Back to Basics: How automation can help marketers adapt to market changes

Kristen Butler / April 2020

Back to Basics is a new Think with Google Canada series where Google experts explore digital marketing best practices.

During times of uncertainty, it can be challenging to navigate a path forward for your search marketing strategy. Automation and machine learning can help improve overall search performance despite volatile conditions, and set up a strong foundation for new opportunities in the future.

Automation relies on machine learning to find unpredictable patterns and predict future outcomes. When markets are dynamic, machine learning works even harder to analyze data and find new patterns, which in turn helps marketers craft smarter ad-bidding strategies with always-on bid and budget optimization. Automation improves efficiency and agility, which makes it easier for marketers to quickly adapt to changing consumer needs.

Google's Smart Bidding solutions offer a range of options aligned to your business objectives, and unlike manual bidding, can adapt to ever-changing auction dynamics in real-time. This can create opportunities to get more clicks or conversions for the same or lower cost; helping you squeeze more value out of each marketing dollar.

3 ways to utilize automation during uncertain times

Set smart bidding strategies: Enabling auction-time bidding allows machine learning technology to work across millions of signals to identify patterns, find correlations of wider trends, and enable more accurate bidding decisions in real-time for every single query.

Plan weekly — not quarterly: When markets are dynamic, plan your advertising spend on a weekly basis, instead of monthly or quarterly. Create more frequent plans using Google Ads Performance Planner, to access the most up-to-date forecasts and adapt to shifts in the market along with any upcoming seasonal shifts.

Optimize often: Your optimization score is an estimate of how well your Google Ads are set to perform. Optimization score uses statistical models, simulations and machine learning to give you instant, personalized and actionable recommendations across over 50 performance-improving opportunities. Keeping your score at 100% ensures your account is optimized to perform at its full potential.

Additionally, Search Ads 360 can help increase time savings and efficiency with cross-engine campaign management, de-duplicated measurement and flexible budget planning. SA360 also uses Google’s Auction Time bidding engine. It’s best to regularly review optimization score recommendations and SA360 Budget Management features to distribute investment to higher performing campaigns.

This ability to adapt quickly can be critical during challenging times. Applying automation to your workflow can offer peace-of-mind by supporting your business when your resources are stretched, or you’re juggling other priorities.

By automating the optimization of bids and budgets, your search investment will be informed by a data-driven strategy for more efficient and effective results.

Craft a smarter ad bidding strategy with machine learning in 3 steps