Since the web is open 24 hours a day, why shouldn’t its advertising be open, too, Tim Armstrong, VP for Google’s national sales, asked during an investors’ Q&A at the Bank of America Technology Conference in New York. He also discussed the need for better metrics to help propel ad activity on mobile devices and hinted at plans of integrating products like Google Maps with advertising campaigns. For the most part, it was others doing the asking. Some highlights:
Brand advertising and better metrics: “We don’t want to just plaster ads over everything. We could’ve done that and it probably would’ve been successful to some extent. But we want to take a very methodical approach to brand ads that will really enhance video. The other core area is making sure we have the proper measurements and metrics. That’s something that we spent a lot of time on last year and we’ve made progress. The last component is how do you measure brand effectiveness? If there’s anything that’s really holding back ad spending on the web, it’s the lack of good measurements. We’re heavily engaged in that area and want to help develop measurements that will move brand advertising forward quickly.”
Armstrong was asked why Google isn’t seeing the same type of traction in brand advertising as it has in search. Is it because Google doesn’t support third party ad servers? Armstrong: “Third-party ad serving historically is a process advertisers use to aggregate their spending and use one ad server to handle multiple properties. We faced the same issue in 2000 and 2001 with search. If this conference were in 2000, one of the big questions we’d get would be why are we not taking third party ad serving for search. One reason is that the third party ad service is in charge of targeting. The assumption is that the third party is going to be able to figure out how to use your inventory better than you or an advertiser. During the long haul, one of the things that ended up being a positive for us was that we were able to use all of the inventory. Most marketers are used to advertising just a fraction of their products due to that human scale required to advertise them. Four or five years ago, Hewlett Packard was running only two or three of their products on search. Today they’re running thousands. Consumers are on 24 hours a day, you should have all your products available to them all the time.“
Integrating ads and Google products: “The place that we see the most success with brand ads is when it comes to integrating them with the entire search process. [The campaign by Goodby Silverstein for the Saturn Aura] was aimed at people who were in the auto genre of certain content sites, we placed ads that looked like a static video that when you clicked on it, it started playing. It then took them to a Google Earth Map and you had this notion that you flying over the globe and it ended up looking like you were flying into the Saturn dealership and you would be introduced to the showroom. It was a very useful way to get a brand message across. The ultimate thing with brand advertising is ‘Am I going to get more customers, am I going to get more information, is the customer going to have a better brand experience?'”
Growing Mobile Markets: “From our standpoint, one thing that we’ve been focused on is how the market for mobile has been more advanced in places like Japan. We’ve been very successful. And now we see traffic increasing, advertisers are more interested. We were initially surprised by the level of acceptance mobile got there, but it’s accelerating elsewhere now. We see countries like Germany and France, in general, as the next places for growth, not to mention China and India. A lot of areas in western Europe are getting strong. We’re also focusing on the Middle East and Latin America. Africa is growing quickly.” Webcast.