Road trips are always a good time – especially when you’re invited to see a place that’s not normally easy to access (e.g., Fort Knox in Kentucky, Area 51 in Nevada, Club 33 at Disneyland). As such, the trip to Google HQ in Mountain View, California was enticing, educational, and inspiring. We saw the sights, learned a few things, made some new friends in the industry, got a chance to meet with Google Engineers and VPs, and brought back some innovative technology to share with our clients. We thought that our trip would be a prime topic for the Rank Fuse Interactive blog.
The invitation-only Google Engage All-Stars Summit – Fall 2012 at Google HQ in Mountain View was a three-day conference that featured a number of prominent speakers and one-on-one sessions with Google engineers. Along with an elite group of only 100 other marketing agencies (give or take a few), Rank Fuse Interactive was cordially invited to the All-Stars Summit due to our long-standing relationship with the search engine giant. For many of the agencies that attended, Google – as an advertising and marketing partner – is a significant source of client ad spend. This often nets the marketing or advertising agency some preferential treatment from the folks at Google. At Rank Fuse Interactive, our pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign managers have built a reputation for creating ethical, innovative, and high-performing paid advertising campaigns with Google. This has been a great benefit to our clients, our reputation in the market, and to Google as well. Subsequently, we were invited out to the Mountain View campus for the All-Stars Summit and allowed to beta some impressive new Google technologies that are expected to give our clients a significant edge on their campaigns.
The primary focus of the Google All-Stars Summit was a conference on an emerging marketing theory call “ZMOT” or Zero Moment of Truth. The Google team explained that this was a re-imagining of a marketing theory put forth by Procter and Gamble in 2005 – but back then, it was called the “First Moment of Truth.” The concept follows the consumer decision journey from Stimulus to Post Purchase, and focuses on the critical instant when a consumer first engages with a product or brand (in store or online) and moves to make a purchase decision. As Google explained, ZMOT looks at all the moments between exposure to the product and the purchase decision. Exposure could come from reading product reviews, comparison shopping, performing an online search, or looking at who “likes” the product on a social network. At the All-Stars Summit, we learned that new advertising products being offered by Google will be focused on reaching consumers during this critical period of the consumer decision journey and creating better ways of tracking data and results. Only a search engine giant like Google could do this. It’s pretty impressive.
As part of the learning and exposure process, Google gave Rank Fuse Interactive access to two new betas that help reach the ZMOT audience. The first is called Search Companion (which you can read more about by clicking here). In short, Search Companion is a form of search retargeting that allows an advertiser to display ads on websites based on the search history of the user. If a user was searching for information about a book a couple days ago, Search Companion allows you to display an ad for a specific bookstore on CNN.com as they check the morning headlines.
Rank Fuse Interactive has been given access to a new tool still in beta called Attribution Modeling. This allows us to see all the touch points the consumer (or user) encountered with a product or brand (something we obviously want to track). Attribution Modeling allows us to follow the various points along the entire engagement path. We get to see if a consumer or user visits a brand’s Facebook page, then performs a search for the product using Google, and finally converts to a sale from a display advertisement. Thus, we can optimize to whatever advertising method is truly generating sales and give clients a better return on investment.
Although all of this is great news, the best thing to come out of the Google Engage All-Stars Summit was the ability to offer these new beta technologies to any Sweet Spot client. Contact your account manager and ask how Search Companion and Attribution Modeling can benefit your campaign!