How Google AI will change your marketing meetings - Showtime Digital

How Google AI will change your marketing meetings

13 September 2018 Read 893 times

Over the past 12 months we have seen Google’s growing commitment to developing AI technology and machine learning. From Google’s Quick Draw – a game where a machine guesses what you are drawing to Google Assistant being able to book a hair appointment, Google is setting out to prove robots are qualified to take on rudimentary tasks.

As a Google Partner agency, we have first-hand experience of the push to take on automation as BAU within most accounts. From what we have seen in recent Google Masterclasses, manual bidding and micro-ad management will be phased out over the next 12 months.

Bids, impressions and placement will become automated based on desired outcomes. There will come a point where we won't be able to control certain aspects of ad placement, only guide the machine with clear objectives and restraints around spend. Which means our teams will be working with the advertising platforms on a more strategic level.

What does this mean for your marketing meetings?

Understanding how the landscape is going to shift will help you have more meaningful conversations in your marketing team about your digital strategy.

Moving forward, these are the items you should be thinking about as key marketing meeting agenda items.

1.      Set high-level campaign goals

Google's shift towards AI and Machine Learning will apply automation based on goal outcomes. This means bids, impressions and placement will be automated based on the desired goal.

When I talk goals, I mean:

  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Website traffic
  • Product and brand consideration
  • Brand awareness and reach

Being clear on which campaigns serve what purpose is imperative. Setting campaign goals now will help you transition to the new environment.

2.     Gain clarity on CPA or ROAS targets

Machine Learning is only as good as its programming. If we can’t give it the proper parameters to work within, it won’t deliver desired outcomes. Identifying your ideal cost per acquisition with confidence is key to guiding the machine towards success.

Too often I ask a business ‘how much can you afford to spend to acquire a lead/sale?’ to only hear radio silence, awkward shuffles, mumbles, or the defensive ‘you tell me what it should be.’

Understanding the price of acquiring a customer and their ongoing value is essential to operating effectively in this new environment. Being able to program the machine towards achieving a goal, at a certain cost will provide consistent outcomes.

3.      Stop discussing granular details

When Google gets asked, ‘What was my average ad position?’

Google responds, ‘What was your objective? Did you meet it? Then, who cares!’

This kind of arrogance can drive marketers wild. Let’s be honest when we’re asking about ad position, it’s an ego thing. We want to know how we stack up against the competition, are we top dog?

But in all honesty, it doesn’t matter.

I’ll give you a prime example. I had a client who was in fierce competition with their main competitor. Every month they wanted to know if their ads were placed in top position, and if not, why not, and how much they would have to spend to be there.

Here’s the interesting thing, we ran the data and we found that #1 position resulted in 25% less likelihood of a conversion than #3. In essence, we could spend less for the click and have a better chance of generating a lead.

So what do you want to do? Spend more to be on top? Or spend less to get a lead? Pretty simple.

Adjusting to the new world

By setting new expectations for ad management, Google is directing the ‘outcome vs tactics’ conversation in their favour.

The prime example is within Google Shopping campaigns. Soon, we will be able to see the placements but won’t be able to manage them. Ads will simply show where they generate the best chance of achieving the goal, whether we like it or not.

I realise this is contentious, and trust me, Google Partner agencies have raised concerns but fighting it will only achieve so much. Focusing on the things we can manage, will ensure we get the most out of the machine learning environment.

As marketing teams, being clear on what the success metrics for campaigns are, is the best way to optimise performance in this new world of AI.

Being able to guide the machine towards meaningful outcomes will reap larger rewards, within a shorter timeframe.

If you’re looking for insights into how these changes will affect you, reach out. We’d love to talk shop.



Prue Takle

Prue is a creative in a suit. With degrees in both marketing and creative arts she naturally thinks outside the square, coming up with ideas that will engage audiences and promote larger-scale objectives. Prue enjoys creating synergy between branding and communications, especially when it comes to developing marketing strategy.