Google begins commoditisation of web marketing?
28 August 2008
Google has launched an interesting tool called promotebusinessonline.com.au to help small to medium businesses develop an online marketing plan (thanks go to James Tuckerman for alerting me to this). The tool is built around a 10-step process to help users identify opportunities for their business and culminates in producing an automatically-generated marketing plan.
After spending a fair bit of time playing with the tool over the past couple of days, I’ve concluded that it’s designed to encourage businesses to sign up for Google AdWords. The tool focuses on stepping the user through how search marketing works and helps select keywords. The final output is a slick, 12-page PDF document that can be taken to managers to feed into a broader marketing plan. It’s elegant, and does a good job of demystifying the world of paid search and measurement (though one negative point is the potential for a user to think that AdWords is the be-all and end-all of “online marketing”).
This news comes as Red Herring today reports that Google has changes planned for AdWords that could boost the number of paid ads delivered per search.
Google’s advertising delivers the majority of its revenue (US$16.4 billion in 2007), so driving awareness and adoption is an obvious strategy for growing business and revenue.
From a digital PR perspective, the timing is perfect. If used properly, Google’s tool will help grow awareness of the opportunities surrounding digital marketing and break down some barriers to adoption. This should help open the door to conversations around what opportunities exist above and beyond Google AdWords, while reinforcing the measurability of online PR. Great work, Google!