Half-day with Google

I was at Google’s 2nd CMO Summit today at the NYC Googleplex in Chelsea. What did I learn? There were no headlines to report, but a significant focus on video and off-line capabilities, some discussion of Google Analytics, no discussion of Doubleclick, and a variety of presentations ranging from the very academic to the very entertaining.

Brand was the macro topic — as in, yes, you can build a brand online. I remain a solid skeptic, but will concede that as Google opens their platform of offerings to include rich banners (Video enabled), assimilates DoubleClick, and pushes forward with their intent to traffic print, radio and TV through a bid system, that it is entirely conceivable that a brand campaign could be launched and thrive in the Google ecosystem.

Some discussion of Web 2-dot-whatever, user generated content, community, but none on customer satisfaction and reputation management. Google is, after all, a left-brained company who appeals to people like me for the reason that they are obsessively quantifiable. As they bring that engineer’s approach to media, especially traditional media, the stakes will change big time in the media world, with Google positioned to:

  1. Cut the agencies out of buying and planning, wreaking havoc with the agency revenue model (agencies survive and thrive as creative production houses)
  2. Disrupt the web metrics industry
  3. Begin to leverage its clickstream knowledge and deliver very hardcore targeting.

Still a smart company that is poised to become the most formidable advertising platform of all. I wish I could quote some of the better lines, but I’m going to treat the session as an off the record affair (Google never said it was off-the-record, but I’ll make the assumption)