Google to Spend $100M on SMB Acquisition

Google is running a promotion through the end of the year, worth $100 million, to directly acquire small business advertisers:

What’s significant here beyond the aggregate amount of the incentive is the ability to have a rep set up the campaign (DIFM). This is part of Google’s larger move toward outbound telephone sales and service vs. an almost complete self-service orientation in the past.

What we’re seeing at Google is a significant commitment to the local market and a related internal cultural shift. I met with Google reseller chieftain Todd Rowe the other day and was impressed by the effort he described that the company was making toward SMB advertiser acquisition on multiple fronts. Unlike in the past Google now really seems to understand the SMB market and what it will take to succeed.

Rowe cited data that 70% of companies that enter the SMB market fail. The three success factors he mentioned were: internal organizational alignment (sales and marketing), multiple channel strategy and the right product(s). Google is now good to go on the first two.

The only question in my mind is whether the products offered are aligned with the perceived needs of business owners?

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12 Responses to “Google to Spend $100M on SMB Acquisition”

  1. Nathaniel Deal says at

    It seems that the last $100 Gift Card promotion in August did not do the trick. Nor did the “Train and Gain” promotion in November. Looks to me that Google is struggling to boost their Adwords service and they are setting up more and more promotions to entice business owners to sign up. Then again, I never know exactly what there up to.

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    Are you aware of whether the customer support was part of those promotions? 

  3. Tweets that mention Google to Spend $100M on SMB Acquisition -- Topsy.com says at

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Greg Sterling, Sebastien Provencher and Mediative, SparkSignals. SparkSignals said: RT @gsterling: Google to Spend $100M on SMB Acquisition http://bit.ly/emJ3Ow [...]

  4. Kyle Kazak says at

    @Greg It seems that the Google Boost ads weren’t as well received as they had thought.  I rarely see them in the 2 metro markets where they originally launched them. 

  5. Greg Sterling says at

    That’s interesting. I think that Google is now using telephone sales for Boost as well as Tags. 

  6. Andrew Shotland says at

    Would love to see the CPA/LTV calculations that went into this campaign.  

  7. Google Uses Groupon Tactics To Lure SMBs says at

    [...] reading this piece over at Greg’s blog about how Google is going to spend $100MM to get SMBs to use Adwords and the wording on this image [...]

  8. Mike Blumenthal says at

    Even with outbound service they still have service issues and often don’t get what it takes to make SMBs happy.

  9. earlpearl says at

    Greg:  I wonder if scope of Boost versus size/volume of market has some impact in seeing boost ads.

    By that I mean..the current monthly limit on boost is, I believe around $1400/month. (not sure about that).  Suppose attorneys are spending $10k/month thru adwords.  The boost ads would be showing at a fraction of overall shows.

    In speaking with a boost rep, I got the impression that sales were active in Houston and active with some already active adwords accts.

    This is all conjecture at this point with regard to actually seeing boost ads.  I’ve checked also and have seen 2 after a lot of searches.

    OTH:   maybe they just aren’t selling   :D

    But…based on my guess above, I’m going to search in the evening when overall searches/clicks/impressions should be less.  Maybe they’ll start showing up more often…

  10. Jason Barrett says at

    Greg, Google is definitely using telephone sales for Boost and Tags. I can confirm this on two fronts. The first is clients being called and the second is being called myself. The pitch is simple and effective. I would love to know the adoption rate. We can only estimate based on manual searches, but tags are starting to show for a lot of searches.

  11. Greg says at

    Interesting thanks

  12. Tweets that mention Google to Spend $100M on SMB Acquisition -- Topsy.com says at

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Anil Podduturi. Anil Podduturi said: Google to Spend $100M on SMB Acquisition: "Part of larger move toward outbound telephone sales/service vs. self-serve" http://bit.ly/e4eNpU [...]

  13. Dick Larkin says at

    Meet you in the heartland behind the school, GOOG. PPC ads are a different value proposition than hyper local directories. $3 per day buys a full page ad in a community directory that is serviced in person by a well trained specialist, professionally designed and typeset ad, printed, bound, mailed (using real postage) in a reference guide that is USED by 15,000 residents of a tight-knit community. The same $3 will buy a single GOOG click regardless if the clicker is the businesses’ competitor, an interloper in a far off land, or the perplexed business owner checking to see if it still works. Game, set, match.

  14. Google Uses Groupon Tactics To Lure SMBs says at

    [...] reading this piece over at Greg’s blog about how Google is going to spend $ 100MM to get SMBs to use Adwords and the wording on this image [...]

  15. Google Targets Small Businesses With $100 Million Worth Of AdWords Credits | JetLib News says at

    [...] but that is because local businesses need more hand-holding when it comes to online marketing. As Greg Sterling pointed out when the campaign kicked off in [...]

  16. Oh, Sugar! » Google Targets Small Businesses With $100 Million Worth Of AdWords Credits says at

    [...] but that is because local businesses need more hand-holding when it comes to online marketing. As Greg Sterling pointed out when the campaign kicked off in mid-December: What we’re seeing at Google is a significant [...]

  17. Google Targets Small Businesses With $100 Million Worth Of AdWords Credits | Take A Plunge says at

    [...] As Greg Sterling pointed out when the campaign kicked off in mid-December: [...]

  18. Google Targets Small Businesses With $100 Million Worth Of AdWords Credits | Ebay shopping tips says at

    [...] but that is because local businesses need more hand-holding when it comes to online marketing. As Greg Sterling pointed out when the campaign kicked off in mid-December: What we’re seeing at Google is a significant [...]

  19. Google Targets Small Businesses With $100 Million Worth Of AdWords Credits | The Tech Explorer Blog says at

    [...] but that is because local businesses need more hand-holding when it comes to online marketing. As Greg Sterling pointed out when the campaign kicked off in mid-December: What we’re seeing at Google is a significant [...]

  20. Google Targets Small Businesses With $100 Million Worth Of AdWords Credits | KaakoTech says at

    [...] but that is because local businesses need more hand-holding when it comes to online marketing. As Greg Sterling pointed out when the campaign kicked off in [...]

  21. Google Targets Small Businesses With $100 Million Worth Of AdWords Credits | www.friendzconnect.com says at

    [...] but that is because local businesses need more hand-holding when it comes to online marketing. As Greg Sterling pointed out when the campaign kicked off in mid-December: What we’re seeing at Google is a significant [...]

  22. Srinivas Kumar says at

    Google products are require self service, adding customer support or sales team will be very convenient for small business customers

  23. Kansas City SEO says at

    What a huge huge change in SEO from the time this article is written. The local focus is the biggest change in ten years.

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