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On Monday 18th April, Google posted a blog on Inside Adwords which highlighted some of the benefits that some brands and manufacturers have seen when using the Manufacturer Centre.

This reminded us at PPC hubbub that the Google Shopping GTIN update deadline is nearing, and for some of you it might feel all “Game of Thrones”…

PPC hubbub - Manufacturer Centre

But don’t panic! You have just under one month left before the 16th May Deadline. For a reminder of what this means for you, read our previous blog here.

But anyway, back to the Manufacturer Centre blog; you can find the hubbub here – http://adwords.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/google-manufacturer-center-helps-brands.html

What’s the Google Manufacturer Centre?

The Manufacturer Centre is a free tool that brand manufacturers can utilise to help accurately represent their products to shoppers on Google (either in the SERP or via other Google products). Google say that manufacturers who upload their authoritative product data (including product descriptions, high-resolution images, GTINs, and product variants) have helped improve the online shopping experience for users and therefore increase conversions (Inside Adwords Blog, 2016). According to Google, the Manufacturer Centre improves performance in these key areas;

  • Detailed and Rich Product data allows for more relevant search results
    • Product descriptions submitted by manufacturers contain key product attributes, which then allow Google to show Shopping ads (created by advertisers/retailers) for those products when users search for those attributes.
  • High quality data helps users decide what to buy
    • By uploading quality images and detailed product information, manufacturers can improve the accuracy of how their products are represented. This helps consumers decide which product to buy more effectively.

How does this affect our ads?

Google needs to tell the user what they would have learnt from reading the discovery pages on a product. They need to give users the information they need, without having to find it.

As we know, the mandatory update for all branded products to contain a GTIN number in our Google Shopping feeds will mean that Google will be able to better match manufacturer content to ads and information cards for the same products.

PPC hubbub - Google Shopping Manufacturer Centre

Google Shopping Information Card – Source: Inside Adwords, 2016

This means that we will continue to see lots more of information cards like the above, Jackpot Ads like the below…

PPC hubbub - Google Manufacturer Centre - Jackpot Ads

Google Shopping Jackpot Ad Format for specific product searches

And this will also allow for more ad format testing moving forward, including on other Google products such as Image Search and YouTube…

PPC hubbub - Google Manufacturer Centre - YouTube Ads

Google Shopping on YouTube. More testing in 2016 – Source: Marketing Land, 2015

Why are Google pushing manufacturers to provide this information instead of retailers/advertisers?

This push by Google to get manufacturers to manage this product information via the Manufacturer Centre is a clear shift to give back the power to brand manufacturers themselves. But why is Google shifting the power?

The reasons are simple, to reduce frustration and friction for everyone.

Reduce Frustration – Google are no doubt frustrated at the lack of quality and differing product data that they can work with in retailers merchant centre feeds. Despite their efforts to help improve feed quality through best practice and reporting in the Merchant Centre, the improvements made are probably not fast enough. This certainly slows down the level of ad testing they can do via focus devices such as Mobile. Streamlining this is key for Google.

Reduce Friction – Manufacturers know their product information inside out, therefore they are best placed to give Google the most accurate information and product descriptions to then allow them to show more relevant product ads to the search query. As well as this, they have every intent to ensure that their products are getting sold. They no longer have to rely on retailers to “sell” their products for them. The control of product information is given back to the manufacturer, and the manufacturer has every intent to ensure all product information and images are updated and to the highest quality. Therefore the push minimises friction between Google, users, advertisers/retails and manufacturers.

By getting Manufacturers to work through the Manufacturer Centre, Google has unrivalled information to work with; increasing ad engagement from users, increasing revenue for Google, increasing sales for the retailer and therefore increasing sales for the brand manufacturer. Everyone benefits, as was made evident in the case studies for Bosch, JanSport and Speakman where sales increased between 4% to 13% after they used the Manufacturer Centre to manage product inventory for their brands.

In Summary…

I think advertisers will welcome more use of the Manufacturer Centre. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had less product information to have to deal with via our Merchant Centre feeds. This frees up our time to focus on campaign management rather than feed management. We know that Google are working on making feed creation and management much simpler for us (Google recently released a ‘Feed Rules’ beta to help simplify feed management). Could this be a further hint towards further automation of product feeds?

 

Dan Roberts
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Dan Roberts

Founder & Author at PPC hubbub
Dan is a Google Shopping Specialist and was recently awarded Rising Star at The Drum Search Awards for the work delivered for his clients, agency and wider industry. Dan founded PPC hubbub after becoming frustrated with the lack of actionable insight and meaningful points of view for the industry.

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Dan Roberts
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