Star of the Show

By Aaron Goldman, VP of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships

If Google has become synonymous with search, then it can be said that search was front and center at last week’s OMMA Global Conference in New York.

As I discussed in my recent Search Insider column (which was posted to the RM blog yesterday), I had a hand in programming the show and tried to create a diverse search track to cover all the relevant angles.

However, it seemed like all anyone wanted to talk about was the Big G. I probably could’ve made my job a lot easier if I’d have just created an agenda consisting of 1 panel on each Google product offering.

Despite only having 2 speakers from Google across 6 sessions, by and large, the search panels were well attended and featured spirited discussion…

RM President, Dave Gould represented SEM shops well in the panel on agency value prop. in a world of automation (see Dave’s earlier posts for more on his POV.)

RM client Pat Fitzgerald from Sirius XM did a great job discussing the challenges and opportunities around digital asset optimization.

And the panel I moderated showcased compelling research from Microsoft and, yep, Google regarding the role of search in branding.

What I found most interesting, however, was the degree to which Google, or more appropriately, Googlephobia pervaded many of the non-search sessions .

The Frienemy was the topic du jour with speakers continually stirring the pot with a healthy dose of Goo to get a rise out of the audience.

In one session, a panelist asked the crowd how many people inherently trusted Google. One person raised their hand. She worked for Google.

In his keynote, Chris Anderson of Long Tail fame, asked the audience how many people thought Google competed with their company. More than half the room raised their hands.

Finally, in Friday’s morning keynote panel, Nigel Morris of Isobar shared a direct quote from Google’s country manager in Belgium, "All agencies are middlemen and we want to destroy you."

OK, this last bit might be a bit extreme, but it shows to what extent people are using Google as a means to get attention.

Now I doubt the folks in Mountain View really mind. After all, no press is bad press -- or is it all press is good press?

And from my perspective, it’s not a matter of trust or competition. It’s a matter of value and accountability (both Google’s and yours.) No matter what your stake is in search, if you’re providing value and are accountable for your actions and results, you have nothing to fear from the Big G.

As OMMA proved, thanks to Google, the spotlight is now squarely upon the search space right now. Let’s not blow it by getting stuck in the Goo. Let’s use it to continue to build the foundation of the house that Google built.


Jeff Marshall said...

nice commentary on the goo-iness of last week's OMMA. google is a powerful player in the marketing space, but most companies (brands and agencies) can/will generate more value WITH google vs. working against google. that's the big question everyone should be asking - how do you generated more value by working with google?

Aaron Goldman said...

Great point Mr. Marshall. It's not an either/or scenario. It's a "yes, and..." Ironically, "yes, and..." was the theme of a recent presentation I attended hosted by none other than Jim Lecinski of Google. :)

Copyright © 2008 Resolution Media, Inc. All rights reserved.