, Google’s introduction of Performance Max campaigns took a little bit of getting used to. To combat this hesitation, they’ve introduced an AI helping hand to help advertisers produce high-quality creative assets for their campaigns:

  • Produce assets rapidly and at scale.
  • Add brand guidelines for fonts, imagery, and colours.
  • Take advantage of advanced image editing tools.
  • See asset-level conversion metrics.
  • Get auto-generating ads from a product feed.

5. Showcase Your Brand with New AI Branding Tools and Brand Profiles

The last important AI update at this year’s Google Marketing Live was a wealth of new AI branding tools. Product Studio now includes several brand alignment elements that allow merchants to use uploaded images as inspiration for their next AI-generated ad, as well as create videos from just one product photo.

Google’s new brand profiles also allow companies to highlight key merchant information on Search, including brand imagery, customer reviews, current deals, and more.

Three Other Takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2024

Aside from AI, there were a few other important updates that caught our eye at the recent event.

1. A New First-Party Data Unification Tool

A big gripe with artificial intelligence is it only works if the data is correct. Google’s new Ads Data Manager platform aims to improve the quality of this data by allowing advertisers to combine first-party data from several sources to make it more visible and actionable.

Google also announced an improvement to reporting features within Google Ads, enabling users to generate and analyse campaign data with ease.

2. New Profit Optimisation Goals in Performance Max Campaigns

Another way Google is adding more bells and whistles to its PMax campaigns is by introducing profit optimisation goals. Google claims these goals offer advertisers an easy chance at more campaign profits, with a 15% uplift compared to revenue-only goals.

While numbers can’t lie, some have pointed out that these new goals might result in increased ad costs for the most profitable PPC campaigns.

3. More Options for Demand-Gen Video Ad Campaigns

Advertisers who use Google’s demand gen campaigns to reach customers outside of search engine results, were treated to several new features for their campaigns:

  • Clickable stickers made from current image assets.
  • The chance for customers to swipe left to a branded landing page on YouTube.
  • AI-generated animations inspired by static images.

Asking the Experts: How Will These Changes Affect the Future of PPC?

We spoke to Kris Boorman, Senior PPC Account Manager at Embryo, about his thoughts on Google’s latest changes.

‘Google Marketing Live 24 was the surest sign that Google is going “all in” on AI and throwing a lot at the wall to see what sticks.

It’s concerning that, following a year of bringing more insight, reporting & accountability to AI-driven campaigns like Pmax, things seem to be moving back in the other direction, with a lot of “fun” features like 3D images in Shopping ads, but very little on controls or reporting on these new additions.

One opportunity these additions do present is a new playing field for increasing visibility and CTR in ad placements – optimised feed attributes already play a massive part in the competitive landscape, so we’re keen on jumping on these new additions to give us an edge.’

Take Your Ads Further with Embryo

At Embryo, we keep our noses to the ground when it comes to Google’s newest Ads innovations. Discover how our PPC specialists can help your business shine by getting in touch today.

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