Article tags ▼
Key Takeaways from Google’s Smart Solutions Summit 2019
Dan Sambrook - PPC Manager 18th March 2019 Read time 5 minutes
On Tuesday 12th March 2019, M3 were fortunate enough to be invited to Google’s Smart Solutions Summit hosted at their Head Office near Kings Cross. The event itself offered a unique insight into where the paid search world has been heading over the last 2 years.
The key focus was around Google Ads line of smart solution tools which are powered by sophisticated machine learning technology. Although these features are not necessarily new, and have been around for a while, Google are extremely committed to ensuring these tools work and benefit us as advertisers and the businesses we work with.
So, what did we learn? Consumers are not only more demanding now than ever, but they are also more connected than ever, too. The advancements in mobile technology has allowed a user to gather information they find useful in seconds. In the past two years:
- Searches for “best” have grown by 80%, best restaurants, best hotels etc…
- Local searches without “near me” have outgrown comparable searches which include “near me” due to changes in geo-targeting most results that appear are now localised.
- Travel related searches for “tonight” & “today” have grown by 150%.
Consumers expect to find answers seamlessly across all platforms whilst their journeys are becoming more and more complex, made up of multiple intent-rich moments. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to drive engagement from their customers. However, the analysis to create a sophisticated strategy around a now, much more complex user journey, requires an extreme amount of data. Interestingly, it was made apparent to us that from this extreme amount of data, businesses only actually analyse 12% of it, this is a surprisingly low figure to highlight to a room full of digital marketers whose main job revolves around data…
If we just think about that for a moment - we are trying to read into huge amounts of data to make the right decisions for our clients. 80% of a digital marketer’s time is spent on manual tasks whether that be campaign creation, keyword research, ad-copy writing, reporting etc… whilst 20% of that staggering amount is spent on optimisations.
Google have a “smart solution” to reduce the amount of time spent on these tasks!
Smart bidding is an array of advanced automated bidding strategies which utilises machine learning and Google’s complex algorithms. But, what are the benefits?
- Query level optimization
- Varity of signals that is impossible to replicate
- Instant data signals evaluating for every auction.
- Smarter audience signals
- Simpler, more transparent interface
- Easier to drive store visits (coming soon) – leverage target ROAS bidding to effectively drive store visits.
Where do we sign up right?
Not quite. Very often, some things are too good to be true - and whilst smart bidding is a step in the right direction, it is not a perfect solution. We listed some things to take into consideration if your business is planning on rolling out smart bidding:
Top 6 pitfalls of smart bidding
- Analysing the performance when the strategy is still in its “learning period”. Often, the first 2–4 weeks will see a performance drop-off, and comparing this data can make the overall account/campaign performance look more negative than it is after this period.
- Ensure targets are realistic – there is no point asking for a CPA of £10 if the campaign has never reached a CPA lower than £50.
- Campaign budgets are set at appropriate level Google recommends 5-10X the target CPA.
- Overlooking high conversion delays when analysing performance. If the conversion delay is 5 days, run a test with smart bidding for 30 days + 5 to ensure all conversions are accounted for.
- Making constant changes to campaigns. Patience is key and making changes to the campaign will cause the bid strategy applied to fall in its learning phase again.
Over 75% of advertising impact is determined by the quality of the creative. We think we speak for most digital marketers when we say that the ad-copy creative process can be at times, exhausting. Ensuring the tone, message & CTAs all match a single businesses ethos whilst ensuring it all fits within a 30/90-character space can take time. Then to make it even more time consuming, you must repeat the same process twice over to follow best practice of 3 ads per ad-group…
Google have very kindly created a solution for this also; Smart Creatives. These come in the form of 3 tools:
Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)
Dynamic Search Ads use content from your website to create & target your ads to searches relevant to your businesses.
Responsive Search Ads
Responsive Search Ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more & relevant messaging to your customers. Provide the system with 15 headlines & 4 description lines and Googles machine learning will rotate for the best variant for each customer.
Responsive Display Ads
Similar to Responsive Search ads, but more image based and suited for the Google Display Network. Display ads has the potential to create 1,000+ variants of ads that are tailored to a group of customers.
