Google Keynote Announces AdWords Changes & New Way to Think about Ads at #SMX East

Brad Bender, vice president of product management at Google Display Network, delivered a keynote at SMX East 2015. Google VIPs often use the SMX stage to share big announcements, and today was no exception! Here are Google Display Network’s announcements, right off the bat:

  1. Google Display Network is rolling out enhanced Dynamic Remarketing. Ads will now automatically reshape and resize to fit all devices.
  2. The Global Display Network is moving to 100% viewable — We’re migrating all the CPMs to viewable CPMs. Reporting will be rolled out to all advertisers.
  3. Adwords Audience Insights launched today. This will enable marketers to take a look at their remarketing lists and really understand their composition: demographics, location, interests, type of device — all this will empower them to make different choices about who to target and what to do creatively.

(You can read more about these rollouts on the AdWords blog.) Now, on to the full story on everything Bender had to say re: the Google Display Network, live from New York.

Brad Bender of Google Display NetworkUsing Programmatic Advertising Effectively

Bender shares that GDN is interested in accomplishing three things:

  1. Reaching the perfect audience
  2. Delivering relevancy at the moments that matter
  3. Optimizing with full transparency

We used to go online — now we live online. The average U.S. family has four smartphones and consumes 60 hours of digital content a week. That’s really exciting for marketers because you have so many more moments to reach users that might care about your brand.

People used to have an attention span of 12 seconds and now it’s less than eight seconds. That’s a shorter attention span than a goldfish, and just a moment to grab your user’s attention.

This is where programmatic ads come in, and it’s what I’m very excited about as far as opportunities go. With the Google Display Network, what we’re looking to do is make all this programmatic capability available to all of you.

Reach Your Perfect Audience

The data you can bring to bear comes in advertising proprietary data, as well as AdWords intent rich data. Programmatic advertising, to start with, provides an incredibly valuable set of data. These are the relationships you have with your customers. Remarketing is a great example of this. Consumers go to websites up to six times before deciding to buy.

Customer Match, announced early this week, lets you upload an email address to Google, and we enable you to reach those users in a privacy-safe way in really relevant moments. Let’s say you’re a travel retailer with a frequent flyer program — when a user types “flight” into their mobile device, this can allow you to show them a coupon. You can also do this on YouTube and Gmail — provide a campaign that inspires them to think about their next trip, for example, when they’re searching for things like flights.

Audience Suite

How do you make choices about when and where to advertise? That’s why we created the Audience Suite to help marketers make smart choices about when and where to advertise.

Let’s say a user is surfing Formula One racing. They’re probably not looking to buy a race car, which makes them an Affinity Audience, rather than an In-Market Audience (who’s looking at fuel economy, makes and models). We want to make sure messages are incredibly relevant to each type of audience.

Gmail Ads

There are more than 900 million active Gmail users. Native ads in Gmail just rolled out globally — the ads that look like an email at the top of your inbox. Gmail ads are another great example of power programmatic — it’s about reaching users wherever and whenever they are in this always online world.

People spend time in Gmail. Gmail passes Larry Page’s toothbrush test — it’s used at least twice a day. We used to have text ads that ran in Gmail on the right-hand side and we’ve removed them. The only ad now is a native ad experience, after determining that this would be the most engaging for users. It’s a teaser ad that behaves like an email. Click it and it expands to a full screen immersive experience. You can include videos, rich media, etc. Recently we made it so that you can run these ads within AdWords.

Marriot International wanted to give users a real sense of what it would be like to stay at their international hotels. They made a full screen creative canvas to drive awareness using videos and imagery via Gmail ads. Marriot saw a 25% increase in visits to the site and an 18% increase in page visits per user.

Ad Resizing

Ad resizing is a huge area of complexity. Think about Android alone – there are more than 18,000 Android devices out there. If you had to think about manually creating a creative for each one of these, it would be nearly impossible. This is a great example of where programmatic can help. It automatically changes the size of the creative so it works in all these different environments. We’ve made it so you only have to upload three creative sizes to reach 95% of our inventory, up from 55%.

Conversion Trends for Ads

What are you seeing holistically in terms of conversion trends?

90% of users use multiple devices throughout a day. The customer journey is no longer linear and that’s the fundamental thing. Our goal is to stitch all that together to give you a full picture. You can still do last click attribution and look at single devices, but I think it gives you an incomplete view and will lead you to make incorrect decisions.

Web to app and app to web: Clicks and conversions are happening across devices, to a site to an app and vice versa. Now, you can do remarketing across web and app — a user can go to your mobile site, and later you can remarket to them on your app.

Think about Ads Differently: They Fund the Free Content We Take for Granted

Taking a step back, ads are really important for today’s ecosystem. They fund most of the free content we take for granted — videos, blogs, etc. It’s all funded by ads. I think the phenomenon of ad blocking is driven by people having bad experiences with ads. A number of years ago, we had popups (a bad experience). There are still bad experiences now — but ad blockers block bad ads and good ads. We’re focused on making the ads as useful and relevant as possible and giving the user more power over how those ads behave.

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

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