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Google Evangelizes Its Ecosystem

The search engine's B2B team finds convincing reluctant companies that online marketing works can sometimes be aided by word of mouth.

Google has a dream that one day, all the world's information will be organized, universally accessible, and useful. To realize that dream, Google needs to convince more corporate partners to see value in its vision.

At a meeting for corporate marketers at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters on Tuesday, Google executives pitched their company as an information platform and presented speakers who had achieved significant marketing results through online media.

Google, of course, is well known as a platform for search advertising, not to mention its emergent efforts in display, print, radio, and TV advertising. But evangelism for Google goes beyond promoting the technical merits of its systems to match content with relevant ads. It has become a matter of convincing reluctant companies that online marketing works.

"We think of the Web as an ecosystem between users, content providers, and advertisers," said Susan Wojcicki Google's VP of product management.

Citing the approaching ubiquity of broadband connectivity, the democratization of information production and retrieval, and the falling cost of storage, Wojcicki said, "There are a lot of opportunities to do new things."

The main opportunity, as Google sees it, is making content freely available online, supported by ads. The more, the merrier.

Companies that have embraced the possibilities of online marketing, which it to say Google's publishing partners, have been paid about $7 billion since 2003, according to Wojcicki.

And to judge by the tales told by executives from DuPont and IBM, companies that have warmed to online marketing see real benefits.

Gary Spangler, e-business leader of electronic & communication technologies at DuPont, described how he had piloted an effort to raise awareness of his company's research through blogs using video ads. His aim was to create interest in the science behind DuPont's products.

"The blogosphere, social media, search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, we're learning how to use all those tools," Spangler said.

DuPont is organized around five major technology platforms and each one has a marketing communications manager. A corporate brand manager oversees them. Spangler went to these six people to convince them to try a new online marketing channel because young people, he said, "aren't reading traditional media anymore." Through his work with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), he became interested in blogs because they tend to focus on specific topics.

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