Building a privacy-first future for web advertising

Advertising is essential to keeping the web open for everyone, but the web ecosystem is at risk if privacy practices do not keep up with changing expectations. ​People want assurances that their identity and information are safe as they browse the web. That’s why Chrome introduced the Privacy Sandbox and, today, shared progress on their path to eliminate third-party cookies by replacing them with viable privacy-first alternatives, developed alongside ecosystem partners, that will help publishers and advertisers succeed while also protecting people’s privacy as they move across the web.

It might be hard to imagine how advertising on the web could be relevant, and accurately measured, without ​third-party cookies. When the Privacy Sandbox technology for interest-based advertising (FLoC) was first proposed last year, we started with the idea that groups of people with common interests could replace individual identifiers. Today, we’re releasing new data showing how this innovation can deliver results nearly as effective as cookie-based approaches.​ Technology advancements such as FLoC, along with similar promising efforts in areas like measurement, fraud protection and anti-fingerprinting, are the future of web advertising — and the Privacy Sandbox will power our web products in a post-third-party cookie world.

Interest-based advertising

Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) proposes a new way for businesses to reach people with relevant content and ads by clustering large groups of people with similar interests. This approach effectively hides individuals “in the crowd” and uses on-device processing to keep a person’s web history private on the browser. 

By creating simulations based on the principles defined in Chrome’s FLoC proposal, Google’s ads teams have tested this privacy-first alternative to third-party cookies. Results indicate that when it comes to generating interest-based audiences, FLoC can provide an effective replacement signal for third-party cookies. Our tests of FLoC to reach in-market and affinity Google Audiences show that advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising. The specific result depends on the strength of the clustering algorithm that FLoC uses and the type of audience being reached. 

We’re encouraged by what we’ve observed and the value that this solution offers to users, publishers and advertisers. Chrome intends to make FLoC-based cohorts available for public testing through origin trials with its next release in March and we expect to begin testing FLoC-based cohorts with advertisers in Google Ads in Q2. If you’d like to get a head start, you can run your own simulations (as we did) based on the principles outlined in this FLoC whitepaper.

Audience creation

The Privacy Sandbox also includes proposals for how marketers can create and deploy their own audiences, without the use of third-party cookies. One example is when advertisers want to reach prior visitors to their website via remarketing.

Over the last year, several members of the ad tech community have offered input for how this might work, including proposals from Criteo, NextRoll, Magnite and RTB House. Chrome has published a new proposal called FLEDGE that expands on a previous Chrome proposal (called TURTLEDOVE) and takes into account the industry feedback they’ve heard, including the idea of using a “trusted server” — as defined by compliance with certain principles and policies — that’s specifically designed to store information about a campaign’s bids and budgets. Chrome intends to make FLEDGE available for testing through origin trials later this year with the opportunity for ad tech companies to try using the API under a “bring your own server” model.

While proposals such as FLoC and FLEDGE explore privacy-preserving alternatives for reaching relevant audiences, there’s also work being done to help buyers decide how much to bid for ads seen by these audiences. We invite ad exchanges, demand-side platforms and advertisers to begin experimenting with the technology in the Privacy Sandbox. Feedback from these tests will help ensure that ad auctions will continue to function seamlessly when third-party cookies are deprecated.

Conversion measurement

Chrome has proposed a number of technologies within the Privacy Sandbox that would allow marketers, and partners working on their behalf, to measure campaign performance without third-party cookies. These proposals protect consumer privacy while supporting key advertiser requirements, such as event-level reporting that enables bidding models to recognize patterns in the data, and aggregate-level reporting which delivers accurate measurement over groups of users.

By using privacy-preserving techniques like aggregating information, adding noise, and limiting the amount of data that gets sent from the device, the proposed APIs report conversions in a way that protects user privacy. For example, an event-level iteration of the API is currently available in origin trials for measuring click-through conversions. It protects privacy by introducing noise and limiting the bits of conversion data that the API can send at a time. As a result, advertisers will have to prioritize which conversions are most important for their reporting needs.

