New features emphasise resilience of bricks-and-mortar retail
Google has unveiled a raft of new features across its advertising and market toolkits, including machine learning-powered ad optimisation, tools designed to drive potential customers to bricks and mortars stores, and a new feature in Google Analytics that will allow marketers to track multiple website visits made by the same user on different devices.
Released as a beta yesterday, a new feature being rolled out in Analytics allows users to see when potential customers visited your website from two different devices, the company’s Jesse Savage, Google Analytics’s director of product management said in a post late Wednesday, helping them run smarter campaigns. Metrics in Analytics until now showed two separate sessions (e.g., one on desktop, one on mobile).
“By understanding these device interactions as part of a broader customer experience, you can make more informed product and marketing decisions”, he said.
Supporting Strategic Marketing Campaigns
Savage gave the examples of campaigns in travel and retail.
“Say you’re a marketer for a travel company. With the new Acquisition Device report, you may find that a lot of your customers first come to your website on mobile to do their initial research before booking a trip later on desktop. Based on that insight, you might choose to prioritize mobile ad campaigns to reach people as they start to plan their trip.”
“… if a group of customers buy $300 worth of shoes on their phone and another $300 on their desktop, they’re just as valuable as another group who spend $600 on a single device.”
Machine Learning in Advertising
The beta release comes as Google is rolling out increasingly sophisticated toolkits across its marketing and advertising offering.
A day earlier, the company announced that it is introducing so-called “responsive search ads” that combine advertiser creative with Google’s machine learning tools.
“Simply provide up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines, and Google will do the rest. By testing different combinations, Google learns which ad creative performs best for any search query. So people searching for the same thing might see different ads based on context. We know this kind of optimization works: on average, advertisers who use Google’s machine learning to test multiple creative see up to 15 percent more clicks.”
Responsive search ads will start rolling out to advertisers over the next several months
With mobile searches for “near me” tripling in the past three years and almost 80 percent of shoppers heading to a store when there’s an item they want immediately, driving foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations remains critical, the company noted. (
As a result it has rolled out “Local Campaigns”, advertising campaigns exclusively designed to drive store visits.
“Provide a few simple things—like your business locations and ad creative—and Google automatically optimizes your ads across properties to bring more customers into your store. Beyond maximize conversion value, you’ll also be able to select store visits or new customers as goals. Machine learning factors in the likelihood that a click will result in any of these outcomes and helps adjust bids accordingly.”