GML Recap: AI Takes Center Stage at Google Marketing Live 2023

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Adswerve recently attended Google Marketing Live (GML) and we were excited that Performance Max (pMax) and (not surprisingly) artificial intelligence (AI) were hot topics. Google's AI has been a game-changer in the advertising industry, a fact that was underscored at this year's GML. In this blog, we delve into our takeaways from the event, from the evolving capabilities of Performance Max campaigns and Google Ads, to how innovative advancements in AI are redefining the future of search advertising. Join us as we uncover these exciting developments and their implications for the world of digital marketing.



Jeff Stuart
Platform Engagement Manager - Search



JS: Performance Max in a vacuum was a daunting proposition: the automation of ad placement from a single campaign across all Google-owned and operated platforms. At the time of its initial release nearly three years ago, the narrative behind pMax was not rooted in AI but more in performance and efficiency. Jerry Dischler nailed the sentiment perfectly when he said folks are “uncomfortably excited” about these types of innovations. But now that AI is at the forefront of Google (and mentioned numerous times at Google I/O and GML), the narrative of AI enabling business-side efficiencies gives a whole new voice to the importance of pMax, and is likely helping put customers at ease with testing it. Just take a look at the keynote post-show votes distribution for their most-interesting topic survey:

GMP Recap Topic Survey


The numerous reporting iterations and insight transparency unveiled during this year’s keynote are also welcome additions to campaign type, helping to illuminate the darker corners that have historically existed within it. Finally, as the ability to converse with Google Search rolls out, marketers are beginning to understand that pMax, and its ability to serve ads in different placements dynamically, might just be the best tool to capture an evolving search query. 

Dirschler also repeated some fascinating research findings, identifying that less than one-third of marketers are deploying first-party data today. With GDPR and subsequent privacy legislation around the world gaining at an ever-increasing pace, this key metric within the ads ecosystem is concerningly low. 

This, coupled with his assertion that first-party data is the most confident way to steer AI, opens up a whole new dimension that underscores the importance of collecting first-party data responsibly, privacy-centric—and harnessing it within brands’ digital marketing programs. With clearer first-party data use cases than ever before, this should hopefully further reinforce the need to begin developing pipelines to ingest this data so that it can be activated on in marketing campaigns.

Adswerve is a staunch supporter of both of these concepts and has the resources, product and experience on tap to help guide clients through understanding and deploying these advanced strategies in chasing today’s complex and nuanced customer journey— or what Google SVP & Chief Business Officer Phillip Schindler described as “a moving target.”

Adswerve Author Lauren Stone


Lauren Stone
Paid Search Consultant

LS: Back in March, we saw the AI ad creation beta roll out in the Google Ads space. The tool left much to be desired at the time, as it took the sentences you provided and inputted them into the headline boxes. 

Screenshot from GML 2023 showing how Google Ads can now help you create your Ad through generative AI.

Screenshot from GML 2023 showing how Google Ads can now help make suggestions for your Ad through generative AI.

from Google Marketing Live

However, I believe most marketers realized Google was on to something much bigger in the near future. GML confirmed this hunch. While Google has used URL features in the past to assist marketers in researching keywords, the ability to input a URL and have Google provide headlines, descriptions and imagery options takes AI-generated creative to the next level. 

What’s really going to set this tool apart is the conversational chatbot that will be available as well. Marketers will have the chance to provide additional information and tweaks for their ads via the chatbot, allowing it to really hone in on your brand specifically and allow you to set yourself apart further from other competitors in the space.

This AI assistance is going to even the playing field for those experienced in the Google Ads creative space and those jumping into the platform for the first time. However, with this lower barrier to entry marketers will need to have relevant data for the new AI to use for strong optimizations. And with the deprecation of third-party cookies on the horizon, it's more important than ever that we as marketers begin to think about how we can utilize first-party data alongside these AI-powered tools and where it makes sense for our brands. 

While Dirschler noted that Google “has been ready for this moment” and the AI future to come, I know it’s still a lot for many of us to soak in. But with all this said, I’m excited to see how these new tools and the talent here at Adswerve boost our client’s search campaigns to the next level. 

Questions? Feel free to reach out.