Google, Microsoft and the changes to come

June 5, 2007

I had the chance yesterday to talk to a fairly high level sales executive with Google. Someone who had earlier worked for the company that Microsoft just purchased for $6 billion–needless to say he was happy with the price paid. But as someone who sells Google’s ad services to some big accounts in this area, he is in the thick of the war brewing between the two giants for all our ad dollars. And it will be a war–with interesting twists and turns that we can’t even imagine now.

I asked him about Google’s strategy of the street level addition to Google Earth and he talked about the potential for stores to take people from the street level into tours of their stores, directing them via Google to find just what they are looking for. Google doesn’t seem terribly worried about monetizing the street level views as they don’t seem concerned about monetizing
Google Earth, but it all adds up to making advertising more direct, more powerful, more effective. The pay per click model is here to stay–more than that, it is  rapidly coming to what all those who buy advertising long for and that is advertising as a fixed cost of the sale. I’ll pay for the ad if I sell the product but not if I don’t.

This has huge implications for all of us in communication and not just those buying advertising. How we connect with each other, how we provide messages, how we shape opinion, how we deliver facts are all related to how the commercial enterprise does its job. I can’t predict exactly how this clash of the monoliths will impact crisis communication or reputation management, but I’m pretty darn certain that it will have a huge impact. Repeat after me: Change is good, change is my friend.

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2 Responses to “Google, Microsoft and the changes to come”


  1. Any technology that makes it easier for messages to be delivered with pinpoint accuracy to target audiences is good for effective crisis communications. If you desire to communicate a specific message to audiences and you’re willing to pay to ensure that it gets there, then the “pay for click” model may be adaptable to both crisis and issues management.

    Jonathan Bernstein
    President, Bernstein Crisis Management LLC
    Editor, “Crisis Manager” Newsletter

  2. Chip Griffin Says:

    Gerald and Jonathan- I agree with you both. All of these innovations allows communicators to talk directly with individuals or niches that allows for more forthright and direct conversation. The more you know about your potential audience, the less you have to worry about using overly generic or broad language so as not to alienate those who may only share some of the targeting characteristics being sought.


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