Over the coming months, Google’s ads teams will continue evaluating how the proposed conversion measurement APIs can be used alongside Google’s measurement products to support use cases such as reporting view-through conversions, determining incrementality and reach as well as performing attribution. We recommend customers implement sitewide tagging with the global site tag or Google Tag Manager in order to minimize disruptions during this time. More decisions will have to be made before a prototype is built — including what the right level of noise should be and what’s the minimum number of conversions to include when sending an aggregate-level report — so we invite ad tech companies, publishers and advertisers to get involved in these discussions within the public forums.

Ad fraud prevention

The health of the ad-supported web depends on companies being able to distinguish actual visitors from fraudulent traffic. That’s why Chrome opened the Trust Token API for testing last July to help verify authentic traffic without exposing people’s identities in the process. And today, Chrome shared plans to start an origin trial in March with their next release to support a new type of Trust Token issuer that would improve the detection of fraud on mobile devices while safeguarding user privacy. Google’s ads teams will then start testing this feature with trusted users on mobile, and share feedback within the public forums based on the results.


An important goal of the Privacy Sandbox is developing technology to protect people from opaque or hidden techniques that share data about individual users and allow them to be tracked in a covert manner. One such tactic involves using a device’s IP address to try and identify someone without their knowledge or ability to opt out. Chrome recently published a new proposal, Gnatcatcher, for how someone’s IP address might be masked to protect that person’s identity without interfering with a website’s normal operations. This proposal will continue to be refined based on feedback from the web community.

The future of privacy on the web

Thanks to the initial FLoC results, ongoing development of the APIs and encouraging dialogue with the industry, we are more confident than ever that the Privacy Sandbox is the best path forward to improve privacy for web users while ensuring publishers can earn what they need to fund great content and advertisers can reach the right people for their products. For Google’s ads teams, the Privacy Sandbox technologies represent the future of how our ads and measurement products will work on the web. We encourage others to join us in defining this new approach which will create better experiences for consumers while providing more durable solutions for the ads industry.

As we move forward in 2021, you can expect to hear more about the progress being made in the Privacy Sandbox, including more opportunities for you to begin testing these new technologies in your campaigns. So, stay engaged in the public discussions about the Privacy Sandbox proposals in forums like the W3C’s Improving Web Advertising Business Group, or work with your technology partners to evaluate and experiment with the proposals that are already in origin trials. Together, we can reshape the web so that it works better for everyone.

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A key milestone for privacy-centric measurement on YouTube

In October of 2019, we announced that we are continuing to take action to limit the pixels we allow on YouTube, while investing in our cloud-based, privacy-centric measurement and analytics solution called Ads Data Hub. This solution provides three benefits for marketers. First, Ads Data Hub ensures end-user privacy by enforcing privacy checks and aggregating Google data before it leaves the Google-owned Cloud project. Second, because Ads Data Hub does not rely on pixels, it allows advertisers access to comprehensive measurement and insights on how their advertising is performing across screens, including mobile apps, for YouTube media bought via YouTube and Google ad platforms, including Google Ads, Display & Video 360. Finally, Ads Data Hub is paving the way for a durable future for measurement on YouTube, enabling cross-publisher reporting by third parties that are compatible with the privacy-centric world.

Media Rating Council accredits Ads Data Hub

Today, we’re announcing Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditations for Ads Data Hub, a first for a clean-room-based measurement product in the industry. Ads Data Hub has been accredited by MRC for Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT)-filtered, rendered and viewable video ad impressions and TrueView Views generated through the Ads Data Hub user interface and API. Accreditation covers desktop, mobile web and mobile in-app for YouTube and Google Video Partners video ads on Google Ads, Display & Video 360 and YouTube Reserve, and includes the processes used in the matching of unique audience identifiers.

