Category: Blog Posts

Google Marketing Live: Takeaways from MightyHive Canada


The MightyHive team was thrilled to attend this year’s Google Marketing Live. It was an exciting event with some important announcements. We want to pass these on, as well as our thoughts regarding the highlights of this annual event.

What is Google Marketing Live?

Google hosts Google Marketing Live every year. Marketers attend to get industry updates, engage directly with product specialists and engineers, break out into industry-specific tracks (automotive, travel, telco, and retail), and do a bit of networking. The conference is also a great indicator of where Google is going next.

Themes Leading up to the Conference

Recently, a number of major changes have impacted the digital marketing industry. Privacy and regulations in the EU (GDPR), as well as the Consumer Privacy Act in California, are top of mind as marketers anxiously await the fate of third-party data and other privacy considerations. These changes, along with the likelihood that Amazon has begun siphoning Google’s search revenue, Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) prompting all major browsers to adopt stricter privacy controls that limit cookie use, and the prevention of YouTube third-party tracking in the EU, have negatively impacted Google’s growth rate. The outcome has caused them to focus on a variety of new developments that they expect will pay dividends in the long run.

At Google Marketing Live in 2018, Google touted a narrative around their ability to predict intent, as opposed to simply respond to it. It was the culmination of some very interesting changes over the previous year and a response to fast-rising competitors Facebook and Amazon. Google, a business built upon the foundation of search and last touch attribution, has since transformed into one that centers around data-driven/multi-touch attribution and around valuing the upper funnel. With search budgets nearly saturated in many markets, there is room for growth in other channels. Google recognizes that advertisers need to focus on getting ahead of the consumer – a value proposition that Facebook and Amazon are not yet equipped to deliver against nearly as well.

Source: Google

Key Themes at GML 2019

2019’s keynote built upon the themes from 2018. Google began by announcing new products and opportunities that Google is “uniquely positioned” to deliver against (attendees will have heard that phrase a lot, and for good reason). Google’s cross-device, unified tech stack provides the best understanding of advertising investment (Facebook and Amazon don’t compete holistically in this space yet).

In fact, if you want the critically important fusion of your marketing data with your business data, you’ll need to do your analysis within Google’s stack (take advantage of Ads Data Hub, a Google product that was built with privacy regulation in mind to analyze your media at a granular level). Amazon and Microsoft have long been the dominant players in the data storage space, but with exclusive data analysis opportunities available through Google, marketers can equip themselves with data capabilities to edge out the competition. This is also a critical move for Google as they look to diversify their revenue streams outside of advertising.

Predicting Intent is Google’s Advantage

The ability to predict intent that Google brings to bear is unique from Amazon and Facebook – the suggestion is that your search and web behaviour are still the most powerful predictors of intent. Google will deliver on this predictive intent with new ad formats called Discovery Ads that serve based on said intent, but without having to initiate a search. Competitor Amazon has an immense amount of e-commerce data, but lacks key points in the customer journey that Google has visibility into via platforms like Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, and Google’s dominant position on buy-side and sell-side adtech and inventory. While Facebook has immense amounts of declared data, as well as some behavioural data, in theory Google should still have the advantage. Google has recognized that the social platforms are doing something well to capture time and attention though, through their social feeds. That’s why their newly announced Discover Ads will be capable of delivering ads without the need for a search query, directly in your brand new (quite smart and useful) Google feed.

topic feed

Source: Google

Google’s Response to E-Commerce 

And shopping… Shop direct from the Google SERPs, from Google Images, from YouTube and more with embedded products. Either checkout online or pick up in your local store (coming soon), Google Shopping is already live in some markets and coming to the US soon. Will this new multichannel shopping experience across Google gain enough traction with brands? There will be some barriers to entry and Google is recommending onboarding partners to help brands get there quicker.

Going Local

Finally, there was a lot of buzz around announcements for Local Campaigns. Considering the vast amount of location data collected by Google, its scale and accuracy, privacy-sensitive methodology, the ability to attribute search and display to in-store visits, data analysis capabilities in Google Analytics 360… There are a lot of reasons to be excited about what Google is doing in the location data space. While there are a number of alternative solutions for local attribution and targeting, Google solutions provide exclusive and significant value.

local ad

Source: Google

Programmatic Linear TV?