The benefits to Smart creatives are:
- Personalised Messaging
- Reach customers at scale by letting machine learning select/build the best combination of assets to show the right message.
- Better Testing Opportunities
- Free up time to focus on more impactful strategic efforts by automating routine creative assets such as A/B testing
- Efficiencies at scale
- Do more work, in bigger bulks in shorter spaces of time.
In conclusion, it can be argued that Google is heading towards full automation thanks to the advancements in machine learning and, if that’s the case, what impact will that have on employment? A quote from Dan Gilbert (CEO at Brainlab) gives good reasoning that, “The rise of automation doesn’t steal jobs, it changes the game”. This is a long-term investment by Google to eventually free up our time, enabling us to work smarter and efficiently.
Tasks that can now be automated:
- Bid management
- Keyword mining & negatives
- Ad-copy writing
New tasks that are available with the time saved:
- Market & competitor analysis
- Building relationships
- Data integration
- Better and more actionable insights.
Who remembers the days where you would collate a few keywords together and start bidding on them to try and drive traffic to your site, with the aim of generating a sale or a lead? This automated digital world has been gaining on us more and more the past few years - even more so since Google Adwords dropped the “word” part in its name and referred to itself of Google Ads.
These technological advancements mean it’s time to adapt - we are not in control of this change and, if we don’t get onboard, we are all at risk of falling behind. However, we leave you with this quote as we move towards this exciting time ahead: “Machine learning will replace tasks, not jobs.” – Forbes 2018.
Content marketing strategies are imperative to promoting your business. But what is evergreen content, and how can you create it? Find out more today.
14th August 2019 Read time 5 minutes
Graphic Designers can sometimes seem to have our own language, and we do sometimes slip into ‘geek speak'. Learn how to decode our language with this simple guide...
30th July 2019 Read time 5 minutes
People are using voice search to find information quicker than ever. We discuss how it fits in within your marketing plan as part of the users buying journey
27th June 2019 Read time 5 minutes
In this ever-increasing modern world of technology, it’s important to ensure that your social media platforms are making an impact. Learn more now.
19th June 2019 Read time 5 minutes
When's it best to pick up the phone or send a written email? M3 discuss the pros and cons of both, and how you should communicate with your clients today.
12th June 2019 Read time 5 minutes
Looking for ways to heat up your summer sales? From networking events to promotions & competitions, find out the best ways to target that ‘feel good vibe’.
31st May 2019 Read time 5 minutes
Account handlers play a vital role in client satisfaction. Learn some of the important elements you need to achieve to be an effective account handler now.
8th May 2019 Read time 3 minutes
In an age where computers are readily available - what did we do before them? Learn more about the revival of letterpress printing with help from our guide.
30th April 2019 Read time 5 minutes
What is a brand? People buy into brands because they believe in the organisation and what they stand for. Learn more on why brand is so important today.
18th April 2019 Read time 3 minutes
Creating a good relationship between client and creative agency is vital to the growth of your business. Learn M3's top tips for agency relationships today.
16th April 2019 Read time 5 minutes
Work-life balance is vital to any business – not only for your company, but for your clients, too. Find out tips on how to create a work-life balance now.
9th April 2019 Read time 3 minutes
From becoming an integral part of your marketing team to providing multiple services, learn why choosing a full-service agency can help your business today.
1st April 2019 Read time 3 minutes
Our creative team discuss how quality photography can impact your brand. Learn how we created high quality food photography for client, Marston’s, today.
22nd March 2019 Read time 5 minutes
From machine learning and automation, learn the key takeaways from Google’s Smart Solutions, as well as what impact this will have on our world of search.
18th March 2019 Read time 5 minutes
As content marketing is becoming increasingly more important, M3.Agency look into the 2019 content marketing trends you should watch out for this year.
6th March 2019 Read time 5 minutes
How do you choose the right video advertising for your marketing strategy? Discover more online today from our helpful blog.
26th February 2019 Read time 6 Minutes
A trio of new contract wins has delivered a £1.2m ‘travel’ boost to a leading West Midlands full-service advertising agency. M3, which has offices in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Oxford Circus in London, has been appointed to support the expansion of Affordable Car Hire, Solos Holidays and Long Travel.
