LAST week, the digital stratosphere was “a-Buzz” with Google, when the internet’s biggest search company upped the ante on Facebook and announced its assault on social networks.
Then, within days Google’s stranglehold of the online advertising market was called into question when brands including O2, Vodafone and Fiat announced they were dedicating spend to Facebook, as they moved to ramp up direct response advertising.
The shift to online advertising reflects how the internet has become the main route for consuming goods and services.
It allows businesses to monitor results and measure return on investment to assess the effectiveness of ad campaigns.
However, the success of online advertising hinges on targeting and, more specifically, behaviour.
For instance, Google monitors individuals’ web browsing behaviour, the pages they’ve visited and the searches they’ve made, to select advertisements that are relevant.
In turn, this provides content that is relevant to the user and specific to their interests and gives advertisers access to a more relevant audience of quality readers.
In addition, Facebook’s “social” dominance gives advertisers access not just to what you’re thinking, but to where you are, who you’re with and what you plan to do.
With businesses increasing their online spend, the battle for control of the internet intensifies – as does the sniping. “Google does not represent the future of technology”, according to Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.
Yet, it’d take a brave man to bet against Google and its $25bn war chest. There’s a lot you can do with a spare billion.
And the last decade has proven it’s not a business that is prepared to stand still.
The competition is good, it promotes productivity and innovation which produces more opportunities for businesses to drive sales and awareness.
It’s not about who’s standing tallest but how we consume content and maximise its online potential.