New measurement partners complete Ads Data Hub migration

Over the last year, we’ve been working with several measurement partners to migrate their vendor services to Ads Data Hub. As of today, Comscore, DoubleVerify, Dynata, Kantar, Integral Ad Science, Nielsen, and Moat by Oracle have completed migration and have completely switched to Ads Data Hub-based reporting. These measurement partners are in addition to the list of already existing partners reporting on YouTube. We also expect many of these partners will independently seek MRC accreditation of their Ads Data Hub-based reporting.

We are committed to fostering a healthy measurement partner ecosystem, with privacy at its core. With the MRC accreditation of Ads Data Hub and the full migration of global third-party brand-measurement partners, advertisers will gain more comprehensive reporting and measurement, using technology that’s built to enhance user privacy. We are thrilled to mark a big step toward durable, privacy-centric, trustworthy measurement and remain committed to innovation for more capabilities in the future.

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Shopping for a beauty product? Try it on with Google.

I’ve been doing most of my shopping online this year and it seems I’m not alone. With the holidays right around the corner, more than 73 percent of U.S. shoppers are planning to buy online. There are plenty of perks with online shopping, from the convenience of doing it from your couch to the multitude of options right at your fingertips.

At the same time, many still crave that in-store experience, whether it’s seeing a product up close, trying it on or getting advice from in-store experts. So we’re bringing some of the benefits of in-store shopping to your phone, with new features launching this week in the U.S.

Visualize makeup looks and try on products 

If you’re shopping for beauty products, it’s difficult to make a decision on such personal items without trying them on. Say you want to know how sheer a lip gloss is, how much pigment is in an eyeshadow or what a product will look like on your skin tone, it can be difficult to understand these things without seeing the products up close. 

To make it easier for you to answer these questions from home, we’re working with data partners ModiFace and Perfect Corp to help you better visualize thousands of lipstick and eyeshadow shades from your favorite brands like L’Oreal, MAC Cosmetics, Black Opal and Charlotte Tilbury. Now, when you search for a lipstick or eyeshadow product, like L’Oreal’s Infallible Paints Metallic Eyeshadow, you can see what it looks like on a range of skin tones and compare shades and textures to help you find the right products.

How you can try on lipstick and eyeshadow

To help you find the perfect match, you can now also virtually try makeup products right from the Google app. Find the perfect nude lip by searching for MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick and quickly trying each shade in the collection. If you’re looking for a velvety matte lipstick for your holiday video calls with family and friends, search for NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment and find the color that matches your style.

Woman trying on lipstick

Get recs from experts and enthusiasts

Sometimes it’s helpful to get recommendations and see how products work for other people. Now as you browse Google Shopping on your phone or scroll through the Discover feed in the Google app, we’ll show recommendations from beauty, apparel and home and garden enthusiasts and experts about their favorite products. If a product catches your eye, you can hear directly from experts on why they love the product and how they use it. 

Hear from professional makeup artist Jonet on what products can help you achieve that dewy fresh look or learn how Homesick Candles make the perfect holiday present.  Once you’ve found a product you love, you’ll be able to easily shop these recommendations. This new feature comes from work done by the Shoploop team, which was formerly part of Area 120, Google’s in-house incubator.

We hope these new shopping tools will make it easier for you to find products you’ll love while shopping from home.

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Greater controls for sensitive ad topics in your Ad Settings

Building tools that provide transparency and control has always been a top priority for us, and over the years, we’ve empowered people to shape their ads experience through user controls. We’ve launched About this ad, which explains why a specific ad is being shown, and Ad Settings, which allows people to control how ads are personalized or even opt out of personalized ads altogether at an account level.

We’ve heard feedback that some people would prefer to limit ads in certain categories like alcohol, so today, we’re launching a new control in Ad Settings, enabling people to see fewer alcohol ads, with gambling as an additional option. 

