Four ways Google
marketing is planning
for an automated future
BY MICHAEL BAILEY, DIGITAL MEDIA DIRECTOR, GOOGLE
The 15-hour workweek still seems far-fetched. But we’re confdent these four steps can make the second promise—of a
marketing industry that uses automation to unlock new efciencies, freeing up people’s time to focus on the more creative
work—a reality. For more insights, visit thinkwithgoogle.com.
Back in 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes made a bold prediction: thanks to technological advancements and the
resulting productivity gains, we’d all be working 15 hours a week. Almost 90 years later, the average American is working
more than double those hours. For years now, we’ve been told that automation technologies would free us up to focus on
more creative work. That vision has also yet to materialize.
So my colleagues and I at the Google Media Lab—the team that manages the media strategy for Google’s adverising
campaigns—began work on a plan that might make that vision a reality.
1. Find data that predicts results
Machines are only as good as the data
2. Optimize for those data points
we feed into them. So we must fnd real-
time data points that could actually help
our creative and media teams. We adopted a structured
approach to learning: developing hypotheses and lab-testing
them. We mapped out and measured all the variables we felt
increased an ad’s efectiveness. While some of the things we
had been optimizing for were not predictive of brand lif, we
identifed several variables that yielded surprisingly positive
results: relevant and actionable data points.
To make the absolute best use of this data,
3. Build templates that can scale
we utilize automation tools like Google
Marketing Platorm’s custom algorithm,
which uses machine learning to optimize campaigns against
set parameters. The results have been promising. In recent
Pixel and Google Assistant campaigns, we customized our
optimization algorithm based on data collected from more
than 300 previous campaigns and ran it against out-of-
the-box optimization tools. Our custom algorithm drove a
statistically signifcant higher lif in brand awareness.
The beauty of digital marketing is how easy
it is to be contextually relevant: It allows
you to take one creative template and
modify it to match countless diferent use cases. For the
Google Home Mini release, we outlined all the moments
we thought our product could be useful—from sporing
events to holidays to daily tasks—and then tailored our
template to each of these cases and used programmatic
technology to serve up the right ad to the right person in
the right moment.
4. Think beyond ads
Humans will play a big role in our automated
future. One of our goals is to give people
more time to pursue actual creative work.
We’re changing our processes and how we staf our teams.
For the Pixel 2 campaign, we split what is normally one
process into two streams. Stream one, which included all
the automated template work, got 20% of our time and
90% of our spend. Stream two, which consisted of all the
custom elements of the campaign, got 80% of our time and
10% of our spend.
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