Google aims to connect online ads to physical stores

The analysis will be done by matching the combined ad clicks of people who are logged into Google services with their collective purchases on credit and debit cards. Google points out that its third-party partnerships capture almost 70% of all credit and debit card transactions here in the United States. By scanning this data, Google says it can automatically inform merchants when their digital ads translate into sales at a brick-and-mortar store.

If it works, that could help persuade merchants to boost their digital marketing budgets. The company says it has tracked 5 billion store visits in the last three years and customers are 25 percent more likely to make an in-store purchase after clicking a search ad.

Google Attribution, as the company has named the service with its usual blandness, promises to provide a better way to track the results of marketing across devices from personal computers to smartphones and across channels from search to store visits.

At Tuesday's Google Marketing Next event, Google announced more integrations for AMP for Display and Search advertisers.

The boycott began two months ago over concerns that Google hadn't prevented major brand advertising from appearing alongside extremist video clips promoting hate and violence.

While this feature was already available for search, shopping and display ads, Google says YouTube ads will help marketers get a better understanding of the full path to purchase.

Most of the new analytics twists draw upon Google's inroads in "machine learning" - a way of "training" computers to behave more like humans - to interpret the data.

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Just last week, Google unveiled new ways that machine learning can help people identify flowers or pull up restaurant reviews just by pointing a camera.

The product uses machine learning, Google said, to assign a weighted value to every different touchpoint along consumers' paths to purchase.

How does Google know if you bought something at Subway or Aldo? The tool will give advertisers a better idea of how successful their online ad campaigns are. Google today announced that folks who use Adwords wil now be able to direct people clicking on their ads to AMP landing pages.

"Existing attribution products are hard to set up, they lose track of the customer when devices are switched, and they aren't well integrated with other marketing tools which makes it hard to take action", said Pahlavan, claiming that the entire workflow that could usually take months, has been simplified down to a few minutes with this new product.

In addition to the attribution product, Google has also introduced "location extensions" - so consumers can find stores from YouTube video ads - and "store sales measurement" to enable businesses to measure in-store revenue in addition to store visits delivered by ads.

The search giant says it has access to roughly 70 percent of US credit and debit card transactions through partnerships with other companies that track that data.

Shoppers remain anonymous, meaning they aren't identified by their names, according to Google. And the company says it doesn't share any of its anonymized information with its customers; instead, it tailors ads to individuals who fit demographic profiles sought by advertisers.


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