Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending Google Marketing Live in Sydney, Australia as a CMO specializing in maximizing returns on Google’s marketing products for B2C businesses. The event was packed with valuable insights and product announcements. Here are my key takeaways:

Be a Taker, Maker, Shaper: just don’t delay

The keynote covered the rapid evolution of our thinking around AI – from, “what is this ai stuff?” to “how can I use ai?” to “how can I benefit from ai now?” before sharing several ways in which google’s AI has enabled innovations beyond marketing and ads. Google is definitely shaping the ways we are using AI, and it was inspiring to see how others have been taking AI-powered tools to become industry ‘makers’. Although we often strive to become “shapers” who influence the future direction of marketing, the key directive for this audience was to get started ASAP – even if that means starting off as a taker of AI-powered models, apps, or other tools. This resonated deeply with me because it aligns with our approach to client engagements at the start – encouraging those starting the journey to become ‘takers’ and not to be afraid of using pre-built or pre-configured models and tools while figuring out what datasets and uses serve your business and customers best. That initial discovery state – taking time to assess where your brand is and what your team’s capabilities are is what makes our work at XPON so rewarding, as we get to collaborate with businesses and help you identify the right tools to help unlock the full potential of AI-powered marketing.

Data is King – But How Do We Manage It?

All presenters and panelists emphasized the importance of data – not just its abundance, but its helpfulness and relevance. The good news is Google is making data management easier than ever. The Ads Data Manager in Google Ads dramatically streamlines the task of centralising data for use in Google media, freeing up valuable time for analysis and strategy development. Additionally, measurement diagnostics rolling out in Ads and CM360 will further streamline the process.

Those who are already in ‘taker mode’ of Wondaris’s advanced data organisation, cleaning, identity resolution and enrichment (like ML, etc) tools will realise value even quicker, since Wondaris is one such data source that’s natively integrated within Ads Data Manager (more about Google CMU partners here).

Security First: Protecting Your Data Assets

Data security is paramount. Google is addressing this head-on with Trusted Environments (TEE). This innovative technology encrypts data automatically, allows verification of encryption, and enables data matching capabilities that were previously impossible due to privacy concerns. This empowers you to safely match your data with CMU, which is natively integrated with Wondaris which in the near future, even run models with specific audiences.

AI Measurement Foundations Remain Crucial

While TEE and other advancements are exciting, core AI measurement foundations like tagging, enhanced conversions in GA, and cross-channel measurement remain crucial. Meridian, an open-source MMM (multi-touch marketing model) powered by Google AI, will be available later this year. This is a game-changer, incorporating search data to provide a deeper understanding of search’s impact on ROI, enabling experimentation, and improving your marketing models.

Beyond Data: Building a Strong Brand Identity

The Product Studio unveiled new tools beyond the data realm. Brand-aligned imagery is a welcome addition, allowing us to ensure consistent visual storytelling across all marketing channels. This is particularly valuable for B2C brands where visual elements play a crucial role in building brand identity and recognition and I enjoyed seeing a few of the examples showcased at the event. 

The Takeaway: A Brighter Future for Data-Driven Marketing

Google Marketing Live Sydney painted a clear picture: the future of marketing is data-driven, collaborative, and secure. By embracing a “taker-maker-shaper” mindset and leveraging the powerful new tools unveiled at the event (with partners like XPON, of course!), we as CMOs, can unlock the full potential of AI to drive growth for our B2C businesses.

Stay tuned for further insights, or 

read on for more resources on how to jump in and get started with AI-powered marketing from the complementary session we attended at Google Cloud Next, below:

Learn more about AI-powered cloud tools:

Empowering Businesses: Making AI Accessible for Every Need

One of the most significant announcements was the emphasis on Google Cloud’s AI being made more accessible and in-built to most of Google’s platforms, now allowing businesses to:

  • Access pre-trained models: Google Cloud offers a vast library of pre-trained models covering various tasks, including image recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and anomaly detection. This eliminates the need for businesses to build models from scratch, significantly accelerating AI adoption.
  • Customise existing models: Businesses can leverage the tool Vertex AI to customise pre-trained models to fit their specific needs. This allows them to tailor the model’s output to their unique data and business problems.
  • Augment existing workflows: AI doesn’t have to replace human expertise; it can (and should) augment it. Vertex AI allows businesses to integrate AI models into existing workflows, making human workers more productive and efficient.
  • Deploy custom models: Finally, businesses can seamlessly deploy their own custom-built AI models on Google Cloud’s infrastructure. This ensures scalability, security, and efficient resource utilisation.

By offering a complete AI platform, Google Cloud makes AI more accessible and scalable for businesses – something that XPON has been doing for years with our Wondaris platform that enables AI-powered marketing use cases with a few clicks (check out more on this below).

AI for Marketing Analytics: Accelerating Insights and Data-Driven Decision-Making

The conference shed light on the future of AI-powered marketing and data analytics, and how Google Cloud is committed to providing tools that empower businesses to unify customer data, scale analysis, and predictive insights with AI.

To achieve these outcomes, businesses need tools that bridge the gap between raw data and actionable insights. This is where data agents and Gemini come in, and Google Cloud Next 2024 showcased significant advancements designed to empower businesses in building these powerful tools.

