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Google Marketing Platform Partner Summit 2018

It’s been a few weeks now since we attended the Google Partner Summit in San Francisco and although most of what was discussed was confidential and under NDA, we’ve made a list of some general observations about where the Google Marketing Platform is heading:

Women’s Leadership Reception

The Summit this year started with a Women’s Leadership Reception consisting of female Google employees who shared their management experiences- sharing both challenging and supportive stories while providing some tips on how female leaders can navigate and propel both themselves and employees in both career aspirations and in creating a more ideal work-life balance.

As part of the reception, Neha Palmer shared some beneficial tips to negotiation including her 4-step model which she recommends following when negotiating:

  • Prepare – analyse alternatives by working out your BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement
  • Ask Questions- Signal and validate your assumptions with the other party
  • Present – Propose multiple solutions offers (3 options)
  • Apply- Apply the roadmap to an upcoming negotiation

Then the Summit Started…

The full summit then started the following day and we were treated to a full packed 2-day schedule:

Some of the Day 1 session topics we attended included:

  • The life of a hit
  • Getting the most out of advanced analysis
  • Store visits in Google Analytics
  • Increase ROAS with Google Optimise
  • Measuring Across Platforms with Google Analytics

Our Highlights of Day 1 included:

  1. The sample life of a GA hit follows the following path:

USER – WEB PAGE – LOGS – RAW UNPROCESSED STORE – PROCESSOR – PROCESSED STORE – AGGREGATOR – AGGREGATES – QUERY ENGINE – REPORT

Knowing this, it’s amazing to think that data can hit Google Analytics within just 10 minutes!

  1. Advanced analysis – 360 clients can view these reports already above the discover button.

These reports have a similar drag and drop interface style to Data Studio, but a highlight of these reports include:

Funnel Analysis Report

Google Summit

Segment Overlap Report

  1. Tracking store visits is possible with Google Signals- no beacon technology or loyalty card data needed! Although this can be more challenging for customers whose stores are based in shopping centres it still goes some way to allow you to better measure and attribute the overall impact that online marketing tactics have on online store visits.

To avail of this, you’ll need:

  • Your store locations added to your GMB account
  • This will need to be linked to your Google Ads account
  • You’ll need to enable Google Signals:

Haven’t enabled Google Signals yet? You can do this under ADMIN in your Google Analytics account, under TRACKING INFO – DATA COLLECTION.  Note that enabling this will also allow you to view Cross Device reports (currently in Beta) that sit under the Audience Reports. If you need any more advice on setting this up – drop us a line at [email protected]

Taking Audience Targeting to the Next Level on Day 2

Day 2 of the Summit started with a session called Next Level Google Audiences and Audience Management. Some of the more interesting stats that we took note of were the types of display advertising targeting that really demonstrated results. For example, a study carried out by Google found that there was an uplift in sales by 10% when using in-market targeting, 20% when using audience expansion, 40% when using similar audiences with remarketing, and a massive 50% uplift when using the custom intent option!

Discussions of The Self – Advertising Gets Philosophical!

One interesting point that was raised during the session was the authenticity of Google advertising when compared to Facebook advertising, arguing that we are our ‘real’ selves on Google i.e. the things we search for are real but when we are on social networks we aren’t our ‘real’ selves, but portraying the type of person we want to be seen as and thus marketing to people on social may be advertising to the user’s aspirational self, rather than the actual self.

Using Google Marketing Platform Throughout the Entire Funnel

After lunch the same theme followed into the evening with a session discussing a full funnel audience strategy, including demonstrating how you can use a range of Google products to help create and manage your funnel. This looked at using Google Analytics to help research a target audience, whittling the audience down into Sales Force to get prospective customers back, then using Google Search, Display, and Video platforms to get target new visitors, Google Surveys to run ad hoc consumer research, before using Google Optimise to deliver a customised site experience.

Attributing TV Spots within Google Analytics

The last session of Day 2 demonstrated how Google Analytics products were used to measure TV. How? A relatively simple methodology of using a blend of TV Spots, Google Analytics and Google Search.

  • TV Spots – Using Impressions, Network, and Day/Time
  • Google Analytics – Using Paid visits, Direct visits, and Organic visits
  • Google Search – Volume of queries, Brand vs Generic volumes, and Desktop vs Mobile

This study used Bayesian Inference with Gibbs sampling to combine and analyse the data – this then showed incremental searches and visits attributed to TV spots. Key points of consideration if running a test like this emphasised the importance of having a baseline figure on traffic before conducting the test, as well as considering seasonality and natural demand.

The main learning points? A) TV ads really do work to drive traffic to a site and B) The majority of the uplift in traffic was visible within the first 10 minutes. We’ve conducted a similar test with comparative findings, showing spikes in traffic greatest within the first 2-10 minutes after the TV ad has gone out, then within the first 30 minutes, and then within the first 3 hours.

Day 3 – Immersion Day – Meeting the Teams

An Immersion day followed Day 2 of the Summit. The opportunity to meet the teams that created and continue to support Google Data Studio, Tag Manager, and Optimise, was priceless as it gave us a chance to troubleshoot any specific queries, we had on client accounts and sign-up to a range of betas. It also allowed us to see what has been launched already (65+ public facing launches for Data Studio!), and here’s what’s coming down the line.

Highlights for Data Studio included:

  • PDF downloading in Data Studio (released)
  • Better filtering in reports
  • Easier sharing functionality

Highlights on the Optimise side included:

  • Scheduling experiments
  • Multi-page experiments
  • Google Ads Integration

Highlights on the GTM side included:

  • Expanded permission models
  • Template gallery
  • WSISIG functionality*

*…admittedly they carried out a poll and this was voted one of the most popular features by fellow partners, and also a favourite of mine – not a feature they confirmed would be coming, but here’s hoping!