"Google Marketing Live Recap - New Updates & New Experiences"

David Thai, VP Head of Search, Reprise US & Tommy Chan, Associate Director Paid Search, Reprise US

New Updates – Smart Bidding, Shopping with Partners, and Audience

Along with new ad formats, Google announced new Smart Bidding features, Shopping with Partners, and Audience updates.

Smart Bidding:
  • Campaign-level conversion goals: Advertisers are able to optimize goals on a campaign level. In Google, you are now able to optimize towards store visits.
  • Conversion action sets: Create conversion to share across campaigns – you can optimize bids based on shared action sets all in one go.
  • Seasonality adjustments: Anticipate seasonality by telling Google what time frame is important to you. Google will be able to optimize bids during this period to account for any influx of conversions and revert back once completed.

Advertisers now have more control to define what matters to them most, as well as share these goals between campaigns. With the advancement towards conversions setup and optimization, advertisers look forward to time savings that can be utilized in data analyzing and brand growth.

Shopping Campaigns with Partners:
  • Allow brands (Lego/J&J) to boost their products being advertised by retailers (Target/Walmart/etc.) by supplementing bids with a percentage modifier (co-bidding).
  • Shared reporting and analytics for a deep understanding of the consumer journey.

Advertisers can now partner with retailers to boost specific product offerings. Google touts this enhancement can help improve performance by driving increased traffic and sales. Brands are able to measure and drive incrementality through analytic reporting and are able to work with retailers to win shopping campaigns auctions – leading to increased visibility.

Audiences – Custom Audiences and Audience Expansion Tool:
  • Custom Audiences is a combination of custom affinity and custom intent audiences. Merging these two help create highly relevant and scalable audiences based on interests.
  • Audience Expansion tool is used to limit or expand your reach of custom audience. Google will enable you to increase the number of consumers who find your offers relevant with estimates showing the increased/decreased reach.

Google is looking to help brands increase their reach. With this merging of audiences, they are looking to maintain highly relevant audiences through a combination of affinity (website/interest) based and keyword-based targeting. Through testing custom audiences Google has seen a 50% increase of conversions based on the same investment. Advertisers should utilize these audiences to find new highly relevant consumers that are new to the brand for them.

Why is it important?

With the launch of these new updates and features, we can expect a streamlined workflow for advertisers. These updates provide advertisers additional ammo to reach the right people under the right circumstances, at the right time – utilizing machine learning to help optimize as well as find highly relevant people has always been the goal. Brands need to anticipate consumer needs and adapt to changes in the marketplace, and that is what machine learning does best.

New Experiences – Travel and Shopping

At a time where change is constant, and with the importance of being adaptable to consumer behaviors and expectations, Google announced new experiences for the Travel and Shopping verticals. The Travel experience, Trips, is already available and the Shopping update will be rolling out soon. In the ongoing battle for market share, these new features are a way to compete with established companies like Amazon and TripAdvisor.

Why is it important?

For travelers, trip planning is a major task that spans weeks, sometimes months. Google is simplifying this process and making it easier for consumers to keep everything in one place. From flights and hotels to recommendations on what to do and see, content will be personalized based on your recent research and history. Even reservation confirmations will be integrated into the experience, and this will make it easier to keep the user within the Google ecosystem.

The new Shopping homepage will be highly customized to the user, with personal recommendations of products based on past purchases and recent shopping behavior. With new updates that will spotlight better reviews/videos, enhanced filtering/content of products, buying directly within Google and being backed by a Google guarantee, this will help retailers have another effective way of reaching customers outside of Amazon. Beyond this new homepage, Google will be opening up shoppable inventory on its other products like YouTube, Images and the Discover feed. This total shopping destination is an attempt to keep the consumer on Google properties, from research to purchase.


While there doesn’t appear to be any advertising opportunities on the Travel experience quite yet, we believe it’s just a matter of time before image-based placements will be made available. This audience will be in-market and highly engaged for relevant brands to reach. A tourism company like the Cayman Islands could anticipate interest and intent as a user is browsing or researching island destinations.

For retailers and DTC advertisers, participating in Shopping Actions is recommended. This will allow users to purchase products directly via Google surfaces (Images/Assistant/YT/Discover/etc.). As Google continues to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing consumer expectations and behaviors, it will be just as vital for brands to go along for the ride.