Bob & Miles Webinar Thumbnail

PPC & Generative AI: How to Future-Proof Your Campaign Strategies [Webinar]

July 3rd, 2024

When everyone uses the same PPC Generative AI platforms (PMax) alongside the same Generative AI tools (ChatGPT, Gemini, etc), how can anyone expect to stand out from the crowd?

In a conversation with certified PPC legends Bob Meijer and Miles McNair, we discussed how to stand out in a generative AI-fueled PPC landscape, actionable steps following GML 2024, how to become a T-shaped ads specialist, and a whole lot more. 

Bob & Miles are two of the most respected Google Ads experts in the industry. Their weekly PPC Edge newsletter keeps over 18k marketers updated with the very latest in industry news, whilst their community – The PPC Hub – has over a thousand Google Ads professionals collaborating and refining strategies for cutting-edge marketing performance. 

In our webinar, we spoke about: 

  • All the key information from GML2024, and what you need to do about it
  • PPC Generative AI updates, how to utilize GenAI in PPC, and the potential pitfalls of using it at this stage
  • The potential risks of becoming over-reliant on AI
  • Steps to minimize wasted ad spend in PMax campaigns
  • How widespread AI adoption is making Google untouchable
  • How to future-proof your career in PPC 
  • Why (and how) to become a “T-shaped” marketer
  • And a whole lot more (see underneath the video for timestamps!)

PPC & Generative AI Webinar

Webinar Timestamps

  • 0:00 – Intro
  • 8:40 – How likely is a TikTok ban?
  • 12:58 – GML 2024 recap
  • 14:03 – GML 2024 – Measurement & Data Updates
  • 18:40 – GML 2024 – The Power Pair (PMax & Search)
  • 25:38 – GML 2024 – PMax & Shopping Updates
  • 32:13 – GML 2024 – Creative Updates
  • 36:54 – GML 2024 – Video & Visual Storytelling
  • 39:30 – Tips for more effective GenAI prompt writing
  • 40:22 – Minimizing wasted ad spend across PMax campaigns
  • 43:00 – The importance of protecting PMax campaigns against invalid traffic
  • 46:50 – PMax junk placements & the threat of Search Arbitrage
  • 49:54 – The potential risks of becoming over-reliant on AI
  • 53:30 – How widespread AI adoption helps Google
  • 56:41 – Why and how to become a “T-shaped” Google Ads specialist
  • 58:40 – Essential skills to develop to future-proof your PPC strategies

TL;DR – Key Takeaways

Don’t have time to watch the full webinar? Don’t worry – we’ve compiled some of the key takeaways and actionable tips from the session below.

GML 2024: Recap & Next Steps

What Marketers Need to Know about Google’s New Forecasting Abilities:

  • Google wants to use AI to make it easier for businesses to forecast marketing results
  • It’s in the best interests for both marketers and Google to upload as much high-quality first-party data as possible
  • Bob often says “The advertiser with the highest quality / best first-party data input wins”, and that won’t change in the near future. 
  • First-party data will become increasingly important, as privacy laws get stricter, and Google won’t be able to gather as much user data themselves. 
  • Key takeaway: Focus on gathering and uploading as much first-party data to Google Ads as you can – including customer data, webshop, or product data. This will give you a clear advantage over the competition, and high-quality first-party data will boost your advertising efforts in the years to come. 

Meridian

  • Meridian is a triple-M (marketing mix modeling) software. It’s Google’s own alternative to third-party software such as Triple Whale, Polar Analytics, etc.
  • Meridian lets you better understand the impact of your marketing efforts on bottom-line results.
  • Google is introducing this to combat the increasing difficulty of understanding the full gains from each marketing dollar spent.
  • It will be interesting to see how Meridian’s data compares with the data from third-party analysis tools.
  • Key Takeaway: It’s potentially a great new feature – but as it’s coming directly from Google themselves, we’ll need to take Meridian’s interpretation of data with a pinch of salt. 

The Power Pair (PMax + Search)

  • This is a new narrative that Google has started pushing recently. 
  • Google is pushing a combination of PMax and Search campaigns with full broad match keywords & smart bidding.
  • This supposedly gives Google the ability to better target conversions across their full ecosystem, however you’d be relying solely on Google to find you conversions. 
  • This is yet another move from Google that moves marketers towards a keywordless future.
  • Key Takeaway: With Google’s Power Pair, you’re essentially relying on Google AI to find conversions for you – and giving up even more individual control over your ads. 

Broad Match Performance

  • Usually, broad match is very hit or miss. Bob has performed a lot of experiments to see whether broad match outperforms traditional setups (exact match + phrase match)
  • Broad match requires a lot of testing to see whether or not it works for you, however there are some requirements & variables that can make broad match succeed:
  • In very mature ad accounts, broad match is unlikely to bring in new customers – as you’ve already explored new keywords and added new search terms to your campaigns over the years. 
  • However, broad match can work very well in newer accounts with lower impression shares when combined with a high target CPA or challenging ROAS strategy. 
  • Key Takeaway: Broad match can work, but it tends to perform better for newer accounts/campaigns. You need to challenge the algorithm with high targets to make it most efficient – full broad match tends to bring a lot of irrelevant queries when given targets that are too loose. 

