Google I/O 2017: Four Takeaways for Growth Marketers
David Reyneke
David Reyneke

Google I/O 2017: Four Takeaways for Growth Marketers

David Reyneke, Senior Product Strategist

Okay, Google I/O. What are the latest opportunities for growth marketers to drive app installs and boost engagement?

With three days and hundreds of sessions to digest, we’ve drilled down the top four takeaways for mobile marketing leaders who may have missed this year’s Google I/O conference. This event was a true showcase of Google’s reach, highlighting the fact that as each consumer-facing platform matures so does the interconnectivity of the available marketing tools.

So what are the latest developments you can leverage in Firebase? How can you make the most of Google’s beefed up advertising platform?  And, what actions do we recommend based on new releases and product enhancements?

Good questions. Let’s dive in.

1. Start Experimenting with Google Analytics for Firebase

This year, Google placed a strong emphasis on Firebase’s analytics capabilities, which is now being called Google Analytics for Firebase. The name change may not seem major, but we view it as a strong sign of their commitment to the platform, which was acquired back in 2014. The Firebase team is focusing on building out a stronger foundation for your metrics, driving a much deeper level of insights with custom parameters, and playing nicely with the full Google suite (Data Studio, AdMob, Instant Apps, Remote Config, etc.)

While the tool remains free and the updates are promising, we wouldn’t recommend switching to Google Analytics for Firebase as a primary analytics tool just yet. That said, it can be an incredibly impactful solution for any initiatives you’re running that leverage Google platforms such as Instant Apps or AdMob. And now, it’s open sourced, adding to the transparency and trustworthiness of the platform for marketers and engineers alike.

2. Expand Your Google Advertising Efforts

For many of our partners, Facebook is the go-to platform for mobile advertising. Google comes in a close second and their ecosystem continues to make their options increasingly appetizing. The main event for Google advertising is happening this week as part of Marketing Next, but I/O did touch on some exciting developments in advance of that conference.

One interesting development is that Smart Bidding, an approach to automated bidding that uses machine learning, is getting more sophisticated and widespread. Google is making it easy to optimize ads based on in-app actions and conversions instead of the traditional bidding methods. The focus for Google’s ad platform is driving high-value users to your mobile products and being able to easily measure them. On top of that, there are some new ad placement opportunities in the Google Play store as well as exciting advancements on the AdMob platform.

Google also announced the App Attributions Partner program, which puts the focus on being able to drive impactful user acquisition campaigns with deeper insights. Similar to what Facebook introduced several years ago with their Mobile Measurement Partners program. Partners like Adjust and Appsflyer made the list — see it in full.

3. Build An Instant App

Instant Apps were announced at last year’s Google I/O with a closed beta. This year the team took things a step further and opened the program to all developers. With many open questions around the impact this will drive for your business, like whether or not users will end up downloading your native experience, we see an early opportunity to get out there and incorporate the technology in a meaningful way. The new Firebase announcements we mentioned above makes it easy to measure conversion from Instant App to Native App, and Google seems to think this is a crucial piece to the future of their search engine.

4. Enroll in the Android O Beta

This is a simple one, but if your device supports it, you should enroll in the Android O beta program. This is a quick way to get familiar with the many opportunities that will start popping up as we approach the summer release of Android’s new operating system. We highlighted one such opportunity regarding push notifications not long ago, and there are sure to be a number of other developments along the way.

Start Experimenting

With so many opportunities coming out of Google I/O, we recommend supporting Instant Apps as the lowest hanging fruit for this with an Android App. However, there really is no better time than now to start experimenting with any of the above items. By being an early adopter, marketers can immediately drive impact with their mobile products by getting featured on the Google Play store, ranking higher in SEO, and driving greater lifetime value.