7 take outs from Google Madrid #drivedigital2017

Last week I attended a 2 day Google event in Madrid aimed at CEO’s, start up’s and certain Digital practitioners from across 22 countries.

The event covered Digital strategy > action covering disciplines such as becoming more agile, start up mind-set, tracking and digital acquisition channels.

As means of a summary here are the 7 key takeout’s from #drivedigital2017 


1/ Technology, and specifically AI, will be a driver of innovation in many businesses over the coming years

a/ Virtual assistants (everywhere from social platforms to the car to your watch)

b/ machine learning (less need to program machines and more around using data connectivity to your advantage e.g. Very have 1.2 million versions of their homepage and optimise for visitors at a personal level)

c/ Disruptive technologies (everything from Boston dynamics robots > personalised machine printed trainers from Nike that are produced in 30 minutes)

…are the 3 big themes from the umbrella of AI that will likely impact/ benefit businesses over the coming years.


2/ Value creation in a digitally enabled world

Use digital to empower people and transform organisations to create value. Examples include:

  • Into the gloss founder asker her followers what products they actually wanted that led to the co-creation of a successful range of beauty products
  • The Dorchester collection used social listening to change their strategy of predominantly making profit from serving dinner to one of profit, goodwill generation and LTV from improving their breakfast offering
  • Coke used big data they obtained from their restaurant mixing drink machines to ascertain user want that lead to the creation of sprite cherry.
  • Johnnie walker used a smart label on certain blue label bottles to learn more about, and engage with, advocates.
  • Alibaba VR takes you to Macey’s in virtual reality and lets you shop.
  • KFC have started to roll out VR for training that in turn reduces training time.


3/ Strategy > Action development

In the session we spent time in teams working through a fintech case study

It was assuring to find that the structure of strategy > action is very similar to the structure we recommend/ use as a team and to the one I blogged about a few years ago


4/ Winning the moments that matter

With complexity, change and confusion there is opportunity.

Q: How can I win in digital?

A: It’s partly around winning the Moments that Matter

For example as 87% turn to our phones first to ask questions then how can we help. Help support. Help inform decisions. Help ultimately solve the ‘thing’ (I want to know. I want to go. I want to do. I want to buy) they are searching for.


5/ Measurement Matters

71% of companies list measurement and attributing value as their number 1 challenge

Measure. Attribute. Act.

Where I currently work we use a successful methodology for measurement (I’m not giving it away here 🙂 however for many, me included, the industry still needs to do more around attribution (In regards to attribution you can find more information about that area on one of my old blog posts).


6/ YouTube 

80% of global internet traffic by 2019 will be video.

Many companies need to take video more seriously and target to:

Gain scale & precision (intention)

Stand out in the skippable world (attention)

Drive measurable behaviour (action)

There is a real push from YouTube to ultimately remove ‘long form’ non skippable and a strategy of focusing on true view skippable ads and short ‘perfect length’ ads (at present this is being showcased in 6 second bumper ad form).

YouTube betas that were showcased included:

Target based on life stage events and consumer patterns e.g people about to have a baby.

True view for action – a new ad format in beta that drives action e.g get a quote , buy now, learn more.

Video ad sequencing – sequential story telling via ads

6 seconds non skippable bumper ads (bought on a cpm basis).

Print to bumper ads – a nice simple way of adapting offline literature to online

Location extensions for true view – For businesses that care about driving users into store

A fundamental strategic direction of YouTube was around their ABCD model (Attract. Brand. Connect. Direct).


Great examples of showcasing best in class within the ABCD framework:

Kmart really nice engagement videos with a great first 5 seconds of intrigue and story telling.

10 clover field lane – story arc is a good example (though clearly we are all not movie producers)

Bud light: between friends is nice because of the quick cuts and storytelling.

Organic balance: real morning report is authentic video and directly talking to us with real advice.

Superdrug summer youtube Tv ad – Really nice simple, low production costs (£50k) and leaves you with the key message of brand, simple, clear and effective at putting sales messages across.


7/ Useful Google Tools

  • Google trends find out what is trending now and against other products.

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