Everything I Know about Marketing I learned from Google


…and Other Miscellany

There are many persons, places and things — or, as Pat Sajak would say, nouns — that I’d like to acknowledge for their role in bringing this project to life.


My family was very supportive during the many months I spent planning, writing, editing, and promoting this book. Special thanks to my wife, Lisa, who bore the brunt of my pre-occupation but was by my side every step of the way. I’d also like to call out my parents and siblings — the Goldmans for my pun-derful writing style and the Neimans for, among other things, allowing me to write uninterrupted during our vacation in Mexico. And much love to my daughter, Eliara, whose blog had to go on hiatus while I worked on this book but was a constant source of inspiration.

Everyone at McGraw-Hill has been a pleasure to work with. Just want to recognize a few folks — my editors, Donya Dickerson and Tania Loghmani, who helped this book take shape, and Gaya Vinay, who “discovered” me and helped with marketing this book.

Over 100 people — from marketers to agency execs to Googlers to authors to researchers to academics — participated in interviews and shared valuable insights that informed my manuscript. I won’t name them all here — just flip to the index for the rundown — but I hope each and every one knows how much I appreciate their time and consideration. If you’re long on time and attention span, check out GoogleyLessons.com for the full text of each interview. I do want to specifically mention Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore, who was more than helpful when it came to sourcing various statistics and research studies.

This project began as a series of bylines in MediaPost titled, “Everything I Need to Know about Marketing I Learned from Google.” The good folks at MediaPost were quite accommodating when it came to letting me use my column as a forum to flesh out this topic. Publisher, Ken Fadner, and Columns Editor, Phyllis Fine, deserve special recognition — Jon Whitfield doesn’t, but I’ll drop his name anyway.

Sheri Goldstein was my high school English teacher and encouraged me to pursue journalism at the University of Illinois. I ended up dropping journalism after one semester — too many deadlines! — but, had it not been for her, I wouldn’t have gone to U of I and, in turn, majored in advertising and joined a fraternity where I met two of my best friends and future business partners, Matt Spiegel and Lance Neuhauser.

To everyone not mentioned here, please know that it’s not because I don’t care — it’s because my editors cut you.


Resolution Media HQ — chapters 1-10 were written at my old desk while the agency was closed between Christmas and New Year’s 2009. I also plowed through a few too many reams of paper there a few months later while printing out manuscripts for hand editing. (I’m old-school that like that.)

Elevate Studios in Chicago — chapters 10-20 were written in this digital creative shop. The talented crew at Elevate also designed many of the images used in the book and developed the book’s website. Props to Larry Bak, Sara Novak, Jason Crichton and Travis Clanahan for their great work. Thanks also to Kate, Nate, and Joey for pretending not to mind me while I creaked in my chair, clacked away on my keyboard, and paced around the office.

Royal Resorts Cancun — chapter 21 was hatched here during a family vacation in March 2010. The staff at Tradewinds was very polite while I sat in the restaurant for hours at a time, ordering only iced tea.

Jimmy Johns on Chicago Avenue — this was my source of sustenance — #14 and a pickle — nearly every day I spent writing. Sometimes their delivery was so fast — I once clocked them at six minutes — I really did freak.

Googleplex – in general, the folks at Google were very cooperative. While making it clear they cannot endorse any book, they certainly opened their doors. Special thanks to Jake Parillo for providing access and approvals, Addie Braun for cheerleading and Sandra Heikkinen and Sarah Tran for the official tour in Mountain View.


Pandora — this Internet radio platform was the soundtrack for my writing. In case you’re wondering, the stations that really got me in the zone were West African Guitar, Instrumental, Enya and Krishna Das.

KosherHam.com — much love to Jeremy Bloom who runs this online t-shirt retailer and shares my sarcastic wit and love of puns. If you want the “Google Me” shirt I’m wearing on the jacket photo — which, by the way, was taken by my uncle, Phil Farber, of Photo Images, Inc. — go to GoogleyLessons.com/Shirt.


  1. I have business relationships with many of the companies and individuals referenced in this book but there are four that have directly put money in my pocket over the past year: Resolution Media (consulting), Adify Media (consulting), SocialVibe (recruiting), and MediaPost (conference planning — the writing is gratis).
  2. I own stock in some of the companies covered in this book including Google (5 shares), Microsoft (65 shares), Yahoo (140 shares), eBay (175 shares), and Comcast (317 shares). Yes, my portfolio’s in the red.
  3. I wrote this book to achieve fortune and fame.


  1. Don’t read this book cover-to-cover. Take in a chapter. Digest the lesson. Lather, rinse, and repeat when ready.
  2. Visit GoogleyLessons.com for additional acknowledgements, general updates, recent disclosures, and assorted tidbits related to the book, its subjects, and its author. And, by all means, share your thoughts on what you’ve read and what you’ve learned from Google.

OK, without further ado, let’s get Googley!


Aaron Goldman
April 2010


May 1, 2010: Today, I began consulting for Omnicom Media Group (OMG) and its Trading Desk division. I reference OMG a few times in the book including the Trading Desk itself in Chapter 10. My involvement with OMG had no influence on the book content as the final manuscript was turned in a month ago, but I thought I should add this disclosure.

July 16, 2010: I’d like to acknowledge a couple more folks for their roles in helping promote this book…

David Goldman is my younger brother and an SEM whiz. He’s helping me manage the AdWords campaign for people that actually do what my shirt says.

Matt Ballek is a video marketing expert and we’re collaborating on a YouTube channel featuring my Google rap videos, among other goodies.

Aug. 13, 2010: I’ve got a new favorite station on Pandora for background music while writing/working — Ratatat Radio.

Sept. 13, 2010: I’ve made “the decision” to put my company aside and pursue a new opportunity as Chief Marketing Officer of Kenshoo. While Kenshoo has only a brief mention in the book (page 127) and my conversations about this role did not begin until after publication, I thought it important to provide this disclosure. For more about my move, check out this video interview spoofing Lebron James, the official Kenshoo press release, and this blog post explaining my rationale.

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