What can Eric Schmidt teach advertising professionals and marketers?
Google is by far the largest advertising company in the world. They make as much money in 3 month on advertising alone as the world's largest ad network WPP in a whole year. Google's ad revenues are higher than the 3 biggest USA TV networks together. Eric Schmidt former CEO together with the founders Larry and Sergei created Google AdSense and AdWords. This is a completely new advertising phenomena that delivers relevant advertising to individuals. This precisely targeted advertising method started to replace traditional media that is usually a generic message to a large audience. Read a few interesting statements Eric made in italics and then my thoughts about what they mean in the context of our profession.
The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.
The internet from the very beginning was meant to be something else according to Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the WWW. The internet evolves without any clear goal into something different every year. It's the first thing humanity did at such large scale involving almost every person on the planet. The internet has some rules, but it's still a space with unprecedented freedom that never existed in the real world since civilization emerged. What does that mean for us adman? The internet has a huge potential. Every brand should be exploring the possibilities. It's changing fast bringing new opportunities at every corner. While most of the spending is still made in traditional media, this may change dramatically in the next few years. Radio and print spending is already dropping fast. TV and outdoor will follow soon.
Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool. … Brand affinity is clearly hard wired. It is so fundamental to human existence that it's not going away. It must have a genetic component.
Brands indeed are part of the human psyche. It's how we make sense of the increasingly complex world. Brands are semi-solid ground in the sea of ever changing landscape of products and services. Some may think that the internet and social networking will reduce the importance of brands, but it's not true. People will never have enough time to research every single purchase decision they make even if the internet will make it extremely simple for them. They will rely on brands for the foreseeable future. It's worth spending money and time on branding exercises.
Our business strategy is not to compete.
The market is more fragmented than ever before. In the near future personalized services and products will strive. Your small company does not have to compete with large brands no more. Pick a narrow segment nobody is servicing. Invent one if it doesn't exists. It's easier to create new markets than to fight competitors.
More and more searches are done on your behalf without you needing to type. I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next... Serendipity can be calculated now. We can actually produce it electronically.
This applies to Google and should apply to every brand today. Companies should collect a lot of public information about their existing and possible future customers and massage the information to give them predictions about future needs. Brands should not ask customers what they want on focus groups. People don't know what they want. Brands should invent things that customers will want to buy in the future.
I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.
This is the information age. With WikiLeaks being the most vocal example, no secrets remain secrets anymore. A company can not anymore do anything that would need to be hidden from its customers. Eventually it will leak and the business in result of this will collapse. No more polluting practices, no more unhealthy secret ingredients, no more lies. The internet will make every company transparent. This is the time for all brands and companies to come clean or die.
The next big wave in advertising is the mobile internet.
If you're looking where to put your efforts as an ad professional, agency or a brand owner look no further than mobile. Soon advertising in the mobile space will be the most immediate, most widespread and most effective method anywhere. Those who will be comfortable in the mobile space will win.
Good luck in this brave new world!