Every spring Google holds their annual marketing partner-and-agency summit, focused on product and organizational roadmaps, client success stories, and perspectives in relevant areas. 2020 was different, the world changed, and GML 2020 was taken online through a series of videos called The Update. Here are this year’s latest announcements and themes.
BETTER CUSTOMER DATA
This year, all announcements were heavily geared towards customer data, lead generation, and ways of bridging online data with concrete offline actions. With key insights around lead quality and customer data integration, Google reported that 70% of lead gen marketers cite “improving lead quality” as their most important objective. The key objectives of the announcements are to help advertisers find more and better leads, focus on the fundamentals, and optimize towards lead value.
FIND MORE, BETTER LEADS WITH LEAD FORM EXTENSIONS
Advertisers can now meet consumer needs with Google-hosted lead generation forms across the Google ecosystem, with expanded release on Google Search, Google Display, YouTube, Gmail, and the Discovery Feed. With now 50+ different questions to ask and direct integration with 150+ CRM providers through a new partnership with Zapier, you can obtain more leads and update your CRM database in real time.
BRIDGE ONLINE TO OFFLINE WITH DATA INTEGRATION
Google now makes it easier to import and export your customer match data through its new partnership with data integration company Zapier. Zapier offers over 400 integration links with diverse Customer Relationship Management providers. With Google, this partnership offers data sharing with around 150 CRM providers.
Objectives are to help with de-duplication, leverage CRM data for customer match audiences, export goal achievements to CRM data providers, and remove Google-to-CRM friction by auto-filling data provided through Lead Form Extensions directly into your advertiser’s CRM.
MAKE OFFLINE CONVERSION TRACKING MORE ACCESSIBLE BY REMOVING THE NEED FOR GCLIDS
Google has now lowered their technical barriers to implement offline conversion tracking. A Google Click ID (GCLID) is no longer required to link your online customers with a customer relationship management platform. When your lead’s offline status changes to a conversion, you simply update your offline conversions through webhook (i.e. your method for importing your leads to Google Ads). With the highest match rates obtained through information such as email addresses, hashed PII information is now the sole requirement to match.
GREATLY IMPROVE CUSTOMER MATCH OPTIONS
Customer Match now provides color-graded match rate percentages at a much faster pace (around 1-to-2 hours), allowing faster troubleshooting and comparison. The new tabs show comparisons with other advertisers for benchmarking and tips on how to improve match rate. Google provided estimates on match rate are likely benchmarks from mostly mature North American advertisers. Similar Audiences on Customer Match have also improved; although they have been launched to some advertisers in early-2020, they are getting an official relaunch to make its adoption more accessible.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ADVERTISERS?
In a year strongly impacted by a global pandemic and where advertisers and marketers have needed to accelerate their digital transformation clocks to adapt to the new normal, we see changes around the handling of customer data, changes in the ingestion of customer data, and an improvement of Google’s Machine Learning offerings for forecasting purposes.
We are rapidly moving to a cookieless world where direct integrations and 1st party data will be king. Google lead gen focused announcements are preparing search advertisers to better connect their online and offline worlds and to ensure measurement endures beyond the cookie.
For advertisers where the adoption of Customer Match and the use of Customer Audience Data through CRM integrations has been difficult, we suggest close collaboration with your agency search teams who can help you to evaluate and establish a roll-out plan for new features that can improve your performance.
- Esteban Martinez Avalos | Digital Supervisor, Canada | email@example.com
- Katelyn Taylor | Head of Search, Canada | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Edward Foster | Head of Search, Global | email@example.com