It is surprising that Google has become one of the worlds largest search engines
when the promotion strategy of the company relies heavily on viral, or referral,
marketing. With its minimalist homepage and knack for gaining consumer trust through
a “morally superior” advertisement policy, Google has gained consumer loyalty and in
turn Google customers recommend Google to their friends. “Their best reference is a
friend with enough friends, they will create a buzz and significant exposure by word of
mouth, the ultimate branding technique” (“The Four P’s…”). While word of mouth has
been Google’s predominant form of promotion, the company does use advertising. Most
of Google’s advertising is done online, with a few exceptions. Google promotes its
services and products by purchasing its own AdWords internet ads and through its own
Google channel on YouTube. A prime example of Google’s minimalist internet
advertising strategy was when they released Google Chrome. When the product was
released, Google placed a link on its homepage that stayed up there for a very short
period of time- a week. This modest advertising strategy truly shows the faith that
Google has put in viral marketing.
When it comes to Google Apps, the company has gone a little further in their
advertising campaign through the use of television ads, the most notable being those for
the Android mobile phone platform, sales promotions, and other public installations. In
August of 2009, Google used sparse billboard advertisements to increase public
awareness about “Going Google.” These billboards “[ran] for a month portraying how
and why some 3,000 organizations are signing up to use Google apps each day” (“Google
Adopts New…”). The billboards, found in New York, Boston, Chicago, and San
Francisco, were changed each day to entice commuters through direct marketing to go
Google by visiting a special website (google.com/appsatwork) designed specifically to
showcase Google applications. Coupled with the “Going Google” campaign in August,
Google used a form of sales promotion (it is noted that since most of Google’s services
are free to use, these sales promotions can more likely be deemed “use promotions”) to
give away Google fare when users “who have Gone Google fill out a Google Doc
describing their experience” (“Google Adopts New…”). Google does have its own
Public relations division that releases and monitors press on product announcements and
reviews, furthering the “squeaky clean” image Google has managed to establish and
It is safe to assume that Google relies heavily on internet advertising and viral
marketing. While the company has strayed from its low key promotional strategy at
times, Google’s reputation and brand has gained clout because of their dedication to
Google uses mainly informational and persuasive advertisements when designing
their messages to the public. Since the company is relatively new and constantly
releasing new products, informative advertisements are often placed on internet sites
using Google’s own AdWords. These advertisements are relatively simple and, in
keeping with the Google image, undemanding. Most of Google’s advertisements offer a
slice-of-life view, with the emphasis on showcasing how Google products can fit into the
customer’s everyday internet life. A great example is the AdWords campaign Google
launched when the company released Google Chrome. These ads, while directly
instructing the customer to “Download Google Chrome today,” are not only informative,
they are persuasive as well. Google capitalizes on the consumer’s want for a highly
productive internet experience by deeming Google Chrome “clean,” “lightning fast,” and
When it came to Google’s advertising campaign for “Going Google,” the
company used a endorsement strategy that showcased the “man on the streets”
excitement about finding out more about “Going Google.” Keeping with the company’s
simple, no nonsense attitude, these advertisements came in the form of very
straightforward- yet effective- outdoor billboards.
While Google promotions take on many forms, from Twitter tags to television
commercials, the message strategy of Google is clear- less is more. By keeping their
promotions simple and honest, the company has managed to create a very dependable and
trustworthy brand in the eye of the consumer.
Google manages an extensive product line, most of which are free to the public.
While Google customers generally do not have to purchase Google products, the
company still manages to give the public incentives for their loyalty and promote how
superior the Google brand truly is. As mentioned in the Product Mix section of this
promotions analysis, Google’s massive “Going Google” campaign included a “use
promotion” that awarded customers with premiums for their product testimonials.
Google also sponsored “a $30 million competition for an unmanned lunar landing. The
winner [had] to land a rover on the moon; the rover [had to] travel 500 meters, and then
send back a video to Earth” (“Google Marketing Mix”). While the competition was held
for private firms, it lent itself to massive news coverage that the everyday Google user
was exposed to. According to BrandChannel.com, Google has had product placement in
nine films, the most notable being the first Twilight blockbuster (“Branded
Entertainment”). When it comes to trade-oriented sales promotions, one cannot assume
that Google promotes to other internet media companies. It should instead be noted that
Google promotes to organizations that have a need for internet media solutions to benefit
that organizations customers. The most notable type of promotion Google uses in this
platform are the discounts given to universities, businesses, and organizations who “use
the assortments of Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and other Google apps”
(“Google Adopts New…”). While building confidence with these organizations, Google
has also managed to become a staple in the lives of the people who are associated with
the 1.75 million organizations that use Google apps (“Google Adopts New…”).
It is easy to say that sales promotions are a little more difficult to pull off for a
predominantly internet based company due to the sheer fact that Google offers the
majority of its products for free. However, Google has ingeniously created ways to
attract media attention and the attention of consumers. While there is a very short list of
Google’s sales promotions activities, the company has used these seemingly small
opportunities to increase brand awareness among consumers.
It has been established that most of Google’s promotions are done online. For a
company that is trying to move all computerized media onto an internet platform, that
fact is not surprising. Google has used internet promotions through various internet
platforms, including but not limited to YouTube, Twitter, AdWords, and search toolbars.
The company prides itself on its dedication to a seamless internet experience, and in
keeping with that idea, the majority of Google internet promotions consumers see are
unobtrusive to the consumer’s internet experience. While this simplistic strategy may
seem ineffective, the fact that the Google brand is globally recognized speaks volumes on
the company’s promotions strategy. Even Google’s homepage keeps with the company’s
desire to be effective yet unobtrusive. The context of the Google homepage is simple,
with no advertisements and simple textual icons to direct the user. Google offers little
content on the initial homepage; the main focus is on the search engine located directly
below a colorful and recognizable Google logo, not the company itself. The homepage
loads immediately and is very user friendly, mainly due to its simplicity. The only
Google products that are outright noticeable are the search engine, Gmail, and iGoogle.
In an internet environment that was once dominated by heavy advertising that caused
web pages to load slowly, Google has given the consumer exactly what they want in
internet medai - simplicity.
“Branded Entertainment.” Brandchannel.com. Web. 2010.
az_all=brand_year_az_all> 18 April 2010.
“Google Adopts a New Advertising Strategy Against Microsoft With “Going Google”.”
Ebrandz.com. Web. 3 August 2009. <http://news.ebrandz.com/google/2009/2774-
google.html> 17 April 2010.
“Google Marketing Mix.” Marketingteacher.com. Web. July 2009.
“The Four P’s of Google.” Castelarhost.com. Web.
16 April 2010.
“How Google Promotes Chrome.” Bogspot.com. Web. 1 November 2008.
17 April 2010.