The Update: Measurement that helps every marketing dollar count

The Update: Measurement that helps every marketing dollar count

Guests
Vidhya Srinivasan, VP of Measurement and Analytics at Google
Marie Gulin-Merle, Global VP of Ads Marketing at Google
Published
July 2020

In this episode of our series The Update, Google’s Global VP of Ads Marketing Marie Gulin-Merle talks to VP of Measurement and Analytics at Google Vidhya Srinivasan about the importance of measurement in the current moment. Metrics are shifting on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. Listen as they discuss finding and acting on insights during times of upheaval.

0:02

Consumers’ wants and needs have been changing rapidly

0:04

—even daily in some cases—

0:08

and consistency in reporting is really out the door.

0:11

It’s impossible considering the rate at which things are changing.

0:13

With that,

0:15

gauging results has become more complicated

0:19

and this problem is exacerbated because

0:23

resources are also more constrained given that this is also an economic crisis.

0:30

With people feeling eager and ready to rebuild,

0:33

marketers will have plenty of opportunities to make a difference.

0:35

In this episode of The Update,

0:38

I sat down with Vidhya Srinivasan,

0:42

who leads measurement and analytics for Google's advertising products,

0:45

to talk about the importance of measurement in the current moment.

0:52

Things seem to be shifting on a weekly or even daily basis right now.

0:58

What are your thoughts about ad measurement during times of upheaval?

1:02

Marketers really need to listen like never before,

1:05

especially because the situation is really fast evolving.

1:10

And it really boils down to having a finger on the pulse.

1:14

Now, this is a situation that none of us have really encountered before,

1:17

and things are fairly confusing all around.

1:21

All the traditional baseline metrics that we used to rely on

1:23

don't even matter anymore.

1:29

What we are seeing is entire campaigns being suspended or drastically altered,

1:32

and it really boils down to

1:34

finding insights.

1:37

Because with those insights comes a plan.

1:39

So Vidhya, as you said,

1:44

understanding this current moment comes down to insights or metrics

1:47

for so many leaders, including marketers.

1:53

How has the current moment challenged marketers when it comes to measurement?

1:56

So measurement is complex in the best of times,

2:00

and for marketers especially during these difficult times,

2:02

the stakes are very real.

2:07

Now this is true of our big customers, but it is especially true for smaller businesses.

2:11

This is because they're trying to identify where to invest

2:14

perhaps limited resources

2:16

and trying to get the most out of their dollar.

2:19

So the main challenges for marketers really are around

2:25

how to collect and assess data as close to real time as possible, as things are changing,

2:27

how to sort through the data for insights,

2:32

how to use those insights to make the right changes,

2:33

and how we do all of this

2:35

while also fully protecting user privacy.

2:39

How are you thinking of your priorities,

2:42

and how did you and your team

2:46

build the right tools to enable marketers right now?

2:48

So overall Marie,

2:51

I would say our priorities have not really changed.

2:53

We have three main priorities:

3:00

number one, really is to help marketers understand the impact of their marketing spend—that remains.

3:06

The second one is, how do we help marketers understand their user sentiment?

3:10

Number three is to help marketers to really understand

3:13

how their users are interacting with their ads,

3:18

as well as with the digital world, be it on the website or mobile apps.

3:22

So Vidhya, you know, I'm a former client,

3:26

and I remember it was always quite difficult

3:29

to find the right balance between

3:33

precise, accurate measurement, and at the same time

3:35

getting the job done.

3:41

So for you, is there a compromise, what's the compromise and how do you solve this?

3:43

So I'm a big believer in

3:44

actionable metrics.

3:46

So when you talk about accuracy,

3:50

I think it's really all about the marketer’s context and use case.

3:54

Now, simple fast reads of a situation can miss the nuance.

3:56

At the same time, over analysis,

3:59

or the pursuit of unattainable precision

4:02

can also really hold teams back from taking action.

4:05

So the ideal balance really has to do with

4:08

getting the precision needed for actionability.

4:12

I love that actionability is the lens

4:17

you want to use to define the metrics you're going to look at.

4:19

Can you use examples

4:25

that you've seen where it works and that can be inspiring for our clients?

4:27

So for example with brand lift,

4:32

we now started reporting on the brand lift soon after the campaign starts—

4:33

we used to wait until the end—

4:36

again, that's a trade-off on precision.

