John Ebbert of AdExchanger and we here at Brand.net noticed the same thing on Google’s earnings call last night – the launch of Google Display Network Reserve, “which gives advertisers the opportunity to buy premium inventory on a guaranteed basis.”
This is interesting for a couple reasons.
First, it’s a clear signal that Google understands where the growth will come from in the display market: large brands moving traditional media budgets online to follow their customers. eMarketer laid out the case in December and it’s clear Google understands and agrees; Google launched the guaranteed product because “it’s how brand advertisers are telling us they want to buy inventory.” We’ve been hearing the same thing loud and clear.
Second, to anyone that still had any doubts about Google’s commitment to or progress in Display: Wake Up. Since acquiring DoubleClick 4 years ago this week, Google has moved in a fast, focused way to lock up all the key pieces of the transactional infrastructure for Display. They haven’t been shy about it , especially over the past year, but I still don’t think the market fully appreciates how close they are to the endgame: extending the hammerlock they have on Search to all elements of the Display market. Scalable, efficient forward buying is the last piece of the puzzle. It has been Google’s soft underbelly, but they are clearly doing sit-ups like crazy.
It’s crunch time. AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo!: If you’ve got a second wind in you, now’s the time. Accenture, Adobe, Akamai, Apple, Cisco, IBM, Oracle and others: If you’re serious about bringing your expertise in enterprise class infrastructure and service to the huge advertising market, your opportunity is slipping away. And Agencies: I agree with John’s emphasis on the particular phrasing of the announcement. Don’t let frienemy Google steal a march on you. If they take the Brand business client direct, that’s a big problem. Microsoft has Windows and Office to fall back on. You don’t.
It’s amazing how fast this market is moving.