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TPE #84: new insights from Google Think 2024

Mar 11, 2024

Read time: 2 minutes

Hey, Miles here with The PPC Edge.

Last week, Bob was invited to attend Google Think 2024, a live event in Amsterdam with keynotes about:

  1. AI (shock :p).
  2. What drives customers’ purchase decisions.
  3. New Performance Max product updates.

 

 

I asked him about his experience and what he learned from the event. I’ll debrief it to you in today’s issue of The PPC Edge.

Let’s dive in, so you are up to speed with the most important updates in the PPC world!

 

Part 1: Keynotes about the future of Google Ads and AI.

The event started with some keynotes about [drumrolls please] AI.

The key takeaway was that we’re again at an inflection point — like the invention of the internet, resulting in the “information age.” Things will only accelerate from here, and we should be ready to re-invent ourselves multiple times in the upcoming decade.

Bob found this slogan very strong:

 

 

We shouldn’t be “worried” about AI, as we will still be the marketer in the driver’s seat (for now, at least).

However, AI will enable us to go much faster and be better marketers.

Or at least that’s what Google’s saying right now…

You could also argue AI is making a lot of marketers worse, but that’s a discussion for another day…

 

Keynote about the “AI Flywheel”.

Another main-stage presentation focused on the “AI flywheel,” discussing the importance of using optimized data inputs (tracking, first-party data, etc.) while using Google's AI solutions and your own custom AI solutions on top of that.

A great case study was shared from fashion retailer Omoda, which used custom AI models to predict possible returns based on several variables like the ordered products. For example, if you’re seeing customers order two variants in the same Item_group_id (2 different colors or two different sizes), then you could be somewhat confident 1 of them is getting returned; hence, you might want to use Conversion Adjustments or alter your (dynamic) conversion value to account for that immediately.

This allows you to feed Smart Bidding with the predicted, correct conversion value.

Long story short, advertisers who combine their own data with Google’s AI solutions will be the ones who win. It’s something we’ve been teaching in our courses for a long time as well.

 

Part 2: Insights in what drives customers’ purchase decisions.

Another thing worth sharing: according to Emily from Google, 70% of the customer’s decision to purchase is made around “other factors” than price such as

  • Social proof
  • Brand values
  • Authority bias
  • Delivery and returns (the power of free)

That means price and discounts account for only 30% of a customer’s purchase decision.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule based on the vertical you’re in (e.g., luxury brands)…

But what we can learn from this, is that you should put a lot of emphasis on optimizing your offers beyond just price.

If you can help your clients make irresistible offers, you will win. There’s no doubt about it.

 

Part 3: New Performance Max product updates.

Google is “committed to improving Performance Max” (their words)…

So next up was a presentation with some new Performance Max updates:

 

Category 1: More Transparency

  • Search term insights
  • Audience insights
  • Asset group insights
  • Ad Strength reporting
  • Experimentations (uplift, conversion lift, geo tests)

 

Category 2: Better Controls

  • Search Themes
  • New Customers Acquisition Goals (Re-Engagement)
  • Brand Exclusions
  • Page Feed controls for Brand Safety

 

Category 3: Cooler Integrations

  • Generative AI in Google Ads
  • Google Display & Dynamic Search Ads Upgrades (meh)
  • Creative improvements

 

Most of them have already been announced before, but not every account had access yet.

Additionally, what really stood out are the new Budget Pacing and Performance Shifts Analyzer tools.

With Budget Pacing, you can “get a pulse check on which campaigns are limited by budget”.

It sounds promising and we hope it’s gonna be genuinely useful.

Let’s pray it’s not just a tool for Google to focus only on “limited by budget” campaigns.

The new Performance Shifts Analyzer will help us “take a deeper look at what’s driving performance shifts (outliers)”, so we can better understand what optimizations to prioritize. Sounds good!

 

Conclusion: lots of new updates are coming and AI is here to stay.

Lots of new product updates are coming to Google Ads soon, and AI is embedded in all of them.

Google Think 2024 taught us that AI is here to stay, and we need to keep reinventing ourselves to stay ahead.

Ponder this quote this week, and see what it means for you:

“You’re the marketer. AI is the enabler.”

We’ll be here with you along every step of the way, to help you get the best possible results from your Google Ads campaigns.

Thanks for reading, and see you in Friday’s issue of The Friday Roundup!

Cheers,

Bob & Miles



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