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How Google moved the online advertising goalposts


The power of digital marketing over its more traditional offline brethren such as TV and Radio has been the measurability of the medium: advertisers can see, down to the penny, what their marketing spend is achieving in terms of impressions, clicks, and ultimately conversions.

The particular agency I work for even built with offering clients a performance model based on achieving those conversions at a price that provides high value to the end client as well as a viable income to the business. You would think that with a compelling model like that, a lot of clients would start moving their budgets from offline marketing to online — but sadly, that’s not the case.

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The offline to online migration has been hampered by Brand Marketing Managers who are still caught up in different forms of measurement with regards to how their brand is perceived in the market. Google recently announced that it is trying to bridge that gap and get more marketing budgets in digital channels. According to Neal Mohan, Vice President of Display Advertising for Google:

Unlike the early days of TV, digital advertising is already incredibly measurable. The only problem is a very old and well-known one: the standardized metrics today are largely clicks, user interaction rates and conversions.

But as brand advertisers — such as movie studios or consumer goods companies — know, it’s a challenge to measure changes in brand favorability of a movie or whether an online campaign is driving more consumers to the store. And it’s even harder to take quick action on any such insights.

That’s why today, at the Ad Age Digital Conference I’ll be introducing the Brand Activate Initiative, an ongoing Google effort to address these challenges and re-imagine online measurement for brand marketers. With this effort, we’re partnering with the cross-industry Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative. We believe that the industry’s significant investment in brand measurement efforts can substantially grow the online advertising pie, for all.

This announcement comes hot on the heels of Google’s introduction of Adwords for Video which integrates video campaigns into the Adwords dashboard and allows advertisers to place their adverts in front of popular videos. This product is going to monetise the rapidly increasing inventory on YouTube and can be seen as another initiative by Google to monetise its existing real estate. Big brands then, will be able to target videos that are getting a lot of views (or going viral) and get exposure on the back of their popularity.

These initiatives by Google encourage brands to think of digital advertising not only as an acquisition channel but as one in which influence and branding is required. The model behind this is called a “share of voice” model and that requires a lot more budget to be spent on the platform — something that will soothe the GOOG shareholder who looks to sell the stock when Google doesn’t reach the heights of its previous lofty earnings results.

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