Google marketing live

Google kicked off 2024’s instalment of Marketing Live this Tuesday in Dublin, and in many other cities across the world. The annual conference sees marketers, clients, and technology companies alike come together through a series of Keynotes, Roundtables and Thought Starter sessions to tackle the ever-evolving question, what’s next for advertising?

And this year, AI is the word.

Marketing Live acted as a launchpad for over 30 new (and mostly AI-powered) Google products and features for advertisers to sink their teeth into.

These ranged from the simple, but highly requested addition of more reporting insights on Performance Max, to the impressive Music AI Sandbox – the launch of which brought Wyclef Jean to the stage, demonstrating how AI can help democratise music creation.

It’s safe to say, there were a lot of new launches. Though many of the pilots and betas, including AI Overviews in Search, are prioritising the APAC as their testing ground with a later rollout to EMEA, meaning those of us in region have a little while to wait.

There’s going to be plenty of coverage on the new products, so rather than listing all of these out, here are our top three takeaways from the event.

1. Multi-Modal Search is growing at pace

Throughout Google Marketing Live, Google representatives often referred back to the roots of their value proposition as being the “match maker” between consumers and information, with advertising slotting into the mix.

But this is becoming a lot trickier than ever before. On the one hand you have the likes of TikTok, the inspirational search engine harvesting the attention of those Gen Z and beyond. On the other, you have Voice Search, with virtual assistants Alexa, Siri and Cortana predicted to double in usage this year. And you then have over 4 billion commercially driven image searches via lens.

As a result, the consumer mindset is shifting. We want more information than before, we want it quicker, and we want it to be relevant. There’s been a shift towards treating our devices in a humanlike manner, throwing them multi-faceted, complex search queries, and expecting the information to be digested and processed at will.

This laid the foundation for Google to introduce their approach to tackling the “exactly-what-I-was-looking-for” search.

Solutions included user-tailored Search Engine Results pages (using AI), the development of Video Search and improvements to the mechanisms behind Power Pair of Performance Max and Broad Match.

2. Strong foundations in measurement and data need to be established

Marketing is in a transformative era, and that holds true without AI in the mix due to data availability and a growing number of touchpoints in the consumer journey.

Marketing budgets are ever held accountable for delivering revenue as proof of success, but the combination of data deterioration and attitudes towards prioritising short-term, direct results means revenue is growing harder to chase.

In 2022, 80% of UK consumers reported concerns with how their data was used. Though privacy laws and the crumbling of the third-party cookie are improving trust, they are inherently shifting the means of marketing.

First party data has always been a powerful tool, but now possibly more so than ever before. The alarming fact is many brands are still in a place where they don’t know how to harness its power.

AI is taking over, and to give it enough signals to work off, first-party data is a must. Data needs to be enriched at scale to allow advertisers to succeed in a changing data landscape.

There was a substantive focus on how first-party data is used for messaging. Google’s Research team gave attendees a sneak peek into the next instalment of Decoding Decisions – Surpassing Expectations. This showed the compelling results of introducing subtle cues into ads fed by first-party data. The overall results emphasised that these are now becoming the expectation, the basics that a consumer expects. A marketer may not think that a “Welcome Back” message is impactful, but the research showed that it helps to demonstrate a value exchange in rewards for consumer consent.

On the topic of data, there was much discussion about the long-term effectiveness continuing to be the driver of ROI. Google were under no illusion that a marketing strategy involves more than just their products and recognised the importance of touchpoints cross-channel and product. This segued into their launch of Meridian, the new marketing mix modelling tool coming later this year.

3. AI will not take over the world

Whether you’re an early or late adopter, the sophistication and rate AI is developing can be anxiety-inducing. It’s potentially one of the biggest moments across marketing (and life in general).

Watching Philipp Schneider, Google SVP, converse and interact with a Project Astra chatbot was as awe-inspiring as it was terrifying.

With 15% of searches every day being net new, there are masses of untapped potential that is being missed using traditional marketing methods which shows the need for AI to be ingrained in the process to tackle challenges at scale.

AI can create relevance across the spectrum, with digital creative production being a key area it enhances to allow testing at scale, without the resource and time demands.

As Wyclef Jean aptly put it, in this era of AI, the human remains the master, and the AI, the servant.


Here at Total Media, we’ve embraced AI since before it was called AI. With the new developments in play, we recognise the importance of testing and interrogating products to find the optimal solutions that are tailored to advertisers individually, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

Contact us to see how you can keep up with the latest innovations and harness the power of AI in your marketing strategies.

Yas Frasso - Senior Digital Account Director

Author: Yas Frasso - Senior Digital Account Director

Yas works in the Digital team and is a self-confessed Excel geek. She enjoys exploring data for insights and creating digital solutions for clients. Outside of work, you can find her drawing and trying new recipes.