4:38

Similarly with reach measurement.

4:40

And in both these cases,

4:45

we believe this trade-off between timeliness and precision is the right one for the use case.

4:47

So Vidhya,

4:52

we see so many different situations in terms of consumer behaviours right now.

4:58

On the one hand, we can see people looking for openings of hotels or car dealerships,

5:02

but on the other hand, we also see people planning

5:05

for a life based on staying at home.

5:08

To make sense of all the signals,

5:12

which tools would you recommend to marketers right now?

5:15

Google Analytics continues to be one of the best ways

5:20

to understand how your customers are interacting with your key business touchpoints,

5:22

be it website or mobile app.

5:26

And with our recent changes, it really brings together

5:31

a comprehensive view of the user journey across app as well as web.

5:35

Furthermore, Google Analytics also has machine learning capabilities

5:39

to surface key insights that might otherwise go unnoticed,

5:43

as well as look into the future with Predictive Analytics.

5:48

Beyond that, Google Analytics comes integrated across Google Ads

5:50

and Google Marketing Platform,

5:53

which makes analytics directly actionable.

5:58

One of the other tools I was using as a client is Data Studio.

5:59

Can you talk about

6:02

how you would be using it, as a marketer?

6:03

So yes,

6:07

Data Studio is a really awesome productivity tool to drive insights.

6:10

It comes with built-in connectors to marketing products

6:12

like Google Ads and Google Analytics,

6:13

and you can see

6:15

your data update in real-time

6:18

which allows you to make faster decisions.

6:20

Furthermore, it also comes with marketing templates

6:24

so that you can get to your favourite reports

6:26

with the most relevant metrics already pre set up,

6:33

and you can even use features such as scheduled emails to get daily trend reporting in your inbox.

6:34

So Vidhya,

6:37

you talked a lot about going fast,

6:42

and one aspect of agility is about being nimble,

6:48

both in understanding what's happening, but also communicating what's happening.

6:49

So can you talk about

6:54

the changes you've made to Google Optimize to keep customers in the loop?

6:55

So with Optimize,

7:00

now you can quickly post an informational banner on your site for changed hours,

7:01

services, et cetera.

7:03

You can pick which pages of the site

7:05

this banner should be displayed on,

7:08

and display different banners in different locations as well.

7:10

So as you said many times,

7:17

there's never been a more important time to invest in a wise way.

7:19

One way to do this

7:23

is through attribution in Google Ads.

7:27

So what are you and your team have been doing on this front,

7:29

and what can you share with us?

7:31

Attribution in Google Ads

7:35

really helps you understand your investment as it relates to

7:37

the various paths to conversion on your site.

7:41

And it essentially awards credits to the different ads,

7:44

clicks and other factors along the way.

7:48

Now, we recently launched a brand new experience in Google Ads for attribution,

7:52

and this helps you see and understand reports very quickly.

7:55

So basically we've highlighted metrics and paths

7:59

that you should really pay attention to so that you can optimize your spend.

8:04

And it's not only just how the reports are designed, right?

8:10

It's also the insights you added for advertisers about YouTube for instance.

8:12

That's right.

8:17

So recently we added support for YouTube engaged views, as well as clicks.

8:21

This has been a priority for us for a while now,

8:24

however with the recent explosion in YouTube watch time,

8:27

this is especially timely for our marketers.

8:30

So with these new features,

8:33

attribution in Google Ads can now help you understand

8:38

how your customers interact with your ads across YouTube, Search and Shopping,

8:40

before converting

8:42

and you can then adjust your marketing spend accordingly.

8:46

Thanks so much Vidhya for the inspirational examples,

8:51

and the power of the insights behind measurement.

8:55

Would you have any final thoughts to share with us?

8:59

So my brother actually leads marketing for a regional grocery chain,

9:02

and they've been moving to e-commerce at breakneck speed.

9:05

I feel like I'm on the phone with him all the time,

9:09

where he's giving me new requirements for tools and features that could help them.

9:15

Now I really want to hear from all our marketers, not just the ones that I know personally.

9:16

I would love to

9:18

hear your feedback on how we can help more.

9:21

This is really what drives me and my team,

9:25

and the more that we can do to help you and your businesses,

9:27

the better we can serve our end users.

9:29

Now above all,

9:32

I’m wishing all of you safety and good health.

9:34

Thank you for your time and take care.

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