A roundup from Google’s EMEA Partner Summit



19th October 2023

~ 4 min read

The Google EMEA Partner Summit was nothing short of amazing. From insightful speakers to groundbreaking revelations, the two day event was filled with knowledge and inspiration. Here's a quick recap of the event’s highlights from Croud’s PPC Strategy Director, Ruby Young and Head of PPC, Emily Griffiths.

Putting consumers at the heart of it all

A recurring theme throughout the summit has been the paramount importance of keeping consumer interests at the core of everything you do. In today's fast-paced tech-driven world, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of innovation and forget that it's the end-users who truly matter. The summit reinforced the importance of putting the needs, preferences, and experiences of consumers at the forefront of our efforts.

The numbers speak for themselves: a remarkable 43% of consumers are willing to switch brands if they encounter a negative privacy experience. This reinforces the idea that building trust and ensuring the utmost care for customer data is non-negotiable in today's business landscape.

All things artificial intelligence

AI has been making waves in the tech world, promising to revolutionise industries and change the way we do business. But at the EMEA Partner Summit, we learned that artificial intelligence (AI) isn't always the answer; it's the opportunity for accelerated growth when the fundamentals are in place. The first day of the summit went beyond the hype and dug deep into the practical applications of AI, revealing that while it's a game-changer, it's not a magic solution.

One of the most significant takeaways was the realisation that we're not competing with AI. Instead, we are competing with marketers who are effectively using AI to their advantage. AI is a powerful tool that can enhance our capabilities, but it's not a replacement for human creativity and intuition.

AI and the human touch

A fun fact that emerged was that AI is 15% better with human input. This statistic highlights the importance of human-AI collaboration. We're on a journey of ‘dancing’ with AI, figuring out the choreography of how humans and AI can work together harmoniously to achieve remarkable results.

Further to this, we discovered that while AI technology alone can deliver a 20% improvement, combining it with human expertise can result in a staggering 35% boost in results (as per BCG's findings in 2019). This statistic underscores the importance of harmonising the strengths of AI with the unique qualities that humans bring to the table.

The AI reality check

The summit made it clear that the marketing landscape is evolving rapidly, with AI at its forefront. In fact, it's predicted that by 2030, a staggering 80% of marketing activities will be AI-augmented. This signifies the immense potential AI holds for transforming how we engage with customers, optimise campaigns, and make data-driven decisions.

However, let's address the elephant in the room - AI adoption. The Peninsula Group recently conducted a survey of 79,000 businesses, and the results were surprising. Only 1% of businesses claimed to use AI extensively, while a mere 5% reported using it regularly. These numbers reveal that AI has yet to become a mainstream reality for most companies. It's clear that while AI is promising, there's a long way to go before it becomes a standard part of business operations.

The power of first-party data

At the heart of AI's capabilities lies the fuel of first-party data. Yet, it's disheartening to note that only 17% of projects related to data and analytics successfully achieve their goals (as reported by McKinsey). This serves as a stark reminder that while AI is a game-changer, the proper utilisation of data remains a challenge that we must overcome.

Further to this, it's crucial to assess where we stand in terms of digital maturity. According to the BCG/Google Maturity Assessment, a staggering 57% of clients are still considered "emerging" in their digital maturity. This means there's significant room for improvement when it comes to leveraging data-driven marketing and technology. It's a wake-up call for brands that may have underestimated the untapped potential in their data and digital strategies.

The real priority: A growth mindset

Despite the AI buzz, what clients prioritise above all else is partnering with agencies that foster a growth mindset. This mindset extends not only to their own internal teams but also to the core of their businesses. The EMEA Partner Summit emphasised that driving growth requires a holistic approach that encompasses both people and processes. It's about empowering employees to embrace change, learn, and adapt.

The summit was a reminder that the true potential of AI can only be realised when organisations have a solid foundation in place. Digital maturity and a growth mindset are the essential prerequisites for AI to work its magic. It's not about jumping on the AI bandwagon; it's about preparing for its arrival with the right tools and mindset.

To conclude

The EMEA Partner Summit was a profound exploration of the symbiotic relationship between AI and human intelligence, and it left us with a profound realisation: AI isn't the end-all, be-all solution.

Instead, it's a catalyst for growth, provided that businesses are ready to evolve. As the digital landscape continues to shift, the summit's insights serve as a valuable roadmap for navigating the AI-driven future. By putting clients at the centre of our strategies, harnessing the power of AI, and effectively leveraging first-party data, we can unlock the full potential of this remarkable technology. 

The message is clear: embrace digital maturity, nurture a growth mindset, and let AI be the rocket fuel that propels your business to new heights.

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