Should Google Get all the Credit?

Posted by Matt Mills on November 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Washington DC marketing and advertisingYou are doing a disservice to your marketing strategy when you incorrectly give Google more credit for your advertising success than they deserve!

An effective marketing plan in Washington DC includes a unique marketing mix…one that includes a number of different elements all working together to produce advertising results.  It isn’t often that one, and only one, marketing element is the sole key to your success.

To prove the point that you shouldn’t give Google all the credit, consider the following analogy:

Brian rides the Metro to work every morning.  He gets the train in DC at the Dupont Circle station.  Since his work schedule is the same every day, he often arrives to the station around the same time each morning.  And to his delight, there is an attractive young lady who is also on the platform most mornings.  At first he just noticed her and then as time went on, he would make eye contact, and then eventually give a little nod of “good morning.  Brian never spoke with her, until one day when he was sitting outside at a café having lunch and noticed she was sitting at the table next to him.  Seizing the opportunity, he leaned over, introduced himself and asked her if she might like to join him for lunch the next day.  She said yes.

Now consider if we approached the same situation in another way:

Brian gets a new job and his work schedule changes.  The first day of his new job he is at the Dupont Circle Metro Station and sees many new faces.  On that first day there, he notices a very attractive young lady and walks up to her.  He introduces himself and asks her if she would like to have lunch tomorrow.

Are the chances better for success in the first scenario or the second? 

Obviously, the first.  But why?  You are more likely to engage with someone you feel comfortable with.  Even though the young lady hadn’t ever said a word to Brian, she had seen him enough times that he wasn’t a stranger anymore.  It was much easier for her to say yes to him than that first day when he was a stranger.

Now let’s apply this concept to Google.

Washingtonians are exposed to hundreds of advertisements each day.  Many of these are for products and services you don’t need at that moment in time.  Or don’t need that day, week or even month. You are not “in the market” at that point.

But at some point you are likely to be in the market for a product or service that you’ve seen advertisements for in the past, such as new windows for your home, a new car, or even laser eye surgery.  And when you are in the market for those products, it is often because of a situation in your life, not always because of an advertisement you were exposed to.

These days, when you get in the market for a product, what do you do?  Research it.  Where?  Google!

When you type in “Laser Eye Surgery Washington DC,” you will receive a list of doctors and facilities that perform this procedure in the Washington DC area.  Those results will not be based on the best option, but instead be ranked based on SEO and/or SEM.  With a few to choose from, you are most likely to choose the one you are familiar with.  When you do, should Google get the credit for your “click”? Or should the credit be given to the successful marketing plan that was developed and implemented that exposed you to the marketing message through any number of advertising platforms? Your familiarity and decision to select a particular company’s product or service comes from the memorable radio or TV commercial you’ve heard or seen over the past few months, the innovative and interactive mobile ad you saw on your smartphone, the effective banners ads displaying on your favorite DC website, and the eye-catching billboard at the bus stop outside your office…not Google.

Think about personal relationships.  You develop a deeper relationship with someone after seeing them 10 different times for one hour than you would if you saw them just one time, for 10 hours.

In advertising, this is similar to the concept of frequency.  Not only are you more likely to take action after multiple exposures to an advertising message, but each time you are exposed you are also developing a “relationship” with that brand. And that will make a big difference when that product appears in your Google results list. 

Want to learn more about creating the best marketing strategy for your Washington DC area business? Download this free eBook today:



Tags: Branding, Advertising Measurement, Marketing strategy, matt mills

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