A while ago, a social media agency wrote an article saying that Google Buzz's launch strategy was not very well planned. All of a sudden a link appeared on millions Gmail accounts, which instigated a massive outcry about privacy because Gmail users' recent activity was being broadcast for anyone to see. In order to avoid this faux pas again, Google+ will start out as invite-only, much like the early days of Gmail. And, just like Gmail, Google+ has been dubbed a constantly evolving "project" instead of a polished "product."
So what is that evolution going to look like? Google+ takes some of the features that we love about Facebook and provides some innovative improvements. Circles lets you easily create different communication groups of friends through easy drag-and-drop, which means no more over-sharing through Facebook posts. The mobile integration, something that Facebook has yet to truly capitalize on, looks incredible through features like Huddle, which lets you text a group of friends instantly.
Lastly, Google+ is intended to be more of a blanket approach with a navigation bar that appears no matter where you are in your logged-in Google experience. This provides an amplification of your favorite Google products using social functionality (yup, that's where they are going with the "+" name). Google Search gets new social content discovery with Sparks, Google video chat gets a twist with a feature called Hangouts, and now your Google account gets a more robust, visual Profile.
In the end, the success of Google+ depends on whether or not consumers can truly get over the hurdle of trying yet another social channel. Of course, it doesn't hurt that many of these features are embedded within existing Google products, but that doesn't mean adoption will be easy. It will be crucial to evaluate how Google+ could hit different segments as it evolves - for example, what small business wouldn't love to use Hangouts as an alternative to expensive webinar software? Also, something no one is really talking about is the ability of Google's Android momentum to provide a crucial foothold for mobile/social adoption.
Interactive Advertising Spends
RBM is social media agency and has a longstanding relationship with some of the publishing industry's most venerable brands. Working for these clients has revealed to them unique insights into online content consumption: from the fluffiest entertainment to the weightiest news analysis. How content is discovered, bought and sold is rapidly changing-the effects of these changes affect all marketers.
It comes as no surprise that in the last five years the print journalism industry has been struggling to find its place in the media marketplace. Print circulation for major US newspapers has fallen steadily over the last decade, and now less than half of US adults read any print edition in a given week.
Yet it's also important to bear in mind that only in 2010 have interactive advertising spends overtaken print newspaper (not including magazines or other print ad vehicles) amounts at $26B according to the IAB. In comparison, at the beginning of the last decade, newspaper publishing was a $50B business.
Until the advent of the Web, newspapers controlled customer relationships via the newsstand and direct subscriptions. Now, however, two new channels dominate content discovery: search and social media. As a result, a new breed of content has emerged online to take advantage of these channels.
Search engine results pages (SERPs) represent the most precious advertising real estate available to advertisers today. Yet search marketing is perhaps the most technical and time consuming part of online media management. Search marketers often lose sight of the forest for the trees, obsessed with the minutia of keywords, their bids, and ad text. Mature, competitive ad environments erode profit margins and limit growth.
In keeping with the Holistic Search practice, RBM breaks through by focusing on audiences, their needs, behaviors, and pain points. Best-in-class bid technology is merely a price to entry. They optimize for when and where audiences search and meet them with optimal search experience design, maximizing conversion value per search query.
RBM's CARMA test platform works with the proven Marin Search Marketer software, giving strategists a rapid creative learning platform that builds competitive advantage for their clients week after week. Their KUNU analytics practice marries their client-side conversion data-revenue, customer acquisitions, and loyalty-with media spend. As a result, RBM exploits value inefficiencies in search ad auctions, pushing the best ads to the top of best customers' search results.