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Introduction to Google’s New Demand Generation Campaigns

Google is making waves in the advertising ecosystem with its newly launched Demand Generation campaigns. Designed to be the successor of Discovery campaigns, Demand Gen is an AI-powered tool that aims to revolutionize how advertisers reach and engage their audiences across Google’s platforms, including YouTube and Gmail.

Key Features and Benefits

  • AI-Powered Creativity: Unlike its predecessor, which was limited to images, carousels, or product data feeds, Demand Gen allows advertisers to use videos, including YouTube videos and Shorts. This opens up a new realm of creative possibilities.
  • Performance-Enhancing Features: The new campaigns come with a redesigned UI and performance-enhancing features that seamlessly carry over all historical data and learnings from your Discovery campaigns.
  • Audience Targeting: The campaigns offer advanced audience targeting features, including new Lookalike segments, allowing advertisers to reach potential customers who may not be familiar with their brand.
  • Flexible Bidding Strategies: Advertisers can choose bidding strategies that align with their goals, such as clicks, conversions, or website actions.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: According to Google, Demand Gen can achieve 3X higher click-through rates at a 61% lower cost per action (CPA) compared to paid social campaigns.


Below are a bunch of screen shots and descriptions as we at NuSpark attempt to test. Here we go:


Campaign set up starts with objectives.  Clicks, Conversions, Conversion Value (for eCommerce).  Note a section to upload a Google Sheet product feed for eCommerce.

Plenty of bidding options depending on campaign goals. I usually start with max clicks until we get enough conversions.  Like any automated bidding strategy, Google learns, then optimizes.

Of course, your conversions from GA4 or via Google need toi be set up properly. Here’s examples of lead form submissions. We’ll help you if needed.

For the NuSpark test, we can target a custom segment.  One option is based on interests; and the other based on keywords people search for, which we chose. Best to have as many keywords as possible to generate more targeted traffic.

Can even target “lookalike” audiences of those who visit targeted websites. That would need to be tested.

Next is a 1st party data target option. You can choose retargeting audiences (those who visited your website, or key pages) or your current customers or prospects with the “customer list” target option where Google takes your CRM data and matches contacts based on email address and other factors. For NuSpark we’re targeting a couple of B2C lists.

Here we can choose various audience segments avaiable from Google.  In-market, detailed demos, affinity (interest) audiences and more. Here we chose for NuSpark- Advertising & Marketing services

This one is a video of various targeting segments based on in-market, affinity, demographics, life events, and more.  Here we were choosing Advertising and Marketing services as in-market, then found two event audiences based on new business interest life events. Interesting.

Next we are including lookalike audiences as part of our targeting. The seed lists include the B2C audience targets we have in the Google account. Google will analyze activity of the lists, and the based on browser and click data, attempt to find audiences that similar to the CRM lists.

Google Ads allows you to create lookalike audiences based on your 1st party seed lists, with variations of 2.5%, 5%, and 10%. This really means how much leeway you give Google to find lookalikes to target; the higher the percentage, the more “open” you are. Worth testing.

Then choose demographics. Age, Gender, HH Income.  Note here we excluded younger audiences (based on Google data).  Unknown means those who do not have Google accounts.

Here’s a video ad creation, showcasing our explainer video, to air across YouTube, and other Google-related properties; targeting all the elements as described above.  

In addition to video ads, Google will also show display ads across Google display network, Gmail,  YouTube, and more.  Here we can upload our own assets and crop them online, or enter your website and Google will scrape images to choose from, or use their stock images, of which I chose one.

Google’s new Demand Gen campaigns, powered by AI, are designed to be highly adaptive and goal-oriented. Here’s how Google plans to optimize these campaigns based on various objectives:

Goal-Driven Algorithms

Google’s AI algorithms will analyze historical data and real-time interactions to automatically adjust bidding strategies, targeting options, and ad placements. This ensures that the campaign aligns closely with the set objectives, whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving traffic, or boosting conversions.

Dynamic Creative Optimization

The AI will also dynamically select and serve the most effective creative elements (images, videos, text) based on the user’s behavior and preferences. This ensures that the ad content resonates with the target audience, thereby increasing the likelihood of achieving the campaign goals.

Lookalike Segments

One of the standout features is the use of lookalike segments. By analyzing your existing customer lists, the AI can identify and target new audiences that closely resemble your current customers. This is particularly useful for goals related to customer acquisition and market expansion.

Multi-Channel Integration

Demand Gen campaigns are not limited to a single platform; they span across Google’s ecosystem, including YouTube, Gmail, and Discover. This multi-channel approach allows for a more cohesive and effective campaign, optimized based on the performance metrics of each platform.

Real-Time Analytics and Insights

AI-powered analytics tools will provide real-time insights into campaign performance. Marketers can quickly identify what’s working and what’s not, allowing for immediate adjustments to meet the campaign goals.

Insightful Opinions

  • Adaptability is Key: The AI-driven nature of Demand Gen campaigns allows for a level of adaptability that was previously hard to achieve. This is crucial in today’s fast-paced digital landscape where consumer behavior can change rapidly.

  • Quality Over Quantity: By focusing on goal-oriented strategies, Google is essentially promoting a quality-over-quantity approach. It’s not just about reaching a broad audience but reaching an audience that is more likely to convert.

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: The real-time analytics and insights provided by the AI can be a game-changer for marketers. It offers a more nuanced understanding of ROI, helping businesses make more informed decisions.

What do you think?  Lots of options with targeting, messaging, and AI.  It’s important to keep an eye on all the elements, generate enough click and conversion data, and optimize consistently.