Google Marketing Live Event 2023: Here’s What We Know

From yesterday’s Google Marketing Live event, it becomes evident that 2023 signifies a significant achievement for AI in the realm of digital marketing. GML23 exhibited a notable shift in consumer search patterns and the vast possibilities for advertisers to utilise Google’s AI products in capturing their attention like never before.

Google’s most recent announcements provide a promising glimpse into the future and are genuinely exciting, as they pave the way for what lies ahead in the coming years. Google asserts that marketers and advertisers who embrace adaptability and experimentation consistently observe exceptional outcomes. In this article, we will provide an overview of the latest updates and developments in Google Ads and marketing news unveiled at Google’s annual event and examine their potential to revolutionise your digital marketing endeavours.

Conversational AI Now Enables You To Build Campaigns In Google Ads

The implementation of Search and Performance Max campaigns, fueled by generative AI, presents immense opportunities for advertisers. According to Google, “80% of advertisers utilise at least one AI-powered Search ads product.” By harnessing the capabilities of AI, you will unlock a multitude of possibilities. With AI integrated into Search & Performance Max campaigns, we can streamline the process of campaign creation, enhance scalability, and deliver outstanding outcomes for our clients.

The emergence of generative AI creative assets assists in a plethora of possibilities for broadening our audience reach and elevating campaign performance. Google Ads will generate AI-powered assets specifically tailored to target search queries. The introduction of the Asset creation tool empowers us to effectively communicate our client’s business, products/services, unique selling points, and brand identity, resulting in the creation of more relevant advertisements. Additionally, Google has revealed that advertisers who leverage AI for upcoming Search & Performance Max campaigns can expect enhanced efficiency, greater creativity, and accelerated growth with these innovative campaign formats.

In the near future, Google Performance Max will incorporate generative AI to generate text assets and images. Google’s latest campaign type will enhance the automation level by integrating Google AI directly into the campaign setup process. Additionally, the inclusion of generative AI will facilitate image creation, aiding in the generation of creative content for campaigns that heavily rely on images and videos.

Google’s Upcoming Replacement For Merchant Center: Merchant Center Next

During GML23, Google unveiled Google Merchant Center Next - a more streamlined and user-friendly iteration of the existing Google Merchant Center. Google assured that while simplifying the platform, the essential features relied upon by larger retailers will remain intact. Over time, Merchant Center Next will gradually replace the current Merchant Center, with the transition expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

One notable feature of Google Merchant Center Next is its automatic population of product feed information, leveraging data detected from your website. Google emphasised that you have the flexibility to customise the automated content or even disable this functionality entirely. This eliminates the need for merchants to construct specialised data feeds or manually upload products to the Google Merchant Center, streamlining the process significantly.

Innovations Geared Towards Retailers

GML2023 unveiled exciting updates tailored to retailers, offering them valuable enhancements to amplify their marketing efforts. Soon, U.S. users will have access to the Search Generative Experience (SGE) through Google’s early access program, the Search Lab. In the upcoming months, Google will experiment with integrating Search & Shopping ads into the AI-powered snapshot and conversational mode, introducing new formats that harness generative AI to produce relevant ads throughout the search journey.

Retailers can leverage the omnichannel and store-centric features introduced in Performance Max campaigns, allowing them to create a seamless shopping experience across various platforms. By utilising these features, advertisers can boost sales, enhance brand visibility, and encourage customer engagement. The Merchant Center Next experience and Product Studio, powered by generative AI, provide advertisers with convenient tools to manage product profitability and craft captivating product ads. These innovative solutions equip retailers with the necessary resources to captivate their audience and drive tangible business growth.

Improvements To YouTube Campaigns

The YouTube updates introduced by Google at GML2023 promise to enhance advertising capabilities on this channel. According to Google, “80% of viewers agree that YouTube offers the widest range of video content compared to any other platform”. The expansion of creative assets and optimisation tools, powered by Google AI, paves the way for advertisers to captivate their audience and achieve improved outcomes. We can now leverage AI-driven insights to optimise our client’s campaigns and elevate their creative strategies. The ability to generate new video ads in various orientations (horizontal, square, or vertical) using existing assets opens up new possibilities.

These assets can be sourced from other campaigns, product feeds, app store listings, and more. Moreover, Google’s text-to-speech technology enables us to incorporate voice-overs into videos. Additionally, comprehending suitability settings and their impact on campaign Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) enables us to ensure that our client’s ads align with their brand values while resonating with their target audience. These enhancements will empower our clients to maximise the effectiveness of their YouTube campaigns and drive impactful results.

Google Product Studio Introduces AI-Generated Images For Advertisers

Merchants will now have access to an invaluable addition to their advertising: Google’s Product Studio. This innovative tool harnesses the power of generative AI to transform existing product images into striking and distinctive creative. With Product Studio, merchants can effortlessly craft unique and captivating product imagery to enhance their advertising efforts.

