Accelerating Performance: Google’s big bets

Posted: Friday 11th April 2014 in Events and Awards, Paid Media, Retail Strategy, Thought Leadership.

Summit were invited to Google’s ‘Accelerate Performance’ event earlier this week

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week Summit were invited to the ‘Accelerate Performance – Agencies@Google’ conference in Dublin. With over 370 attendees from over 30 countries, it was the first event of its kind staged in Ireland. The event allowed Summit to find out about a number of Google’s key products and their direction across the next 12 months whilst networking with similar people from the industry. There were a number of different speakers from Google talking about their areas of expertise, supported with some fun and quirky facts. Bono of rock-band U2 for example, was instrumental in ensuring Google located in Dublin – if he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for perhaps he could try Googling it?

The two day conference tackled a number of key areas, including;

  • Mobile
  • Video
  • International
  • Attribution

These were what Google called their ‘big bets’ for search in 2014. On the face of it, these are nothing new in the digital landscape with these being pivotal for online retailers for a while now. There were some interesting updates discussed during the event which are summarised below;

1. Mobile

Google were keen to highlight that users are spending increasing time on smartphones and used some interesting statistics to support this, including ‘people are now spending on average 2.5 hours on their smartphone each day’ and ‘people are checking their smartphone around 150 times each day’. Interestingly, Google are now referring to multi-device strategy as multi-screen, suggesting they are keen to show how users use mobile, desktop and tablet in an increasingly similar way – searching the same content on each ‘screen’.

Summit are ahead of the curve when it comes to mobile developments

Summit have always been ahead of the curve with mobile strategy – from being at the forefront of enhanced campaign rollout in the UK, working with Magento to develop industry leading responsive websites and award-winning bespoke mobile strategy for Argos across peak. Summit believe that smartphone users are increasingly looking for content ‘on the go’ and therefore retailers need to invest in strong UX on their mobile sites and to take advantage of local intent searches through radial targeting around their physical stores. Retailers may still need to redefine direct response around smartphone users by looking at journeys initiated through mobile rather than the end-goal converting clicks, something Summit has done for a number of clients to demonstrate the value of mobile.


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2. Video

Although video advertising is nothing new, there was a sense here to emphasise how TV and video are becoming increasingly aligned, highlighted by the fact that Guinness – famed for their intuitive TV advertising include a ‘minimum 5m YouTube views’ in their production briefs. Their latest advert (available here) gained over 5m views online within a week due to the emotive engagement it created with viewers.
Google have taken this into account in some of the next developments in YouTube; retailers will be able to use affinity or entity targeting in future in a similar way to TV advertising. Some other developments include increased interactivity with improved video annotations and ‘info cards’ being developed.
YouTube recommend retailers can improve their video content and performance in 3 ways;

  • Finding the right people
  • Telling better stories
  • Building relationships

At Summit we are already doing a lot of this by researching the market and target demographics to improve the quality of traffic and working with clients to create increased online/offline synergy to ensure aligned messages for users. We’re doing this through our engaging video content which can be seen here, where retailers can see Summit answering some key questions in digital marketing and through SummitBuzz, and hitting the streets to find out consumer views on the latest retail challenges.

3. International

Export/International has been a challenge for many retailers in the past due to cost, time, uncertainty, etc. Google were keen to emphasise the use of their tools to help facilitate research and development into new markets such as;

International developments were up for discussion at Google

  • Global Market Finder
  • Consumer Barometer
  • Mobile Planet
  • Google Trends

Google were keen to stress that these tools would help agencies to drive their clients into new territories and whilst it was good to see these tools demonstrated live, a lot of the information given here was nothing new. Although these tools help to advise retailers around new territories, there are still challenges for our clients around export. Summit have developed an international strategy which has been supported by our recent expansion into mainland Europe.

4. Attribution

One of the most interesting sessions was Google’s view on attribution, which was highlighted by their strategy around attributing offline sales to online activity. Using Tesco as an example, Google showed us how users can be tracked offline using their loyalty card and these sales attributed back to an online click though using unique customer IDs in Google Analytics.

These users can then be retargeted online with products they have purchased offline through tracking the assisted conversions and considering a wider view than the increasingly out of date LCW.

The process was very similar to the bespoke technology Summit have developed for Carpetright where people booking in-store appointments can be matched to customers who purchase in-store.

Having managed attribution for a number of our clients and developed a bespoke Summit attribution model, it was interesting to see Google’s take on this whilst validating the work we have been doing previously.


Summit are experts in online retail. If you have any questions about the Accelerate Performance event or would like to know how we can help you make more money online, contact Dave Trolle on 01482 876876.

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