why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the Google basket

If you are an individual who is involved in some kind of business or interest online, chances are you’re using Google apps. Google is the most popular search engine in the world and the company has come a long way to establish itself as the leader of all the players in the online market.

Google’s Android operating system is the most used on the planet. That’s why many people will be giving up their iPhone in favor of a new Android phone. Are you going to make that same mistake? Most people who switch from Android to iPhone do so because they believe the iPhone is the best smartphone available. But is it really?

The recent news that Google is now blocking access to Android apps from the Indian mobile marketplace Airtelbookmate, if true, should be concerning to many Android users. The platform is still in its relative infancy, and Google does not have a long list of partners to choose from. It is a good thing that Google has a list of guidelines for its Android app store, but it is unfortunate that Google does not appear to be upholding its guidelines in the APAC region, even though it is stated that apps are “not allowed if they violate the policies of the Android Market”.

30-second summary:

  • Very few SMEs use multiple channels for online advertising
  • Facebook is the most efficient channel based on CPM and CPC costs.
  • It is important to remember that every company is unique when it comes to budget allocation.

For any software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, data analytics and science are essential to moving forward and getting the insights that can really make a difference. With this in mind, the University of Cambridge MBA team decided to use Adzooma’s extensive data to find new ways for small and medium-sized businesses to maximize their ad spend through cross-channel marketing. The team from Cambridge University had the opportunity to obtain truly unique data, as even the big players like Google and Microsoft only have data through their own channels.  The project promised to provide a broader picture and new insights by accessing anonymous data from thousands of accounts on three major platforms through Adzooma.

Transcanal approach

The results of the survey immediately showed that very few SME customers use multiple channels (Facebook, Google and Microsoft). Although this was not part of the main project, it was a very interesting analysis and we often stress its importance. For example, most people stay on Google because they think that’s where they need to be, but that’s not always the best option for all businesses, and being seen on multiple touchpoints – or at least trying multiple channels – can be crucial to digital marketing success. Our analysis showed that Facebook is the cheapest channel for SMEs, both in terms of cost (CPM, CPC) and revenue (ads, clicks), but Microsoft came out on top for reaching a more professional and mediated audience. word-image-2147 The study highlights the importance of defining your target audience in advance. So when it comes to choosing a channel or channels for your business, it’s worth thinking about what you want to achieve with your advertising spend and who you really want to reach.

What do you really want to achieve?

To start, it’s important to think about your end goal and ask yourself who your target customers are and what the most effective way to reach them is. Previous research has shown that for SMEs, acquiring new customers is the most desired objective in the customer journey, followed by awareness, lead generation and customer retention. With this in mind, the Cambridge team concluded that the combination of a traditional sales funnel and a customer lifecycle model would be the best way for SMEs to achieve their overall marketing objectives. Using the permission overlay method, the team was then able to determine the financial impact of different marketing channels. This allows SMEs to effectively determine which platform is best to use when similarities occur. Our research has shown that channel choice has the biggest impact on CPM and CPC. Once the relationship between channel KPIs and costs was established, additional research was conducted to find the average CPM and CPC on Google, Facebook and Microsoft Ads. While Facebook was found to be the most profitable channel for SMBs on average, the recommendation was that companies should still look at click-through rates on other channels to determine if other factors, such as industry or geography, could have a significant impact. word-image-2148 If you have to choose between Google and Microsoft, the results recommend using Google because of its wide reach and low cost, but Microsoft can also be useful, especially since it offers high-level targeting and demographics that can be tailored to specific types of businesses.

What does your ad say?

Another factor that many companies overlook when choosing a platform is the sentiment of their posts. When analyzing the data, this is another area where the research team found differences depending on the channel on which the ad appeared. word-image-2149 Microsoft was the most popular platform for positive sentiment, with a CTR of 4.2%, compared to 3.6% for neutral sentiment and 3.3% for negative sentiment. Interestingly, the opposite pattern was observed for Google ads, where negative sentiment was most popular with users, with a CTR of 6.5% compared to 5.7% for neutral and negative posts. word-image-2150 This further emphasizes the importance of taking the time to set up ads to test and learn what works best with your target customers, in order to get the most out of the money you spend.

Every company is unique

It’s no secret that one size does not always work. Every business is different and of course the cost and use of advertising varies. Some people, like us, want to focus on statistics and what has worked for companies in the past, and while that can be taken into account, it doesn’t mean it will work for all companies. So it is always important to take the time to think about what you are spending and who you are trying to influence. Also keep in mind that while Google, Facebook and Microsoft Ads are the most popular ad platforms on the internet, there are other (and cheaper) places to place ads, including Reddit, Amazon and industry sites like Capterra. Although they have fewer users, they are still effective because it is often easier to reach your audience and they can serve as a complement to your main platform.

Looking to the future

We hope that this study has encouraged small and medium-sized companies to think carefully about their target audience and specific objectives before allocating their advertising expenditure.  We have shown that the advertising platforms examined in this study are effective on their own, depending on the objective, and we hope that these results will help SMEs to achieve better results across the board. This information is used to decide how best to leverage cross-channel partnerships for SMEs. With Facebook being the most used channel by 70% of SMEs and data analysis showing it to be optimal in terms of cost and revenue, the data is being used to develop Facebook’s features and capabilities. Much of what we have learned from this research will also be incorporated directly into Adzooma’s core product technology. Rob Wass is the co-founder and CEO of Adzooma. Akanshaa Khare is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Cambridge. She has five years of experience in product management and three years of experience as a consultant with consulting firms such as BCG and ZS Associates.Google has been the biggest search engine in the world for many years now. It owns the largest share of the market and Google remains the largest search engine in the world. This is great as far as Google is concerned. But there are two major problems with being the biggest search engine. First, being the biggest search engine means companies must rely on Google to send them traffic. Sure, you can go out and try to build up your own brand, but most companies simply can’t afford to do so. Most businesses depend on Google for their traffic. Second, being the biggest search engine means Google has a monopoly on the search market. At the moment Google controls up to 90% of the search market. This has led to an issue whereby. Read more about don’t put all your eggs in one basket story and let us know what you think.

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