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Unlocking New Opportunities: Google’s Demand Gen Campaigns and the Future of Lead Generation

Google is finally helping lead-gen marketers move up the funnel, and it could be big.

As we approach the end of 2023, an exciting opportunity has emerged in the realm of lead generation for performance marketers: Google’s Demand Gen campaigns. 

Building on the foundation laid by Google’s Discovery campaigns, this new opportunity represents a significant step forward by integrating improved AI-powered capabilities to accelerate lead generation efforts. With its advanced targeting and audience engagement, Demand Gen campaigns provide a more refined approach to reaching the right audience across Google’s entertainment-focused platforms.

This isn’t just a change; it’s a strategic opportunity to expand your reach up the funnel and make the most of your paid media investments.

This new campaign type is worth testing if the following is true: 

  1. You’re interested in growing demand so your sales performance does not plateau.
  2. You are a marketer that wants to be at the forefront of AI-powered paid media to hit your targets & stay ahead of your competitors. 
  3. You believe in constant experimentation in order to find new growth opportunities. 

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of Google’s Demand Gen campaigns, focusing on how they can accelerate lead generation efforts. We’ll also introduce you to the process of integrating them into your performance marketing program. 

To get you started, we’ve included Google’s overview video on this exciting new product.

Demand Gen vs. Discovery: A Closer Look

Demand Gen campaigns, powered by AI, outperform Discovery campaigns by improving targeting on platforms like YouTube and Google Discover–where consumers are more broadly exposed to new products, services, and brands. This AI-driven approach also offers several more benefits:

  1. Precise Targeting: Using user data for targeted ad placements, boosting engagement.
  2. Enhanced Audience Creation with AI: Demand Gen’s AI tools excel in developing lookalike audiences, using predictive analytics to find and target users similar to your top customers, effectively broadening your reach to highly relevant leads.
  3. Detailed Segmentation: Dividing audiences into specific groups for tailored messaging that drives demand.
  4. Optimized Cross-Platform Delivery: Ensuring impactful engagement across Google’s various platforms–especially access to YouTube & Google’s most personalized touch points (eg, YouTube shorts). 
  5. Improved Lead Conversion: Better targeting and personalization alongside AI-powered bidding leads to higher conversion rates.

Key Action: Start evaluating your current marketing strategies to identify areas where Demand Gen’s AI-driven approach can enhance targeting and engagement.

Integrating Demand-Gen into Your Performance Program

Google has tried to design the integration of Demand Gen campaigns into your existing marketing strategy to be effortless and impactful. However, it should be done carefully. Follow these key steps during your transition to Demand Gen to ensure you are set up for success right out of the gates:

  1. Conversion Tracking: Ensure that your conversion setup is ready to go, including leveraging features from Google such as sitewide tagging, enhanced conversions, and data driven attribution, to ensure you are feeding the algorithm robust data to work with. 
  2. Real-Time Bid Optimization: Decide which of Google’s bidding strategies lines up with your marketing objectives. Whether that is maximizing the number of clicks you drive to your landing pages or optimizing for cost-per-lead, Demand Gen can use real-time analytics to continuously refine your campaigns.
  3. Audience Signals: While Demand Gen’s AI is built to identify users similar to your best customers, its efficiency can be amplified by your inputs. Incorporate audience signals such as in-market interest targeting and first-party data to accelerate the AI’s learning, enabling faster and more accurate identification of high-potential leads.
  4. Creatives: Develop dynamic, AI-optimized ad content. Demand Gen’s AI tools assist in creating ads that resonate with your target audience, increasing engagement and conversion probabilities. You can also collaborate with creative teams focused on developing the right creative for channel performance. 
  5. Performance Tracking: Set up an approach to regularly monitor campaign performance through Demand Gen’s advanced tracking tools, ensuring your strategies align with lead generation goals and ROI expectations.

Key Action: Set yourself up for success while transitioning to Demand Gen by ensuring all of the campaigns inputs (ie, conversion actions, audience signals, and creative) are robust & reflect your overall lead generation goals. 

Timing Your Demand Gen Campaign Launch

Strategically timing the deployment of Demand Gen campaigns is crucial for maximizing their impact. Align the launch of these campaigns with specific marketing objectives and audience insights to enhance their effectiveness. By considering factors such as market trends, consumer behavior, and Demand Gen’s unique features, marketers can ensure these campaigns are launched at the most opportune moments while minimizing transition risks during critical periods.

Key Action: Plan the launch of your Demand Gen campaigns in alignment with your company’s marketing calendar and audience behavior insights for maximum impact.

Charting a New Course: Demand Gen as Your Lead Generation Catalyst

For VPs and CMOs focused on lead generation, Google’s Demand Gen campaigns offer a significant opportunity to advance their digital marketing strategies. By gaining a deep understanding of this new product and effectively implementing it, we can drive more efficient and impactful marketing outcomes, continuing to generate an increased volume of leads with better efficiency.