We’ve long had features like Mute this ad, where people can indicate which ads they’d rather not see. These controls live alongside our policies which determine when and where gambling and alcohol ads can be shown per local laws (e.g. age restrictions). This new feature is an extra step, putting choice in the user’s hands and enabling you to further control your ad experience. With a click of a button, you can choose to see fewer gambling and alcohol ads. It is also reversible; should you change your mind, you can click to see such ads again. 

This feature will roll out in Ad Settings gradually, beginning with YouTube Ads in the US, and we aim to introduce this for Google Ads and YouTube globally in early 2021. Countries with legal restrictions against serving gambling and alcohol ads will not see any change in their policies.

Ad categories on YouTube

Many of the advertisers we work with are also invested in respecting people’s choices and cultural differences when it comes to the ads they see. For this initiative, we’ve been working with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) and its members, the leading beer, wine and spirits producers, taking into account their expertise on standards for responsible alcohol advertising and marketing—and we’re pleased to have their support.

“IARD’s engagement with Google means users of the platform, starting with YouTube, will have the option to see fewer alcohol ads. Our members are determined to give people greater control over whether they see alcohol-related marketing online. Respecting these personal preferences and recognizing differences in culture requires sensitivity and action, that’s why we hope this partnership is the start of a bigger movement.” – Henry Ashworth, President and CEO of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking

 “As a responsible producer and member of IARD, we are determined to set and deliver new and robust standards of marketing responsibility. This significant new feature is a very important development for our sector, and it will have a meaningful impact for people around the world as it is rolled out across Google’s platform.”- Albert Baladi, CEO Beam Suntory and Chair of the IARD

We believe this new feature is an important step in user choice and control. We’ll continue to improve our controls; and as our products and people’s expectations of them evolve, so will the features we make available to personalize ad experiences.

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Be ready for 2021 with Google Marketing Platform

This year has taught us that it can be hard to predict what the future has in store. As we approach 2021, it’s a good time to think about how your business can prepare for whatever comes next. Here are five ways Google Marketing Platform can help you respond to changing consumer behavior and improve the ROI of your campaigns.

Prepare for the future of measurement with the new Google Analytics

Number 1

With more commerce moving online and businesses under increased pressure to make every marketing dollar count, insights from digital analytics tools are critical. To help you get the essential insights you need for the future, we introduced the new Google Analytics. It has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a better understanding of your customers across devices and platforms. It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Analytics even as industry changes, like restrictions on cookies and identifiers, create gaps in your data.

Streamline workflows with Campaign Manager 360

Number 2

With continuously changing customer demand, you need to act fast to reach consumers with relevant messages. This is why we’re increasing our investment in ad serving with Campaign Manager 360. Integrations with Google products like Display & Video 360 and third parties allow your teams to work more seamlessly across buying and measurement.

Reach consumers wherever they are with Display & Video 360

Number 3

People are streaming more video and audio content than ever before. To help you reach these audiences, we added new audio capabilities in Display & Video 360 to simplify audio ad creation and make it easier to find the right audio inventory for your brand. We also introduced new tools in Display & Video 360 to help you grow your brand with connected TV and digital video.

Meet user privacy expectations with new data controls

Number 4

Rising consumer expectations and changing industry regulations have set higher standards for user privacy and data protection. This has led many businesses to revisit how they manage their marketing data. We introduced new ways to control how data is used in Google Analytics and new options for measuring conversions while respecting user consent choices for ads and analytics cookies.

Improve performance with flexible automation in Display & Video 360

Number 5

Custom Bidding in Display & Video 360 allows you to combine your unique insights about what drives your business with Google’s machine learning-powered bidding. The new read/write API helps you automate the end-to-end campaign process by connecting your preferred tools directly to Display & Video 360.

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Find trending products on the Google Shopping Gift Guide

What do you buy for the techie who has everything? Or the chef who’s always trying new recipes? Turn to the Google Shopping Gift Guide for inspiration. It has great finds for everyone on your list and uses U.S. Search trends to predict December’s most popular products.

For that person in your life

We’ve identified trending product categories over the past few months, and translated them into gift lists for the people in your life. Searches for cookware rose 34 percent since last year, as more people cooked at home, so we’ve gathered the top trending kitchen products for your favorite amateur chef. At the top of the list: the Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker, closely followed by the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven. 

And the Google Shopping Gift Guide is not just for the chefs—you’ll find trending gifts for athletes, techies, decorators, wellness gurus, gamers and kids.

Google Shopping Gift Guide

Find the best prices and places to buy

Once you’ve found that perfect gift, continue shopping on Google where you can find the best prices and places to buy.  

With thousands of stores in one place, you can find what you’re looking for, online or nearby. Nearby store listings show store hours and stock alerts, so you don’t waste a trip. And, if you’d rather keep those trips quick, you can see which stores offer in-store or curbside pickup.

Price insights show whether the price offered for a product is high, low or typical, compared to other prices across the web and in nearby stores. If you’re not ready to buy, you can switch on price tracking and get an alert if the price drops.

Price insights on Google shopping

With the Google Shopping Gift Guide and other shopping tools on Google, we hope you find the perfect gifts—and maybe something for yourself too!

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Audio ads on YouTube expand reach and grow brand awareness

Whether it’s to squeeze in a living room workout before dinner, catch up on a podcast or listen to a virtual concert on a Friday night, people are increasingly turning to YouTube as they spend more time at home. 

To help you tailor your media and creative approach to the different ways consumers are engaging with YouTube, we’re introducing audio ads, our first ad format designed to connect your brand with audiences in engaged and ambient listening on YouTube. Audio ads, currently in beta, help you efficiently expand reach and grow brand awareness with audio-based creative and the same measurement, audience and brand safety features as your video campaigns.  

Reach more music fans

Music has always played an important role in culture and everyday lives. It’s a reliable way for you to capture an audience engaging with content they love, but for most brands, it’s untapped on YouTube. With music video streaming at an all time high on YouTube—more than 50 percent of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music content—we’re introducing new solutions for your brand to be seen, heard and recognized alongside music content.1 

In addition to audio ads, we’re also launching dynamic music lineups, dedicated groups of music-focused channels across popular genres such as Latin music, K-pop, hip-hop and Top 100, as well as moods or interests like fitness, so you can easily reach music fans globally and drive results for your business. Music lineups and audio ads make it possible to be there, at scale, whether YouTube is being watched front and center or playing as the backdrop to daily life.

Amp up your brand message

Audio ads are characterized by creatives where the audio soundtrack plays the starring role in delivering your message. The visual component is typically a still image or simple animation. 

In our months of alpha testing, we found that more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness.2

Image states "75% of audio ads campaigns drove a significant lift in brand awareness."

One of our early testers, Shutterfly, used audio ads to influence purchase consideration among interested shoppers, driving above benchmark lifts of 14 percent lift in ad recall and 2 percent lift in favorability among their target audience.

Find success with audio ads

When you’re preparing your audio ads campaign, keep in mind that audio should play the leading role. Think: If I close my eyes, I can still clearly understand what this ad is about. Be clear and specific with your message and pick a friendly, authentic voice to deliver it. If you aren’t sure what creative to use, you can use Video experiments to run a test and get results quickly and at no extra cost. 

Audio ads are available in beta via auction on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a CPM basis with the same audience targeting options, bidding strategies and Brand Lift measurement capabilities as your YouTube video campaigns. Using both video and audio ads together, you can reach more people, consuming content they love, with the ad format that’s best suited for their unique YouTube experience. 

To learn more about audio ads on YouTube, visit the Help Center or speak to your Google representative. 

1.  Internal YouTube Data, June 2020

2. Google Internal data, Global , June 2019-March 2020

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How marketers can meet the data challenge to drive growth

This year we’ve seen people around the world change the way they purchase goods and services in response to the pandemic. This is causing businesses to rethink growth strategies, with many turning to digital transformation to address rapidly changing customer needs and new challenges. With Google’s integrated marketing tools, marketers can discover the industry and customer insights that can prepare their business for what’s next.