PMax & Shopping Updates

Google released a whole host of PMax & Shopping updates at GML 2024. We spoke to Bob about 5 of the most interesting announcements, and got his take on each:

  • Profit Optimization –  This is Google taking all your costs and profit margins into account to optimize for the highest possible net profits based on your individual targets. Currently, Google will only be taking into account your costs of goods sold to calculate net profit. 
  • Compared to a tool like ProfitMetrics, Google’s version is currently lacking. You can’t factor in other variable costs, such as fulfillment costs, shipping costs, etc – but this could change in the future. 
  • Loyalty Promotions – Loyalty promotions let you drive sales from existing ‘loyal’ customers (who have purchased from you 2 or more times). You can now tailor prices and promotions towards this customer segment.
  • Currently, we’re not sure how this will work alongside Google’s existing discrimination policies which directly contradict this new feature. We fully expect Google to change those policies due to this feature. 
  • 3D Spin Ads – This feature lets you upload multiple images of your products from different angles, which Google then combines into an interactive 3D spin ad. 
  • This is a great new feature that works great across all devices – however we’re still waiting for this feature to roll out globally. 
  • Visual Try-On Models – Similar to 3D spin ads, this is a niche ad type that allows customers to model your products.
  • Currently, customers can’t model products on themselves – they have to select a ‘model’ to essentially try it on for them. For this feature to really take off, Google should allow customers to try products on themselves using selfies or video cameras. 
  • New PMax Reporting Insights – A few cool new reporting features, but largely a bit of a let down. Google isn’t really listening to what advertisers want from PMax reporting. We’re still relying on 3rd party scripts to see spend allocation per network, landing page performance, and more. 

Generative AI Creative Updates

  • At GML, Google doubled down on AI-generated creatives. Their logic is that creatives are the main roadblock for many businesses’ advertising efforts, so AI-generated creatives should reduce the barrier to entry for PMax campaigns. 
  • As of right now, generative AI simply isn’t good enough. This could change in the next 3, 6, or 12 months – but nothing Google has generated can match good manual creatives so far. 
  • Great prompt creation could be a key campaign differentiator in the future.
  • Right now, generative AI is best used for research purposes. Get new ideas, get creative juices flowing, and find new approaches with good AI prompts. 

Minimizing Wasted Ad Spend Across PMax Campaigns

  • There’s a huge amount of people scamming Google Ads advertisers – it’s a big problem.
  • ‘Search Arbitrage’ is big right now – it involves scammers bidding on specific keywords to drive traffic to a page that hosts ads from another network.
  • Google still hasn’t found a solution for this – if they ban websites for this, another will pop up the next day
  • All we can do is exclude these junk placements for now (Lunio’s PMax exclusions list is a great place to start)

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The Potential Risks of Becoming Over-Reliant on AI

Webinar slide outlining the potential risks of becoming over-reliant on AI
  • We’ve anticipated the rise of AI throughout PPC for a long time – now Google has confirmed that AI can run the whole advertising lifecycle. 
  • With AI and automation, your value as a Google Ads Specialist shifts from inside Google Ads to outside Google Ads.
  • Key Takeaway: Adaptation is key – marketers will need to reinvent themselves to stay relevant, and find a competitive edge when everyone is using the same AI tools. (Read more about how to do this in the “T-Shaped” Google Ads Specialist section below).

How Widespread AI Adoption Helps Google

Webinar screenshot showing How Widespread AI Adoption Helps Google
  • With PMax, it’s easier for Google to keep things under the hood where we can’t see them. We’ll have less visibility over where our money is spent, how much placements cost, how much for CPCs, etc.
  • There’s a reason why you can’t use portfolio bid strategies within PMax, and a reason why you can’t see average CPCs.
  • If we put our tinfoil hats on, we could say it removes our ability to see whether we’re overpaying for our ads.

Why and How to Become a “T-Shaped” Google Ads Specialist

  • Evolving into a T-Shaped Google Ads Specialist is the best way to stay relevant and thrive in the Age of AI. It’s the fastest way to de-commoditize yourself.
  • You will have 1 core expertise: Google Ads.
  • On top of that, you’ll be competent in many other things that will stack on top of your existing Google Ads skillset, making you extremely powerful and relevant.
  • Marketers should aim to become more than just ‘the person who manages Google Ads’. 
  • Instead, we should aim to help clients take their business results to the next level, outside of just Google Ads.

• You can truly future proof yourself as a marketer by adding complementary skills on top of your existing Google Ads knowledge:

  • This lets you become deeply valuable outside of just Google Ads. For example, if you expand into SEO, you can become the bridge between SEO & PPC efficiency. If you focus on other channels, such as Meta, TikTok, etc, you can help your clients create and execute full-funnel marketing strategies. 
  • Even in the AI-fueled PPC era, there are ways to make yourself stand out by mastering the Google Ads fundamentals, then layering another specialization on top.

For additional insights from Bob & Miles, make sure you’re subscribed to their newsletter linked in the resources section below. You can also join The PPC Hub Community, as well as their PPC Mastery Discord server. 

Make sure to watch the full webinar video above for their full insights on everything covered in this article.

Advertise to Humans, Not Bots

Save up to 20% of your advertising budget by automatically eliminating fake ad clicks across all paid channels.

Useful Links & Free Resources

Subscribe to Bob & Miles Newsletter

Join The PPC Mastery Discord community (free)

Join The PPC Hub Community

40k PMax Junk Placement Exclusion List

Lunio’s 2024 Wasted Ad Spend Report

Scott Carruthers – Power Pair Post

Lunio Demand Gen Webinar w/ Thomas Eccel

Thomas Eccel’s Lookalike DG Strategy

Lunio YouTube Shorts Blog

AI Prompt Writing Tips – Anna Bernstein

AI Art / Image Prompt Tips – Zapier

Geert Groot – PMax Junk Placements

Google Antitrust Trial – Search Engine Land

Lunio Summary – Google Antitrust Trial

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