Paid and Owned Media

5 Key Takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2024

As expected, AI took center stage at Google Marketing Live 2024. From AI-generated creative tools to Performance Max (PMAX) reporting updates, Google announced various platform improvements at this year’s event. Read on for our experts’ top four takeaways and how to leverage these exciting new opportunities.

AI-Generated Creative Took Center Stage 

Google is rolling out new tools allowing advertisers to have some control over AI-generated creative, incorporating existing product images directly in Google Ads rather than Google Merchant Center. These tools include a “virtual try-on” which allows customers to see products on different body types and “3D Spin” which provides 360-degree product views.

With the rollout of these new tools comes exciting new possibilities for marketers. To take advantage of these features, our experts recommend adjusting existing images to remove objects, extend backgrounds, and adjust sizes before launching. Additionally, add brand guidelines to your account, including your brand colors and font, to serve more on-brand ads. After implementing these changes, we recommend prioritizing testing in Q3 and further optimizing feed content prior to Q4. 

AI Overviews Are In it for the Long Haul 

Google recently scaled AI Overviews to be available to all users and feature ads above the overviews. However, only 14% of queries return AI results as they only serve a limited number of long-tail questions and research-based searches. Due to this shift, organic search results will continue to be pushed further down on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). 

Our experts recommend monitoring SERP trends and new matched terms, especially if your site targets longer-tail keywords. However, we expect minimal impact for our clients, with 63% of Ovative clients’ non-brand searches containing short-tail keywords. As for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it’s important to continue providing users with unique, value-adding content and site experiences. Furthermore, to improve AI Overviews rankings, invest in content strategies with “how to” and research themes.  

Deliver Stronger ROI with Bidding to Profitability 

Advertisers can drive more incremental impact with Google ads than ever before. Currently, Google’s real-time bid optimizations are referencing top-line online revenue amongst other store and customer signals. During the event, Google announced that advertisers can now optimize to profit based on real-time, item-level data from their product feeds. The Smart Bidding profit optimization goal will be available with Performance Max (PMAX) and Standard Shopping campaigns. 

To enable this feature, marketers must customize their product feed data and conversion tracking to include profitability factors. First, advertisers must update tagging in Google Ads Conversion Tracking to capture individual products purchased and corresponding revenue values. Ovative experts also recommend adding Cost of Goods Sold into the product feed to drive long-term value (LTV) beyond profitability. Even if marketers don’t use bidding to profit, there is reporting value unlocked from these updates, including the ability to push priority products. Lean on Ovative’s feeds and tagging experts to help you identify the best approach to customizing your product feed data effectively.

Drive Customer Loyalty with New Pricing Tactics 

Marketers will soon be able to drive stronger customer loyalty with new options for customizing pricing in real-time based on audience data. This includes acquiring new customers with first-time order promotions and retaining existing customers with loyalty promotions such as members-only pricing. Both features will be available in Q3 for PMAX and Standard Shopping campaigns. 

Our experts recommend preparing to test these audience messaging tactics when they’re released in Q3. To take advantage of these features, ensure your CRM lists are updated frequently and segmented by customer type. Additionally, we recommend utilizing Ads Data Manager to streamline the ingestion of your first-party data. 

Google Unveiled PMAX Asset-Level Reporting 

While network-level reporting is still unavailable, marketers will soon be able to report at the asset level. Google will surface YouTube videos and Shorts in placement reports to improve transparency into where your PMAX ads are showing on YouTube. Additionally, creative asset reporting will be available to help marketers better understand which ads are performing best and how often they’re being served. 

To take advantage of these reporting updates, our experts recommend using asset-level reporting to identify opportunities to refresh underperforming creative. Additionally, Google will offer placement and thematic YouTube ad exclusions. We recommend using this new level of reporting to exclude any irrelevant or unsafe video placements. 

What’s Next? Stay Ahead of the Curve With Ovative 

Google’s offerings are constantly evolving, making it hard to stay ahead of the curve. We expect Google to continue focusing on AI and machine learning to optimize performance in real time. As offerings continue to evolve, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest from Google. 

Lean on your media partners to help you stay ahead of the curve. Connect with Ovative’s search experts to strategize, build, and execute a successful search program that leverages the latest insights from Google.

Chris Thueringer

Senior Director, Paid Media

About the Author

Chris is a Senior Director on the Paid Search team, leading full management and advisory engagements across multiple industries, with an emphasis on retail clients. His specialty has been using store and customer data to drive enterprise retail strategies. In addition to his client roles Chris has been focused on driving paid search subject matter expertise of Ovative team... Read More >>

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