10 media strategy lessons from Google’s Media Lab

From AI integration to retail networks gaining prominence, The Media Lab team, led by Josh Spanier, VP of marketing, compile top learnings for Google marketers

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Google, The Media Lab, marketing pointers, AI, 2024
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Delhi: The Media Lab team, led by Josh Spanier, VP of marketing, oversees media strategy, buying, and planning for Google Marketing. Each year, Media Lab compiles its top learnings for Google marketers. The following pointers were shared by Google on its blog for marketers in 2024: 

1. Google’s AI solutions

Google AI ads solutions (Demand Gen, Performance Max, and more) have been tested. Conversational assistant is already being used in Google Ads to help write ad copy for Search.

2. Human + AI coexistence

Scaled media and marketing are fast becoming AI-powered, data-driven, and centrally executed. But the hand-stitching that only humans can do is what unlocks the culture, empathy, and nuance that drive scaled and local relevance. Coexistence between human inputs and AI-generated inputs is key. 

3. Authenticity is a core of modern marketing

Google believes that, when done right, authentic collaborations can even create culture. Authentic, bespoke experiences can drive relevance and campaign success.

4. Scaling incremental impact

Measuring incremental impact is complicated because of privacy, interdependencies, and platform changes. But it is doable, with a test, learn, and scale approach. Across 2023, Google leveraged this trifecta of measurement extensively. The brand ran over 30 match-market tests, and hundreds of Google conversion lift studies (CLS), and built multiple large media mix models (MMM).

5. Wake-up call to learn AI 

A coherent Cloud marketing strategy is critical to leveraging all that AI has to offer. Every marketing team needs to learn new AI skills quickly. 

6. Mid-funnel magic

Incrementality and video’s evolution from long form to short form and direct is driving brands toward the mid-funnel. This melding of the brand with a more engaging direct response is driving better results. Brand lift and immediate sales, together is the new buzz and Google’s Demand Gen campaigns aim to achieve that. 

7. Aftermath of the third-party cookies' demise 

According to Google, digital marketing is undergoing three epochal shifts. Regulation and privacy are well known, and AI is dominating. But the end of third-party cookies feels like an afterthought. 

The attention and resources devoted to this challenge feel off, industry-wide. Google suggests addressing this by keeping a privacy-focused deep dive and laying the foundations for durable ad performance at the top of the marketing to-do list.

8. B2B influencers on the rise

The B2B playbook features ads on niche sites, print ads, and exhortations to download reports or attend webinars. B2B marketing has re-moulded itself into celebrity CEOs, product evangelists, and myriad influencers. Social’s starring role in B2B is becoming clear, Google remarked. 

9. Marketers need to brush up their retail shopping skills

Social commerce in APAC and retail media networks everywhere are growing exponentially. Marketers need help developing retail shopping skills.

10. (Dis)connected TV

Connected TV (CTV) continues to grow, but execution across measurement, audience, quality, ad loads, and integration across publishers are all fiddly. As CTV matures, advertisers may well choose to focus on a few core CTV partners, like YouTube, to make life easier.