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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

AdWords in an Ad World

At first, it was the internet, that revolutionized digital advertising. The second half of the 90's and the first half of the last decade was all about the power of the internet to the advertise. It seemed that advertisers had finally found the medium which can allow them to break through the clutter of countless marketing communication messages in a manner more effective than conventional print and broadcast mediums. There was always bound to be the need to non conventional advertising platforms and mediums, since the more traditional mediums were getting saturated and it seemed the marketing message was unable to break through the clutter and reach its desired audience.

While the power of the internet as an advertising medium was still being explored, along came mobile internet technology which was further accelerated by the developments in smart phone technology. Before we knew it, the whole world was going mobile, how people were going about in the same physical world that we lived in was going mobile. Of course not in its literal sense, but internet powered mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets were now driving the market and had become a part of every day life and the consumption of content that went with it for millions and millions of people around the world. Marketer's could not choose to ignore these developments, as the mobile medium offered significant potential as mobile devices usually tended to be on the users or with them at most times throughout the day. These included the ability for advertisers and marketers to develop and transmit customized marketing communication to their desired audience as well as reap the benefits of location based services which added the geographic variable to the user and their involvement with marketing communication.

Internet giants such as AOL, Yahoo and Google have all made significant efforts to be part of this technological revolution and the advertisement revenue benefits that come with the package. Yahoo enjoyed the benefit of having the first mover advantage in this industry through Yahoo OneSearch which was based on their search engine technology. On the other hand, the biggest player in the internet search engine industry, the internet giant Google made its presence felt on the mobile platforms through the development of AdWords program. These were short text based adverts that relied significantly on Google's organic search algorithm to produce the most relevant possible searches for the user. Google's AdWords program gave the advertisers a generous amount of freedom and flexibility with both advert development, placement, as well as how much it was going to cost the advertiser. Advertisers for the sponsored short text placement were charged on a pay per click/visit basis depending on less on the presence of their listing on the organic search and more on the user's engagement with the search result. Google had also thrown in the option of allowing users to engage the advertisers through 'click to call' which allowed the user to directly make a voice call to the advertiser through a single click. Some AdWords placements were even spread across to Google's partner companies like AOL and Netscape.

For Google in particular, there was significant potential from these technological developments, since they now have their very own open source operating system for the mobile smart phones. The Android OS by Google has seen innovation and development in the few years since its debut in the smart phone market and is now the fastest growing mobile operating system platform in the smart phone industry. Complete access through a mobile operating system offers significant potential and opens the door for great new possibilities and innovations in mobile marketing communication. For Google, the possibilities are limitless.

The size of the screen through which these advertising messages are communicated can be a possible concern regarding to their effectiveness and their ability to communicate their message in a rich and engaging manner. In addition let's not forget there will always be a fair few concerns among users or recipients of adverts in the era of mobile marketing communication. There maybe concerns with regards to privacy and security issues, since mobile communication also makes use of location based services, that might be a cause for concern for individuals receiving advertising messages which includes the perception of intrusion. Till then, we can just observe how industry, market and technology evolves in the months and years ahead.

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