This tool empowers advertisers to leverage Google’s generative AI to enhance their creativity in several exciting ways. One such feature is Custom Product Scenes, where products can be uploaded without a background, and AI takes care of the rest. By providing a few prompts, backgrounds can be added to make the product visually appealing. For instance, a skincare company utilised Product Studio to incorporate AI-generated peaches and tropical plants into a plain product photo, creating a more captivating visual.

Additionally, Product Studio offers the ability to remove backgrounds. If a background is deemed distracting, the generative AI can eliminate it within the tool itself, eliminating the need to switch between different applications. Furthermore, Product Studio can enhance the resolution of assets. By employing generative AI models, merchants can transform lower-resolution images into cleaner and crisper creative, ensuring high-quality visuals for their campaigns.

Google Ads Introduces Two Fresh Campaign Types: Video Views and Demand Generation

Google Ads is introducing two specialised campaign types to cater to specific requirements: Video Views and Demand Generation. These campaigns are designed with a primary focus on video content, prioritising placements exclusively on Google-owned and operated platforms.

Video View Campaigns - a campaign type specifically designed to optimise view count. As the name suggests, these campaigns prioritise maximising views for advertisers. According to Google, a study revealed that Video View Campaigns yielded an average of 40% more views compared to in-stream skippable CPV campaigns. Video View Campaigns leverage a range of formats, including skippable in-stream ads, in-feed ads, and Shorts ads, to maximise results within a given budget. The beta version of Video View Campaigns is set to launch globally next month, offering advertisers the opportunity to explore and utilise this powerful campaign type

Demand Generation Campaigns - a fresh approach that harnesses the power of AI to engage consumers and drive meaningful actions. These campaigns are designed to operate seamlessly across multiple platforms:

  • YouTube Shorts
  • YouTube in-stream
  • YouTube in-feed
  • Discover
  • Gmail placements

The displayed calls to action primarily focus on directing traffic to the advertiser’s website rather than utilising lead form assets. However, it is important to note that conversions can still be effectively tracked. Demand Generation campaigns aim to captivate audiences and stimulate desired responses through a combination of strategic placement and AI-driven optimisation.

Within Demand Generation campaigns, advertisers will have the capability to create Lookalike segments using “seed lists” comprising of first-party data and YouTube users. These segments can be configured to achieve different levels of reach, including Narrow (2.5% reach), Balanced (5% reach), and Broad (10% reach). Moreover, the creative elements can be customised to cater specifically to each Lookalike segment.

Among The 7 latest Google Ads Features Are Brand Restrictions Implemented in Broad Match And The Integration of AI in Smart Bidding

There were a few tactical search features announced together with other AI-driven announcements from GML23, but advertisers should be looking at additional elements like better brand controls for broad matches and the integration of AI in smart bidding.

Brand Restrictions For Broad Match - Google has improved broad match over the past few years and a new brand restriction feature should help advertisers feel more comfortable with this match type. Similar to the announcement with Performance Max in 2022, this feature will help to leverage broad match with the brand traffic specified by the advertiser. This feature will be applied at the campaign level which should make testing easy to do.

Google AI in Smart Bidding - Smart Bidding has always been smart! It is getting even smarter by implementing a deeper integration of large language models (LLMs) into bidding, according to Google. This will allow systems to use LLMs to better understand searcher intent and according to Google “optimise more intelligently for search queries it’s never seen before.”

New Features in Display & Video 360

AI-powered optimised targeting enables advertisers to reach new potential converting audiences, benefiting from extensive privacy advancements. By employing optimised targeting on Google Display Ads, advertisers can achieve a remarkable “50% increase in conversions on Google Display ads, which further improves by 55% when combined with first-party audiences” as reported by Google.

Advertisers can now leverage the Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation (PAIR) tool, which allows them to connect with their clients’ first-party audiences while upholding privacy expectations. This tool ensures the display of relevant ads and enhances campaign performance, offering a comprehensive solution. Moreover, the Digital & TV Report has been introduced, offering valuable insights into CTV campaigns. Additionally, cross-device conversion measurement provides a holistic perspective on post-ad engagement. These groundbreaking innovations have the potential to revolutionise customer connections and campaign optimization, resulting in maximum impact and desired outcomes. Those eligible in the United States can participate in the beta version today, with a global launch scheduled for later this year.

GML23 demonstrated a clear emphasis on harnessing the power of AI to transform digital marketing campaigns. Google’s advancements in AI and data-driven insights offer advertisers remarkable possibilities to bolster their campaigns, elevate customer experiences, and achieve tangible success in the ever-changing digital realm.

Annie Wells

Senior Paid Media Executive