Let’s delve deeper into the key announcements:

1. Gemini in BigQuery: Unleashing AI Power for Data Teams

Imagine having an AI assistant specifically designed to streamline your data workflows. Gemini in BigQuery delivers just that. This exciting integration equips data teams with a range of functionalities to:

  • Simplify Data Preparation: Mundane tasks like data cleaning and transformation can be automated or significantly streamlined with Gemini’s AI capabilities. This frees up valuable time for data analysts to focus on higher-level tasks like interpreting results and drawing actionable conclusions.
  • Enhanced Data Discovery: Gemini empowers data teams to discover hidden patterns and trends within their data sets. By analysing data through an AI lens, Gemini can uncover anomalies, identify correlations, and surface insights that might be missed by traditional methods.
  • Advanced Data Analysis: Beyond basic analysis, Gemini can assist with more complex tasks like statistical modelling and forecasting. This allows data teams to gain a deeper understanding of their data and extract valuable predictive insights.
  • Data Governance Made Easy: Maintaining data quality and accessibility is crucial. Gemini can assist with data governance tasks, ensuring data is accurate, secure, and readily available for authorised users.

GIF showcasing Gemini for BigQuery in action.


2. BigQuery Data Canvas: A New Era for Data Exploration

Traditionally, data exploration has often involved complex queries and code. BigQuery Data Canvas reimagines this process with a user-friendly notebook experience. This new feature allows data analysts to:

  • Utilise Natural Language: BigQuery Data Canvas enables users to interact with their data using natural language queries. This eliminates the need to be a coding expert and empowers a wider range of users to explore and analyse data effectively.
  • Embedded Visualisations: Moving beyond plain text outputs, BigQuery Data Canvas allows users to seamlessly embed visualisations within their notebooks. This provides a more intuitive understanding of data trends and relationships.
  • Streamlined Collaboration: The notebook environment facilitates collaboration among data teams. Team members can easily share their analyses, fostering better communication and knowledge transfer.

3. Gemini in Looker: Integrating Data Agents with Workflows

Looker is a popular business intelligence platform used by many organisations to visualise and explore their data. The new Gemini in Looker integration (currently in preview) empowers users to:

  • Streamlined Workflow Integrations: Seamlessly integrate data agents (powered by Gemini) into existing Looker workflows. This eliminates the need to switch between tools and allows users to leverage the power of AI within their familiar environment.
  • Conversational Data Exploration: This exciting functionality allows users to “chat” with their data using natural language queries. Imagine asking Looker questions like “Show me trends in customer behaviour over the past year” and receiving insightful visualisations and data points in response.

GIF showcasing Gemini in Looker in action

4. Gemini in Databases: Simplifying Data Migration and Modernisation

Many businesses still rely on legacy data systems. Migrating this data to the cloud can be a daunting task. However, Gemini in Databases streamlines this process by providing secure and efficient data migration capabilities. This allows businesses to:

  • Effortlessly Move Data: Gemini assists in securely extracting data from legacy systems and efficiently transferring it to modern cloud databases like Google Cloud’s AlloyDB. This paves the way for leveraging the scalability and security benefits of the cloud.
  • Data Transformation on the Fly: During the migration process, Gemini can perform necessary data transformations, ensuring seamless integration with the new database structure and eliminating the need for separate transformation steps.

5. Vector Indexing: Enabling Real-Time AI-Powered Data Queries

Traditional database queries work well with structured data. However, modern data sets often include unstructured elements like images and text. Vector indexing addresses this challenge by enabling AI-powered queries directly within BigQuery and AlloyDB. This allows businesses to:

  • Leverage AI for Unstructured Data: Utilise AI models to process unstructured data like images and text during the query process. This unlocks valuable insights hidden within these non-traditional data sources.
  • Faster and More Accurate Responses: Vector indexing facilitates real-time data retrieval and generation of accurate responses to complex queries, even when dealing with large and diverse data sets.

Capitalise on AI Advancements with XPON and Wondaris

Wondaris Graphic with AI-powered Marketing Use Cases.

As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, XPON is at the forefront of leveraging these AI advancements. We help businesses fuel advanced marketing and data AI use cases using Google Cloud’s technology. With the product releases announced at Next ’24, our focus is to support businesses with their strategy and implementation of Cloud & AI solutions to ensure they realise short time-to-value and significant return-on-investment (ROI).

One way we achieve this is through our proprietary platform, Wondaris Audience, Enrichment, and Activation Platform. Wondaris capitalises on Google Cloud’s industry-leading AI, enabling marketers to:

  • Centralise 1st Party Data: Quickly centralise their 1st party data in a single platform.
  • Enrich, Explore, and Activate Audiences: Easily enrich, explore, and activate their audiences from a single click into multiple channels to deliver better customer experiences and accelerate ROI.

Wondaris empowers businesses to execute various AI-powered marketing use cases with just a few clicks, including:

  • Exclusion list creation from online and offline data
  • Audience segmentation by transaction and daypart to identify purchase trends and optimise media spends
  • Building audiences by calculated and predicted lifetime value segments
  • Identifying and targeting audiences based on seasonal transaction trends
  • Utilising predicted churn models to identify at-risk customers for one-to-one activation
  • View customer sets by RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary value), set specific exclusion lists, and re-engage lagging or churned clients
  • Retarget customers who abandoned carts for exclusive offers and discounts
  • Group customers by product and interest affinity to drive increased engagement and personalisation
  • Unify online and offline purchase data to a Single Customer View
  • Drive increased engagement and client retention
  • Use attributes & behaviours from existing customers to seed lookalike audiences

To further explore Wondaris’ capabilities or to request a demo, visit the Wondaris website here.

The Conclusion: 2024 is the Time to Embrace the Power of AI

The announcements at Google Cloud Next 2024 paint a clear picture: the future of AI is here and now.

XPON is excited to be at the forefront of this revolution, leveraging these advancements to deliver unparalleled value to our clients.

By harnessing the power of Google Cloud’s AI platform and XPON’s expertise, businesses can unlock new levels of efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction in their marketing efforts.