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?