Last but most definitely not least is the exciting announcement on programmatic linear TV. At GML 2018, there was a lot of buzz around the prospect of buying linear TV through programmatic pipes, and we were promised a Google solution through the DSP. For Google, building the pipes to transact is easy, but on-boarding publisher inventory and attribution is more difficult.

This year, Google shared examples of programmatic linear TV buying across major US networks, marking a substantial step forward. By this fall, Google will be rolling out a section in DV360 dedicated to TV. This should also enable simplified buying of Connected TV (CTV), which is not linear TV but still served on the big screen.

All of the early movers and shakers in programmatic TV here in Canada and globally have talked about the day that linear TV buying and attribution become part of analytics dashboards and digital workflow tools that we currently use. We are still in the nascent stage, but we are keeping an eye on how this progresses.

While functionality is coming to DV360 soon, linear programmatic may be a bit further off in Canada than in the US. That said, there should still be a number of CTV options available in Canada through DV360, so you can still reach your audience programmatically in their living room.

Please check out the embedded links above or the official Google Ads Announcements page or the Google Marketing Platform Blog for more information on each topic.

As always, please feel free to reach out to any of your MightyHive Canada team members at

Case Study: MightyHive Helps Introduce Mercari to America

“MightyHive’s data-driven approach and expertise of the digital marketing ecosystem aligned perfectly with our expectations and goals. They were instrumental in helping us brainstorm, plan and execute an effective brand awareness campaign. We look forward to collaborating with them on our future campaigns.”

-Scott Levitan, CMO, Mercari

Scaling Success: Mercari Targets International Markets

Mercari, known as “The Selling App,” is a hugely popular e-commerce app where users can buy and sell unused goods through a community platform. Mercari is extremely successful in its native Japan with a significant user base. The brand wanted to parlay its success in Japan to new markets and set its sights on expansion into the US.

Mercari app Screenshot

In order to successfully introduce the Mercari brand to the US, the team at Mercari needed a US partner with cross-cultural experience. MightyHive has experience successfully launching brand awareness and audience acquisition campaigns across the globe. Given this experience, Mercari selected MightyHive as its partner to introduce the brand to American audiences.

With a goal of maximizing reach and gathering information about potential audiences, Mercari and MightyHive leveraged Google Marketing Platform and Facebook to launch Mercari’s US “Cheers” digital campaign.

Audience Discovery and Insights

As a newcomer to the US market, Mercari’s primary goal was to identify and understand potential audiences for its brand. Using a robust combination of Google and Facebook, MightyHive was able to maximize reach while gathering valuable data about Mercari’s US audiences. Using this data, MightyHive was able to draw insights about Mercari’s target audience and optimize creative and messaging to align with audience preferences.

After the six-week test flight, Mercari saw accelerated new user growth and had reached 47% of its US target market.

47 Percent of US Target Audience Reached

On-Demand Reporting

With Google Analytics 360, MightyHive was able to provide Mercari with granular data about its audience to use for better insights. MightyHive aggregated Mercari’s reporting into comprehensive daily reports through Google Data Studio. Mercari was easily able to track campaign performance and trends with transparency.

MightyHive’s data-driven approach opened the door for Mercari to enter a new market with the confidence that they were maximizing reach across the right audiences. Mercari can build on the insights collected in the “Cheers” campaign to continue to successfully grow its brand in the US.

The team of digital experts at MightyHive can help you reach the audiences most aligned with your brand. We focus on unifying media and analytics to build digital campaign strategies that are informed by data. Please contact us to learn more.


MightyHive Helps Introduce
Mercari to America

(click to read the full case study)

MightyHive Has Merged with S4 Capital

To our clients and partners:

MightyHive is proud to join forces with S4 Capital. The merger enables MightyHive to meet rapidly growing demand from clients and expand the opportunities that MightyHive can help our clients unlock. We are particularly excited about the impact this news will have on the global brands and agencies we serve and are pleased to communicate the facts below.

What is S4 Capital?

The mission of S4 Capital is to create a new era, new age digital solution embracing data, content, and technology in an always-on environment for global, multi-national, regional and local clients, and for millennial-driven digital brands. Earlier this year, S4 Capital merged with MediaMonks, a global creative production firm that has produced award-winning creative for clients like Audi, Google, Netflix, and Adidas. The MightyHive is the first entry S4 Capital has made into digital media.

