Posted March 11, 2008 8:37 am by with 4 comments

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By David Snyder

Tim Armstrong, Google’s President, Advertising and Commerce for Google in North America, outlined his companies vision for its role in media purchasing last week.

Speaking at the American Association of Advertising Agencies Media Conference in Orlando, Florida, Armstrong explained Google’s plan to develop a media buying “dashboard.”

According to Media Post, Armstrong stated:

“It basically takes a mix of different media types and puts them together,” he said, adding that the system, which is still being developed, was part of a suite of new tools Google is building to make the lives of media buyers “easier.” The new dashboard, he said, would enable buyers to manage mixes of offline media like TV, radio and print campaigns, with their online display and search advertising, and to harness their data streams to show how one platform influences traffic to the others.

While the dashboard might make some sense in a world of media that is becoming increasingly user controlled, the message may not have struck support in its target audience.

As Greg Sterling pointed out on Search Engine Land, the research and media planning functions of such as dashboard take away from the “bread and butter agency functions that bring in revenue.”

Whether people in advertising are ready for this move or not, it is likely going to happen. Google has already made strides to become a one stop media shop, with concepts such as audio, video, and newspaper ads already integrated into the Adwords system.

Silicon Alley Insider gave two variables that might slow Google’s dashboard:

  1. Agencies providing their own customized technology for media buying purposes. Group M, a media buying behemoth that controls 16% of the world’s media buying budget, is a perfect example of a company combating Google on the multi-media ad space front.
  2. Google has not taken in to account all the factors that come to play in the purchasing of media across platforms. Anyone who has done media buying understands that every publisher and every agency has its own system, and integration into one global system seems unlikely. Especially when you take into account the varying nature of customized ad packages and promotions.

We are likely to hear more about the model as time goes on. But one thing that popped into my mind as soon as I saw this story was the recent exit by Sheryl Sandburg from her position as Google’s vice president for global online sales and operations.

Sandburg’s new position as Facebook’s chief operating officer is largely due to the social media giants need to reap profits from the bulging traffic figures the site posts each month. This move has also aligned Sandburg with Microsoft, who bought a $240 million piece of Facebook in October in an attempt to diversify its online advertising portfolio.

Microsoft’s zeal in pursuing Yahoo is also fueled by online advertising dollars. Connecting the dots from Google’s dashboard, to Sandburg, and back to Microsoft, I can’t help but wonder when the software giant will announce a dashboard of its own. Perhaps after Microsoft/Yahoo round 2.

About David Snyder

David Snyder is the online marketing manager for THAT Agency.