Everything I Know about Marketing I learned from Google

Google Alphabet Soup

June 16, 2011 by Aaron Goldman

Check out the Search Insider column I penned this week for a rundown of everything you need to know about the Big G from A to Z.


Why Facebook Needs More SMB Apps

March 3, 2011 by Aaron Goldman

I haven’t been using Google Apps much since I joined Kenshoo but I was a power-user with Connectual.

Today I logged in to my Google Apps account on a whim to see if anything had changed a lo and behold, I was greeted with the message below.

This got my thinking about how valuable an asset it is to Google to have over 3 million businesses using Google products to power their internal operations. And why Facebook needs more small/medium business (SMB) apps if it wants to continue growing it’s share of the digital advertising pie — which is already growing quite nicely, mind you, with 1 in 5 online display ad dollars going to Facebook this year per eMarketer.

By working its way into the SMB infrastructure, Google makes itself indispensable to businesses. And with that level of penetration, cross-selling advertising products becomes much easier. Just check this box to send traffic to your domain!

I was talking to a friend the other day who works for Facebook and joking with him about why Facebook doesn’t use its own messaging system for internal corporate communication. Then the light bulb went off. Why not create an messaging app for SMBs? They gave everyone a Facebook email address. Why not let people use Facebook to manage messages to their own domains? And do it for free to trump Google App’s $50 a year.

Of course, creating business products like this would require a ton of new development around security and other protocols that are critical to servicing SMBs but, in the long run, this would really pay out for Facebook by getting businesses more active on the platform beyond managing pages. And once they’re more active on the platform, getting SMBs to fork over some ad dollars would become a much easier proposition.

Penetrating SMBs is the key to Facebook doing better than 1 in 5 display ad dollars and closer to the nearly 1 in 2 total online ad dollars that Google gets today per eMarketer. Now that would give Facebook investors something to really like!


Is Google Taking Too Much Credit?

September 28, 2010 by Aaron Goldman

That’s the question I’ll be addressing on my panel at OMMA Global in New York today.

Here’s the prep sheet I sent to my panelists. Will update this post tomorrow with session highlights.

OMMA Global NY
9/28 at 11:30am

Is Google Taking Too Much Credit?

Google recently announced that its search and advertising tools generated $54 billion of economic activity in the U.S. in 2009. But, as we all know, there are a number of different factors that contribute to sales conversions both on and offline. In this session, we’ll examine the role of search in the media mix and discuss best practices for evaluating performance across all channels. We’ll also look at some of the more evolved attribution models being deployed by search marketing advertisers, agencies and technologies.

Aaron Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer, Kenshoo

Eli Goodman, Search Evangelist, comScore, Inc.
Greg A. Green, Director, Global Agency Strategy, Google
Justin Merickel, VP, Marketing and Product Development, Efficient Frontier
Peter Platt, Chief Digital Officer, Catalyst
Adam Kasper, SVP, Managing Director, Digital, Media Contacts


Is Google taking too much credit?

  1. See this post and video: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/googles-us-economic-impact.html
  2. Download this report: http://www.google.com/economicimpact/
  3. Please be prepared to weigh in with your thoughts on the methodology and findings.


  1. Since SEM is so dependent on consumer demand/interest, it can be difficult to budget for it. What are some best practices?
  2. Should search be the first line item budgeted for or the last? Somewhere in between?
  3. What about SEO? How does one approach this unpaid media opportunity?


  1. How can one measure “assists” solely within the search channel? (ie, upper funnel keywords)
  2. How can one measure impact of other online ads on search?
  3. How can one measure impact of offline ads on search?
  4. What tools are available to help with attribution?


  1. How does the conversation about attribution change when an advertiser has strict branding goals? (ie, no direct conversion/sales metric)


  1. What will the digital marketing landscape look like in 5 years?
  2. What will Google’s role be?
  3. How will budgeting and attribution strategies evolve?
  4. How can marketers best prepare today?


Lots of great conversation and insights.

Key points:

Greg – studies show the overall value of the Internet between $300 billion and $1 trillion so $54b is a drop in the bucket. (Sounds awfully like the Google monopoly defense.) Attribution is not a zero sum game. The pot for all of digital is getting bigger.

Eli – when thinking about attribution, don’t forget about offline. Oh yeah, and comScore has tools to help you do that.

Justin – with Facebook ads now being integrated into SEM platforms such as Efficient Frontier and Kenshoo (disclosure: my employer), it’s critical to measure the interplay between channels.

Adam – you have to get the right people in the room from the client, agency, and technology partner side to have a real discussion about attribution. That includes marketing, IT, etc.

Peter – it’s critical to track lifetime value and segment customers by value when evaluating credit for each channel. Not all customers are created equal.

I did a bit of Geraldo and worked the crowd throughout to integrate audience Q&A. And I gave a signed copy of the book to the first person that asked a question. (Wisely, someone immediately shot up their hand and asked, “Can I get the book?”)

Here’s one of the brief moments I was actually up at the podium. You can’t tell but I’m wearing a green Google Me tee and matching Pumas.

At the end of the session I asked each of the panelists and then the audience which company they thought would be driving the lion’s share of economic impact via the web in 2015. The rough audience response was as follows:

80% Google
10% Other
5% Apple
2% Facebook (aided by presence of Kelly Graziadei from FB)
2% Microsoft

Update 2: Here’s a better pic courtesy of my colleague, Paula, at Kenshoo. Good view of the green ensemble.

Update 3: I just got another one of those phishing emails and was reminded of a great exchange during this session with Greg from Google.

As a follow up to his analysis of the economic impact study, I asked Greg if Google counted the millions in impact from the Prince of Nigeria floating funds through my account in the US.

Greg: How’d that investment work out for you?

Me: Can Google help me get my money back?

Greg: Sure. Send me your social security number.

Me: Don’t you already have it???


Google Your Way to Space

September 16, 2010 by Aaron Goldman

Yesterday, Boeing announced a deal with Space Adventures to “offer commercial spaceflight opportunities.”

In the press release, Boeing says that “potential customers for excess seating capacity include private individuals, companies, non-governmental organizations, and U.S. federal agencies other than NASA.”

Laurie Sullivan explored the potential for commercial space exploration in her MediaPost Search Marketing Daily column: The Search For Spock: How SEO Might Help Boeing Market Commercial Space Flights.

Laurie explores how SEO might play a role in helping Boeing find potential customers. She cites SEO Training Dojo David Harry about how keyword research could be used.

“Ask them to search on Google for information about low orbit space travel at the consumer level,” Harry says. “Get then to try and book a flight searching from Google to see what they can actually do.”

Harry is taking a page (literally) from Chapter 14: You Can Learn a Lot from a Query by noting that search can be a great source of intelligence. Another application would be looking up the demographic profiles of people searching for “commercial space flights” and related queries using tools such as comScore and using that data to inform audience definition.

In preparing her piece, Laurie asked me what I thought the first step would be in creating an online marketing plan.

This was my response…

First step I’d say is defining the target audience.

This is way too broad: “private individuals, companies, non-governmental organizations, and U.S. federal agencies other than NASA.”

Depending on the price tag here, it’s likely the potential customer base is very small.

It will take some non-traditional marketing to reach this audience.

How do you reach Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher? Well, they’re on Twitter a lot.

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