TRS 012: Web Talent Marketing LIVE! from Google
Web Talent broadcasts from the invite-only Google Marketing Live event and downloads on the latest products and digital marketing solutions from the team at Google. Some top releases include: YouTube will be releasing video creation and editing tools for SMB leaders to get their foot in the door, better and more accessible conversion tracking data in the era of online privacy expansion, and display ad features designed to rival Facebook advertising.
Are you building out your digital strategy for the next fiscal year? Be sure that you are reserving space for these new features to stay ahead of the curve.
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Marcus: Well, good afternoon, morning or evening wherever you are, marketers and business leaders! This is Marcus Grimm and this is a special episode of The Revenue Stream. I’m coming to you live from San Francisco, California. What brings me out to San Francisco, California? Well, I have been here for the past few days with our CEO Mike Canarelli at the Google Marketing Live event which took place on May 13th to the 15th. Mike and I are sitting here on the afternoon of the 15th, utterly on fumes. Aren’t we, Mike?
Mike: Absolutely on fumes.
Marcus: But before we make our way to the airport, Mike and I just downloaded so many things that we learned today, and literally our heads are swimming. But we decided there were so many things that we could talk about this, but there’s all kinds of articles written on this. Search Engine Land, TechCrunch, all the big stuff they’ve already covered. By the same token, Mike and I sat down– Full disclosure, we got a couple beers in front of us and we said, “Okay, what are the big things that we’ve learned over the past couple days?” So Mike and I kind of wrote down a couple things… And listen, Mike’s the CEO, so clearly the man knows what he’s doing. Mike, I’m going to ask you about four things that we saw this week, and I want you to tell me big deal, not a big deal, or if it is a big deal, is it a big deal for everybody? Is that fair?
Mike: That sounds wonderful.
Marcus: All right, outstanding. Well, let’s go to the #1 one. Probably not a surprised to know what you think about this one, but talk to us about Google Discovery and what it means.
Mike: So Google Discovery’s been dubbed as a sleeping giant, some 800 million users. Some of the listeners may actually be using it and not even know what it’s called.
Marcus: So you’re referring to the Discover Feed on mobile. And now there’s a new Discovery Ad campaign which will show up in that feed. But clearly people aren’t just searching. So are these going to be regular display ads? How are these ads going to be any different than any other display campaign that Google’s done?
Mike: So Discovery Campaigns are based on interest/ affinity, and it’s feed-based advertising. So think about the advertising that’s in your Facebook feed. This essentially is kind of an equivalent to that. So it’s when people are doing whatever they do in their web browser or whether it’s on Youtube, and they’re presumably open to learning about new things, new options, and they’re going to be served some ads.
Marcus: Well, and this is– You know, listen, we’ve known forever that Google’s been collecting so much information on us, but they haven’t really necessarily deployed it in a strategic way. They know for instance, that you might be in market for a car, but now this is the ad campaign that’s going to be, if you’re in market for a car, that’s where those Toyota ads presumably will show up. This to me is, I think for the past couple of years, if we look at the landscape, we’ve had the feeling that Google is great at middle of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel. Facebook’s great top of the funnel. To me, this is a shot across the bow of Facebook from the folks at Google. What are you thinking?
Mike: Yeah, they’re really filling the top of the funnel when they already have the middle and the bottom like you said. Absolutely. And the costing for ads like this, to me, that’s the biggest change or deviation from how Google has priced ads previously.
Marcus: Why don’t you talk about that a little bit?
Mike: As it was described to me by a product manager, it’s going to be a hybrid costing model. Now before I go into that, the key that’s stood out to me was that they admitted that the costing will not be transparent. So you’ll assign a budget, be it $500, be it $5,000, be it $50,000, and because the ads will show up in a variety of different places and the targeting could be different based on where the ad is and how the user or the viewer interacts with it, some might be CPM based, some could be CPC. So what Google is saying is what they’re going to be doing is taking it all together and just giving you the best return based on the target that you want. So whatever that conversion is to you.
Marcus: And you and I made it a point to say we are not going to go too deep into the weeds of that new pricing strategy, but we’re coming out of a several year period here where we were talking a lot about click through rates and conversion rates and cost per click. There’s no denying the fact that Google is saying we’re going to have to think about campaigns a lot differently in the future.
Mike: No doubt. And that was evidenced at this conference
Marcus: So discovery: big deal, not a big deal?
Mike: I think it’s a big deal because, to me, it’s one of the biggest changes in how we manage and strategize campaigns for clients. So I do think it’s a big deal in the long term. I don’t think that it’s going to affect anyone in the short term other than it’s a really neat new way to experiment.
Marcus: Outstanding. And we should also mention that it seemed like everything that we learned about this week, some things were coming out now, some things were coming out next week, next month, next quarter. All we know is that all these things… they’re coming; they’re coming in in the short term.
Mike: Yup, Discovery Ads will be out later this year, and I there could be a beta out right now. But it’s all running together a little bit.
Marcus: Outstanding. Some changes to image ads. What can you tell us about Image Ads?
Mike: Image Ads. So again going back to kind of the Facebook comparison. So Facebook has Carousel Ads, which is sort of one photo at a time in a carousel, in a stream. What Google is going to be doing is basically the same thing. They’re calling them Gallery Ads, only on mobile devices. You will have a photo ad where you can swipe through multiple photos of whatever it may be. So it’s pretty exciting actually because people love visuals. So I think the interactivity with an ad is going to increase. And I think, from a marketer’s perspective, the ad’s going to stand out quite a bit more.
Marcus: Yeah, if you’ve got an ecomm store, if you’ve got images for your products, this one’s probably a no brainer for you. And if you are in a services business, you can probably just ignore this particular one. So highly contextual, but hard to imagine that those people with images won’t be promoting them on Image Ads.
Mike: And everybody loves looking at a few good images.
Marcus: Everybody does. I want to save, in our opinion, one of the best for last. Let’s talk about some changes to local. We’ve got this thing now, and Google’s been working on this for a while, where you can track store visits. However, there’s a lot of people who are left out of the game of tracking store visits because the number that you need to have is a pretty large number. And listen, Google certainly loves their large advertisers, but they’re very cognitive of the fact that not all of us have 20 branches. Not all of us have 50,000 visitors a month. So what can the medium-sized retailer, even maybe the small retailer do? Talk about some of the changes in local.
Mike: So what Google’s coming out with is called Local Campaigns, and as part of Local Campaigns, you’re going to have Local Actions. Now again, it’s all running together a little bit. So some of this may be out; some of it might be coming, but Local Actions allows you to basically pick what a conversion is to you. Now, similar to Discovery Ads, the costing is, my understanding, the same. So, with Local Campaigns you could get exposure in any of 20, 30 different, different places, different ways depending on how you’re looking for something. But, for example, a store visit would be a target conversion. So if you’re optimizing for store visits because of all the privacy rules and laws that that are an extremely hot topic at the moment, you need to have quite a store visits, clicks, conversions, whatever you want to call it in order for Google to report back on the success of that. So if you don’t have, like Marcus said, 50,000 or so visitors, then another option could be directions, which presumably if somebody types in your location and they start navigating to you. Well I think it’s probably a pretty good guess that that’s a conversion of some kind. Now whether or not they go in, they buy, that’s a different story.
Marcus: It’s a great example of saying, for all intents and purposes, the best that we can figure with limited sets of data this is likely a conversion. So that will be something that I think that smaller businesses will be looking at. And again, the other thing that you’re talking about: this whole you almost call it a “blended rate” for what you’re going to pay for this campaign. You know, certainly savvy marketers are used to seeing things at a more granular detail. But you know what? If you’ve been a small business person for years, quite frankly, you’re not used to that. You’re used to having a trusted partner and you can measure some things and there’s a lot of things you can’t measure. So, I think, you know, for the small to medium sized retailers, this is kind of interesting.
