During Google’s annual Marketing Live Keynote, the company unveiled new innovations for their Google Ads platform with the goal of helping brands connect to their target consumers. Prabhakar Raghavan, Senior Vice President of Ads, took to the stage to emphasize that consumers expect brands to understand their needs as they change throughout their buying journey. The path from initial interest to purchase is no longer linear but more nuanced. Through some of Google’s new releases, marketers and retailers can glean some important lessons when it comes to understanding the customer journey in 2019.
Use keywords to understand what stage of the journey people are in.
Keywords hint at intent. Someone searching for “jewelry store near me” probably intends to visit a local jeweler that day while someone searching for “marquise engagement rings” could just be doing research on that particular ring shape. As Raghavan stated during the event— how can you be there for your customers online if you don’t know where they are in the journey? As consumer expectations for more personalized experiences grow, brands have to be able to understand people’s needs. Pay-per-click campaigns allow brands run ads based on the keywords people are using in their search. Consider using a PPC campaign to bolster the number of clicks going to your website.
Multimedia is an asset no matter what stage people are in.
Google is making all of their platforms shoppable. Soon, users will be able to buy products on YouTube while they are being shown or talked about in videos and since 53% of shoppers use images for inspiration, Google is releasing a new type of ad that lets you reach people when they are looking for inspiration. This is great news for jewelers who are familiar with their customers using online photos and videos to find the jewelry shapes and styles that they like best but the deeper implication is that every customer touchpoint is an opportunity. Brands can create their own visual content on social media that helps customers imagine what a particular piece may look like on them and include clear call-to-actions that encourage them to visit the brand’s website, make an appointment, etc. It’s a given that customers doing research online will use multimedia to make a decision. By providing this content for them, you make their lives easier and can potentially speed up the purchasing decision.
Make learning about your product as easy as possible.
Given that 75% of smartphone users expect immediate information when doing a search, it’s safe to say that this philosophy should carry over to your website design. Make it easy for your customers to gather all the info they need in as few clicks and scrolls as possible. At Google, they’re doing this by introducing Gallery Ads, where users can scroll through photos within ads on the Google search page, creating a more visual and interactive experience. Jewelers can implement this same strategy by creating dynamic product pages on their website, and making points of contact like your phone number, contact form, and website chat box easily visible on product pages. No matter what stage of the buying process a customer is in, having the information they need easily available is key.