Tech giant counsels to be there, be helpful and be responsible

Last week, Google hosted its annual Marketing Live event (GML) in San Francisco with nearly 5,000 in attendance. The whirlwind conference kicked off with a blunt callout of reality when Google’s president (Americas) declared on stage, “Rapid change is creating a great separation of brands that are adopting the change and brands that aren’t fast enough. Being on the wrong side of that separation is driving an existential challenge for your business.”

I couldn’t agree more. Everyone is aware of the speed at which technology is evolving, and yet we still struggle as marketers (on all sides of the equation) to absorb and make use of these trends fast enough.

After attending GML, here are the topics that ignited my passion for digital transformation and marketing strategy even more.

Choice, transparency and control

These are the key themes of the event, which I believe represent the critical areas marketers need to pay attention to.

It wasn’t a surprise to me that the keynote speakers all touched on the fact that consumers are entirely in control of not only their content consumption online but also their choice to protect and understand how their data is captured and used.

Google reiterated its “power to the people” stance by offering full transparency and enabling greater control. Aside from these industry-wide themes, Google’s stat-loaded sessions left me feeling enthusiastic about the future of digital, specifically within shopping and platform technology.

The future of online shopping

In the realm of shopping, Google is transforming the experience by allowing people to shop directly from images, Search and YouTube to add products into a universal shopping cart. Voice assistant will also soon join these commerce channels.

Complementing this capability is a suite of new ad formats and a new design that will be organized according to shopper intents, thereby creating a visually inspiring and engaging experience that fosters a diverse and open ecosystem of brands/retailers.

From the tech side, Google announced several updates to their bidding including audience targeting capabilities, AR-infused Search, immersive Display ads (Swirl) and, my favorite, a tool that allows you to write API for DV360 so you can code and connect your own “secret sauce” straight into the platform itself.

Take risks and inspire change

Now, you might be wondering, how can I translate this to my business? You can expect to win. Leading marketers who aren’t afraid of taking a risk are doing just that.

“They have the ability to transform the flood of information into insights and make it possible to shape the consumer journey as it happens—that is what leading marketers are doing. In a word, they anticipate.

So, don’t sit on the sidelines and get left behind—get moving now. Be bold and take the risk, because who knows, maybe you’ll be a star presenter in next year’s Google Marketing Live or at the very least within your own team.