Posted tagged ‘Branding’

How Google brought marketing back to its roots

May 6, 2008

We all know Google and its amazing advertising power. About 30 per cent market share of online advertising revenue; annual revenues in double-figure billions; destructor of advertising models throughout the land; investor darling because it just keeps growing and growing.

But how many marketers really understand what Google has done to their business? Sure, Google’s an innovative advertising platform, but its innovation doesn’t stop there….it’s taken the basic tenets of marketing and turned them inside out. In a sense it’s brought advertising back to what it was originally. Its methods include:

Branding: From screaming to simple delivery

Google has the strength of much older and more established brands, but has only been around for 10 years. Why? Because it’s authentic. It has a clear, anti-corporate philosophy – “You can make money without doing evil” – and, amazingly, sticks to it. Brand confidence is inspired by the way Google treats its ads. No hidden agendas; no tricks, no intrusive banners. No shouting. Every advertisement is simple text and labeled as a “sponsored link”, so Google can assure its users that it’s not compromising the integrity of the results.

Content: From management to do it yourself

Google’s original business was search, which is another (and very innovative) way of delivering content, albeit one that’s very similar to original libraries. By continually improving its search capabilities, it delivers extremely relevant content that brings millions of users back again and again to view those ads. The lesson here for marketers is that if the content is useful, people will likely scan the neighbouring marketing material. In a sense, content is the marketing material.

Advertising: From push to permission

Google’s flagship advertising products are AdSense and AdWords . Instead of trying to guess what consumers want, its ads are tailored to searches, so the customer base is telling Google exactly what type of ads they might want to see. The Adsense ads on websites run on similar technology, and, they automatically target audiences with keywords in their content.. Google’s ads are remarkably unobtrusive and text-based. There are no screaming banners, no tricks to get you to buy; nothing you can be cynical about.

Marketing: From breast beating to usefulness

Ever seen an ad or other marketing material for Google? Perhaps something telling you how great they are and what a favor they’re doing by letting you use their service? Of course not. In a sense, Google doesn’t market. It delivers quality products that are easy to use, are very useful, and are free.. And because it does that so well, it gets tons of publicity — which is the best form of marketing.

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Beyond Branding

November 29, 2007

An article on Marketingprofs.com on the New Rules of Internet Marketing got me thinking about the widespread reverence for branding in marketing today.

All you hear today is brand, brand, brand. Every company has one, or thinks it does.

Marketers and communicators are all about branding. It’s their language and if they can get through an hour without using the word it’s a miracle.

But most of this branding is simply image creation. It’s the manipulation of visual and textual information to create a mental picture of what you want somebody to believe about your company. It’s a one-way conversation, the delivery of a carefully crafted, impersonal story to a wide audience.

And, as the article suggests, the day of branding dominance may be coming to an end. Why? Because on the Internet, branding as we know it doesn’t work as well.

It used to, because until recently the Internet was just another broadcasting vehicle for most companies — put up ads, write copy to deliver the messages, insert forms to capture leads, etc. But the rise of Web 2.0, often also called the participative web, has changed all that.

No longer can you simply deliver a story to customers or clients. Now it’s all about creating and being part of communities. And all communities live through conversations, exchange of opinions, shared knowledge, and sometimes criticism. This means that personality — not a sanitized brand — is more important.

Unlike with the brand, which can easily be faked, your real personality will show through.

Today, because of the Internet many companies are going to have to rethink their concept of branding. It can’t be the picture you want it to be, it will be a picture of what you are.

If you’re distant and unresponsive, you’ll be perceived as arrogant; if your style of communicating is top down, you’ll be perceived as pompous; if you’re open and willing to listen, you’ll be perceived as worth knowing.