Days ago, Google announced a major rebranding effort for two of its core, tentpole paid advertising products. After nearly two decades in the market, Google’s AdWords and DoubleClick brands will become “Google Ads” and the “Google Marketing Platform” respectively.
To unpack what Google’s AdWords rebranding might mean for Mediagistic’s clients and the home services industry in general, we put together a brain trust of Mediagistic’s in-house paid search subject matter experts — Performance Marketing Manager Hansel Merchor and Vice President of Internet Marketing and Product Innovation Brantley Smith — and posed these questions to them.
Question & Answer Session: Google’s AdWords Rebranding & the New Google Ads Platform
Q: After 18 years of AdWords, why do you think Google chose to make this move?
Hansel Merchor: “The rebranding is based on the fact that the name AdWords no longer reflects the number of ways in which Google’s advertising reaches people. It is meant to reflect the growth experienced by other products such as Display and Video advertising.”
Q: What does this mean for Google’s business model? Does it represent some kind of pivot?
Brantley Smith: “It’s a signal to the world that Google is furthering its efforts to add incremental revenue by reaching the SMB market. The SMB market is the biggest untapped source of new revenue that exists, due to the difficulty in reaching and onboarding small business advertisers. Google’s efforts, like many others, are centric to not only creating a recognizable and intuitive name (sounds like “what it does” to the average person), but to also enhance the ad platform to be more user friendly to increase adoption.
This is the last frontier for most major ad platforms. To reach the SMB and capture more share-of-wallet in terms of ad dollars. If an SMB owner finds it easier to place an order with a Valpak sale rep to send coupons in the mail for $900/month rather than setting up a complex AdWords search campaign, that’s what the SMB owner will do. Google’s rebranding is one dimension of a complex change to overcome that dynamic.”
Q: Will this precipitate any kind of change in strategy for how agencies like Mediagistic execute paid advertising campaigns in the home services space?
Hansel Merchor: “This rebranding won’t affect Mediagistic’s strategy. Updates to our clients’ strategies reflect the ways in which people act online as opposed to how Google brands his products. That said, for the past year or so, we have been seeing heavier investment in video and remarketing. While the ‘search’ space has become more cluttered, expensive and competitive with the advent of GLSA, other Google products are still affordable and effective. We’re planning to place a lot more focus on those products and continue to test for optimal outcomes.”
Q: Google has had local services ads for nearly a year now, and it also recently announced its “smart campaigns for small businesses.” Do these changes mean SMBs should be less inclined to work with agencies? Is digital marketing suddenly becoming DIY?
Brantley Smith: “In the end Google has a long way to go to brand themselves and make their ad platform user friendly to the average person who is not a digital marketing expert. For the foreseeable future I think SMBs will need agencies like Mediagistic to overcome the complexities in local digital marketing. The rebranding will not materially impact our strategies or our clients directly, but does indicate the importance Google places on serving the SMB digital marketing needs.
We will be here to ensure that happens irrespective of any progress made to level the playing field with more intuitive ad platforms. In the end the complexity of reaching the right consumer with the right message and at the right time is an art that extends well beyond ad placement capabilities. It requires critical thinking, research and creative that only a true marketing and advertising agency can provide. Mediagistic provides this every day to our clients. And we do it well.”
Q: What challenges lie ahead for paid search and performance marketing as they pertain to the home services industry?
Hansel Merchor: “I think the challenge for Google is to make products like GDN and video work for industries that function on a ‘time in need’ basis. These need to become viable lead-generation channels and perhaps Google’s machine learning advancements will get them closer to that. While Google figures that out, the challenge for people in the home services industry is to establish a viable attribution model in which we can place real value for these channels in the lead-generation process. Updates to overall marketing strategies and to the way in which dollars allocated may also be a good idea.”
Q: So what are the takeaways here, if any?
Brantley Smith: “Let a qualified expert focus on your marketing so you can focus on your business. Ignore the noise. Poise your business for scale. Hire a good agency!”
Paid Advertising Expertise for the Home Services Industry
Rebranding or no rebranding, it’s always been relatively easy to set up a paid advertising campaign in Google. It was deceptively easy, in fact.
The thing that isn’t so simple, however, is making those campaigns yield demonstrable results and leads for your business. The difference in ROAS between a properly optimized paid search campaign and an unmanaged one is vast. It’s entirely possible to set up an ad that will blow its entire budget in days without generating a single phone call.
Mediagistic’s performance marketing team has the necessary digital marketing acumen to know how to make your paid search and advertising campaigns perform at a high level. When you work with our agency, you’ll have an entire team of marketing professionals and subject matter experts working on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more about how our custom digital marketing plans can benefit you.
Brantley Smith is the Vice President of Digital Marketing and Product Innovation at Mediagistic. He is a big picture sort of guy. If you want to know what the future is bringing, he’s a good guy to talk to. His entrepreneurial DNA led him to start up four tech companies before age thirty-five, one of which he navigated through its merger and acquisition by publicly traded Online Outpost Licensing Corporation. Connect with him on Linkedin.
Hansel Merchor is Mediagistic’s Performance Marketing Manager. He’s widely experienced with overall performance marketing; regional, local and international lead generation; branding; media planning and media buying; retargeting, attribution modeling; social media, as well as e-commerce on nationwide and international SEM campaigns.
Eddie Childs is the Inbound Marketing Manager for Mediagistic. His writing has been published by a range of websites and publications including Copypress.com, Jambase.com, NFLSoup.com, FootballNation.com, and Boating World, KnowAtlanta, Men’s Book, Cobb in Focus, TCL, Blush, Charged Electric Vehicles, Business to Business, and Catalyst magazines. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on Linkedin.
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