In early November, we had the pleasure of attending Google’s “Think Lead Gen 2023” event held in Toronto. The exclusive event offered a wealth of insights for marketers who focus on B2C lead generation. As we step into planning for 2024, it’s crucial to reflect on these takeaways to stay ahead in the dynamic digital advertising landscape.
Embracing AI in Marketing
A significant focus of the event was on adopting the integration of AI into your marketing strategies. With consumer behavior and technology constantly evolving, leveraging AI is not just an advantage, but Google argues, a necessity to stay competitive. AI tools, particularly in Google’s ecosystem, are evolving to become business multipliers, offering unprecedented insights and efficiencies.
Utilizing First-Party Data
A key takeaway from this event is that for AI powered advertising, great inputs = great outputs. If you want the AI in Google Ads to generate leads for your business, you need to provide high-quality first-party data that will allow the algorithm to switch from optimizing towards leads, to optimizing for business value.
90% of marketers acknowledge the importance of 1st party data in digital programs. However, only 30% feel they’re using this data effectively. Integrating first-party data with Google AI can significantly enhance marketing efforts, tailoring them more precisely to consumer needs.
The Power Pair: Broad Match and Performance Max
During the event, Google presenters highlighted the benefits of using Broad Match in Target CPA campaigns. They encouraged advertisers to experiment with broad match, even if it has not worked well in the past. They contend the AI-augmented algorithms are exponentially better at understanding user intent with broad match, leading to better conversion outcomes. Google suggests that switching to broad match on average leads to 35% more conversions. The improvement of Performance Max campaigns year over year is also notable with them delivering 18% more conversions at similar costs, a 38% improvement from last year. For marketers, this could mean more efficient use of ad spend and better targeting of potential customers.
Enhanced Conversions and Trust Building
Implementing Google’s new Enhanced Conversions for Google Ads reportedly will improve conversion rates by 5% on Search and 17% on YouTube. We are still exploring how to integrate enhanced conversion data into our clients’ campaigns and will share more in the coming months as the product is fully rolled out through 2024.
As we approach 2024 and a cookie-less future, building trust with customers through responsible data use and leveraging technology to meet business objectives is vital. Marketers should focus on creating transparent, user-friendly experiences that align with their brand values and consumer expectations.
Optimizing the Lead Gen Journey
Mapping the lead-to-sale journey is critical. The average number of touchpoints consumers use before making a purchase or filling out a lead form is 5.2. This emphasizes the need to use multiple digital channels to be visible at all stages of the user journey. In Google Ads, adopting Enhanced Conversions and Customer Match can durably improve performance, across the Google Ads ecosystem. Google has introduced a new campaign type, “Demand Gen” to offer marketers a better opportunity to customers in the middle of their path to purchase. Demand Gen will offer asset types and metrics similar to those found in Meta (i.e. images and video) and replaces the now depreciated “Discovery” campaign type.
Website and User Experience
The event also stressed the importance of websites and the user experience they provide. Fast, stable, and interactive mobile and desktop landing pages, clear CTAs, and well-designed forms contribute significantly to user engagement. Ensuring your website is user-friendly and optimized for conversions is non-negotiable.
As we gear up for 2024, the insights from Google’s event provide a roadmap for marketers. By embracing AI, optimizing data usage, focusing on user experience, and testing the power of Google’s advanced tools, marketers can not only meet but exceed their business objectives.
The future of marketing is data-driven, AI-powered, and deeply rooted in understanding and catering to the customer journey. Let’s use these insights to make 2024 a year of unparalleled growth and success.