Why I like Google. They’re in advertising.

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

Google has been a disrupter in so many ways. It has been so pervasive, it has become a verb in the english language. It has revolutionized search, communications, and yes, advertising. This something that most don’t realize or think about. Google is in the advertising business, not the free search business. Over 97% of its revenue comes from advertising.

Google has been able to prove a key component of what I do, advertising. They’ve helped spread the word that advertising is vital to the success of any business. Word-of-mouth is not reliable and often takes too long. Underneath, Google is just like traditional media. They depend on advertising dollars for their revenue. If used well, properly targeted, entertaining, and is respectful of their customers, advertising can be an invited and welcomed source of information. Marketing and advertising is a powerful tool. Even Google realizes this. They have created a huge marketing blitz for their new Droid operating system and their own phone, Nexus. They are plastered on TV, magazine ads, direct mail, and transit signage as well as the online push.

Though some in the advertising and media business fear Google because they are destroying their business model, I welcome it. To me, they further the message that advertising is not only needed, but if executed expertly, it’s even wanted. Yes, Google’s metrics and troves of data make it a monster that’s hard to beat. They are deadly efficient. But what they don’t deliver is the creativity and emotion that comes from humans, not from data. It is this creativity and imagination that makes one ad more emotionally appealing and aspirational than another. Without it, all businesses are the same, look the same, and deliver the same. We do live in a world of parody. Marketing and advertising firms know how to deliver a message in a unique, creative way that is not only relevant, but fills an emotional need as well. This is something these firms are great at. We buy iPod, not because we just want a utilitarian devise to listen to music on. If that was true, the Walkman would still be king. We buy iPod because of the intangible emotions it gives us. The feeling of cool, being unique, and creative. (Apple stands for creativity and it saturates all of their products.)

Another thing that Google is not good at is recognizing what is authoritative. Google delivers search results by crowd-sourcing. To their algorithms, the most linked to web site is the one that most people believe to be true or relevant. That is not true. In recent years, this is becoming one critical flaw in Google’s methodology. They also realize this as well. Often times, the masses really don’t know what is authoritative, reliable information or what is just popular “wives-tales”. (This is something they are struggling to find a solution to thus far, but they are smart and will probably will find an answer.) It is the marketing and advertising agencies job to present their clients in a way that conveys how expert they are in their particular field or service. It is our jobs to creatively “show” how our clients are the best at what they do, not just make a generic statement that almost everyone makes.

Ultimately, Google and I are on the same team. We believe in the power of advertising. We believe in delivering the most relevant message to our customers. And, we believe that advertising is the way to make your business not only grow, but to succeed. Where we do differ is in the core function of what we do. Google is a platform for advertising. I deliver the creative and emotion that goes onto that platform. Together, that’s a killer combination.



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.


  1. Valuable Internet Information » Why I like Google. They're in advertising. « Bebranded's Blog - January 12, 2010

    […] Read the original here:  Why I like Google. They're in advertising. « Bebranded's Blog […]

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