Highlights from Google Marketing Live 2023

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 29 May, 2023
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Google to supercharge ads with generative AI. New tools and features unveiled.

Google Marketing Live 2023

Image: Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

At Google’s Marketing Live event last week, AI was put front and center for Google Ads, just as for as it had been for Search at I/O 2023.

There are plenty of new AI-powered features coming for advertisers. Here are the highlights of what was announced.

Conversational chat for ad creation

Google is introducing an AI-powered chat function in Ads, designed to make ads creation easier. It’s an option you can use, so not an automatic process you have no control over.

Just add a preferred landing page from your site. Google AI will summarize the page, and then generate keywords, headlines, descriptions, images and other assets for your campaign.

Chat for ad creation.

You can then review and edit the suggestions before going live.

ACA to use generative AI to target search queries

Automatically created assets (ACA) were rolled out by Google for Search ads last year. It’s an opt-in which uses content from your landing pages and existing ads to generate headlines and descriptions. 

ACA is to be enhanced by generative AI, enabling them to adapt to the context of a query and helping increase brands' ad relevance.

Take the example of a search for “skin care for dry sensitive skin”. Google's AI would use content from your landing page and existing ads to create a new headline matching the query even more closely, such as “Soothe Your Dry, Sensitive Skin”.

Automatically created assets.

Generative AI for ACAs will work at the campaign level, which means you can test it on a smaller scale, rather than at the account level. If you opt in, the process is automated so there's no manual editing possible down the line.

Create custom assets in Performance Max with generative AI

New AI capabilities in Performance Max will make it easier to build campaigns, and to create and scale custom text and image assets.

The way it works is that you enter your website and answer a few questions such as:

  • Where will people go when they click your ad?
  • What products or services are you advertising?
  • What makes your products or services unique?
  • What is your brand’s personality?

AI in Performance Max campaign.

Google AI will then start learning about your brand to populate your campaign with text and other relevant assets . It will also suggest new images specifically generated for you on the basis of a description you enter of the kind of image you want.

Performance Max AI images.

Google working on integrating ads into SGE

Google unveiled its Search Generative Experience (SGE) just a couple of weeks ago at I/O 2023. It has now given more information about its plans to integrate ads directly into the AI-powered snapshot and conversational mode. 

For example, if someone is searching for “outdoor activities to do in Maui,” and refines the search further to query “activities for kids” and “surfing,” Google says they may be shown a fully customized ad for a travel brand promoting surfing lessons for kids.

Google said it would also experiment with new formats native to SGE, using generative AI to create ads customized to every step of the search journey.

Create and enhance images using AI in new Product Studio

Adverstisers will have access to generative AI in Google’s new Product Studio to create and tailor unique product imagery. The features include:

Add custom product scenes: Google’s example shows a skincare company requesting an image of their product “on a stone platform, surrounded by peaches, with tropical plants in the background.”

Remove background: you'll be able to remove a cluttered or confusing background directly in Product Studio.

Increase resolution: improve the quality of small or low-resolution images.

Improve image resolution.

Advertisers in the US will be able to access Product Studio from Merchant Center Next (see below) starting in the next few months.

Merchant Center Next

Merchant Center Next is a simplified version of the platform, designed to make it easier for smaller merchants to use and get started. Google notes that while it is a simplified version, “the features that larger retailers rely on aren’t going anywhere”.

Automated product feed. Previously merchants had to add all details such as products, prices, images etc manually. In Merchant Center Next, the product feed will be automatically populated with information from your website. You will be able to edit what gets pulled in, or turn the feature off.

Merchant Center Next product feed.

Easier insights. All insights insights reports are being brought into the Performance tab, making it easier to access and understand your performance in once place.

Merchant Center Next will show all products, from both online and brick-and-mortar stores, in one view, making it easier to manage online and in-store inventory together.  It will also show new insights about the potential benefits of fixing errors in product data.

Merchant Center Next has already started rolling out for new users. The process of upgrading smaller businesses will start over the coming months, with the global rollout planned to be completed by 2024.

For more details see Google’s blog posts on:

AI-powered Ads

Product Studio and Merchant Center

Google Marketing Live 2023

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