12th February 2019 Read time 5 Minutes
As we enter into 2019 with no clear indication of what Brexit looks like for the UK, many clients and are struggling to understand what impact Brexit is going to have on their business, and the sectors they operate in. I believe marketing teams have a huge role to play in planning and shaping the future of their businesses. There are many different factors that are currently affecting customer confidence and subsequent actions:
6th February 2019 Read time 5 Minutes
When it comes to local searches, businesses with physical locations have a strong advantage compared to online-only businesses. In fact, a study released by Google in November 2018 showed that 61% of shoppers would rather shop with brands that have a physical location than ones that are online only.
19th December 2018 Read time 5 Minutes
One of the leading personalities in the travel market has joined M3 as part of its ambitious plans to double accounts in this sector. The West Midlands full service advertising agency, which has offices in Birmingham, Oxford Circus in London and Wolverhampton, has appointed John Donnelly as Non-Executive Director to build on more than £1.5m of recent contract wins.
3rd December 2018 Read time 5 Minutes
It's that time of year again, no not Christmas (just yet) but the weekend that we all look forward to in the shopping calendar. Yes, I hear you scream Black Friday & Cyber Monday! Well, some of you will.... the rest of us will be turning off the TV & Laptop, hiding under the covers and avoiding making any crazy purchases - or is that just how I feel? I should highlight that statistically I am in the age group that is less likely to embrace the Black Friday phenomenon.
20th November 2018 Read time 6 Minutes
As someone who has recently joined M3, it was a little intimidating when discovering how much there is to learn in such a fast-paced and forward-thinking industry. It's very much a case of being a sponge and absorbing as much information as you can to learn as much as possible from others. It's also important to be taking the initiative and learning as much as you can by yourself.
2nd November 2018 Read time 3 Minutes
Ever since Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made the earliest known surviving photograph (View from the Window at Le Gras) made with a camera C.1826/7, photographers worldwide have strived to create the perfect image. It was only a matter of years later that the first fake, or manipulated images started to appear.
17th October 2018 Read time 5 Minutes
Regardless of the type of business you have, getting new customers can be fundamental to the overall success or failure of your company. The first step is to look inward and clearly identify your own USP’s (Unique Selling Points). A SWOT analysis can help you to identify your top strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and it should have strong bearing on your business development plan. Knowing where opportunities sit and clearly focusing on them can help you to quickly accelerate towards achieving new business wins
10th October 2018 Read time 5 Minutes
A couple of months ago, I was fortunate enough to be asked to join the design jury at this year’s Kinsale Shark awards. Last week saw them reach their climax. It turned out to be one of the most informative, and inspirational weeks I’ve had. As well as a thoroughly beautiful location, it was brilliantly delivered.
4th October 2018 Read time 3 Minutes
Much is currently being made of the financial pressure in print media occurring at present – editors being made to re-apply for their own jobs, wide-spread redundancies across journalist and photographic roles, enforced pay cuts, and entire production departments being relocated across the other end of the country.
21st September 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
We all know that to be successful in business, it’s imperative to maintain a healthy competitive advantage in the marketplace. To do this well and improve sales and market share it’s crucial to know and understand your main competitors and their business strategies. Here are some key aspects to focus on, to help you keep ahead of your competition:
14th September 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
A few days ago Nike premiered their new brand ad. It got a few tongues wagging. The ad celebrates the 30th Anniversary of “Just Do It” and features former NHL player Colin Kaepernick who, in 2016, controversially decided to kneel during the American national anthem as a protest against police brutality and racism, which was met with great support but equally huge backlash, including a vehement speech from Donald Trump, who aped his time on ‘The Apprentice’ calling for him to be “Fired” for disrespecting the flag.
11th September 2018 Read time 4 Minutes
Social media is everywhere. If you’re not on it then where’ve you been the past 10 years? Close to half the world’s population (a touch over 3 billion people, up 13% year-on-year!) are on some form of social media. Your sister is on it, your dad, your nan and increasingly more common, so is your pooch. With these vast amounts of users out there, why are you finding it so hard to actually engage with your followers?
6th Septemeber 2018 Read time 5 Minutes
So, you’ve made the decision you need a new website, but where do you start? Your website is main point of contact with customers and can act as sales representative, education tool and, in some cases, is the first interaction a customer will have with your business – and we all know how important first impressions are! So, it’s vital its done right and portrays the right image for your business.