In our new solution guide for Google Marketing Platform and Google Cloud, we share the successes of leading organizations who have used machine learning to unlock new insights to create extraordinary customer experiences that strengthen their brand and help grow their business.

Quickly spot trends

Bringing together first-party data helps organizations break down data silos, enabling them to identify emerging trends and take action.

Black Nissan Logo

The marketing team for Nissan Motors’ Asia Pacific region was looking to better align their marketing to their customers’ unique preferences. By partnering with MightyHive, their data analytics and cloud partner, Nissan exported its Analytics 360 data into BigQuery and used BigQuery ML to uncover distinct patterns across its customer segments. Nissan found that the vehicle model featured in a digital ad wasn’t always the model that people requested a test drive – meaning Nissan had the opportunity to recommend additional types of vehicles on the website, like suggesting a more premium model to test drive.

Customize messaging

With the right tests and tools in place, you can refine the exact messaging and visuals needed to strike the right chord with your audience.

Black UGG Logo

Deckers brands wanted to ensure that ad creatives for its UGG brand were as effective as possible. Deckers partnered with Jellyfish, its global digital partner, to automate creative insights at scale with Google Cloud products. Using Dataflow, Cloud Vision, BigQuery, and Cloud Storage, Deckers and Jellyfish were able to scan a variety of ad creative elements to test against performance signals. These insights were shared with an interactive dashboard built in Data Studio and the team discovered the optimal number of shoes to display in their ads. The shoe count variable was associated with a 36% lift in ad performance over other variants and ads with the optimal number of shoes drove a 52% increase in return on ad spend.

Anticipate the future

Predicting the future actions of your customers, whether it’s buying online or in-stores, can help you refine the reach of our marketing campaigns and improve your return on ad spend.

Black L'Oréal Logo

Beauty company L’Oréal knew that most of their customers in Taiwan review product information online, but later visit a physical store to make their purchase. By combining website data from Analytics 360 and in-store data, L’Oréal used AutoML to predict which site visitors would go in-store to purchase and then tailored its marketing campaigns to reach those people. With this strategy, they achieved a 2.5X increase in offline revenue in sales from their Lancôme brand.

Read the guide to take your business to the next level

In the guide, you can learn how other customers around the world have found success with Google Marketing Platform and Google Cloud. We’ve also put together a roadmap to help your team get started with these two platforms. Ready? Download our guide to get started today.

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Investing in ad serving with Campaign Manager 360

We hear from our advertiser and agency partners that they continue to value ad serving as an integrated—but independent—solution alongside media buying. For example, Mondelez relies on Campaign Manager for centralized ad serving and measurement across their many brands and regions. This helps them to analyze campaign performance and make faster media and creative optimizations.

To address these needs, we’re increasing our investment in Campaign Manager as a standalone ad server and adding it to Google Marketing Platform as Campaign Manager 360. We’re focusing investments in three areas: comprehensive measurement, streamlined workflows, and trusted ad management for video and emerging formats.

Comprehensive measurement for your paid media

One of the key benefits of an ad server is the ability to understand which ad placements and creative are driving conversions. But regulatory shifts and changes in tech platforms in response to the increased focus on how data is used online have led to gaps in conversion measurement. This is why we are launching conversion modeling in Campaign Manager 360. Conversion modeling enables accurate measurement with a complete, privacy-centric view of how people are responding to your ads. This ensures that you can still get insights about the effectiveness of your campaigns so that you can take actions to improve your results, even when direct measurement isn’t possible.

