Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Google gaggle

My best friend owns and manages two health club/physical therapy clinics. Great business, and he’s adding tread to his tires. After 36 holes and a few too many beverages this weekend in La Quinta, he lamented the lack of visibility and results of his marketing efforts. Here’s a fuzzy recap of our conversation:

I spend $700 to run an ad in the paper, and I have no idea who reads it or what happens.

Why do you do it?

I dunno.

What do you mean, I dunno?

I mean, we’re guilted. We’re a local business and we need to advertise in the paper.

Why? Does it work?

I have no friggin clue.
He’s doing business in the dark, blocking and tackling his way through archaic marketing 101. After a few sips and sighs, our chat resumed.
How many people do you reach with your ad?

I’m not sure. Maybe 5 or 10 thousand. What does it matter?

Do you know who you’re reaching?

Yeah, newspaper subscribers in Davis.

And you realize you’re paying to reach every reader, regardless of whether their a prospective customer or not?

Yeah, but we need to do it; other health clubs do.
Dead end, but not a lost cause (though I pondered the countless businesses that blindly do business … scary) -- Google to the rescue. We cracked another beer and shifted gears to the Great G’s AdWords program, the sensible and effective economics of paying for performance, of engaging in conversations with people who are interested (versus speaking at or to prospects through traditional mediums). Marketing migraine cured.

Fortunately, broadcast and print are next … Google is wrapping pilot programs for both mediums whereby ads will be fed based on a viewer or reader’s appetite. It’s close to a permission-based system for mass media, and I’m sure it’ll be backed by useful analytics.

Publishers and broadcasters can either run scared (’til they run out of money) or sprint to collaborate with Google. Either way, they’re going to need plenty of physical therapy and health club time, which is good news for my best friend.

1 comment:

dave said...

Why you dissin' Moore? hahahaha