Google Marketing Livestream – previously Google Marketing Live – is Google’s annual virtual keynote where the tech giant announces its new products and share “the latest trends and best practices”.

No prizes for guessing where this year’s conference starts. But Google had some interesting ideas and products to announce across privacy, measurement and automation as well.

If you’d prefer to watch on-demand, Google has put all the recordings online for your viewing pleasure. You can get them here...

Building for the Future of Marketing

This year’s conference started in the only place it could – the impact of the Covid pandemic. And, unsurprisingly, Google made reference to the fact it had revamped its 2020 product roadmap to help businesses “drive results” and “build resilience”.

The Insights page on Google Ads gives you custom insights specific to your business to help you unlock new opportunities.

Curbside Pickup for local inventory ads helps you better and more safely connect local shoppers with the products they need.

Local Services Ads to help people connect with trustworthy professionals in their own neighbourhoods.

Google’s Jerry Dischler, VP & GM, Ads, also drew attention to Performance Max Campaigns, a new way for all advertisers to buy Google Ads from a single campaign across YouTube, Display, Search, Gmail, and Maps.

This new campaign complements your Search campaigns, and helps you maximise performance in three ways:

  1. Helps you find more converting customers across all of Google’s ad inventory without having to manage multiple campaigns.
  2. Drives the best performance Google can deliver against the goals that matter the most to you. Soon you should be able to import this customer data to consider these goals.
  3. You can get richer insights into automation.

You can expect a full launch of Performance Max Campaigns later in 2021.

Privacy

If Covid was where the livestream started, privacy was where it had to go next.

Unsurprisingly, privacy remains a top priority for Google across all products, services, and advertising products.

81% of people say the risks they face because of data collection outweigh the benefits.

As we already know, Google won’t be replacing third-party cookies with alterative identifiers that track users as they browse across the web.

Third-party cookies do not meet the rising expectations consumers have when it comes to privacy as they don’t stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions.

According to Google – and Jerry – transitioning into a world without cookies is going to require three things:

  1. Building great relationships with your customers. Need to use consented first-party data.
  2. Automation and machine learning make forward-looking, predictive marketing possible
  3. Commitment to new technologies that preserve privacy

You can read more about life after third-party cookies in our wide-ranging guide to the topic...

Customer Match

One way Google is helping advertisers “deliver relevant experiences” and deepen relationships with their customers while enabling them to make choices about their data is with Customer Match.

Available to nearly all advertisers, Customer Match means advertisers can reach more users with targeted ads. This is made possible by an improved Consent Mode, which has been upgraded to include conversion modelling.

Automation

Another buzzword for the marketing industry in 2021 is automation. According to Google, automation is how advertisers can unlock the biggest and best performance gains.

Your marketing know-how combines with automation delivers performance and unlocks opportunities and that’s always with the control you need to recover and grow.

New Ways to Leverage Automation

Responsive Search Ads combine your creativity with the power of Google’s machine learning to help deliver relevant, valuable ads. Broad Match helps you find high-performing queries and emerging trends. Smart Bidding optimises bids in real-time to hit performance goals.

Over 80% of advertisers are now using automated bidding to drive results for your business.

Automation can deliver a great experience that drives engagement. It’s now even easier to serve up great ad extensions.

Image extensions are now out of beta and available to advertisers globally. And these flexible, creative options can drive performance for you beyond search.

For video action campaigns and discovery ads you’ll be able to connect your merchant center feed and show your top sellers alongside your ad. You can use it to harness the power of video and images to drive product discovery for your full catalog across YouTube, Discover, Gmail, Google Play, and Apps.

Automated insights enable you to stay forward-looking and uncover opportunities across geographies.

Demand forecast will be rolling out in the coming weeks to predict relevant changes to search behaviour over the next 90 days.

New eCommerce Solutions

Google has been working toward omnichannel experience for years. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the year-over-year growth rate for retail search was more than three times the rate we had seen in the same period of 2019.

Google and Shopify

Google has announced a partnership with Shopify to make it easier for merchants to get discovered across Google services, helping them meet shoppers at the best possible moment.

To make this possible, Google is launching a seamless integration between Google and Shopify, which simplifies getting product inventory live, as well as enabling Shop Pay for Shopify merchants as a payment option across Google Surfaces.

Deals Results Page

Google is releasing this later this year on search and shopping. Shoppers will be able to discover the most popular deals for all their shopping needs throughout the year, which will help you connect with your customers throughout the entire journey.

Value-Matching Shopping

Google has recognised that shoppers now want to shop with brands that match their values.

It already allows brands to indicate when a brand identifies as a Black-owned business across Google search and maps. And these attributes will be expanded on the shopping tab to women-led and other eCommerce companies owned and led by underrepresented communities.

Moreover, Google is launching a way to integrate a merchant loyalty program. Through this, you can show your members their loyalty pricing and benefits and entice new people to join your program.

In Summary

Of course, this is just an overview of everything Google had to say at Google Marketing Livestream 2021. But it’s clear that supporting businesses as we emerge from the global pandemic, privacy considerations and regulation, and automation as at the forefront of Google’s mind.

Google had plenty to announce this year. And we highly recommend heading over to the on-demand recordings of the virtual conference to find out exactly what Google is planning in your vertical.