Google’s Android to spend $100m in integrated advertising (gasp)

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

It is heresy and betrayal? Google and Verizon is spending over $100m in advertising Android. The marketing mix is TV, outdoor, direct mail, digital, and retail merchandising. What is Google doing spending money on TV, outdoor, and direct mail? In truth, it’s not the first time. Google has been spending offline, including print, for many years. Are the online faithful going to claim that Google is a hypocrite? If they do, it’s not because Google has claimed to only trust your marketing to online search and online paid advertising. It’s the followers who have adopted such a stance.

Google is a marketer. They are smart. They know what works for what products. Up until now, their offering is an online product. Still, they’ve been reaching out to their customers through print ads, outdoor boards, and bus wraps. Now, some of you may say that you’ve never seen any offline advertising from Google. It’s mostly because you aren’t their target market. Their big-time customers are advertising agencies (surprise) and other large marketers such as P&G and Kraft. It is these groups that spend in the millions and billions on Google products. Have you seen a Kraft Mac & Cheese TV spot? Have you seen a Crest Toothpaste spot? Of course you have because even though these giants spend millions with Google, they also still spend multi-millions with other marketing efforts in an integrated campaign.

This is Google’s first entry into the consumer retail arena. Now many of the Google purists believe that consumer retail is the perfect place to market only online and abandon all other forms of marketing. If that’s the best way to do it, then why would Google spend money on TV, outdoor boards, direct mail, and retail merchandising? In fact, of the four categories that Google is spending on their marketing mix, three are offline tactics. I give them great respect they haven’t drank their own Kool-aid and only stuck to online tactics. Now the general public will see Google’s advertising because this product is squarely aimed at them. Google understands that to reach their market with this product, a true integrated campaign is the best approach. They also know to reach their goals within the allotted timeframe, they needed to be aggressive with their marketing spend. As I’ve told our clients and prospects, if you want to get there quicker, you must put the commit the necessary resources, both financial and manpower, to achieve what you want in the timeframe that you want. If you have all the time in the world, then you can take it easy and market when you feel like it.

Google also understands that we humans also live in a physical world. We see and hear messages that aren’t purely online and we do need face-to-face interaction. Just marketing online doesn’t often get the general public talking about your product or service at the office water cooler. Google knows this product is for the masses. They also realize that mass media, in all forms, is the most effective way to get your message across. Integrated marketing is the key.

Now, the creative that Google has chosen is another subject I will address later, but it is also a very critical part of the success formula. (BTW, they are using a national advertising agency called McGarry Bowen) Some believe just marketing in the right places is good enough. They believe they can put up do-it-yourself crap creative and it will sell anyway. Far from the truth. All you’ve done is exposed how stupid you are to more people, faster.

So, if you are always asking yourself, “What would Google do?” when trying to figure out your marketing plan, I would whole heartedly say yes, do what they do, integrate your marketing, don’t discount offline without knowing where your customers hang out, and hire a great advertising agency to do what they do best, which is marketing, and you stick to what you do best which is your product.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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