Increased fragmentation due to people spending their time across a wider array of media types and advertisers spreading their ad buys across a broader set of inventory, has also made it difficult to have one single source of ads measurement. Some publishers don’t allow client-side tags on their inventory. However, through our expanding server-to-server integrations with social and video platforms in Campaign Manager 360 you can measure more media and spend less time troubleshooting discrepancies. The integrations are managed on the backend and allow for reporting data to be shared seamlessly from the third-party to Google — so there’s no extra work for your team.

Built-in attribution, reporting, and verification tools in Campaign Manager 360 give you insight into how all your digital campaigns are performing across channels. However, advertisers often want more granular and customized insights into the impact of their ads along the path to purchase. In some cases, this can mean writing SQL queries with hundreds of lines of code, which is time consuming and limits your ability to optimize performance quickly.

To meet these needs we are making investments like the two recently launched attribution reports, Full Path and Path Attribution. These new reports give you an easy, readily-accessible way to get attribution insights directly in Campaign Manager 360 by using unsampled data and including both converting and non-converting paths. These reports also let you quickly identify common paths to conversion and conversion rates.

Streamlined workflows with integrations across Google and third-parties

Campaign Manager 360 helps you centralize your digital advertising workflows. Integrations with Google and third party products enable your teams to work more seamlessly across buying and measurement.

For example you can develop creative in Studio and use Campaign Manager 360 to activate assets across Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360 and Google Ads. An integration with Analytics 360 also makes it possible to connect your paid media cost and performance to your first-party audience insights in Analytics 360. This allows you to understand the connection between paid media and the activity of people visiting your sites and apps – helping you to get a full picture of the customer journey. Integrations with Display & Video 360 and Analytics 360 also allow you to see deduplicated conversions across your display and video buys. Partners like The Martin Agency have saved significant time for their clients because of these integrations.

We can create and deploy creatives easily by using the integrations across Campaign Manager 360, Studio, and Display & Video 360. Using all these products together on the Oreo campaign for Mondelez also helped us decrease production time by 25%. Darius Watkins
Account Coordinator, The Martin Agency

In addition to extensive integrations with Google solutions, we’re also investing in tighter connections with popular tools from different ecosystem partners. For example, to give you more choice and flexibility, we launched automated third-party verification in Campaign Manager 360 earlier this month. This makes it easier for you to use ecosystem partners for brand suitability and verification. We are planning more investments like this.

Trusted ad management for enhanced video and emerging channels

Today more people are using their phones and devices to consume video, audio and even TV. For advertisers this means having the ability to create and measure cross-channel, customer centric experiences across display, video and other emerging channels — at scale and in near real-time, is required.

To solve for this, Campaign Manager 360 gives you deep insights into your video performance using video verification and enhanced YouTube measurement. We also recently expanded our unique reach reporting in Campaign Manager 360 to include demographic data to give you a centralized view of performance across channels, including video and connected TV.

Ad serving capabilities for the future

As the digital ads ecosystem evolves with an increased focus on privacy, new regulations and changes in technology platforms have put pressure on traditional ad serving and measurement techniques. That’s why we are focused on making Campaign Manager 360 a durable solution for the future.

We will build on Campaign Manager 360’s foundation and enhance our ad serving capabilities to help you measure all your paid media activity and conversions. We will continue to invest in features like conversion modeling, to help you get the insights your business needs even as the industry landscape evolves.

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3 ways to help shoppers find the latest holiday deals

Last holiday season in the U.S., Google was used by more shoppers related to their shopping than any other source.1 In fact, when looking for competitively-priced products, 40 percent of global shoppers say they turn to Google to find the best deal.2 As more people are already shopping online for the holidays, retailers will have to adapt quickly to be ready for this consumer demand.

In light of these shifting consumer behaviors, we’re offering more ways to help you capture increased holiday demand by making it easier and faster to apply product promotions, boosting your visibility to new customers, and providing new tools to uncover meaningful insights from your performance. 

Easily highlight promotions to stand out

To help retailers maximize exposure of their deals—doorbusters or evergreen—promotions will be available to all U.S. retailers and will be significantly easier to use for the holidays. You can expect faster average approval times and easier editing features for promotions. This means that you are now able to better react to shopper demand, like extending an existing promotional period or participating in a flash sale. 

