Google Marketing Live 2021 – Key Takeaways

Posted on 03/06/2021 by Pete Keyworth

Google Marketing Live 2021 took place on 27th May 2021. As always, there were a number of key announcements that will influence the future of marketing in 2021 and beyond. We take a look at some of the key changes announced.

Building for a Privacy Safe World

2020 was a year like no other with the challenging global impact of the pandemic. In 3 months, there was 10 year’s worth of eCommerce growth in the US and advertisers worldwide experienced a shift in user behaviour.

This year, we will see Covid continue to make an impact but for advertisers and users, the topic of privacy will also dominate the scene. It certainly dominated this year’s Google Marketing Live event, with the theme weaved throughout the different talks.

Kick-started by Apple’s IOS 14.5 privacy-first focus, Google was keen to demonstrate that they too are committed to giving privacy controls back to the user at this year’s Marketing Live event.

With 81% of people saying the potential risks they face regarding data collected about them far outweighed the benefits in a recent Google Survey, it is clear that Google and the industry at large need to do more to regain user trust.

What Google said about privacy

When third-party cookies end next year, Google has promised not to replace them with user identifiable alternatives.

First-party data is key

Google spoke about how we need to use consented first-party data. Google advised advertisers to build a foundation for first-party data now by developing a plan for collecting and using consenting 1st party data.

Google is committed to new technology that prioritises privacy

A Google Chrome privacy sandbox will help developers test out privacy and data consent. Google Consent mode was also released in 2020 for Google Tag Manager. Consent mode can be introduced using Google Tag Manager. These settings can be enabled in your Google Tag Manager account today.

Loss of data is inevitable

To counter this Google will use modelled conversions, automation, and machine learning will help provide privacy-safe measurement. Insights will be available in Google Analytics G4A even when consent is not available. Google has promised straightforward and accurate reporting with this.


YouTube, Discover, and Apps.

There were a number of new announcements made regarding YouTube.

Attribution model reporting will be updated to show YouTube and Display touchpoints in the conversion path. Data-Driven attribution will also work on Display and YouTube.

Show top bestsellers alongside your ads: It will soon be possible to connect your Google Merchant Center feed to video action campaigns and discovery ads to showcase your products alongside your ads.

Google is releasing a new dynamic audio production tool to help advertisers create quality audio adverts

Customer match is being made available for more advertisers.

Later this year audiences will be expanded to all connected TV inventory partners to allow advertisers to connect more effectively with streamers.

Automation and Insights

Changes to automation will continue at a pace. Google reported that 80% of advertisers now using smart bidding within their Google Ads account.

Changes to keyword match types have been designed with performance and Smart bidding in mind. To deliver personalised adverts to the right user at the right time, Google advised advertisers to use Responsive Search Ads with Broad Match keywords and Smart Bidding. Create one excellent Responsive Search Advert with 4 advert extensions and include image advert extensions that are now out of beta.

Phrase match has changed to complement the changes to broad match and smart bidding. Phrase match reaches more of the right searches when combined with smart bidding.

Google’s understanding of the themes of search has been improved to make them more relevant to your keywords and adverts.

Insights – Better and more automated

Building on the new insights tab launched within Google Ads recently, Google promised to release further automated insights to make it easier to explore trends related to your business.

On Google 15% of searches, every day are brand new. With this in mind, Google’s actively working on sharing better real-time insights on industry vertical trends and your advertising and product performance.

Demand forecasts will also be released in the next 90 days to prepare your campaigns for opportunities heading your way.

Better insights for Google Performance Max campaigns will be provided. Google has listened to feedback from advertisers running this campaign format. Google Performance Max beta campaigns access is to be expanded to more agencies in 2021

Optimisation score

Using your optimisation score to stay on top of all available account recommendations will help you leverage the best performance from your account.


With a three times retail search growth in 2020 compared to 2019, Google announced a raft of new features to help advertisers within the eCommerce space in 2021.

woman sitting in a chair on phone

Deals Page

Discount code searches increased by 50% on Google last year. A new Google deals results page is to be launched later this year. Shoppers will be able to discover the most popular deals.

Loyalty pricing and benefits on Google Shopping

Advertisers will be able to link their loyalty program benefits and prices to shoppers on Google. This will allow you to can entice new people to join your loyalty scheme.

Price competitiveness report in Google Merchant Center

This recently launched pricing report will allow you to benchmark your price competitiveness over time against your competitors. You can see which prices get clicks and understand the potential to improve your visibility by changing pricing.

More Augmented reality product experiences

Augmented reality experience launched last year for Make-Up Products for lipstick and eye shadow. Foundation is to be added to the AR kit later this year. An AR Clothing experience will be rolled out so that consumers can see how products fit on a diverse set of people too.

Allowing customers to select companies they identify with

71% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that align with their values. To help shoppers do that Google is expanding the attributes that businesses can identify with as attributes on the shopping tab. Business affinity attributes will include:

  • Women-led
  • Black-owned
  • And other under-represented communities

Sell on Google More Easily for Merchants on Woocommerce, Go-Daddy, and Square

Integrations are in development to help advertisers using Woocommerce, Go-Daddy, and Square list products in Google Merchant Center and showcase products on Google Shopping. This is an innovation that will be developed later on in 2021.

Google Partnering with Shopify to deliver Shop Pay payment feature

Google’s Shop Pay is one of the fastest payment methods on the internet. Conversion rate 2x typical checkout conversion rate. Google is partnering with Shopify to allow Shopify sites to utilise Shop Pay.

The three main trends

Most of the changes announced in Google Marketing Live can be categorised under 3 main trends:

  1. Pandemic has accelerated rapid shifts in behaviour such as shifts in search volume
  2. People need more help than ever navigating choice complexity such as the increasingly complex purchase journey.
  3. People want an open and affordable digital world with relevant ads that respect their privacy. 69% of respondents believe the amount of personal data collected makes it difficult for them to collect their privacy.

This was just a very brief look at just some of the changes and new features announced which will soon be coming to Google Ads and the Google ecosystem, but, overall the message was clear.

To find out more about the announcements at Google Marketing Live 2021, we highly recommend watching the on-demand recordings to find out about the forthcoming changes.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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Google Marketing Live 2021 – Key Takeaways

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