June 2011


While AdWords sees an incredible amount of activity and it’s Google gets most of their revenue, they were seeing a significant drop off with small and medium businesses. Google would offer discounts to get businesses to sign up, but then they would either cancel after the free trial or set a basic budget and never login again. We needed to find a way to keep existing AdWords customers engaged through Google’s existing quarterly newsletter.

To reward active AdWords users and show non-active customers that paying attention to AdWords campaigns and making changes does pay off, we wanted to create an award show. The Wordies would award businesses of all sizes with various marketing budgets for everything from best seasonal search phrase to best performing campaign.



An initial quarterly mailer would include the business’ AdWords results in the form of an entertainment guide. Their ads would be featured as “now playing”, their performance would be under “reviews” and tips would be under “news”. The packet would also include free movie theater gift cards or a free month of Netflix, a bag of microwave popcorn and Google colored M&M’s.

Subsequent mailers would include fun tips in the form of quotes from AdWords critics:
– “Best campaign I’ve seen in years.” – Jim Johnson AdWords Monthly
– “I see a lot of potential in this newcomer.” – Jennifer James KGOG Palo Alto

Personalized videos with dynamic content would also be emailed to each business that featured two Entertainment Tonight-style hosts describing AdWords ads and stats on a monitor or two critics sitting in a theater reviewing performance stats on the screen.



At the end of the year, every AdWords customer would receive an invitation to the Wordies. Top performers would be invited to Palo Alto for the actual event and everyone else would get invited to a special web broadcast.



While our clients at Google loved this idea, it remains in the large bin of unproduced work for Google.


Reaching new customers isn’t easy. You need to figure out who to target, where to find them, how to reach them and what they want to hear. Google AdWords can help with most of this, but we wanted to create a new tool using existing Google technology that would help small business owners optimize their AdWords campaigns and get a better idea of who their customers are.


Business owners will immediately be taken to their business on Google Earth. Then, a series of pop-ups will appear with information from Google Trends and Google Realtime related to their business and industry. This will let them see what’s hot, what’s not and if the words they’re buying are the ones their customers are searching for. If they’d like to see a different trend or search, they can simply add it to their Customer View. They’ll also be able to gather information locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

This tool will allow business owners to see what words they should be buying, where they should be running their campaign and possibly, what business moves need to be made to maximize their potential.



While this tool would be available to existing customers, we wanted to also use it as a way to draw new AdWords customers. Interactive bus shelters would allow us to bring our new tool to the people. They would be strategically placed where there’s a high density of businesses, but they would also show the general public the relevance of understanding data and trends. Business people could check their industry terms and teens could check the popularity of their favorite pop star.



Customized direct mail pieces would be made to look like a Google search bar. They company receiving the mailer would see the industry and city their business is in already printed.

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When they opened the mailer, they would see further customization and information about how they can find their customers with Google Customer View and then reach them with Google AdWords.

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The experience wouldn’t be limited to PCs. After scanning our mailer with Google Goggles, business owners would be taken to an app version of Customer View where they can experience the tool before signing up for their free trial of AdWords.

The app would also have features not available on the desktop version. For example, the camera on the device would allow for an immersive augmented reality experience. Once the business owner becomes an AdWords customer, they would be able to use the app as a mobile dashboard to create and manage campaigns. It would also provide push notifications about promotions and campaign performances.