Google Marketing Live: New Features, New Focus

July 11, 2018

Didn’t have time to catch the keynote from Google Marketing Live? We’ve got you covered. Here are highlights from this year’s event and what they mean for digital marketers.

Safety First

Given the current hot topics of data privacy and brand safety, it wasn’t surprising for Google to focus on the value of advertising, transparency, and trustworthiness. Keynote speaker Sridar Ramaswamy pointed out that you can opt out of personalized advertising across all Google services, proactively reminding the audience that Google is committed to a safe, secure user experience.

How Can We Help You?

Ramaswamy also focused on Google’s shift from providing answers to offering assistance. This involves understanding what people need in the moment and helping them get things done. In his words, “Google is where the world turns to for assistance."

Key Goals

Across Google’s set of advertising solutions, the company is driving for better results, simpler experiences, and stronger collaboration. From more and better advertising automation to capturing more attention during shopping “moments,” online advertisers will have new opportunities to optimize ad delivery and improve results.


As they announced a couple of weeks ago, Google’s advertising suite is getting a slight makeover—or, at least a new name.
Google Ads now includes Search, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Play. This is a good reminder that there are probably places and ways to reach your customers that you might not be taking full advantage of today.

As for the Google Marketing Platform, it’s still being managed by Google, and brings advertising and measurement into one place. This begs the question, however—do advertisers want Google making decisions around their budget and spending choices?

Talking Shop

The 2,500 attendees (up a whopping 2400% from the 100 who dropped in just five years ago) were treated to the highlight of the day—a rundown of Google’s new advertising products and features, including:

YouTube product formats

Maximize lift will help advertisers reach people most likely to consider their brand after seeing a video ad. Along with TrueView for Actions, this will make it easy to use YouTube at every stage of the funnel.

Responsive Search Ads

You heard it here first—Google is going to own ad creation. Responsive Search Ads will make life easier for marketers by automatically delivering relevant ads based on people’s stated wants and preferences. However, we think this will come at the expense of control. By handing the keys to Google, advertisers may find themselves locked out of the car.

As beta partners, we’ve seen increased performance with this ad format. But, it’s unclear if this simply translates to taking up more SERP real estate at the expense of organic results. Ads are getting cluttered, though, so it’s ultimately a good thing that machine learning is doing the heavy lifting.

Smart Campaigns

Smart Campaigns are now focused on SMBs, replacing AdWords Express. If you’re not familiar with AdWords Express, that’s probably okay. However, Google did mention cool tools to automatically build a website for the half of small businesses that don’t currently have one set up.

Advertising for All

When all was said and done, there was one main takeaway from Google Marketing Live—advertising should work for everyone. As Google seeks to democratize—and monetize—more automated, secure offerings, the search advertising future is looking bright, transparent, personalized, and helpful.

Wesley MacLaggan

Marin Software
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