On May 14, Google held its annual user conference, Google Marketing Live. We tuned in to the “Keyword” event to bring you updates on the latest news and innovations from Google. Here are our top five takeaways from the event.

1. The Need for Higher Quality Answers

As digital marketers, you already know that in order to attract and engage new customers, you need to provide answers to your users’ queries. But as technology continues to evolve – Google Assistant, voice search, and more advertisers online daily – it is important that the answers you provide are of the highest quality. You need to give customers the information they need when they need it and in the format they want. For example, if someone asks the personal assistant on their phone to show them an Iron Man mask, they expect a voice-in, image-out result – not a text description of what the mask would look like.

2. Be the Solution to Everyday Problems

Another big takeaway from Google Marketing Live is the need to focus on developing solutions to everyday problems. For a solution to be successful, it needs to be responsible, present, and useful. Google’s new discovery ads are an example of this. Discovery ads are native ads that, according to Google’s VP of Product Management Brand Bender, “are visually rich, mobile-first, and (incorporate) the power of intent.” Using machine learning, Google optimizes your ad to determine the best combination of creative assets to deliver to an audience of 800 million global users via the Google Discover feed.

3. The Importance of the Customer Journey

We’ve recently highlighted the customer journey and why it’s important to meet buyer wherever they are on their journey. This was reiterated at length throughout the “Keyword” session of Google Marketing Live. Customers now expect brands to deliver a seamless, consistent experience – from search results to digital ads to your website and wherever else their search takes them. By offering deep linking capabilities, Google will soon be able to connect users to their favorite apps directly from digital ads.

4. Bumper Ads Bring Video to The Forefront

Video is one of the most engaging forms of content, but not every business can afford to create on-demand videos to power their digital ads. Google is changing the game with the release of its “Bumper Machine” later this year. Bumper ads are 6-second video ads that capture the attention of mobile viewers. With Bumper Machine, you can upload an existing Youtube video and the machine will generate a series of bumper ads that combines the ideal motion, contrast, and brand elements needed to tell your story.

5. Heightened Expectations for Data Privacy

It should come as no surprise that data privacy is one of the top tech concerns in 2019 – both for companies and customers. Here are the three pieces of privacy advice we gleaned from Google Marketing Live:

  • Be clear with your customers about what data you collect and why. If you haven’t updated your privacy policy in awhile, it’s time to review it (and let your customers do the same)
  • Build more direct relationships with your customer. That means only cookie-ing individuals who have visited your website.
  • Understand and respect individual’s privacy preferences. An example is asking for consent to deliver personalized ads and placements.

It is also important to have an understanding of how your partners are using the data they collect on your behalf to ensure it is in compliance with any national or state-level laws.

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