Interactive marketers around the world eagerly watch Google as the company continues to innovate with products that move the industry forward in more ways than ever before.
Despite the trail blazed by Google, the majority of marketers tend to focus only on what’s available today when we consider our online advertising options. But let's imagine, for a minute, the possibilities for interactive marketing beyond what Google currently offers.
All of my re-imagined ideas are possible -- especially for Google, the industry golden child -- and could provide great benefits to companies seeking to spread their brand messaging.
It is important for advertisers and marketers to be forward thinking about the options available for online promotion of their products or services. Go to your partners, tell them your thoughts, let them build it and then you benefit. Using only what you are provided with is a recipe for a place behind the advertising curve.
So, let's open the doors to the world of our Google imagination.
Author Notes: Allen Stern is the editor of CenterNetworks.com. Read full bio.
When a user searches for a brand (i.e., Coke), the company that owns the brand can buy the results page and customize the look and design of the page. It could show commercials, fan sites, et cetera. Actual search results would still appear as normal, but the look of the page could be completely branded by Coke. This would be a much more interactive, robust experience compared with the standard sponsored text ad on the right.
Imagine launching a new product that receives huge buzz across the web on Day 1. This buzz would lead to massive searches on Google. Rather than a little text ad, you "own" the page with press release information, a video overview, a live chat using Google Chat, widgets, et cetera. Now this is the way to launch a product!
When using the Google Translate product, brand names in the translated language that match the requested translation would be shown. Rather than default text ads, the ads would appear in the language of the user and help to whet his or her appetite for the other language product.
As an example, you translate the word "refrigerator" from English to German. The translated word, kuehlschrank, appears as normal. Below the translation, rich-media ads (including video, audio, et cetera) appear for companies that produce refrigerators in Germany, including Miele, AEG, Bauknecht and Liebherr.
A company can create "skins" for GoogleTalk that would allow the chat to be in a branded environment. Every 5-10 minutes, the users would see a 10-second advertisement for the brand.
Yahoo! offered this option years ago with its messenger product and it was very popular with advertisers. While this would not be for every demographic set, it might work well with pre-teens and teenagers. Imagine them chatting in an environment with Hanna Montana, Hillary Duff or John Cena.
I think it’s critical for Google to take this further by adding in newer technology such as Flash and Ajax. Interactivity with the characters and the brand would make this very sticky.
With the launch of the newly renamed iGoogle, what if users could select from
pre-defined branded layouts? Users would still be able to add their own widgets, gadgets, feeds, et cetera.
For example, you could select the Nike layout, which might include an exclusive Tiger Woods widget that is only available when using the Nike layout.
The product or service would "own" the page for the purchased period of time and could rotate the branded layouts as needed. For example, a company like Bath and Body Works could provide its beauty products based on seasonal changes. It could also offer exclusive coupons for iGoogle-branded users.
Another option with the branded layouts could be a point system. Each time you login to the Pepsi-branded iGoogle, points would be added to your account. And interacting with the layout would provide additional points. Those points could be traded in for Pepsi-related prizes.
Rather than displaying the typical text ads that Google is known for with its AdWords product, the mockup below shows what might be possible if Google was to allow video ads on the site.
Perhaps that larger advertisement in the middle might be on autostart with no volume until the user interacts with it. As text ads are so yesterday, this might be a way for Google to leverage the video platform and offer advertisers a new way to interact with their customers.
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