Countdown to Catalyst: Pre-Conference Q&A With Google’s Sara Waters

February 27, 2017

As we get closer to the opening keynote of Catalyst 2017, stay tuned to this blog for Catalyst stories, announcements and conference tips in our “Countdown to Catalyst” blog series.

This week, we have Sara Waters from Google to answer some questions about her upcoming breakout session, “Video Killed the Text Ad Star” before it all goes down in Nashville.

Hi, Sara! We’re excited to have you back at Catalyst. Can you tell us a little about yourself? What does a day in the life of an Agency Development Manager at Google look like?

I’m an Agency Business Development Manager, with a primary focus on e-commerce and retail solutions supporting both large and small advertising clients and ensuring key partners like ChannelAdvisor are successful when it comes to all things Adwords. I started my career by running my own small business and eventually found my way to Google, where I’ve been now for 4+ years.

On a daily basis at Google, I have the opportunity capitalize on my creative, analytical, and problem solving skills. When I’m not working, you can find me trying new restaurants around New York City, cycling, traveling and being in good company.

Your session at Catalyst is titled “Video Killed the Text Ad Star.” What does that mean for online sellers?

As the e-commerce space continues to evolve, our ad products are adapting to where our consumers are to ensure they have the best online experience possible. We’re finding that more than ever, consumers are turning to YouTube to seek our information about products. With YouTube being the second largest search engine in the world with billions of hours of content being uploaded daily, online video is much more than just an awareness driver now.

To date, YouTube is the #1 social platform in helping consumers make purchase decisions. 64% of shoppers say that YouTube influenced their purchase decisions. This new research shows that YouTube not only drives brand metrics throughout the consumer journey — from consideration and favorability to purchase intent — but also boosts potential for positive return on ad spend compared to TV.

Can you give us a sneak peak into some of the exciting things Google has in store for online sellers?

Our TrueView for shopping is an effective way to add product details and shopping links to your video content and allows you to reach potential customers and offer easy shopping within your videos, customized to each viewer. We recently made some iterations to the product that I think are fantastic for advertisers and the user experience. More to come 🙂

If someone asked you what you think the greatest benefit of attending Catalyst is, what would you tell them? Do you have a favorite Catalyst memory to share?


Sara Waters with Britney Spears impersonator at Catalyst Americas 2016
You never know who you’ll meet at Catalyst

Networking with peers and hearing what’s going on with retail from a leading industry partner like ChannelAdvisor.


I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on a panel with peers from eBay and BigCommerce, but the highlight has to be seeing “Britney Spears” perform at the after party last year!

What are you most excited about for Catalyst 2017?

Connecting with folks I met last year and hearing more about what’s to come in the industry for 2017!


Time is running out! Be sure to REGISTER today for Catalyst 2017 (psst, use promo code CATALYSTBLOG for $50 off conference passes). Going in a group? Register three or more people for 25% off each pass.

To learn more about new and emerging features on Google for online sellers and how you can use video to improve sales, drive customer interest and more, make sure to catch Sara’s breakout session at Catalyst on Tuesday at 2:15 pm.