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Google Announces New Ad Tools & Features, Emphasizes Importance of Customer Journey


Several Google executives took the stage at the Google Marketing Next 2017 in San Francisco today to announce some of the latest developments in the world of online advertising. Google is constantly rolling out new ad products and platforms, and updating existing ones, to give its users a better online experience. So it was no surprise to our team here at Scorpion that the customer journey was the theme of this year’s announcement.

“Throughout daily life, people just expect relevant, frictionless, and useful experiences whenever and wherever they ask for them—and sometimes even before they ask for them. And the great news is that technology is getting closer than ever to giving it to them,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce, referring to the impact of machine learning.

He broke down what this entails for advertisers today.

“It means that as our experiences with our devices become easier and better, there will soon be no limit to the moments people seek assistance across any device that they’re on. And as a result, brands will have more opportunities than ever before to offer value in people’s daily lives. Well beyond the moment of actual product usage are the few moments when people might engage with traditional push media.”

According to Ramaswamy, there are 3 things that businesses should do to be more successful with their online advertising:

  1. Make their customer interactions smarter with data
  2. Create experiences that help people in one step or one second
  3. Offer “non-line assistance” across digital and physical locations

In his last point, he explained that customers no longer see lines between channels. “The customer is the channel,” he said, noting that advertisers need to create a seamless experience from digital to storefront.

With this, the Google team shared their latest innovations, designed to help advertisers better understand their audiences, connect with them on a more personal level, and better streamline their data so they can run more successful campaigns. Here are some of the biggest announcements they shared!

Beta Testing for AMP Landing Pages & Display Ads

Google is launching a beta test program for its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, specifically for 1) AMP landing pages for search ads, and 2) AMP display ads. The landing pages and ads will load nearly instantly from the Google cache.

“Starting today, a large portion of display ads delivered to amp pages across the Google Display Network will be automatically converted to the AMP format,” Ramaswamy said. “It’s going to make these ads load almost as fast as the content on the pages. In fact, our studies indicate that AMP ads load up to 5 seconds faster than regular ads, making them much more likely that they’re seen and engaged with. Together we think that AMP ads and AMP landing pages ensure that users have a fast and seamless experience with your brand at every interaction.”

Ramaswamy also pointed out that landing page experiences are crucial because they factor into Google’s Ad ranking and pricing systems.

In-Market Audiences

Google announced that it is introducing in-market audiences to search ads. This essentially allows advertisers to show their search ads to select audiences that Google has identified as being more likely to purchase their products or services. Google will be able to translate various types of user actions (such as certain types of search queries and website browsing activity) to determine when a customer is “in the market” for that particular product.

Location Extensions for TrueView Videos

Videos on Google will now become even more customized and helpful to online users. Google announced that it will soon be rolling out location extensions and store visits for YouTube TrueView video campaigns. The extensions will allow consumers to get information like directions and business hours, making it easier for them to take action after watching a video ad. The extensions should also make it easier for businesses to measure the impact their video ads have on their in-store foot traffic.

New AdWords Interface Rollout

Last year, Google previewed its new AdWords interface. In this year’s announcement, Google shared that the new interface is now available and will be fully rolled out to all advertisers by the end of 2017. In addition to having an upgraded design and layout, the revamped AdWords platform offers a new landing page tab, as well as integration with Google Optimize—a tool that allows advertisers to tailor their landing pages to specific audiences—and Google Surveys 360.

Google Attribution

The big Google product announcement for this year was Google Attribution, which is designed to help advertisers determine how much their ads contribute to sales—regardless of whether they influenced the customer early on in the research process or led to the final click and purchase. The idea is to get a clearer picture of how each marketing piece is performing in a cross-channel, cross-device world so advertisers can better invest their digital marketing dollars.

(At Scorpion, we also offer our customers proprietary technology that helps them properly track the effectiveness of their ads across various channels and devices.)

Inventory Data on Google Assistant

At the Google Marketing Next 2017 presentation, one Google executive shared her own experience using Google Assistant at various stages of the customer journey—searching for gift ideas, learning more about a specific product, asking where she could buy the product nearby, and getting directions to the local retailer with the product in stock. She told retailers in the audience that they could get found the same way. She instructed them to send their local inventory data to Google, and it would be made available on Google Assistant within the next few weeks.

What This Means for Your Brand or Business

As you advertise on Google, remember—it all comes down to creating a personalized and powerful experience for your potential customers. We continue to see a strong push by Google to make the online experience more tailored to the customer’s intent, interests, and behaviors. With that in mind, businesses and brands should use the latest tools and technology to make their ads more relevant and useful for their audiences.

If you need help improving your online advertising, talk to our team of online advertising experts at Scorpion. As a Google Premier Partner and the Google’s Platform Innovator of the Year for 2016, you can trust us with your campaigns. Contact our team today!

Keep reading Scorpion’s blog for more online advertising updates.