The COVID-19 recovery process will vary by country, region, and business sector, but the transformation will have an impact on all of us. Google is committed to providing economic relief and supporting the pandemic recovery efforts, which is why we’re working to provide accurate vaccine information and increasing vaccine access to people around the world, with a particular focus on countries that are continuing to experience the pandemic most intensely.
We’ve also been focused on how our products can help make things easier for people during this difficult time. In 2021 we’re continuing to fine-tune our products, especially regarding privacy, measurement, and automation, to help advertisers connect with consumers as the world around us keeps changing.
Developing privacy-safe advertising technology
According to eMarketer, time spent with digital media increased 15% last year as people turned to devices like smartphones, connected TVs, and computers. As they use digital tools to manage more aspects of their lives, people want to know that their privacy is protected, and we expect these concerns will only increase in the future.
A healthy ads ecosystem is critical to keeping the internet open and accessible for everyone, but we must also ensure that people feel safe when they are online. Now is the time for our industry to rethink our practices and take bold action to regain people’s trust. That’s a key reason we announced earlier this year that we won’t build alternate identifiers once third-party cookies are phased out.
The good news is that it’s possible to improve privacy while still delivering business results. We’re collaborating with the web community to build solutions like those in the Privacy Sandbox, an open-source initiative to develop new technologies centered on privacy techniques like anonymization, aggregation, and on-device processing designed to support key advertising use cases such as interest-based ads, measurement, and more.
Navigating new measurement and audience strategies
Accurate measurement of your marketing is especially critical so you know where to invest to drive the most impact. But the tools advertisers have historically relied on to measure results such as cookies and other identifiers are rapidly changing. We’re focused on ensuring privacy-safe measurement is accessible to businesses and brands of all sizes.
We’re investing across our products to help unlock insights into consumer behavior and purchasing decisions using machine learning. For example, we’ll soon be including Display and YouTube as well as in-app conversions in all Google Ads attribution models, including data-driven attribution powered by Google’s machine learning. These changes will help you properly value the impact of all your Google Ads campaigns.
We recently shared how we’re making it possible for you to use your consented first-party data to preserve accurate measurement, even when fewer cookies are available. First-party data can also help you connect with more of the right people for your business. We’re now expanding the availability of Customer Match to nearly all advertisers to reach and reengage customers across ad types. As we look to the future, you can expect to see more innovations like these to help with your transition to a privacy-first world.
Improving automation with better performance
As the recovery continues, advertisers can automatically tap new pockets of growth by using products that dynamically respond to the market conditions that are most relevant to their business. Today, advertisers are applying automation to more aspects of their campaigns than ever before — from automatically assembling and selecting the best-performing creatives with responsive search ads to finding more search queries that perform using broad match keywords — and they’re setting the right bid for every auction by factoring in a wide range of signals that predict performance using Smart Bidding. In fact, we’ve seen that automation products are even better together. For example, companies that switch from phrase match keywords to broad match keywords in campaigns that use Target CPA bidding see 25% more conversions.
Because automation is delivering strong results for advertisers, we want to help you use it in more places. Today, more than 80% of advertisers use automated bidding to take the guesswork out of setting bids and to achieve their performance goals. For example, advertisers who want to optimize their campaigns based on return on ad spend use Target Return on Ad Spend (Target ROAS) Smart Bidding strategies to automatically optimize bids and maximize revenue. Now we’re expanding Target ROAS to work across even more of Google’s channels, including Discovery ads and Video action campaigns.
Just like with automation, you get more efficiency and better results when our advertising tools work together. So we’ve made it easy for retailers to connect your Google Merchant Center feed to Discovery ads and Video action campaigns. This will help you use images and video to drive product discovery and purchases for your full product catalog. In March, when we compared more than 900 Video action campaigns, we found advertisers who added product feeds drove 60% more conversions at a lower cost compared to advertisers who didn’t add product feeds.
Bringing the full value of automation to more advertisers
Last year we shared that we were testing a new type of campaign called Performance Max, which brings together the best of Google’s automation to help advertisers drive better results across all of Google’s channels: YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, and more. Now, Performance Max campaigns are expanding to thousands of additional advertisers, with general availability coming later this year, and we invite you to join the beta.
We’re also adding support for Performance Max campaigns on the Insights page. We heard beta testers tell us they wanted more transparency into how automation is working and what’s driving performance changes. With this update, you’ll be able to see things like which audiences are converting, top-performing creatives, auction insights, and trending search categories. You can also preview how your best ads are showing up on each channel.
We’ve seen great results during early beta testing. Vodafone Turkey, part of the Vodafone Group, a leading telecommunications company in Europe and Africa, adopted Performance Max with the goal of scaling lead generation for its phone plans across all of Google’s channels to reach more potential customers. During testing, Performance Max campaigns drove an 18% increase in leads at a 70% lower cost per acquisition compared to its search campaigns. As a result, Vodafone Turkey adopted Performance Max campaigns as its main lead generation campaign on top of its standard keyword-based search campaigns. Visit the Advertising Solutions Center to see more Performance Max success stories from companies like Neo4j and MoneyMe.
“We’re always keen on adopting new advertising technologies that create sales growth with lower costs. Performance Max aligns with our business objectives and helps us acquire new customers without cannibalizing sales between campaigns.”
If you missed it, watch Google Marketing Livestream on-demand to find out more about our latest innovations and more.