“Running promotions on Google helped us exponentially grow demand and ROI,” says Emily Kulcyk, Manager of Search Marketing at Urban Outfitters. “The faster approval times also drove sales volume for our flash sales because we didn’t miss a portion of the day awaiting review.”

We’re also expanding our promotions to more surfaces across Google. Products on promotion will now have an annotation when they appear on both free listings and ads in the Shopping tab, Google Images (mobile-only) and local inventory ads on Search. This means that your promotions will show up in more places, helping you connect with potential customers regardless of whether you advertise with us or not. 

Example of Shopping ads on Google Images (U.S. only). Shows sales price annotation and promotion annotation.

Example of Shopping ads on Google Images (U.S. only)

Get your products in front of new shoppers

58 percent of U.S. holiday shoppers bought from at least one brand last holiday season that they hadn’t before.3 To get in front of these new customers, you can now list your products on Google for free around the world. Retailers can also opt-in to free local listings in the Merchant Center, enabling your in-store products to appear in free listings across Google surfaces, like Search and the Shopping tab. 

In addition, we’ve introduced new ways for businesses to engage local customers looking to pickup nearby, and to highlight fast and free shipping. Now, verified retail merchants in the U.S. can add links to their online store directly to their Business Profile on Google, so shoppers can easily place a pickup or delivery order for the holiday season when researching local businesses. 

You’ll also be able to elevate your paid advertising by optimizing for new customers via the new customer acquisition goal and creating more compelling display creatives in your Smart Shopping campaigns.4 These new layouts can help you showcase your top products, feature your own uploaded videos or highlight auto-generated videos from your product data. 

Customers continue to see success when using Smart Shopping campaigns for reaching new customers. Merkle was able to drive new traffic to more than 36 percent of in-stock inventory and increase revenue by 13 times in the dresses category for a large multi-category retailer by switching to Smart Shopping campaigns. Find out more about how Smart Shopping campaigns can help you easily respond to real-time holiday demand.

Get the full picture of your performance with more insights

Last month, Performance Planner expanded to Shopping campaigns and Smart Shopping campaigns to help you plan your budgets more effectively during peak season. In addition, within the next month, you can expect auction insights, like impression and outranking share, to show how you’re performing in specific product categories compared to others. This can be found in the Google Ads Report Editor for your Search and Shopping campaigns. 

Screenshot of auction insights within Google Ads Report Editor

New auction insights within Google Ads Report Editor, available for retail categories.

In Merchant Center, you’ll also be able to use the new Report Editor and see additional metrics, like impressions and click-through rate, across your free listings and ads. Using these tools, retailers can soon get the full picture for their performance so they can adapt and adjust to holiday traffic changes.

While this year has posed many challenges for retailers, we’re committed to helping you be prepared to sell online this holiday season and connect with new customers. Ready to get started? Check out our insights and best practices for driving holiday sales this year. 

1. Google/Ipsos, “Holiday Shopping Study”, November 2019 – January 2020, Online survey, United States, n=6122 online Americans 18+ who shopped for the Holidays in the past two days.
2. Google / Ipsos, Global Retail Study, Feb 2019. Base: Total sample (n=14206) Global (excl. China) online 18+ who shopped in the last week. Countries included: AR, AU, BR, CA, CZ, FR, DE, IN, ID, IT, JP, KR, MX, NL, PL, PT, RU, SA, ZA, ES, SE, TR, UA, UK, US, AE, VN
3. Google/Ipsos, “Holiday Shopping Study”, November 2019 – January 2020, Online survey, United States, n=6122 online Americans 18+ who shopped for the Holidays in the past two days.
4. In Europe, Smart Shopping campaigns can be used with any Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) you work with. The ads will show on general search results pages and on any other surfaces the CSS has opted in to.

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