Posted on: July 25, 2008

Google is trying to take away one of my jobs, Traditional Media Planning/Buying, with the launch of their new products radio, TV and print buying features.

I gave them a fair shot and set about to test their research, planning, placing and buying capabilities. Here’s the good, the bad and the reason I still have a job.

Lots of media stuff to follow…

How it works: Just like Google’s search engine marketing, the user interface is simple and easy to use. Anyone who know how to work the AdWords program now has the power to buy radio, TV or print. Here is the break down of how radio works through Google (its pretty much the same for TV and print).


Step 1- pick your market (super simple if you’re a local advertiser)

Step 2-select your stations

In San Diego there are only 9 stations, 6 of those are Clear Channel. No two stations share a format. So your station selection is not only narrow, its stuck in a one station group (and that station group loves long commercial breaks).

I love that the “advanced” feature of station selection is picking stations using a demo. A lot of clients can only name one station in the market (the one they listen to, two stations if they have a wife). Google does not provide station call letters, only the format. Even I’m not sure what the difference is between Adult Contemporary and Hot Adult Contemporary.

Step 3- set your budget and your run dates/times

You set a budget per week and then buy off CPM (cost per thousand), which is so overly simplified its a joke.

Dayparts are all set, so no negociating your way out of the lower rated hours.

No mention of frequency either…so that’s great you have a CPM of $4.33 across 4 stations, with a budget of $2,000 a week, but if anyone only heres your spot 1 time, squeezed in the middle of a 6 minute break, is that relaly money well spent?

At the end Google does tell you how many impressions you’ll get and how many times your spot will air. With $7,500 I get 723 spots over 4 weeks across 9 stations. That’s 2 spots a day per station….and you know those are not being played at anytime except weekends and 7p-12m.

But to be fair there is some good:

  • User friendly interface – anyone can set up their media plans with a few clicks and a credit card
  • Provides measurement tools – they use impressions, a very simplified version of media analytics, which a basic media buyer can use across all media (online & traditional) to analyze the entire campaign which is a great concept
  • Encourages accountability – suggest vanity URLs and vanity phone numbers which every advertise should be using!
  • Simple – Google has the power to make the most complicated seem effortless and easy; this system is definitely less intimidating than Strata media planning software.

The Bad:

  • Bidding system which works gloriously for online, would fail implemented on radio/tvbecause of the variance in dayparts and stations
  • “Research” is an absolute joke, demos seemed to be based off of traditional format demo not individual station demographics; does not take into account ethnicity (kind of important in San Diego), time spent listening, cume or any other valid media measurements.
  • No station competition so you have clear channel or nothing, its hard to be careful with your money when you only have one option for a station format.
  • No station relationship-media reps are awesome, the free lunches, VIP concert passes and loads of other swag but most importantly if you treat them well, they will always help you out. They are vested in seeing your campaign do well so that you stay on air. So they’ll negotiate rates, watch your spot placement, give your client bonus spots and make good when a station fails to deliver ratings.
  • Creative- the creative is really where companies can fail measurably. Even with the best spot placement if your ad misses the mark creatively then all the money invested into your media buy were completely pointless. Even if you manage the buy yourself…you still have to produce a spot.

Why this will not replace the media buyer –> doesn’t make the process better, it just provides accesss.

I’m not threatened…I swear!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


July 2008
    Aug »
%d bloggers like this: