Google marketing live 2024

Google Marketing Live 2024: 7 key takeaways

By Leanne Bates, Marketing Manager at Reckless.

5 minute read

Google Marketing Live 2024 was held in New York this week and unsurprisingly, generative AI took centre stage. Keynote speakers highlighted its role in numerous new Google updates and features, focusing on how AI is shaping a ‘new era’ of advertising and consumer-centric search experiences.

The 90-minute keynote was packed with information, with nine speakers unveiling a total of 30 new Google products and features. To save you time, here’s a quick recap of seven key takeaways you need to know.

Sponsored ads in AI Overviews

Google recently introduced AI Overviews, designed to provide users with instant answers to their search queries. Powered by generative AI, this feature crawls websites for relevant content and presents it in overview cards at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Example of sponsored search and shopping ads in AI Overviews announced at Google Marketing Live 2024

Now, Google is testing the inclusion of ‘sponsored’ Search and Shopping ads within these AI Overview cards. The goal is to help users discover relevant products and services while enabling brands to target their audiences more effectively.

Immersive AI-powered shopping ads

In the coming months, Google plans to enhance its shopping experience with immersive new ad features. These include short-form product videos, 3D product views, and virtual try-ons (VTOs) that demonstrate how clothes fit different body shapes. These features aim to help shoppers realistically see what products look like, engage with them more interactively, and build confidence in their purchasing decisions.

AI shopping recommendations (beta)

Google is testing the use of generative AI to speed up the decision-making process for longer, more complicated shopping purchases. Google’s AI will guide users through their shopping journey, asking them questions to understand their needs and recommend highly relevant products.

To demonstrate the idea, Google used the example of someone looking for storage space. Say you search for “short-term storage” and click on an ad, Google’s AI will ask questions about what kind of storage space you want, and prompt you to upload photos of what you want to store. 

Example of Google AI Shopping Recommendations (Beta) announced at Google Marketing Live 2024

Based on your responses, Google’s AI will recommend the appropriate storage unit size and suggest related items you might need, like packing materials. You can then click through to a product page on the business’s website to complete your purchase and check out.

Visual brand profiles for Google Search  

Google is introducing visual Brand Profiles on Search so users can easily see merchant information at a glance. Brands will be able to upload images, videos and customer reviews to showcase their ethos and offering, as well as product deals, exclusive offers and shipping policies.

Examples of Brand Profiles on Google Search announced at Google Marketing Live 2024

Performance Max Upgrades

Google announced lots of new Performance Max features designed to help advertisers create campaigns faster, and at scale. These include:

Asset-level reporting
With asset-level conversion metrics, advertisers can delve deeper into campaign performance, facilitating more granular ad analysis and optimisation strategies.

Brand guidelines
Advertisers can create set brand guidelines within Performance Max campaigns, specifying colours, fonts, and assets. This streamlines campaign creation, saves significant time and ensures all ads are consistently on brand.

Image generation
Advertisers now have enhanced image editing capabilities, including the option to add and extend backgrounds, incorporate objects, and adjust sizes to suit various ad placements. This streamlined process saves significant time previously spent on editing and creating multiple images for different ad types.

Performance Max Ad Upgrades announced at Google Marketing Live 2024

Profit optimisation
Google is rolling out a “Profit Optimisation” feature so advertisers can create and refine campaigns that meet broader profit objectives, ensuring ad spend is aligned with financial targets. This feature is accessible within both Performance Max and Standard Shopping campaigns, utilising data from cart-level conversions and cost of goods sold in Google Merchant Centre. 

Visual storytelling and demand-generation

Last year, Google introduced Demand Generation Campaigns as a way for brands to serve visually, multi-format ads on YouTube, Discover and Gmail. Now, a variety of Demand Gen updates and features have been announced, including the roll out of:

  • Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360.
  • Animated image ads on YouTube Shorts.
  • The ability to ‘pin’ video assets to different placements to control where they show.

Google also revealed that it has reduced the audience size requirements for lookalike audience campaigns from 1,000 to 100 users, making it easier for businesses to find and target similar prospects.

Ads Data Manager launched

Google announced that its Ads Data Manager is now out of beta and available to all. Advertisers can use it to consolidate disparate first-party data, from sources like YouTube, Google Ads, HubSpot, and Shopify, into one analytics hub. The aim is to make managing data easier so brands can better leverage audience insights, target and personalise campaigns effectively.

Summary

The resounding message from Google Marketing Live 2024 is clear – AI isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay and actively shaping the future of Search and Shopping for both customers and brands alike. 

So like it or not, brands must embrace AI and utilise Google’s latest features to achieve the best results. Remember – AI isn’t meant to replace marketers, it’s to help them be more impactful.

If you need support with Google Ads, Search or SEO, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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