Marcus: Let’s talk about the last one– because I made the joke a couple of times, and I think at the end of this we want to talk about this event a little bit. But the reality was, if you were the event planner at Google Marketing Live and you were working on square footage, they did a tremendous job. But I’m going to tell you where they goofed off or where they goofed up. They did not give near enough square footage to YouTube. And that’s because, there was a ton of space and there pretty much wasn’t a line to talk to anyone… except the people at YouTube. Probably not surprising given everything that they rolled out. So let’s talk about that.
Mike: Absolutely. You know, what I found fascinating was of all of the, we’ll call them sort of booths or stands, in the sandbox they called it there was kind of a traditional trade show set up or each Google product had a booth or a stand and YouTube certainly being one of those. YouTube had the exact same amount of space as some others like Market Finder, Marcus! If you remember that one where you can type in a website and it churns through all kinds of data and it tries to figure out what your business is and what your opportunity is to deploy in Japan or India or wherever it might be.
Marcus: It was a very egalitarian approach! But the reality is, listen, we all know that the statistic that they revealed was 2 billion active users on YouTube every month. And so it makes sense that they were going to be rolling out some new products. So let’s go through them in specific order. And the first order that I would say is, let’s say that you are somebody who doesn’t even have video and you would say, “I don’t need to care about YouTube.” So we’ve got a new product out, Mike, and it’s called Image to Video.
Mike: Image to Video. So like everything else, it’s sort of running together. I think image to video is actually out right now. But what Image to Video does is, if you do not have any video assets today, you can use stock photography, you can use your own photography, product photography, iPhone photography, and you can make a video. It has the ability to create really cool professional looking transitions, text overlays, and in the end you end up with a video that you made very, very, very affordably to the point that it is free minus your time to do so.
Marcus: So it’s a simple video, but let’s not forget that how you can target that video is through the muscle of Google. So talk about the targeting for it, for image to video.
Mike: Well, the Image to Video actually creates the video. But then the targeting, I mean, the targeting on YouTube is incredible. And right now those are some of the most affordable, eyeballs that you can buy on the internet at this point.
Marcus: So, the reality is this, if you’ve been one of those marketers who has said, “Well, I don’t need to worry about YouTube,” or “I can’t put assets towards video or resources toward video,” you don’t have that excuse anymore.
Mike: No, that is so true. If you’re not engaged in video, if video is not on your roadmap for, I’ll even say, 2019 and absolutely 2020, it’s time to start doing some research into that. And Image to Video could be a great place to start. There’s some really interesting statistics, again 2 billion logged in active monthly. Now my question was, how many are not logged in, right? Because if it’s 2 billion logged in, that’s a pretty unbelievable number. So the other metric that I thought was really interesting given this next poduct that they rolled out, it’s called bumper ads. So if you have your own video assets right now, and I believe the brand that showcased this was Olay.
Marcus: Was it Grubhub for this particular one?
Mike: No, it was Sarah Michelle Gellar. The scary horror film thing. They took the Superbowl commercial ran it through bumper ads, and what comes out is a very short, six second video. So in their case, again, Olay for the Superbowl commercial, they used that as a teaser leading up to the Superbowl. Again you upload your video asset, six second video clip comes out of it. You have the ability to tweak it, slice, dice, change what’s in the in the six seconds there. So they used that as a teaser to build up for that. So some of the statistics that Google shared there’s a 107% higher ad recall for six second bumper ads.
