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Google Takes Manhattan
By Scott White
Google's Internet search Branding is so strong that we forget how big a player it's becoming in the world's advertising markets. Even when we read the latest forecasts about its growing success, we tend to think exclusively about Google's online brand image. That powerful brand image tends to hold back what Google is becoming and that means they will need to consider changing their brand identity, a common problem for companies today who must navigate changes in business direction amid turbulent market changes. Google is so versatile itself now, that it offers a huge range of services and advertising opportunities. Advertisers can almost take it for granted that their advertising will hit the right target market and the right up-to-the-minute brand impression will take place.

Google is Everywhere

According to one Sash's analyst, Google is poised to serve 6.1 billion dollars worth of advertising in the coming year. This makes it fourth among American media companies in total ad sales after Viacom, the News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, and ahead of giants including NBC Universal and Time Warner. The Google growth needs to be recognized. It's not going away as this company has the revenue and capital resources to grow and consume other competing media giants. That means Google Adwords will become even more ubiquitous. It's not beyond the realm of imagination that they will show up on television or DVD movie rentals. Anything is possible for Google. As the company ventures into new offline advertising mediums, the Google Corporate Branding will evolve and lose its "Web only" image.

Getting into Goggle's world is an intelligent investment in your company's future. Most companies could benefit from exposure on Google whether in paid ads via Adwords, or through organic search listings (search engine optimization). Plus you receive all that brand exposure!

Sadly most don't. There could be a number of reasons for this. Foremost, it's likely that corporate marketing managers haven't explored the value of search marketing (search engine optimization). The market share numbers are still small, so they don't devote much time to it. A lack of familiarity and understanding of search marketing is another reason. The realm of search marketing is new and is slightly different than the usual advertising buy. It's more complicated, and requires more strategy and it can take some time for results to show through in organic search engine marketing. Those with patience can do very well, but patience seems

to be at a premium today.

The success of some companies in search marketing is well known; has built an empire on traffic from search engines. Yet this doesn't seem to matter to business managers. They still don't believe search can make a difference in their bottom line. Often, they think about only online sales, and see channel conflicts or 1% conversion rates and then dismiss the whole thing as a waste of resources.

The truth is, ultimate consumers and B2B buyers and purchase influencers use Google everyday and it's becoming critical to their method of finding relevant products and services.

We see clients receiving visits to the Web from organic search optimization campaigns that dwarf what they receive from print or TV advertising, and at a fraction of the cost. And these are high quality visits from very motivated prospects and here's the kicker? because you come up in the top 10 in Google you become an authority. That's right, your prospects automatically trust you because they trust Google. They may purchase offline or via telephone, but most of them research their purchase online before making the purchase decision. Real sale conversion rates might be from 3% to 20% of visitors, depending on the offline availability of products. For national manufacturers and retailers, the end sales benefit is mind-boggling. The ROI is unequaled. Let me say it again, UNEQUALED! It can power up promotional marketing campaigns as well.

Let's not forget that there are indirect ways of getting to consumers as well, such as other Web sites where promotional advertising can be placed. Often manufacturers can launch their own Web sites and find they have far better control of their marketing and acquire better marketing information than if they rely on an ever diminishing base of distributors and retailers.

Although Google's success is new and even threatening to traditional marketing, major retailers, manufacturers and distributors have to take it seriously. There are many creative and innovative ways to use Google for promotional marketing. It can bring prospects to an interactive Web site that capture the imagination of the prospect and motivate them in ways not possible through other advertising media.

Search engine marketing then, is just the beginning of a rich stream of targeted prospects. Google is growing and represents a revolutionary opportunity for your company. Master this new medium early and your company will prosper for the next twenty years.

About the Author
Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru a leading Corporate Branding consulting and market research firm located in Boston, Massachusetts. Please feel free to republish this article together with working hyperlinks.

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