In a recent move, Google has confirmed the reduction of “a few hundred” positions within its global ad team, aligning with its commitment to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for enhanced efficiency and creativity.
This strategic decision specifically targets the “large customer” sales team, aiming to redirect resources towards providing improved support for small and medium-sized businesses advertising on Google’s platform.
The restructuring is part of Google’s broader initiative to expand its small business ad teams, anticipating increased hiring throughout the year.
Despite the significant emphasis on AI-driven improvements, the announcement did not delve into the realm of generative AI, a disruptive force in various sectors, including advertising.
Notably, Google’s cloud computing unit recently unveiled advanced AI tools designed to assist retailers in personalizing online shopping experiences, modernizing operations, and revolutionizing in-store technology implementations.
According to Google, approximately 80 percent of US retailers view the adoption of generative AI as an urgent necessity in their operations.
Carrie Tharp, Google Cloud’s Vice President for Strategic Industries, highlighted the rapid evolution of generative AI, stating, “In only a year, generative AI has morphed from a barely recognized concept to one of the fastest-moving capabilities in all of technology and a critical part of many retailers’ agendas.”
Among the new AI tools introduced by Google are features enabling retailers to seamlessly integrate virtual agents into websites or mobile apps, providing personalized assistance and recommendations to shoppers. Additionally, Google AI is being employed to analyze product images, generating optimized product descriptions or terms to enhance discoverability in online searches.
It’s worth noting that Google had undergone a significant downsizing of approximately 12,000 employees a year ago, constituting around six percent of its workforce.
This move was attributed to economic challenges such as inflation and rising interest rates. Subsequently, the Silicon Valley giant has heavily invested in generative AI, underscoring its commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.
As Google continues to navigate the evolving landscape, the recent restructuring of its ad team reflects a strategic pivot towards prioritizing support for smaller businesses while embracing the transformative potential of artificial intelligence.