Google shifts spend to programmatic

10 November 2014

DUBLIN: Google, the technology giant, intends to trade at least 60% of its digital marketing spend via programmatic, the company's global CMO has revealed.

Speaking at the Web Summit in Dublin, Lorraine Twohill told The Drum that she thought all advertising eventually will become programmatic, but that Google is setting its sights on 60% for the moment as long as certain barriers can be overcome.

She identified these current limitations as cost-per-click (CPC), which she said programmatic does not support yet, as well as skippable ads.

"I assume all this will come, I think it's inevitable, but until all those things are there it's hard for me to get to 60% but we're moving as fast as we can," she said.

Her marketing team is being retrained to adapt to the change, she said, while the company conducts a series of tests as it moves its campaigns "one by one" to programmatic.

"We have to test and learn, so in the US we've started getting some of our newer campaigns into programmatic so they are programmatic from day one, and we're moving campaigns in one by one," she said.

But, she added: "Sometimes it's hard to disrupt existing campaigns because you worry about what could happen if you turn stuff off."

Turning to what she expected Google's marketing priorities will be over the next few months, Twohill said it will seek to raise awareness about some of its search functions, such as voice and knowledge cards, and to focus on telling stories around those capabilities.

Google also wants to communicate the shift from desktop to mobile and to promote some of its hardware products, such as Chromecast.

Part of that work will include checking how the brand appears in physical stores and to see what they can do to "tell our story", she said.

"We didn't exist outside of devices and now we have to think about how the brands appear in the stores [and think about] can you find the product and where do you place them in the store," she explained.

Her comments come a month after Eileen Naughton, managing director of Google UK and Ireland, told the IAB Engage conference in London that she thought the UK is the "most advanced" market for its adoption of programmatic advertising.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff