Google’s annual invite-only event for Google Marketing Platform partners took place in San Francisco last month at the Hilton Hotel in Union Square.
Now known as the GMP Summit since the merging of the Analytics & Ads Certified Partner Programmes – with that came increased demand for tickets – being a partner is no longer enough to guarantee one, so GlowMetrics were super lucky to be one of the chosen agencies to attend.
We also had time to walk the bay trail to Fort Point, see the Golden Gate Bridge and were one of the first to see the finished Greta Thunberg mural overlooking the city. San Francisco is a city rife with homelessness and the associated problems that come with it – but the bay area itself is stunning.
Most of the actual content of the GMP Summit was under NDA, so we can’t share any of the top secret stuff with you but we can give you a flavour of what was discussed and our key takeaways from the event.
As mentioned, the Summit now incorporates the full marketing platform – when we attended in previous years, it was more focused on Google Analytics & Measurement, so the first day of the two day event featured speakers more broadly covering the full spectrum of Google’s marketing products and how best to utilise them all together. A 360 approach, if you will.
The second day allowed us to chose the topics most important to us, so we opted to spend the day immersed in Measurement with the product teams from Google Tag Manager, Data Studio & Optimize.
This was a rare opportunity to find out what’s on the short term and long term roadmaps for the three products, to ask questions to the people that build the tools and give feedback to influence how they’ll make the tools even better for agencies like us who use them on a daily basis.
Our key takeaways from the Summit align with wider industry trends – the future involves further integration between products, increased personalisation and the use of big data to pull it all together. Let’s just say our homework is to do further research around the Google Cloud Platform.
Privacy has become centre to data-driven marketing in recent years with the introduction of GDPR, ITP 2.x and so on, and while data-driven marketing becomes more integrated, personalised and tracked across devices and platforms, transparency around advertising is an ongoing priority to mitigate privacy concerns.
Finally, it seems apparent to us now – if it wasn’t already – that the future of Google Analytics is Google’s new App+Web properties.
Even if you don’t have an app, you should consider setting up an App+Web property and run it parallel to your existing tracking to get a better understanding of how it works. It’s a new measurement model – pageviews are a thing of the past – so it may take a little getting used to.
Whether it eventually replaces the current standard Google Analytics web property remains to be seen, but what is clear is that Google’s focus is currently on developing the App+Web property, bringing it up to parity with existing features of the standard web properties, then surpassing it. So we’d advise dipping your toe sooner rather than later…
Overall, the Summit was a great event again this year. It’s always great to meet other partners, chat to people in charge of the products we use, and find out what’s on the roadmap for the future. Oh and there were donuts. Awesome donuts.
It’s evident that the future involves integration of services, cross-device, cross-platform, and making use of all the data we have available to us to connect the dots, marketing more intelligently, efficiently and effectively.
In a world where you can check social media on your watch and your toaster can be connected to the internet, it is no longer enough to look at the user journey on a single-device, single-platform, single-interaction basis. The future is already here, and it’s time for digital marketing maturation – from basecamp to Summit.