The goals of marketing, from growing awareness to driving sales, change with every campaign, but fundamentally, marketers everywhere share the same objectives. Marketing teams at Google are no different, says Meg Biron, media technologies manager at Google's Media Lab.

Written by
Meg Biron
Published
January 2017
Topics

At Google, brands as diverse as Chromecast and Search aim to reach the right people with the right message, in the right moment. To do that, Google marketers work with our team, the Google Media Lab, which manages the media strategy for all of Google's digital advertising campaigns.

We're a nimble team, but we're also one of DoubleClick's heaviest users, innovating with DoubleClick solutions to deliver smarter and more effective campaigns. This requires advanced technology as well as an integrated approach.

In the past, insights, technology, and creative were siloed and disconnected. We've learned that it's critical to centralize and connect these three functions. Today, we strive to build campaigns in an internal incubator. Insights aren't reserved for the final step of targeting but influence every piece of creative, revealing who the audience is, how they behave, and the best time to reach them. And technology fuels more than media executions. It's integral in the building of creative and gleaning of insights. This approach has led to a new and more effective model for digital marketing.

In the past, insights, technology, and creative were siloed and disconnected. We've learned that it's critical to centralize and connect these three functions.

Uncover the right insights

Insights lay the foundation for everything marketers do, starting with the briefs they create. At Google we have to begin our campaigns with deep insights, but to move quickly we employ methods that are more efficient than traditional research.

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In a recent campaign for Chromecast, for example, we studied public data from Google Trends to learn which television shows our audience loved most. We then used that data to inform our thinking around what they'd want to watch with Chromecast. We also employ other off-the-shelf Google products, like Consumer Surveys and YouTube. Using these sources and partner agencies, including Essence Digital, we gather the insights that inform every step of every campaign.

Build informed, dynamic creative

The power of dynamic creative and programmatic fuels all of Google's campaigns, allowing us to serve the right ad in the right moment, at scale. The Media Lab partners with Essence Digital in the creation and production of Google's ads—and while crafting the original idea in some cases. Together we mine the data we've gathered to refine our audience, understand what they want, and decide how to build those insights into the ad experience.

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To demonstrate the capabilities of Android Wear smartwatches, for example, we built interactive ads replicating the smartwatch interface. Then, we delivered ads that showcased specific features we knew would appeal to users. But we didn't stop there. Our team continually optimizes creative based on new data and how people respond to the ads.

Leveraging programmatic technology

Our team also integrates technology along the way. DoubleClick solutions, including Bid Manager and Creative Solutions, allow us to develop dynamic creative, capable of adapting to myriad audience segments. This approach allows us to scale creative efficiently, so that global teams can build on prior successes. It also allows us to test different design elements and copy to optimize campaigns in real time. Recent ads for the Google app, for example, utilized real-time data to deliver actual search results like nearby restaurants and the weather, based on users' locations and the time of day.

Technology, insights, and creative are the pillars of every campaign. And bringing those three elements together delivers powerful results. To help you discover ideas you can apply to your own campaigns, we've compiled case studies of Media Lab's recent campaigns into a single hub. We learned a lot along the way, and we hope you will too.

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