Why Have MightyHive and S4 Capital Merged?

MightyHive is aligned with S4 Capital’s mission to create a new-era marketing services firm that focuses on digital content, digital media, and first-party data. As advertising, content, and commerce continue to converge and data plays a central role, our clients will be able to do more through an integrated offering created by the companies that are a part of S4 Capital. The integrated solution will also be amplified by the strength of our partnerships with Google, Amazon, and Facebook. These technology partnerships set the operational heartbeat of the MightyHive business. Additionally, the merger allows us to scale our people development to ensure that MightyHive talent continues to lead the market.

What is the Structure of the Deal?

As a result of the merger, MightyHive is a wholly owned subsidiary of S4 Capital. Pete Kim, MightyHive CEO and Co-Founder, and Christopher S. Martin, MightyHive COO and Co-Founder, have joined the S4 Capital board of directors and are also remaining in their roles running the day-to-day operations of MightyHive.

What are the Benefits of the Merger for Clients and Partners?

There is a fundamental shift in media today. Consumers can now access content anywhere, at any time, and with greater personalization than ever before. Rising consumer expectations for relevance, coupled with the complexity of the ad tech ecosystem, have left marketers underserved.

MightyHive recognized this change in 2012. But our crucial insight was that while the market produced a proliferation of technologies, the highly skilled talent required to master this new space was lacking.

S4 Capital brings together the pioneers of the new era. Both MightyHive and MediaMonks are regarded as leaders in their respective fields: MediaMonks is one of the most awarded creative production companies in the world; MightyHive is a recognized leader in programmatic digital media buying. With our complementary capabilities, MediaMonks and MightyHive will explore integrated solutions that enhance our ability to service clients in the new media landscape.

As MightyHive develops a combined digital content and media offering with S4 Capital, interested clients will have unique opportunities to help shape these solutions. Otherwise, MightyHive will conduct business as usual, focusing on delivering superior service and solutions.

A Closing Thought

We are excited about the opportunities ahead, but for now, you can expect business as usual. MightyHive is still on the same mission of digital marketing transformation we’ve been on since our founding. The company’s leadership will remain involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, and our services and approach are not changing.

As we mark this milestone in our shared history, please know the team at MightyHive is proud to join forces with S4 Capital and MediaMonks because of one reason — it allows us to serve you, our clients and partners, in a way that was impossible in the past and will drive the future. We extend a heartfelt thank you to our clients, partners, investors, and our advisors, Petsky Prunier Securities who served as exclusive financial advisor and Cooley LLP who served as legal advisor to MightyHive on the transaction.

Lastly, we want to thank our people for being with us on this journey. MightyHive would not be where it is today without you.

Kind Regards,

Pete Kim
Co-founder and CEO


Chris Martin
Co-founder and COO


Lexi Viripaeff
Co-founder and CTO


About S4 Capital plc (Founded 2018)

S4 Capital was created with the objective of building a digital, multi-national business in the advertising and marketing services sector. S4 Capital’s mission is to create a new era / new age digital solution embracing data, content, and technology in an always-on environment for global, multi-national, regional and local clients, and for millennial-driven digital brands.

About MightyHive (Founded 2012)

MightyHive is a new breed of media consultancy that partners with global brands and agencies seeking transformative marketing results in a time of significant disruption and opportunity. Recognized as a global leader in advanced marketing and advertising technologies, MightyHive provides consulting and services in the areas of media operations and training, data strategy, and analytics. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, London, Toronto, Singapore, Stockholm, and Sydney.

MediaMonks (Founded 2001)

MediaMonks is an award-winning international digital creative content and production company. MediaMonks partners with clients across industries and markets to craft amazing work for leading businesses and brands with integrated production capabilities that span the entire creative spectrum, covering anything you could possibly want from a production partner, and probably more.

From creative campaigns and content to bespoke development and design, MediaMonks works above the line and below the fold at the intersection of creativity and technology. MediaMonks operates across teams, time zones and technologies with a team of 900+ Monks. Their work is recognized by advertising and craft awards around the world, with 110 Cannes Lions and 200+ FWAs to date.

Founded in 2001 and rooted in digital, MediaMonks has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, London, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Dubai, Singapore, and Shanghai.