14/09: Digital Marketing News


Karen Brownlie, Steven Kerr, Ross Arkley

This week, Karen Brownlie gives us the rundown on Google's latest update to exact match, Steven Kerr lets us know how Google is helping users during Hurricane Florence and Ross Arkley tells us about how virtual reality is driving story led marketing.

Google’s latest update to exact match raises a few eyebrows.

Once again Google has caused a stir among marketers by changing the intent of exact match keywords. Words which are considered to be the ‘same meaning’ as keywords will now trigger ads.

The chatter is largely concerning further loss of control and how the update defeats the entire purpose of exact match – many advertisers use exact match with the sole intention of matching to only specific terms. It’s likely the accounts which will be most affected by the change are those which currently have stronger performance from their exact match keywords.

This is another change driven by machine learning, with Google getting the benefit of using advertiser’s data while the advertiser essentially plays the price.

Will advertisers choose to move away from exact match keywords? Regardless, there now needs to be an ever-increased focus on negative keyword strategies and perhaps a renewed thinking of match types on the whole.

The question really comes down to performance and which as every paid search advertiser knows, tends to be account dependent and we expect it could be months before we can quantify the impact of the change.

However, if advertisers find that close variant queries are seldom-converting and being overall detrimental to performance, it will force them to pull back their investment, restructure to avoid the feature or potentially take their budget elsewhere.

Karen Brownlie, PPC Manager


An SOS Alert has been Activated by Google for Hurricane Florence

Google have now activated an SOS Alert for Hurricane Florence, it was announced on Twitter two days ago by Google CEO Sundar Pichai.



Google’s alert is appropriately red coloured and takes priority at the top of their search results. Directly under this alert is the most recent news updates regarding information about Hurricane Florence – followed by a map of the affected area, official government sources and even latest relevant tweets.

Arguably, some of the most helpful information being provided by Google is the current updates to their Maps application, which has been amended specifically for people in the storm’s path. With information on evacuation routes, road closures and even temporary shelter information sourced from Google’s GPS navigation software Waze, it’s helping people gain vital information instantly.


Google are, and should be applauded for this action, as it will be sure to help people who are in need of urgent information and assistance.

To have a look for yourself, put ‘Hurricane Florence’ into your search bar.

Expect to see Google continue to develop this trend of utilising their resources to spread awareness on more emergency situations in the future.

Steven Kerr, SEO Executive


Story driven marketing and virtual reality

As consumers are becoming increasingly desensitised and disengaged from direct advertising, content marketing is evolving into a softer, more attractive way of getting the consumers’ attention – something we take very seriously at Dog.

Several of the brands we work with have realised the value of an exchange. A conversation needs to take place: rather than just point the consumers towards their product, we need to provide insight, inspiration, and informative content; something that leaves the customer not just thinking “I need to buy that product”, but more “I like and trust that brand”.

Story-driven marketing is one of the most important trends to emerge over the past few years, both brands and marketers trying to create a story that pulls the user in and gives them an experience. With new types of technology around the corner, the likes of augmented and virtual reality, will grow and develop this trend even further as they give marketers the tools to tell even more immersive and impactful stories.

There’s an exciting future in virtual and augmented reality marketing that all brands will be looking to dig their teeth into, with brands using apps like Instagram and Snapchat’s AR features on a daily. It’s only a matter of time until marketers start creating their own content, multi-million-pound brands have already started this with the likes of Ikea and Disney creating their own apps to tell their story using AR.

Ross Arkley, Content Executive