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Google is more than synonymous with search; it is search. You don't Bing something; you Google it.
Google's sites controlled 66.4% of search share in March, according to comScore. That commanding presence helped it generate $10.65 billion in revenue in the first quarter, up 24% from the year-earlier period.
As a result of Google's search domination, marketers tend to pigeonhole the company and what it can offer. “If I'm a b-to-b marketer who wants to drive leads and I want to build my database, I'm going to go to Google for that,” said Ted Kohnen, VP-integrated marketing at Stein Partners + Brand Activation. “Google is great for lead generation.”
Kevin Arsham, VP-account director at TargetCast, also focuses on Google's search capabilities. Decision-makers, he said, “are searching within their industry. They may be going to [plastics industry websites], but they are also going to Google search. Google always makes sure you're casting a wide net.”
Google, of course, agrees with those assessments—up to a point. Mike Miller, Google's industry director-business and industrial markets, wants b-to-b marketers to consider the value the company can bring in other digital marketing areas, such as display, mobile and video. In each of those areas, Google strives to provide marketers more targeted ways to reach their customers and prospects.
In display advertising, the Google Display Network offers marketers remarketing opportunities. Remarketing allows a marketer to target ads at Internet users who have, for instance, visited a particular website, indicating they have interest in that marketer's product or service.
“In many ways this can be a good extension of what they have done in search,” Miller said. “It's a more advanced feature of display. It gives greater control, greater accountability.”
With its AdMob acquisition, Google offers mobile services to marketers, although Miller acknowledges that most b-to-b marketers are, at best, in the nascent stages of exploring the mobile opportunity. “This is an area where they still trail a bit,” Miller said.
Through its YouTube property, Google also provides video marketing opportunities. It recently launched Google AdWords for Video, which enables a company's video ad to appear when certain keywords are searched on YouTube. The program uses the pay-per-click model of text-based search ads.
All of these areas—display, mobile and video—are powerful areas of growth in the broader economy. Last year, display advertising totaled $11.1 billion, up 15% over 2010. In the same time frame, mobile increased 149%, to $1.6 billion, and video surged 29%, to $1.8 billion. —S.C.