Google Radio Ads: NO match for AdWords

Google believes its years long effort to diversify into radio advertising may finally be nearing a market turning point. Even top spokesperson CEO Eric Schmidt has taken to touting Audio Ads again.

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Google believes its years long effort to diversify into radio advertising may finally be nearing a market turning point. Even top spokesperson CEO Eric Schmidt has taken to touting Audio Ads again.

But is radio technology company dMarc Broadcasting and a minor league resale deal with Clear Channel really how Google is going to bring the revolution that was AdWords to the radio?

Google has floundered in all its offline diversification efforts to date: Radio, print, TV...because its new media online value proposition is NOT transferrable to offline old media. Advertising is shifting online from off, for just that reason.

Despite the great Google mystique and the power of the Google brand, even the mighty Google can not simply stamp a "revolutionary" label on an old school ad product like radio advertising and hope to make it new again in the eyes of advertisers.

In a Q & A with USA Today, Schmidt himself is unable to show how the magic that is AdWords will be matched by Google on the radio.

Q: The beauty of the online advertising model is that advertisers know whether or not an ad has been effective. They only have to pay if someone clicks on the ad. How can you bring relevancy to radio?

A: Advertisers can target the listener by driving them to a toll-free number or website address, and that should produce an uptick in the product demands.

Where is the touted accountabiltiy? What about pay only for performance? How about reaching buyers that are actively looking for the product?

NO, NO, NO. Google Audio Ads are NOT Google AdWords!

The Google AdWords targeting and performance assurance; concise, accurate and new media effective:

  • Advertise to people searching on Google and our advertising network
  • Reach people actively looking for information about your products and services online
  • Easily control costs - pay only when people click on your ad

The Google Radio advertising targeting and performance assurance; complicated, uncertain and an old media gamble:

It’s important to make your ad compelling and persuasive to your target audience, you might ask yourself what would compel you to listen to an advertisement for your own product or service.

Most radio listeners are more likely to pay attention to your ad on weekdays during the morning drive -- this is an important fact to take into consideration when selecting dayparts for your Audio campaign. Additionally, younger listeners are more likely to tune out radio commercials.

 The following three reports are available in your AdWords Report Center:

  1. Today's Scheduled Ads - ads scheduled to play through midnight that day.
  2. Played Spots - list of the ad spots during which your ad was aired.
  3. Summary Report - ads by date, geographic location, station type.

"Differentiate between sales driven by your radio campaign and sales driven by your existing keyword campaigns, " Google suggests.  How so though?

Very old media school tracking style:

  • Track visits to your website: Use a vanity URL as part of your call-to-action (such as www.yoursite.com/uniqueword). Make sure you don't publicize the address anywhere else -- this way, you can be certain the traffic you receive to the site is from people who heard your ad on the radio.
  • Track the number of calls to a toll-free or vanity number: Make sure you don't publicize the phone number anywhere else -- this way, you can be certain the calls you receive are from people who heard your ad on the radio.  Many vendors who can provide this service.
  • Track visits or foot traffic to your store: Monitor changes in traffic levels . Informal or formal surveys of shoppers can help determine if their visit was influenced by your radio ad campaign.
  • Track conversions using a unique offer or coupon code: Implement a unique offer code for users to enter when visiting your site, and offer a small incentive in return. Coupons and special offers can motivate customers to notice your ad, and purchase your services or products.

Who needs Google on the Radio?

Google may garner a small amount of existing AdWords customers that want to try out radio, but Google is NOT on track to become the master of radio advertising.

ALSO: Why is Google afraid to buy Clear Channel? Google Radio: Can Clear Channel REALLY save it? Why Google will NOT rule the world!