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April 11 saw the completion of our 6th Annual 3Q/ Google Partner Summit. This year’s event brought cutting-edge strategy and innovation presented by some of the smartest minds in the digital marketing industry.

3Q CEO David Rodnitzky kicked off a great day at Google’s PartnerPlex in Mountain View, CA. High-impact sessions, expert-led roundtables, and peer-to-peer discussion with some of today’s top digital marketers followed, including:

Leverage Machine Learning

Our first session started off strong with Google experts Amelie Jean-amiee (Global Product Lead – Search Formats & Creatives) and Sylvanus Bent (Product Manager, Creatives) discussing how to leverage responsive search ads to target the best ad to a user by incorporating all data signals. We got an in-depth view of what RSAs are, best practices for using them, tips for evaluating performance, a step-by-step guide for optimization, and a sneak peek into Google’s product roadmap.

Experiment and Adapt Your Video Strategy to Fit Your Audience

Next, Google’s Digital Evangelist Paddy Collins walked us through how to create winning video content in an era where human attention span has deteriorated to less than that of a goldfish’s. We saw real examples of how Google was able to recut existing video assets for some of today’s most recognizable brands to drive huge improvements in performance.

Pro tip: you can leverage existing creative in a new way, test it, and find out what best appeals to your audience.

Brand Lift Study 2.0

The session that followed took a look at Brand Lift campaigns. Tom Leonard, 3Q Subject Matter Expert for YouTube, explained that demand capture only gets us so far and that to truly scale, we need to create demand. We walked through why awareness matters, how brand lift campaigns work, and how to make them actionable.  We followed up with a case study from Helix and a Q&A discussion with Tom, Paddy, and Asha Maskiell Demarsh, Associate Director of Growth at Helix.

Don’t Lose Track of Why People Are on Your Site

We paused for lunch and came back for a thrilling, cutthroat rock-paper-scissors match to determine which digital marketers had what it takes to move onto the next session about SEO. After we’d announced a winner, we proceeded into “SEO for the People: Shutting out the noise, focusing on humans, and other long titles,” led by Harrison DeSantis, 3Q Associate Director of SEO. Harrison explained that Google has always encouraged us to focus on people, and in order for our SEO campaigns to be successful, we need to listen.

Customer Research Is Crucial

The next session brought 3Q CRO experts Cristi Alvarez and Anthony Nguyen to the stage. We took a trip back in time, looking at the evolution of today’s biggest digital brands like YouTube Dating (yes, that was a thing) and Amazon the Bookstore to understand how customer research and iterative testing helped these brands evolve into what they are today. Cristi covered conversion research methodologies, while Anthony taught us how to #savethedeveloper by implementing development-light test strategies.

Think Ahead to Get Ahead

We ended our sessions with Anthony Chavez, Director of Product Management at Google, who shared some updates so hot-off-the-press that we can’t talk about them (yet). Make sure to attend our next 3Q event for access to cutting-edge industry updates!

We finished out our day with a Beta Bites & Booze happy hour, where we experimented with color-changing cocktails and edible, helium-filled bubbles.

Conclusion

We ended the event with a renewed focus on people. It’s easy to get caught up in the ever-increasing speed of technology as we enter the age of the machine and forget that as we, marketers, gain exponentially smarter and more accurate tools, what sits at the other end of the computer is a person. Technology can only get us so far, and we have to continually bring our focus back to the compelling complexity that is characteristic of our fundamentally human audience.