30th August 2018 Read time 3 Minutes
When you are faced with the minefield of choosing the right font when there are just so many to choose from, how do you choose? And why does it really matter anyway? A typeface can literally make or break a piece of design work, reflecting its own personality into the page.
22nd August 2018 Read time 5 Minutes
Nearly every advertiser would like to see their brand on TV, it looks great and increases brand awareness across a potentially huge audience. But what if you are a local advertiser who needs their marketing budget to cover multiple advertising formats and work just as hard
15th August 2018 Read time 3 Minutes
Just in case you live under a rock, on Mars, or in Glasgow, Rome or Amsterdam, this summer has been dominated by the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Daily office discussions have ranged from waistcoats to VAR, Mbappé to Modrić, predictor pigs
8th August 2018 Read time 4 Minutes
Can anyone be creative? Creativity is everywhere, you just need open your eyes and look for it. In today’s society we tend to walk around with our heads down, plugged into our digital devices.
1st August 2018 Read time 5 Minutes
User experience – or UX for short – is an integral part of the web design process. It encompasses a variety of factors, including usability, accessibility, performance and design. But the key word here is ‘experience’ – UX is all about how a person feels when they interact with a website.
25th July 2018 Read time 5 Minutes
One of the West Midlands’s leading digital marketing specialists has been appointed to lead the expansion of M3, with the aim of delivering £1m of new business.
12th July 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
All marketeers understand the importance of using highly targeted marketing to reach the right audiences online, particularly for conversion driving and there’s a range of measurable channels to choose from.
18th July 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
Tactical versus brand. It can seem like a struggle sometimes. In the blue corner: Hardworking tactical campaigns driving revenue and meeting immediate objectives. In the red corner: Big picture brand thinking about what you actually mean to your audience.
6th July 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
Defining any brand has its challenges. Defining your own - even more so. It’s as much about soul searching as strategic thinking. Especially when many of your colleagues and senior management have strong, long-standing emotional ties to the business you’re about to utterly redefine.
26th June 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
SearchLeeds is the biggest search marketing event in the North and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to see some of the best figures from the search community speaking about what we need to be aware of in our ever changing digital landscape.
18th June 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
This year saw the inauguration of the Birmingham Design Festival. The four day celebration of creative culture saw a series of workshops, seminars, exhibitions, demos and screenings...
15th June 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
A leading Wolverhampton-based full-service advertising agency is celebrating the launch of its new brand by sealing a hat-trick of client wins.
12th june 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
Our let’s do something launch day. You may have noticed that here at M3, we’ve got a new philosophy: Let’s do something. When we launched this new mantra to our team, we did something pretty special.
12th June 2018 Read time 1 Minute
How smaller agencies can make a big difference. It pays to be flexible. Just ask any gymnast or yoga instructor. And in the modern marketing world, the most agile agencies are not always the biggest.
25th May 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
We’ve put on our mittens and filled up a Thermos to create a new low temperature, high action campaign for West Midland Safari Park’s fantastic ICE AGE family attraction.
30th March 2018 Read time 30 Seconds
We love winning awards. But we also love it when our clients win them too. And we’ve got everything crossed that Solmar Villas will continue their award-winning streak at the 2018 British Travel Awards.
6th December 2017 Read time 30 Seconds
Making your customers spend more time with you. Your brand is amazing. You’ve got a great product. You offer amazing value. But unless you back that up with the right customer experience, your audience won’t give you a second look.
2nd May 2018 Read time 2 Minutes
Digital channels work. They’re the main way audiences get to know brands and find the ones they want to spend time (and money) with. But with a sweet, tempting pick ‘n’ mix of channels to choose from, which ones are right for your brand?
19th April 2018 Read time 3 Minutes
Co-op Energy do power with a difference. They asked us to promote their energy options, but to also show how customers help the community through the
24th November 2017 Read time 30 Seconds
The essentials for talking to your customers. First things first, there’s no magic formula. If any agency tells you there is, make sure there’s a fire extinguisher handy, because their pants will be going up in flames shortly afterwards.