4 Announcements from Google Marketing Live 2018 That Dealers Should Know

By Jazel Auto Marketing

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Does your dealership do any marketing? How about advertising?

We know that’s a pretty obvious question, even if it was rhetorical. Of course you do. And since you care about those things, there are a few things that emerged in this year’s Google Marketing Live event that you’ll likely be interested in.

So what is changing, what’s new, and how will these have an impact on your dealership marketing or advertising? Let’s get right to those answers.


Dealers Can Now Use Local Campaigns

Location-based online advertising has always been one of the most effective dealership marketing strategies, and mobile technology has only made that truer. The rise of “near me” searches for car dealerships is proof that shoppers want to stay local — and 90% of purchases still happen offline, an important stat for dealers.

Google knows that local businesses need better advertising solutions to reach these shoppers and help fulfill their goals, and this year they are making that possible with Local Campaigns.

Local campaigns for dealerships will able to be delivered across Google’s expansive array of ad inventory, including search, YouTube, display, Maps, and the Google App store — all with the specific goal of driving foot traffic onto your lot. Pretty cool, right?

Here’s exactly how the Local Campaign system works:

Advertisers set budgets and oversee the automatic generation of ads based off pre-selected assets and location extension from the business. Google then uses machine learning to automatically optimize the ad delivery across their inventory in the way that will most efficiently drive the dealership desired result — in this instance, bringing more shoppers to your lot.

Google warns about the problems of using this improved advertising without having your online presence perfected. Page speed is incredibly important for customer experience (basically one of our mantras at this point), and even awesome new ad campaigns might not add up to much if your dealership website can’t sustain the quality of experience that the user expects.


Check Out Google’s New Responsive Search Ads

At Google Marketing Live 2018, our favorite search engine giant announced their plans to change search ads to Responsive Search Ads.

Responsive search ads are an awesome innovation in ad relevance, customization, and delivery, particularly when it comes to vehicle merchandising and dealership marketing.

Let’s go over how these new ads will work:

The dealership (or ad agency) creates 15 possible headlines and 4 possible descriptions to be used in each of their intended search ads. Google’s advertising can then display up to three 30 character headlines and two 90 character description lines — a full 90% increase in text over what we currently have.

Google’s machine learning then chooses from combinations of these dealership ads to deliver the most relevant and useful advertisement for that specific car shopper.

Google’s goal is to make advertising better for everyone. With responsive search ads, businesses and advertisers get to offer a wider range or product explanations or benefits, and these are more effectively and efficiently displayed across their marketing. Shoppers get a more personal experience, and businesses get a more effective advertisement. Win-win. We like those.

The main advantage of responsive search ads: the opportunity to offer more information to your car shoppers — exactly what they are looking for. We are really excited to see how these new search ads improve digital advertising for dealerships across the board.

When can you get them? Hold your horses. Google will be rolling these out (for English ads) in the coming months. Keep asking your advertiser about this — you don’t want to miss out.  


Changes to TrueView That Impact Automotive

Video advertising is one of the most important tactics in your dealership digital marketing playbook, and so we talk about it pretty often, but we’re always impressed by stats about just how impactful video marketing is. For example, Google reports that people pay 3x more attention to relevant video ads.

Naturally, of the most effective places for dealership video advertising, YouTube still reigns supreme. Youtube users consume over 1 billion hours of video a day — an incredible opportunity for reaching the exact car shopping audience you want.

On to the exciting news: Youtube advertising is getting an update. Observing that advertisers and marketers have been using Trueview ads for two main types of campaigns, Google has broken them out, to offer two new formats (and bidding optimizations) will enhance the efficacy of video advertising.

The first of these is ‘TrueView for Reach’: video advertising that is optimized for, you guessed it, reach. This is slightly less effective for dealerships, whose advertising dollars are often better spent on more actionable efforts. Still, want to increase buzz around your dealership brand? This is an interesting option to consider.

The second is TrueView for Action. This is a cool new ad unit that dealers might find more helpful than Trueview for Reach. It is similarly optimized to for a specific goal — in this case to drive clicks and conversions. These ads have highlighted and prominent branded calls-to-action with specific goals.

As an example, Google told the story of Masterclass, and online program where you can sign up for classes from actual masters (like Steph Curry), who boosted their class sign ups by 140% using these TrueView ads. They also told us about Dick’s Sporting Goods, who utilized full-funnel video advertising strategy and saw a 10:1 return on advertising spend. Interested in results like these? Ask your advertiser about these new TrueView options.


Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for Dealerships

Accelerated Mobile Pages are Google’s answer to slow mobile pages. These are essentially stripped-down, mobile device-only pages that display content in a semi-standardized format.

AMP pages have minimal branding and are built for speed and mobile user experience. It’s no wonder Google favors them. As a reward for paring down the amount of stuff on the page, AMP pages get top placement in mobile search results.

Pictured: AMP results in practice for pumpkin pie recipes.

Dealerships can particularly benefit from utilizing AMP pages to draw shopper attention and help people find what they are looking for faster than ever before.  

At Jazel, we offer Rocket-Pages, automatically created AMP versions of your most important dealership website pages, like your Vehicle Detail Pages and Hours and Directions. This tool is built into our website platform to make mastering mobile speed a breeze.

Here’s how they work:

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Dealers Will Love Cross Device Reporting & Remarketing in Analytics

Okay, this isn’t a cool new ad format that dealers will drool over, but at Jazel, we are fanatics for insight, and so this is easily one of the most exciting announcements at Google Marketing Live 2018

We are thrilled to see cross-device reporting and remarketing happening. We all know that car shoppers switch back and forth between devices over the course of their shopping journey, and cross-device reporting means we can now observe and track that. Dealerships and their advertisers can now see how people behave on their site regardless of device. This is huge.  

Additionally, by combining data from people who visit your dealership website on different devices at different times, you can get insights that inform your advertising and marketing, and help you refine the tactics you use. This innovation will make it that much easier to understand, plan for, and optimize your dealership marketing (and functionality) based on information about the customer multi-device path to purchase.

With this technology, your dealership (or agency partner) can also identify and target audiences better, combining device data with historical user behavior and categorizations.

This isn’t the shopper-tracking magic wand it might appear to be. Google makes it a point to state that this data is only shown from users who agree to share it, and no individual data is available.

This awesome analytics technology is already available, and incredibly cool. We highly recommend you check it out for yourself.




The main theme at Google Marketing Live this year was value in advertising. Not profit for the business, but offering value to the customer in all aspects of your advertising. Basically, advertising customer-centricity. Now Google offers advertisers more tools to make ads better for consumers? We’re all for it.


Want to know more about Google and your dealership? Our sister company, 10TH DEGREE is hosting a Partner’s Connect event, co-hosted with google. Attend in-person or online and get all the details on how to grow your dealership with Google.