How Marketers Can Use Google's New Ad Transparency Centre.
Paid Search, Ecommerce Strategy
Since 2018, Google has been making waves in transparency; investing in new features aimed at delivery better ways for users to learn about the ads they see everyday and allowing them more control over which ads they see and where their data is going.
More than 30 million people touch Google's transparency and control menus every single day. So it's easy to see why they are so invested in continually developing new transparency tools to try and keep users on Chrome; rather than jumping ship to Safari, Firefox or other lesser used browsers.
And although Google's new Ad Transparency Centre has been created with the end user in mind; it is still very helpful for marketers.
What is the Ads Transparency Centre?
Much like Facebook's Ad Library, the transparency centre is a searchable database of all ads which are being served on Search, Display and Youtube by verified advertisers.
Users will be able to search for a brand name and see
All the ads an advertiser has run or is currently running
Any ads that have been served is a specific region
More detailed information regarding ad format and dates of publishing
How can brands be using the Ads Transparency Centre?
The main advantage for brands comes from more Competitor Research. Up to now there has been some ways to monitor ad sets and campaigns of your competitors, mainly using third party platforms like SimilarWeb and the aforementioned Facebook Ad Library. But this new Transparency Centre will certainly help in getting a clearer picture of all your competitors marketing activity, across Google in particular.
Now, we aren't suggesting that you look at all your competitors ads and then copy their strategy completely, but being able to identify strengths and weaknesses will always be useful.
As an example, if you notice that a competitor isn't running any ads on Youtube and all of their ads are tailored towards conversions (bottom of funnel), there may be a space for you to capitalise on some video-based story telling (middle of funnel) to build more brand recall in an audience they are not exposed to (Youtube).
On the other hand, you may see that your competitor is everywhere; serving ads across all platforms with a variety of formats across all stages of the funnel. In that case, you know that you need to have a strong story, USP and value exchange in order to compete in the same space to the same audience.
It can also be useful to check dates on ads to see how frequently they are refreshing creative and whether they have brand activity that is "evergreen". Again, not with the intention of copying but learning where you can leverage opportunities.