This piece is part of a series of three articles on how brands can navigate uncertainty with confidence. Don’t miss our article on how businesses can respond to the latest consumer search trends, and look out for an upcoming piece on why marketers should embrace experimentation in uncertain times.
After the enormous disruption of the past few years, we now find ourselves in a period of uncertainty. And amid that uncertainty, we are seeking answers.
This is evident in the results of a global survey we recently conducted with Ipsos. When a large purchase needs to be made, 60% of consumers in surveyed countries say they need to conduct research in order to feel confident about making large purchase decisions.1 We also saw this reflected in jumps in search activity over the past six months for terms ranging from “specials this week,” up 60% year on year,2 to “last minute flights,” up 90% in the same period.3 These trends present huge opportunities for any business ready to reach customers at just the right moment to convert searches into sales.
The reliability of tried-and-true advertising solutions powered by new insights and automation will get advertisers ready for what’s next.
Since an uncertain macroenvironment can make it feel especially consequential to make changes, many marketers may have the impulse to hunker down. But the riskiest move is making no move at all.
Instead, marketers should prepare for this moment by implementing strategies that deliver reliable results and help drive long-term growth. The reliability of tried-and-true advertising solutions powered by new insights and automation will get advertisers ready for what’s next. We call this combination of tried-and-true approaches and new, automated solutions the “tried-and-new.”
Here are some tried-and-new approaches to prepare you for Q4 and beyond.
Market at the speed of consumers
There’s no better way than Search to keep current with what people are looking for when mindsets are in flux. Among the billions of searches on Google every day, 15% are queries we’ve never seen before. Automated tools can help you respond to and reach consumers amid shifting trends. For instance, combining automated bidding with broad match keywords can ensure your brand shows up for new, high-performing queries and emerging trends, all while paying only for the clicks that convert. It’s why more than 80% of Google advertisers now use automated bidding to unlock the full potential of Search to reach their performance goals.
With our performance products, advertisers can convert demand; with our reach, they can create new demand at scale.
Digital video is another, newer area of investment where advertisers consistently see results. As viewers flock from linear TV to digital video, it makes sense to reach people where they are. With the need to make every dollar work harder, we’re seeing that advertisers aren’t just focusing their efforts on awareness or action. They’re finding effective ways to create future demand and convert existing demand.
Data shows us that a YouTube full-funnel strategy drives the highest consistent performance across the consumer journey. Brands running both direct response and brand video ad campaigns see the brand campaigns delivering 28% of conversion assists.4
Focusing on the full funnel drives more conversion than just focusing on conversion alone. With our performance products, advertisers can convert demand; with our reach, they can create new demand at scale.
Measure what matters
In a world awash in metrics, it is important to focus on measuring what really matters. A measurement foundation based on first-party and modeled data is the best way to be ready for a future with stricter privacy requirements, moving the industry away from third-party data and cookies. The benefits of improving your measurement methods extend beyond compliance, allowing you to deepen customer relationships, embrace automation grounded in accurate models, and use new approaches that don’t track users across the internet — all while keeping your analytics focused on the real outcomes that matter.
Building meaningful customer relationships requires you to first earn people’s trust by helping them understand and choose how their data is used. Even with a solid foundation of consented first-party data, less observable data may lead to gaps in the customer journey. Innovations in conversion modeling can help us solve for unknowns in the customer journey in a privacy-safe way. More than ever before, our industry needs innovation and collaboration to protect the tools and insights that businesses need to grow.
Multiply your expertise
Automation is your business multiplier. It also learns from you. Your inputs about goals, relative conversion values, and ad creative ensure you’re steering it in the right direction. Then, automation can optimize your campaign performance 24/7. Pairing Performance Max campaigns with Search, for example, can deliver consistent ROI across all of Google’s advertising channels and inventory. At the same time, it can help you expand beyond the top-performing searches and customer segments you already know to uncover new pockets of demand that will fuel your growth for the future.
Experiment to find what works, and make your campaigns work harder. Adopting a test-and-learn mindset is a hallmark of digitally mature marketers and critical to readying your business for long-term, sustained growth.
Lean into tried-and-new strategies
The choices businesses make in the next six to 12 months will be critical. They present an opportunity to meet the moment again by reinvesting in what works to drive growth now, while building resilience for the future. The reliability of Google’s tried-and-true advertising solutions — fueled with powerful new insights and automation solutions — will get advertisers ready for what’s next. Do the tried-and-new.