Google’s Ads, Search Probed for Antitrust Violations — What It Means for Marketers
Advertisers may want to start paying attention to top-of-the-funnel touchpoints, and quickly, as the DOJ gears up to put the hammer down on Google’s ad and search practices. Antitrust laws may seem theoretical now, but could become a very real problem for brands that are still relying on last-click attribution.
And a lot of marketers are relying on Google, with some even putting most of their budget there. Google's Q2 advertising revenues were $32.6 billion. (Opens as a PDF)
About 72% of brands still use last-click attribution to give marketing teams credit for their contributions to sales and other conversions, according to Strala’s research announcement last week. And attribution tends to result in more marketing dollars going to that channel. This circular reasoning means that a lot of top-of-the funnel touchpoints get less and less investment. But marketers may want to take a closer look at the contributions from those neglected touchpoints, if the U.S. Department of Justice does change Google Ads and search dominance in the marketplace.
On Aug. 8, Bloomberg reports:
“The Justice Department is scrutinizing Google’s digital advertising and search operations as authorities gear up a broad antitrust review of the market power of giant Internet companies.”
And research released last week by Strala, a marketing software provider, finds:
“Respondents state that efficiency and ROI are significant priorities, and yet 46% of respondents measure channels in isolation. Marketers must measure all relevant online and offline touchpoints, in order to best understand where to invest and divest. The most mature organizations view all marketing and experience efforts holistically as a portfolio, eliminating the siloed measurement problem.”
Advertisers who overly rely on Google for attribution may find themselves scrambling, if they don’t figure out which touchpoints benefit them beyond Google Ads and search. They may need to scramble, that is, if the DOJ does pursue an antitrust case against Google.
“Google controls much of the technology that news publishers and marketers use to serve ads across the internet and nets most of its revenue from ads. The company reported $116.3 billion in advertising revenue last year, which represented 85% of overall sales. It doesn’t break out its revenue by channels. Publishers and rivals have complained that Google’s dominance hinders competition in that market. Earlier this year, the European Union fined Google $1.7 billion for violating competition law with its online practices.”
But advertisers may not want to stop investigating their touchpoints — Bloomberg points out that the DOJ is also looking into Apple and the FTC is taking on another two tech giants: Facebook and Amazon.
So Strala may be right that marketers need to ensure that they don’t have all of their attribution eggs in one basket — even if Strala is saying so as “the industry’s only touchpoint data management platform.”
As I’ve mentioned before, marketers may be able to step up their content marketing efforts, if they want to gain more distance from Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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