Google Marketing Live 2019: a Decoding

By Aurel Gergey | May 26, 2019 (updated December 7, 2019) | Google Ads

Unbelievable how many touchpoints today’s consumers go through before they buy.

When I watched Google Marketing Live 2019 it struck me: Some adjectives are repeated and can be heard quite often. This aroused my interest. I wrote these adjectives down, grouped them, listed them here – and tried a brief interpretation of the emerging patterns.

(Note: At Marketing Live Google introduced several new features, including image ads for the Google search named Gallery Ads, the new “maximize conversion value” bid strategy, and ads in the Discover feed. As this has already been reported on in detail in other media, we save ourselves a repetition here).

It’s getting personal

  • personal
  • personalized
  • anticipative

Adlucent recently discovered that seven out of ten people prefer personalized ads. And a study by Epsilon shows that four-fifths of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that offer them personalized experiences. Is it nice that Google Ads is picking up on this trend – and will make it easier to deliver personalized ads? Yes and no.

Because, as RSA recognized: Only a minority of people like the data collection required for personalization. Rather stupid. We want personalized experiences, but we don’t want to give away the data for them. Google is aware of this dilemma, see below for more.

I myself particularly like good ads. Regardless of whether they are individualized or not.

Good Samaritan

  • helpful
  • valuable
  • relevant
  • informative
  • meaningful
  • useful

Relevance has always been one of Google’s core values – and it still seems to be the main reason why we love Google ( most of the times 😉). In Google’s self-description, the term appears high up and twice:

“With the amount of information available on the web, finding what you need would be nearly impossible without some help sorting through it. Google ranking systems are designed to do just that: sort through hundreds of billions of webpages in our Search index to find the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second, and present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for. These ranking systems are made up of not one, but a whole series of algorithms. To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings.”

It’s good that Google stays true to its dogma of usefulness. If people ask me what tricks they use to get ahead on Google – whether in paid or unpaid search hits – then I tend to say: ultimately there is no trick, only hard, honest work. First make sure that there’s a reason at all to show you at the top.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

  • delightful
  • beautiful
  • content rich
  • engaging surprising

I think this is a positive development. This can be seen, for example, in the design of the Google calendar, which is becoming more and more attractive. It’s nice that the ads now also receive this beauty treatment.

I like to say that people should be rewarded for looking at our ads. Thank you Google for helping out.

The Circle Closes

  • seamless
  • holistic
  • consistent
  • unified
  • immersive
  • integrated

It’s an impressive example they brought to the presentation: Someone passed over 500 touchpoints before finally buying a product. I also see it in the analytics reports: the customer journeys are getting longer and longer.

Google has been saying for a while now that the funnel is dead and demography is too – that today’s attention is atomized and deliberately distributed over particular “moments of truth”. For us marketers, the only way to get to grips with this is with machine learning, which Google has kindly made available to us.

Personally, I have mixed feelings here. Give even more control to machines? Yes, it works, see for example our case study with MOVU. At the same time it fundamentally changes how marketeers will work in the future.

Private Property, Please Do Not Enter

Prabhakar Raghavan has not made transparent exactly what the new data transparency will look like.

  • transparent
  • respectful
  • trustworthy

Terms of this kind were apparently the most common (pardon, second most frequent, most often heard was “excited” 😉). I can’t shake off the impression that Google is insisting on data protection and transparency as a preventive measure because Mountain View fears political adversity. In the end, I don’t care why Google protects my data. As long as they do.


I believe I have caught a glimpse of Google’s advertising future through this semantic analysis. It should remain exciting, as usual – and develop between the poles of increasing personalization on the one hand and growing data protection concerns on the other. The line between the pleasing individualization of advertising messages and annoying stalking is, as is well known, narrow to very narrow.

Added to this are the threats posed by growing advertising competitors such as Amazon. I’m curious to see how Google will address all these challenges.

Machine Learning will fix it and is getting better, according to Philipp Schindler, Chief Business Officer

The complete recording of Google Marketing Live 2019 is available on YouTube.

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About Aurel Gergey

Aurel Gergey is a Senior Consultant and Conversion Copywriter at Wortpiel. He has worked in advertising agencies as a copywriter/conceptual designer and has been using Google Ads since 2004. Aurel has published the book “AdWords for Startups” together with Stefan Vetter. His guiding principle: Better words sell better™.