Two of the biggest names in business — Google and Amazon — may have just started down a collision course for your advertising dollars.
Late last month, Amazon quietly stopped purchasing product listing advertisements from Google. These types of ads show up next to organic results when you search for items like "basketball sneakers" or "headphones."
In the short term, this move will probably have little impact on manufacturers and industrial suppliers. In fact, the only change you might notice is ads from other retailers, like Walmart or Target, popping up more frequently in places where you previously saw Amazon ads.
However, in the long term, the decision could have significant implications for B2B businesses and industrial marketers.
For starters, Amazon clearly has ambitions beyond just being the place you go to order stuff when you don't feel like going to a store. The company wants to be a part of the modern digital business ecosystem. This ambition is reflected in the company's heavy investments in cloud-based technologies, which it dubs Amazon Web Services (AWS). The AWS umbrella encompasses cloud storage and communication, email, and document management solutions. It's already a $4.5 billion-a-year business — and it also happens to be one of Amazon's best bets in terms of profit margins.
These services compete directly with offerings from Google. In fact, Google and Amazon have been competing and butting heads a lot lately. For example, just a few months ago, Google blocked YouTube from Amazon devices. In retaliation, Amazon removed its Prime Video offerings from Google devices.
Unless you watch a lot of Mozart In The Jungle at work, this probably doesn't seem like such a big deal from a business perspective. Yet, it does speak to a pretty significant — and growing — rift between two tech giants that want to define the way we live and work online.
That brings us back to digital advertising. While Amazon already runs ads on the its own site, there have been persistent rumblings that Amazon wants to become a bigger player in the space. Given the company's growing collection of native devices and platforms, it's not hard to envision the company flexing its digital muscles to compete directly with Google in search and online advertising.
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While Amazon's decision to pull advertisements from Google's network probably won't make much of a difference to you any time soon, it is a situation that bears watching for industrial marketers. Understanding the marketing and advertising landscape is crucial to maximizing your efforts and your ROI.
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