Sitting In on Google's Pitch to Ad Agencies

Knowing that ad agencies' feelings about Google range from curiosity to terror, the Internet search giant has been reaching out to them, trying to sell itself as a powerful partner. A reporter at The Boston Globe recently sat in as Google made its pitch at the Boston offices of Arnold Worldwide.

Google has been calling on agencies around the world, according to The Globe, "trying to gain ground in major ad campaigns." Its pitch: "Google is an ally, not a rival, in the fast-evolving world of online marketing." One agency executive summed up the mixed feelings his industry has about Google, describing it as a "frenemy, both friend and enemy." Another compared it to Skynet, the network of artificially intelligent computers and robots that took over the world in the Terminator movies.

Google now offers advertisers free programs, including Google Analytics, which measures and analyzes Internet traffic, and Ad Planner, a tool to help advertisers “identify websites that your target audience is likely to visit.’’ Last month, Google introduced an "educational" tool to help agencies train staff in the use of Google's various marketing tools.

Some of the tools are designed to attract advertisers to Google's immensely popular but mostly unmonetized YouTube video site. Turning the site into a revenue-generator is an important goal for Google, which paid $1.65 billion for YouTube in 2006.

More on Google and YouTube from Knowledge at Wharton:

Fast Forward: Tech Giants Scramble For Bigger Piece of Growing Online Ad Market

Getting Engaged: Advertisers Search for Their Voices on YouTube

Google: In Search of Itself

Coming Attraction: YouTube's Business Model