Marcus: For a six-second bumper; it’s crazy. And the process that you go through, which is pretty amazing when you see it, until you realize that Google has all the computers in the world, you’re basically uploading that corporate video that you’ve created. It could be 90 seconds; it could be three minutes, and it goes through and it rips several, six-second videos. They talked about some of the things that it’s looking for, that a human being would care about. It’s looking for contrast. It’s talking about interesting visuals. It’s looking for human faces. Then it’s putting a call to action at the end, and you say whether or not it makes sense to you. When I saw this in the session I sent an email because I’m an old guy and I didn’t send a text to our friend Derek Dienner who was on an earlier episode of The Revenue Stream. And I said, so I guess if you’re a video producer, you can look at this one or two ways. You can look at this and say, “Well, Google’s taken away my ability to recut and remix these videos.” By the same token, I would say if you’re a video producer and you’re trying to sell a $20,000 video now selling, there’s yet another syndication tool for you as well. It’s called Bumper Machine. I am super bullish on Bumper Machine, and I’m excited to see to try it.
Mike: Yeah, video, video, video.
Marcus: And so that brings us to the final product that YouTube released, which I know you spent a little time getting a hands on demo of. So let’s talk about Director Mix.
Mike: Yeah, for Director Mix you take your own video asset, upload it, run it through Director Mix, and it allows you to tweak the video, text, and photos based on the particular granular targeting that you want to do. So if you are a pet food company, and you have a video, you can do one with cats, one with dogs, one with… gerbils?
Marcus: And it is amazing. The democratization of video was on full display at the YouTube booths. So those were some of the big things we saw there. There were so many; it truly was like drinking from a fire hose. But those are definitely the four that I know we’re going to come back and figure out how can we deploy these, when can we deploy these, etc. I do just want to spend a moment for people to understand what Google Marketing Live is, who it’s targeted toward, and how Mike and I had the opportunity to go there. Mike, I know you know a little bit about the history of the event so, why don’t you go into that… when it started and how it’s grown.
Mike: Yeah. The truth is, Marcus, for the first two days of Google Marketing Live, I was telling you the history of the event, but it was completely inaccurate. What I thought it was was the evolution of the Google Partner Summit, which is about a 200-300 person event that’s invite only. Google says, “Hey, we think that you should be here. There’s going to be some valuable information.” So I thought the one that I went to a couple of years ago, was what today is being called Google Marketing Live. That is not true. So Google Marketing Live, it’s their big annual show. It’s where they announced new technology. It’s still invite only to a degree. It’s not necessarily open to the public, but there were about 5,000 people here. And I thought one of the coolest things was seeing the product managers, the engineers, in these booths talking about what they have spent the last year or two or three– in some cases 10– years working on: Store Visits, Local Campaigns, Discovery Ads. I mean these were the people day in and day out thinking through how do we solve these real life marketing challenges. And we as agencies, and others as brands, get to talk to these folks and share their feedback. And it was really exciting to see how excited the Googlers got.
Marcus: Right. You know, it’s so funny; we’re no different than anybody. You know, we sit back in the office and we say, “Well, why can’t I do this? Or why can’t it do that?” They’re not dumb. They know it that’s a real challenge. And so you have half a dozen things this week that they’re like, “We know you’ve been asking for it.” And guess what? When you’ve got 72,000 of the smartest people in the world, they were able to solve some pretty amazing challenges.
Mike: Yeah. I mean, for example, like this whole Local Campaigns, and then as a subset of that, you’ve got Local Actions. As a subset of that, there’s an entire team devoted to Store Visits alone, which is one conversion type within Local Actions, within Local Campaigns! This is an outrageously talented, passionate group that they are changing the way that we as agencies and marketers can help consumers connect with brands that’s relevant and can report back on.
Marcus: Yeah, I couldn’t say it better. It was a tremendous experience for us to be there; 5,000 people mostly agencies or brands that were large enough that they were invited by other agencies. Which reminds me, on an upcoming episode of The Revenue Stream, we had the opportunity to be joined by one of our valued clients Tom Hayden from the National Notary Association. And we’ll be talking to Tom about what he learned at that event. But, hey, at any rate, it was a tremendous experience. Mike, on behalf of me, I want to thank you for inviting me out here. Tremendous time; I’m looking forward to getting back to the office, and I guess at this point we should head over to the airport. Think so?
Mike: I believe so.
Marcus: All right. We’ll catch you next time on The Revenue Stream.