By Alan Perkins
AS SilverDisc is a Google Premier Partner, I was invited to the Google Marketing Live conference in San Jose, California from 9 to 11 July and, as promised in my last article, I'm bringing what I discovered back to you. Many of the sessions were covered by NDA, but there was a definite theme to the entire conference and that theme is certainly no secret. It runs all the way through the 90-minute keynote which you can find by searching YouTube for Marketing Innovations Keynote.
That theme is that Google is focusing less on keywords and more on people; less on search results, and more on assisting people to achieve their goals.
There could be no clearer demonstration of the move away from keywords than the renaming of Google AdWords to Google Ads. This seemingly small rebrand sits alongside a complete reorganisation of Google's products, aligning them at more people-centric solutions. At the centre of this reorganisation lies the new Google Marketing Platform, which comes in two flavours that Google calls 'Small Business' and 'Enterprise'. Both solutions are capable of offering great value, since the promise is identifying, finding and delivering the audiences that have an intent to engage with you.
The Marketing Platform is a simple suite of tools that allows fantastically complex marketing to take place, driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. These tools include advertising, testing, surveying, analysing and reporting. The key benefit of bringing them together is that, together, they can be used to identify the audience most likely to engage with you. Google was keen to point out that direct response metrics can now be applied to brand campaigns.
Assistance is playing more and more of a role within Google, and some great demonstrations of the Google Assistant were given in various contexts - in the home, in-car and out and about. This session was NDA-only but I think this is some of the best work that Google is doing. To give an emotional example, the ability of a severely disabled pensioner to call family and friends through the Google Assistant using voice commands, for a chat or even in an emergency, was clearly extremely liberating to her. But for everybody, as time goes on, the addition of a smart personal assistant to our lives has the potential to make those lives easier and more enjoyable to live. Of course, when that assistant is helping you to choose products and services, either as a business or consumer, things get interesting both ethically and commercially! Google challenged brands to assist by knowing their moments (when they could help), showing up (being there to help), speeding up (being quick and easy to use) and wising up (deeply understanding and responding to consumer needs). Google says ads should be helpful, not harmful or annoying.
Helpful ads... I'm sure we'd all like that, especially when those ads were also helping our businesses to grow and profit. If you would like help using online marketing to deliver more to your business, contact SilverDisc by calling 01536 316100 or visiting silverdisc.co.uk