Google is hoping to attract more advertising partners beyond just their proposed purchase of DoubleClick Ltd., and makes the prediction that a move to a single system for selling ads across all types of media could take up to five years. Google started out with just text-based advertising as a part of their AdWords program, and quickly moved to add graphical ads, and recently, video advertising. Over the past year, Google has also gone into selling traditional print advertising in newspapers and magazines, as well as radio advertising spots. Their goal is clear: to sell every kind of advertising possible, and make it easy for everyone to get involved.
Google’s proposed purchase of DoubleClick, which has some industry professionals crying foul, would give them a definitive position in the graphical advertising market. If the deal is allowed to go through, Google will be forced to deal with customers that have often had a long history with the company. While they would like to integrate DoubleClick into Google as seamlessly as possible, such a feat will not be easily accomplished, and it may take several years before DoubleClick can be fully integrated within Google’s other advertising options.
Google’s AdWords system took more than two years itself to build it up to a level that was satisfactory for public consumption, and integrating other media platforms with relatively long histories, such as DoubleClick, could take even longer.
Putting everything available in one place, however, will give Google a huge advantage over other marketing companies. From just one online dashboard, a company could theoretically one day launch multiple advertising campaigns on a variety of media platforms. One could kick off a radio, television, magazine, and online campaign all online! It could streamline things for those who already run such campaigns, as well as attract newer, smaller businesses that now see an easy way to get into the advertising game. It’s an obvious cash cow for Google.
Tim Armstrong, Google’s North American president of advertising and commerce, said at a UBS media conference in New York, “We’re intent on bringing more and more scale to the digital dashboard space. There’s a high level of interest and a high level of work that needs to be done. We’re very very early stage on connecting those businesses. I think this is a two-, three-, five-year product that we’re going to work on.”
Beyond DoubleClick, Google is also expressing interest in forging partnerships with multiple companies in the same area. From Google’s perspective, the deal is a way for Google to bring together the market between advertisers who buy commercial space, and the publishers who sell the ad space inventory.
“DoubleClick is one piece of it. We think the deal should close. We think our competitors have been able to close their deals, ” said Armstrong.
Google, which started off as a small college search engine project, has grown to enormous size, and one can’t help but wonder if they’re becoming more of a marketing/advertising agency than anything else.