I was very fortunate and excited to attend Google’s #PartnersSummit18 in Melbourne yesterday!
Google’s Partners Summit events (previously Masterclass) are annual events provided by Google to registered Google Partners and Premium Partners, where they provide updates on Google product features, industry trends, and tips and advice for agencies to improve offerings and results.
I find it very worthwhile to make the trip from Adelaide (as unfortunately they are only offered on the east coast) to gain valuable insights that I can use to improve my marketing services and Google training workshops.
Here’s a brief summary of my highlights from the day:
Opening keynote: A.I. for Everyone
Elizabeth Fox, Director, Google Marketing Solutions, Google Australia and New Zealand provided the opening keynote, sharing insights on how Google is using machine learning and artificial intelligence to not only enhance Google’s product offering, but support open source systems that allow anyone to access machine learning technologies for their own projects.
She made a point I hadn’t considered before, that the new generation of young kids, are not “digital natives” but “AI natives” and are growing up in a world accustomed to using artificial intelligence in every day lives, such as voice recognition software and facial recognition through messaging app filters etc.
Simpler experiences and better results
The second session was from Dave Booth, Founder and Senior Partner at Cardinal Path.
I was fortunate to hear Dave speak at a Google Partners Masterclass in 2014, and his insights and presentation style were again incredibly valuable.
Dave expanded on a few of the new product features presented at Google’s recent Marketing Innovations Keynote, as well as a couple of extra tools along with agency-focused tips on how to make best use of them.
One such tool was Google’s new Mobile Speedscore Calculator, that not only measures and ranks the speed of various websites (e.g. your domain versus your competitors) but offers a scaling visualisation of the revenue impact from improving mobile site speed.
He also spoke about the new Cross Device Reporting options coming to Google Analytics. This is a feature that I am VERY excited about, as for a long time we’ve known the limitations of truly understanding website visitor behaviour as they move between devices (e.g. smartphone, laptop, computer and tablet).
Up until now these visits would all be registered with Google Analytics as separate Sessions, but we are now able to piece them together (for some users).
I will be sharing more about how to enable and making use of this new feature soon.
Dave then spoke about the new Responsive Search Ads coming to Google Ads, where we will be able to write a combination of Headlines and Descriptions, and Google Ads will automatically mix and match them to find the best results.
This is another feature I am looking forward to using and teaching students about in our Google Ads training workshops.
Delivering growth solutions
Brett Armstrong, Head of Media Agencies, Google Australia and New Zealand spoke after the break, sharing tips for agencies on how to be a strategic partner with clients, rather than simply a service provider.
He spoke about the changing demands of consumers and their high expectations, and how to leverage new machine learning-based features and automations, and encouraged us to stop chasing intent, but start predicting intent i.e. delivering relevant information before people start looking for it.
Brett also stressed a point that I believe strongly in, that we should stop marketing to the average, but focus on identifying the specific segments of our audiences, and create meaningful content that resonates with them.
Thinking outside the box
Dave Booth returned to the stage for the final session, which focused on creativity and used a number of exercises to encourage us to move beyond our typical ways of thinking and working to develop big ideas that create big impact, rather than seeking incremental improvements.
He finished the session stressing the difference between data and insights, and imploring us to change any habits of typical reporting that simply deliver numbers, to instead focus on true analysis, seeking the relevant insights and recommendations that those numbers offer (something I do with my own client reporting and encourage in our Google Analytics training workshops).
Thank you Google for another insightful and inspiring Partners Summit! I am looking forward to implementing many aspects taken from the day into my own working and training sessions.1