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Listen Up, Google Needs Audio Ad Testers

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Ever since Google picked up dMarc Broadcasting, industry observers have wondered if Google could make its AdWords service work for radio or podcasting.

To find out, Google needs content, in this case willing advertisers, to participate in audio advertising beta tests. They have made the case on the Inside AdWords blog that all has proceeded well so far, and Google would be delighted to have more participants:

In terms of feedback, the Audio Ads team has heard that beta testers like the simple and clean user interface and the targeting and reporting options. Beta testers also find the audio ad creation process easy and fast since it only takes them a few days to create their ads and launch their first campaigns (as compared to potentially weeks for traditional radio ads).

New participants can signup online to give radio advertising a try. Google says ad clients can choose when and where ads will be played; targeting options let marketers focus on targets like demographics, location, station type, and day and time to air.

dMarc has experienced a little turmoil and executive upheaval in the time since its January 2006 acquisition. At the end of January, a source tipped off Valleywag that Google’s love of automation ran counter to the glad-handing practices and personal touch of radio sales:

Google has not wanted to roll-out human sales folks to pitch, explain and train the automated radio buying tools to advertisers and radio buyers, believing instead that the self-service tools will sell themselves and the buyers will just come.

Google’s ‘product is king’ philosophy is that sales people just pick up checks and service customers, they are not really needed to generate the business, products do that. This has significantly suppressed the sales that the dMarc folks had expected to be able to generate.

Both of dMarc’s founders, brothers Ryan and Chad Steelberg, left dMarc shortly afterwards.

Such a situation would explain Google’s call for more AdWords client participation. The dMarc purchase may end up turning the spoken word into gold. It doesn’t look like that will happen at as rapidly a clip as Google may like.

Listen Up, Google Needs Audio Ad Testers
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