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[Event Recap] AI In Action, Featuring Google

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17th June 2024 in

AI in Action was our biggest event yet. Held in collaboration with Google and Business News, over 200 of Perth’s marketers gathered early on a Thursday morning to discuss the future of AI in marketing.

What you need to know:

If you missed out on the event, here’s a rundown of what we discussed.

AI in Action revolved around the transformative role that AI will play in the marketing sector. Arshad Mirza, Head of Partners & Agencies AUNZ, travelled from Sydney to present Google’s new-for-2024 approach to AI for the first time in Western Australia, and Matthew Elshaw shared our in-house research into Google’s Search Generative Experience. The key takeaway: 2024 is a pivotal year where all roads point to AI.


Marketers will still market, AI will support 

Arshad Mirza’s presentation of Google’s view on the future of AI in marketing kicked off the event. He emphasised that while AI is here to stay, it will be a supportive tool to enhance marketers’ work rather than replace them. 

Arshad noted, “AI is not going to do marketing for us. Marketing is about understanding your audiences and customers. Marketing is about people. AI is not going to be doing that, but it can be an enabler. You are still in the driver’s seat, and you will be the one to create real value for your customers moving forward.” 

From his perspective, embracing AI means becoming more efficient and effective in our roles. AI can handle repetitive and data-intensive tasks, freeing up marketers to do what they excel at—strategising and engaging creatively with their audience. 


Figure out if your brand is AI-ready 

Arshad also introduced Google’s AI Business Maturity Pillars, designed to help marketers evaluate whether their brands are ready to adopt AI effectively.  

A diagram showing the six pillars of Google's AI Business Maturity rating.

Google’s AI Maturity Pillars: The six factors that contribute to a brand’s ability to adapt to AI.

These pillars serve as a guide to determine if AI will drive progress or act as a distraction. In short, the AI Business Maturity Pillars ask four key questions: 

  1. Do you want to change? 
  2. What do you want to achieve? 
  3. Do you have the skills? 
  4. Do you have the technology? 

As Arshad mentioned during the Q&A session, “Look at these pillars and ask yourself these critical questions before you dive head-first into AI.” 


Introducing AI Overviews in Google Search 

Following Arshad’s presentation, Bonfire’s own Matthew Elshaw took the stage to delve into Google’s highly anticipated Search Generative Experience (SGE), now known as AI Overviews. 

AI Overviews is set to revolutionise search marketing. It aims to present an AI-generated overview at the top of the search results page, summarising content from various sources and providing new ways for users to discover information. The new feature is expected to change user behaviour significantly, leading to fewer clicks on traditional search engine links. Consequently, brands may begin to see less direct traffic to their websites. 

Matthew explained that while this might seem concerning, it doesn’t mean that users are no longer searching for information. The key is adapting our current search marketing success measures, shifting from simply tracking website traffic to considering how effectively we engage users within the AI-generated results. 

There are many forms these new AI-generated results will take, and Matthew ran the audience through carousel links, rich photos, review blocks, and citations, all which are slated to be included within the AI-generated overview. 

Users will start seeing a very different interface in Google Search, affecting how they interact with search results.

How to prepare for generative AI in Search 

To ensure you’re ready for the changes brought by AI Overviews, it’s vital to understand how this new feature functions. AI Overviews pulls content from multiple sources, integrates it into a cohesive response, and uses structured data and content to determine what information to present. 

It’s critical, therefore, to prepare your online content for generative AI search responses. 

As Matthew highlighted, “The number one thing you can do is start reading and learning about SGE (AI Overviews), how it works, and get a bit more of an understanding. As marketers, if we understand how it works, we can understand how we might be able to influence it in the future. 

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of resources on Search Generative Experience (SGE) that you can explore here. 



AI in Action underscored the pivotal role that AI will play in marketing moving forward. 

Both Arshad Mirza and Matthew Elshaw highlighted the importance of viewing AI as an enabler that allows marketers to focus on their core strengths. For those who missed out on the event, be sure to check our LinkedIn page for videos and updates from the day.  

As always, the Bonfire team are here to help you navigate these changes and ensure your brand is prepared for the future of AI in marketing. If you want to understand how to integrate Search Generative Experience or AI into your strategy, read our detailed article [Research] What Brands Can Learn from SGE’s International Roll-Out or contact us. 

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