The Biggest Takeaway from Google Marketing Live 2019


May 22, 2019

Last week a number of us attended Google Marketing Live (GML), the annual Google event with around 5,000 industry players in San Francisco. GML is an action packed 3-days, and there is always much anticipation of the “oohs and ahhs” of the latest in technical product releases. This year, these features were compounded by an undeniably underlying theme that we as marketers can all resonate with: Responsible Marketing.

Whether it is GDPR, ITP or the California Consumer Privacy Act that goes into effect next January, user privacy is influencing product roadmaps across the globe and the way that we, as tactical marketers, approach conversations. With these top of mind, the most intriguing discussions at GML were focused around solving for these issues — not only with tech, but with the holistic understanding of how we as consumers and marketers consume, view and push media.

Responsible Marketing: Be there. Be useful. Be responsible.

In this sense, Responsible Marketing is not necessarily a technical solution or a buzzword. It is the realization that true business lift must happen organically and honestly — and while we can be there, we must do so in a responsible and useful way. Looking past the gleam of media front-end optimization metrics, we start to see the importance of first-party audience ownership, audience transparency, analytics governance and true media ownership. Future-proofing means not finding opaque workarounds and solving for the 6 month plan, but rather solving for the 10+ year plan, in which user privacy and respect must influence tech.

So what is new on the tech horizon related to privacy?

We see Ads Data Hub (ADH) & Data Transfer (DT) becoming increasingly important and opening up the ability to connect anonymized first-party and audiences into media platforms. Ad.txt for Apps, advancements in Brand Controls, FireBase and increased partnerships with IAB are working together on consent, CTV-privacy and platform opt-ins of how users data can be used. Machine learning will be a continued method to process and humanize useable data, such as Auction Time Bidding (ATB), Data Driven Attribution (DDA), Google Signals & Contextual Data and modeling via Google Cloud efforts will continue to help marketers cut through the noise. Google Analytics data segmentation, generating first-party audiences and emerging auto-tagging features such as the dClid will assist with owned audience automation and true-north directional metrics in the face of user privacy.

Of course, beyond the topic of privacy, there are a ton of new shiny products and features. Far too many to list here, but we can anticipate big movements in immersive ad formats and automation such as Bumper Machine, Discovery Ads, Visual Search, Augmented Reality (AR) coming to search, AR style “Swirl” formats for display, New App Formats, Gmail Ads in DV360, Linear Programmatic TV, the revamp of Google Surveys to bend market research and influence brand up-lift — plus many more. You can explore all of Google’s 2019 GML platforms product announcements here.

With all this, we can anticipate a new horizon as we see the ever changing industry shift once again. As we leave with takeaways in the face of technical jargon, one mantra rings clear: Be there. Be useful. Be responsible.