Social Sprint: What we learnt from Google’s Adwords & Analytics keynote

The latest social media news in fewer than 500 words. The Social Sprint.

In a much-hyped ‘innovations’ keynote speech, the Google AdWords & Analytics teams announced sweeping changes to the platform which could have wide-ranging effects – or could simply mean marketers have a new platform through which to spend the same money in the same way. What did we learn?

Google now knows that mobile is the future of AdWords

AdWords mobile tools still feel a little tacked on – but Google assures that is going to change. As well as improving adverts on mobile (with more text in the headline, apparently improving CTR by 20%), you’ll now be able to anchor your campaigns to whichever device you’re more interested in – desktop, mobile or tablet. There’s also a new integrated Display network service – meaning fewer nightmares for your graphic designers.

Responsive ads final

Some examples of Display adverts created with Google’s new system

We won’t have to put up with dated portals much longer

“You’re our customers”, one Google exec said to a packed hall of AdWords clients at some point – which makes it all the more baffling why the company’s changes to the look and feel of AdWords and Analytics has taken so long. Regardless, the new portals look slick and – importantly – visual data driven, allowing for quick reading of the most important parts of your campaigns. The way campaigns are built will even be changing – with advice on extensions and ad types being given as you create them.

Google Maps is the next frontier for AdWords

It looks as though the penny has finally dropped for Google that they’ll never truly kill the offline world – so, instead, they’re trying to monetise it as best they can. Promoted Pins are the new way in which people will be able to advertise on Maps, with special profile pages given to those who do pay to appear. Great news for big business (Starbucks were an example used) who have big marketing budgets – but less so for small physical stores.

An example of how promoter pins are going to look - a big business (Walgreens) being the prototype.

An example of how promoter pins are going to look – a big business (Walgreens) being the prototype.

Focus is still on big business, rather than SME

You may expect it when they’re addressing Amazon, Expedia and Toyota marketers at the keynote address, but AdWords and Analytics is still being built with a big business first approach. Most of the changes (collaborations on marketing reports, ‘similar audiences’ for remarketing, improved reporting on store visit tracking stats) only really apply to companies with millions in advertising budgets, rather than thousands. This is echoed by the fact that many of the things being mentioned (paid beta access, DoubleClick) are behind a paywall through which most SMEs will not ever be able to peek.

You’re going to be waiting a while for all of this

We’re only being promised these changes by the end of the year… and then they backtracked slightly by saying 2017. Don’t hold your breath.

Watch the full thing for yourself below:

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