As we prepare to load the table with Turkey, switch on the game, and launch our Black Friday promos, we’re taking a moment to give thanks for these 8 products, tips and tricks that made us more effective digital marketers in 2017. From AdWords Flexible Daily Budgets to an improved Facebook Analytics, 2017 gave us much to be thankful for, and many reasons to be excited for 2018.

Google Flexible Daily Budgets

I am thankful for Google’s Flexible Daily budgets, which allow you to catch up on any periods of low spend to hit your monthly budget goals. Instead of capping your daily spend at each campaign’s budget, Google allows you to spend more when customers are searching, and less when they’re not. Just like your Grandpa during Thanksgiving dessert, Google is always there to help make sure you don’t leave any morsels on the table.

Eddie Wright

Senior Manager, Account Services

Facebook Analytics

As a kid, did you used to count exactly how many presents your parents bought you, to make sure your siblings didn’t get more? Or did you ever feel cheated when your younger sister got more expensive presents than you? Facebook understands your gifting insecurities, which is why we’re thankful for Facebook Analytics in 2017. Facebook Analytics tracks pixel event activity in percentiles, so that you can understand different buying activities of the top percentiles of your customers. You can know for sure, for example, how much the top 25% of your users spend on purchases, or how many times they typically add products to their cart before buying. Breaking your data down by segment allows you to better serve ads to your most profitable traffic segments and optimize your website user flow to better convert visitors. You’ll never be able to measure your parents’ love by the amount they spent on your Christmas presents, but you CAN measure how much your customers love you based on their buying activity!

Christina Leupp

Account Manager

Google Shopping Inventory Status Column

Don’t you hate it when you’re seated at the kids’ table for Thanksgiving even well into your 20s? It’s almost as bad as bidding all of your products exactly the same, even though one of them has an income and 401k and all the others are awkward 12-year-olds prepping for their first middle school dances. I’m thankful for the inventory status column in AdWords Shopping campaigns, because it allows us to ensure that our most valuable products receive grown-up bids. The ‘products submitted’ column, for example, tells us how many products are in each product group, helping us bid at a more granular level and show our top performing products more often.

Gen Head-Gordon

Director, Account Services

Search Remarketing Lists for Video Viewers

You probably don’t want too much visibility into the impact of all of those servings of turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes on Thursday, but there’s no such thing as too much visibility into the impact of your YouTube ads. That’s why I’m thankful that we can now apply YouTube video ad viewer remarketing audiences to our search campaigns, allowing us to see how many impressions, clicks, and conversions we receive from users who saw our video ads. Seeing how the behavior of video ad viewers differs from other searchers helps to demonstrate the impact of YouTube advertising on traffic generation and brand building, and provides additional evaluation metrics beyond just direct conversions.

Alyssa Codd

Senior Manager, Search & Video

Google Attribution Models

I’m thankful Google has finally adopted attribution models that more closely align with how consumers are researching and making purchase and conversion decisions. By utilizing Data-Driven or Position-Based attribution, instead of the default Last-Click model, we can dice up conversion credit to all keywords and campaigns involved in a user’s path to purchase. Doing so gives us a much clearer picture of each campaign, keyword, and ad a customer interacts with before purchasing.

Amanda Beamish

Senior Account Manager & Tracking Specialist

Google Analytics Channel Audiences

The turkey is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving holiday, and it is also the most difficult dish to perfect. That’s why you don’t ask Aunt Kathy to clean the bird, Uncle Phil to add the seasoning, Grandpa to monitor the cooking process, and cousin Frankie to carve the turkey. Having one person in charge of the entire process is much easier and produces a better result. Why should your digital marketing efforts be any different? With Google Analytics’ channel audiences, you can group users together based on the channel that drove their initial site visits. From here, you can cook up a highly-effective, full-funnel marketing strategy to move customers through the purchase cycle, all the way from YouTube to AdWords, with stops at Instagram and Pinterest in between. These audiences help you deliver a consistent and effective brand message across all channels and are something to be thankful for in 2017!

Metric Theory Google Analytics Team

Campaign Level Remarketing Lists

It’s hard to believe we once had a time before campaign-level Search Remarketing lists. Having to apply them at the ad group level was like peeling raw potatoes before a Thanksgiving dinner — tedious and time consuming. Campaign-level search remarketing has made it much easier to ensure there aren’t any gaps in remarketing coverage for your account. Plus, there’s no need to manually aggregate ad group-level data for analyses, meaning more time for things like preparing for the rush of online shoppers this holiday season.

Alison Fu

Account Manager

Search Similar Audiences

All the arguing about white meat vs. dark, politics, and favorite Game of Thrones characters can ruin Thanksgiving dinner faster than a broken oven. That’s why it’s so important to spend Thanksgiving with the right people. Google Similar Audiences for Search made a big step toward making it easier for your ads to spend time with the right people. Similar audiences allow you to build a list of users whom Google determines to be similar to your current customer base, website visitors, or other remarketing or email lists. You can then use these lists to better target, and convert, your most qualified and valuable customers.

Evan Sparling

Senior Manager, Account Services

Here’s wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving and a successful Black Friday!