Google: ‘Marketers that historically built their brand on TV are reorienting to digital’

The marketing industry is at a “significant industry moment” where marketers who historically built their brands on TV are reorienting their creative, planning and investments with digital at the centre, according to Google’s senior vice president and chief business officer Nikesh Arora.

Google’s SVP and chief business officer says marketers at a tipping point where they will start and end brand building campaigns on digital, rather than TV.

Speaking on a call with analysts after reporting Google’s first quarter results, Arora said this shift provides an “irresistible trend” for marketers.

He said this is evidenced by nearly all of this year’s Super Bowl advertisers turning to YouTube to extend the life of their TV spots, videos that have been viewed more than 300 million times – “three times the size of the audience” that saw the ads on TV.

Google is set to hold its annual Brandcast Upfront Event event in New York in the coming weeks which will focus on its new “Google preferred” offering, which it hopes will lead to more marketers focusing their brand building efforts around the Google platform.

The new premium feature will provide brands with exclusive access to the “best, most engaging” content on YouTube with guaranteed audiences through third-party measurement providers such as Nielsen and comScore. Google says this content will have a higher level of brand safety and a better level of measurement compared with other media.

Arora said over the past 18 months marketers have slowly started using digital to extend their brand campaigns, but this is soon to reach an inflection point where brands will use other media to extend their digital efforts – “the Holy Grail”, as he described it.

He added: “Now the real fun will began when people start doing campaigns exclusively on digital to go and help them build brands. That requires us to get ahead of the curve and get into the creative process much earlier, because usually what we end up doing now is we get to the end of the period of process and they just want to extend their brand.”

This is why Google is now “working really hard” with advertisers and large agency groups to help them conceive brand campaigns “start and end in digital”, using TV as an extension medium, rather than the other way around.

Arora admitted it would take time to get to that point with all advertisers, but that deals with measurement providers to provide cross media measurement capability will give marketers “comfort” their advertising dollars are being well spent in digital.

He added: “We will go a long way in making sure that we get them to transition from just using traditional media to including digital in their media mix and eventually designing campaigns that start and end up digital.”

Arora’s comments came after Google’s shares dropped as much as 5 per cent over investor concerns about its inability to maintain strong advertising prices.

Google’s average cost per click price fell 9 per cent year on year in the three months to 31 March, as it continued to struggle to charge advertisers higher rates for mobile ads.

Profit grew 9.9 per cent to $4.12bn year on year, on a 19 per cent increase in revenue to $15.42bn. UK revenue grew 14 per cent to $1.6bn.

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