Google rolls out new ad solution for small businesses across the Asia-Pacific


GOOGLE announced on Wednesday the roll-out of a solution that makes it easy for owners of small businesses to create effective online advertisements, even though they may be short on budget, tech knowledge or time.

Call Smart Campaigns, it is now available across the Asia-Pacific, after having been launched in the US in July. The new solution will become the default experience of Google Ads.

Smart Campaigns works by taking the innovation and technology of Google Ads, simplifying it and then using machine-learning to optimise results.

The setup can be completed in minutes. Owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) first pick their goals - be it to raise the number of phone calls, store visits or actions on their websites.

They then select a business category, choose the location where they want to promote their business, edit the text of their ad, and specify the amount of money they wish to spend on the campaign.

The minimum spend per month in Singapore is set at S$50. In the US, it starts at US$50.

Once all that is done, machine learning comes into play in the background. Google claims its technology is so advanced that it is now three times better at getting ads in front of the right audience.

Kim Spalding, Google's global product director for small and medium-sized business ads, said Smart Campaigns simplifies processes such as selecting the right keywords and optimising the bidding strategy so advertisers do not need to be advertising experts to get started.

The dashboard, which can be accessed on both desktop and mobile, is kept clear and easy to use.

The performance of the ad can be monitored and tweaks can be made if necessary along the way.

Selin Song, vice-president of Google Marketing Solutions for the Asia-Pacific, said: "We know our users are searching for (certain) things, so we're connecting businesses with these people and lowering the entry bar for small businesses to reach customers who are already out there."

Amendment: The Business Times was previously told by Google the minimum spend in Singapore for Smart Campaigns is S$70. Google, however, has since reduced it to S$50.