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Should Media Planners Love Or Hate Google?

Category : campaigns, paid search, strategy


I logged into my Google Adwords account yesterday and noticed something for the first time. On my campaign summary page there was a tab setup for my online campaigns and a new tab setup lower on the page for Other Campaign Types which strongly suggested I look into Print or Pay-Per-Action campaigns. This could have been there for awhile, but it’s really the first time I took notice.

Screen Shot of Google’s Other Campaign Types

So, I can go to Google for paid search, pay-per-action campaigns, site-targeted display ads, and print advertisements. As with anything Google does, they get bigger and better. What will these services look like in 5 years?

So, what does this all mean for the small business marketing media planner? Can we hand over time-consuming media planning to Google? Will bigger company media planners be out of jobs?

Absolutely NOT! While Google is doing a nice job of expanding their portfolio of opportunities for advertisers, they are by no means replacing the traditional media planner – or even today’s Search Marketer. iMedia Connection made the case that traditional media planners and search marketers will need to do more collaboration in the near future, but their roles are still very important. From the article:

“Nowadays, search marketers are being asked to take on projects that have traditionally fallen to online media planners: buying advertising on targeted sites. Search marketers understand and know the Google system well, but perhaps its time for traditional online media planners and paid search marketers to work more closely together. The opportunities to do so are only just beginning to surface.”

Media planning is a big job that shouldn’t be underestimated. From selecting mediums, defining budget, negotiating contracts and placements, planning messaging and creative, delivering a schedule of placements, and monitoring results, the media planner’s role is by no means in jeopardy. In fact, the case could be made that the role is getting bigger as the options and mediums increase.

The fact of the matter is that Google’s reach on publisher’s websites is not far enough that full industry campaigns can be turned over to their mediums. There are a handful of sites on which I may put display ads through Google, but it won’t certainly include some of the highly targeted industry sites on which I currently advertise. And, since I’m not a newspaper advertiser, that medium is not even on my radar. How many years until Google covers every trade mag in every industry niche? Not sure – but it may be sooner than you think.

Breathe easy media planners! Google has opportunities for you but is no where near replacing your role.

Comments (1)

Google gives NOTHING back to adwords qualified professionals. You take much time to learn their system, but all the money goes to Google in the end if you are working with small businesses. So I might charge $100 an hour, but for a lousy 4 hours of optimization in the course of the year.

Meanwhile, client is paying through the nose, generally, but since click charges are so high already, they don’t want to dish out more money for monthly management. Who can blame them? I wouldn’t want to either. But it’s not really good to run an ad campaign without stalking it will a real stats program – not Google’s free Urchin which obscures the most important info – such as the failure of Google’s broad match for many advertisers. Why a failure? Their thesaurus throws a lot of crap searches that clearly are not a match! but you won’t know this from either your account, or from Urchin – very clever Google!

Google is going to destroy the agency model – for everyone – even themselves when all their advertisers get disgusted. For the past two or more years, I refuse to ‘push’ Adwords – no way – it’s a rip off. And for me personally – I barely covered my time spent on the exam with the pathetic small bits of money got here and there. So I let my credential lapse.

I will start selling this service again once Google provides the 20% margins to the agencies managing these accounts – which is the best case for the advertisers. This is how the traditional media model worked – and there is a reason it worked for a long time.