Google is now the network that connects the social graph of the advertising industry. From global AAAAs to interactive agencies to SEM firms and SEO consultants, there are less than six degrees of separation. Last night was deja vu all over again, reminding me of AdWords early days when Google just wanted parity with Overture (Yahoo Search Marketing) in corporate search budgets.
Two of the leading authorities on search marketing joined me last night at Google: SES Chair Kevin Ryan and SEW Forums Editor Frank Watson, AKA aussiewebmaster. Frank's take on Google products and Google exec panelists differs from mine.
Ryan, Watson and I were in the distinct minority based on folks I chatted with and questions from the floor. (Exceptions: Sendtec and Dani of DaniWeb.com IT forum) More proof? Witness upcoming Ad Club of NY events: Magazine Day Forum and Radio Forum 2008.
Search marketing firms have a tremendous competitive advantage over traditional ad agencies. Managing campaigns based on ROI is second nature. Analytics and technology platforms, a necessity. They understand the dynamics of online auctions and advertising exchanges.
If Google is Goliath, ad agencies would be foolish to think of themselves as David.
Google's success in moving beyond the "self-serve" model will depend on the buy-in not only of global ad agencies like Publicis Groupe, but the AAAA clients who drive their decisions. For years in SEM, Google has had a vertical industry focus with corporate clients, providing consulting to executives who make agency decisions. Google's vertical sales team will win the day.
Last night at Googleplex East, Google execs outlined the future of Google TV, Google Audio, and Google Print Ads in an Ad Club of New York Meetup. In my Search Engine WarGames column, " Future of Search: All the Media That's Fit To Be Googled ," Google shares how you can produce ads on Google TV, when you can buy a spot on "WWE RAW," and why Google Print Ads 2D Barcodes won't fly.
Dan Frommer shares his take on Google 2D bar codes, while Michael Learmonth shares his on self-serve Google AdWords TV Google TV ads from a Silicon Alley Insider perspective.
The key takeaway for Madison Avenue: Google has warned you. Google has publicly stated -- and again, last night -- that your model is broken. Your clients say so, according to Google executives. Last night, Google director of agency relations Derek Kuhl said, you know it too.
The Google Publicis Digitas alliance will shape the future of advertising both online and offline.
Humans are winning the search engine WarGames, for now. Agencies will cling to clients through long-standing relationships that originated in the era of the three martini lunch.
Only technology can produce scale and efficiency in advertising. And it will.
Welcome, traditional advertisers, to the Google Ecosystem.