by Emily Coogan

Advertising makes the world go around and Google has proven itself to be a cut above the rest time and time again. Their latest Marketing Keynote has taken place over the past week and, for the first time, it was live-streamed on YouTube - foreshadowing what was to come. Complete with plenty of innovations and promises for new tech and insights, big announcements have industry experts hoping its not all bluff and bluster.

The 2021 Keynote had a focus on privacy, data, and automation. The 2022 edition prioritised retail and the digital economy, centring growth and insights through video ads, with improvements to benefit both advertisers and consumers.


For the little guy (consumers and audiences):

Google knows that no two shoppers are the same, and personalised shopping is just getting started.

The objective is to make ads great again, pushing engaging and relevant content to the right eyes. An extension of their previous efforts, Google will be giving users more of a choice when it comes to receiving and viewing ads. 2021 introduced consent mode, providing consumers with the ability to reject ads that weren’t for them. 2022 is taking things up a notch with viewer account settings detailing what you do and don't want to see.

We as consumers have become increasingly disillusioned with advertising, and businesses need to be able to reach the most targeted recipients to ensure return on their marketing efforts. Consumers will have greater control of their online experience, picking and choosing what they want to see more or less of in their feeds. While some businesses might be instinctively concerned, it actually offers invaluable, interest-based data about ideal customers, relying less on generalisation and ensuring ads are more likely to be seen by the correct eyes.

It’s not all data and numbers, as Google is advancing search for any number of uses. Thanks to automation and search improvements, you can hum a tune and Google will find the song title for you. This announcement alone made the entire Keynote worthwhile.

For the big guys (businesses and advertisers):


Google will be playing into our love of short form video as YouTube Shorts are in the spotlight, expected to feature Video action and App campaigns from this week. YouTube shorts attracts over 30 billion daily views, making it a promising stadium for advertising.

In a few months, product feeds will make an appearance in the same format to enhance the retail-factor of video ads. Such features will be accessible by all advertisers.
Video ads will also feature in the Discover tab (more on that in a second). We can expect to see more moving pictures across all ad platforms, making brand videos and campaign clips more crucial than ever before.
Just like our favourite social media platforms, Google is making their ‘Discover’ feed more shoppable. Personalised ads will target users in the most organic way possible, integrating search and shopping functions more seamlessly than before. Search is also being innovated to improve the capacity of Multisearch (searching via image and text), as well as intuitive results cultivation and exploration.
Consumers will also be able to purchase directly from the Shopping results page, viewing discounts, product attributes, ratings, and loyalty details directly attached to a product. If you’re yet to optimise your website, that will be obvious in the improved visual product feed, as your brand can be directly compared to the inventory of like businesses. Online browsing is just as important as deliberate purchases, giving a new meaning to ‘window shopping’. The Shopping tab will become more targeted and visual as engagement is the name of the game, immersing you in exploration features and more comprehensive sales tactics. 
We’ve well and truly entered the handheld age, welcoming a preference for full-screen mobile layouts. Scrollable static ads and videos will display in product feeds by the end of the year. Google Business Messages will also strengthen consumer connection, allowing those using the search engine to directly message advertisers from the ads themselves. That connection forms the basis of many of the new features, targeting ’omnibuyers’ (those who shop online AND in-store). 


From handheld to TV, Google is also making the bigger screen relevant again. Display & Video 360 acknowledges the rise in streaming and the rise in connected TV (CTV) advertising. Digital ads will operate across all ad-supported streaming services and apps (which is likely to be most of them in the near future).

CTV campaigns will feature the same tools to target very specific demographics, similarly to YouTube. Display & Video 360 is the platform to plan, manage, and measure CTV ads as though they are any other ad-type, allowing brands to dip their toes into good old TV commercials.


Tracking conversion, rolling out campaigns, and assessing performance has never been easier as Google expects to level up the automation game. Building upon Google’s Performance Max feature, automation of insights and objectives is a win for small business owners who are trying to grasp ads without a specialised team. Performance Max allows advertisers to buy ads across all platforms from a single campaign, with suggestions to improve targeting and measurement.
Advertisers using Performance Max typically see a conversion increase of 13% compared to those who spend a similar amount without making the most of tailored features. Allowing enhanced insights to inform content and marketing strategy is a natural alignment and a fair progression in the ad-supported internet.
Trust is integral to the deployment of machine learning, making it crucial to ensure consumers can engage without feeling explicitly targeted by technology they cannot understand. Advertisers and consumers will both benefit from the subtle nature of the most recent proposals, which include:
    1. Experimentation tools, allowing you to directly compare and contrast strategies via A/B tests and conversion analysis.
    2. In-store sales support, making the most of local features and supporting brick-and-mortar storefronts in collaboration with eCommerce. As the world opened back up, physicals stores rebounded by over 8% in the past year. This figure did not come at the expense of online shopping, making omnichannel strategies a non-negotiable for brands with online and brick-and-mortar platforms.
    3. Optimisation score, perhaps our favourite proposal. The optimisation score makes practical recommendations to increase ad relevance, suggesting various targeting and budget improvements to find your ideal strategy. Advertisers who increase their account-level optimisation score have seen a median 14% increase in conversions, making the tool a game changer for businesses big and small.
    4. Attribution insights, detailing whether your ads work cohesively across Google facets (including Search, Display, and YouTube). Data-driven attribution will ensure consistency in campaigns, based on exactly how consumers engage with your business.
    5. Asset creation, based on your landing page and existing ads. Google will crawl your site to find page titles, images, and other content to develop campaigns. Part of the process will determine the best performing combination of assets to get the most out of your campaigns. For the creatives who style and visualise eComm displays, the new Asset Library will bank all of your creative assets in one place to enable efficient manual ad creation.
    6. Conversion Lift, measuring the actual conversions and site visits by viewers and offering specific data to guarantee impact. Future predictions and real-time trends will be directly tied to conversions at various stages in the customer journey, similar to the analytics offered by Shopify.
    7. Broad Match, to leverage key word advertising. Advertisers using exact match keywords with a target ROAS see 20% more conversion value on average. Huge.



There’s lots happening and even more to come. Google is the star of the advertising show for now, but it’s likely other ads platforms will up the ante in competition.

Catch us back here in 12 months time to see how the proposals fare in practice. For now, automation in conjunction with features encouraging enhanced purchase decisions will likely change the marketing game.

Not sure where to turn? Get in touch and we can direct you to the ads team suited to your business, whatever stage you’re in.

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