Can Google give mobile advertising the shot it needs in AU?

Google Australia is looking for a local Sales Manager for their recently acquired AdMob division.

Job here –

AdMob has been active in Australia in some form or another for the past 2 years – initially (pre Google) being serviced out of the US, then later on serviced out of Singapore.

From my experience, local agencies don’t respond that well to non local sales teams so I would imagine AdMob has probably struggled to generate the traction it would have liked. Australia is a high touch sales market, and that is difficult to achieve out of SE Asia or the US.

In the past 2 years a lot has changed with mobile. For one, iphone 3G launched. Secondly, Android has experienced a meteoric rise across numerous manufacturers.

In many ways, the mobile o/s world has really grown up.

And the advertising world is starting to as well. Apple has launched iAds in the US and the race is on between Apple and Google to take the lead on mobile.

Through AdMob, Google bought an emerging business with already impressive scale. In addition, Google tools such as search, maps and email are smart phone essentials.

With a local hire, Google would be looking to try and take a leadership role within mobile in AU. It is well positioned, it has a lot of insight through mobile use of its core tools plus the insights it would be generating through the Android o/s.

The role appears more than just selling cheap inventory across AdMob and Google ad networks.

The Sales Manager is expected to understand and be able to articulate the value of the mobile advertising marketplace to traditional mobile content developers, Android and iPhone application developers, major media companies and mobile operators.

It appears the role involves, to an extent, wooing Android developers (for distribution), media companies (for revenue and inventory) and telcos.

Mobile in AU needs leadership with gravitas and Google is in a position to deliver it.

The key challenges?

1/ Demonstrate the real appeal of mobile in an easy to understand way for marketers – move beyond big numbers and show how it can help a brand cut through to an advertiser in a meaningful way.

2/ Learn from the mistakes of the web and avoid the race to the bottom on yield

3/ Avoid chasing dollars and really educate the market around the space. Short term revenue targets can turn an important education job into a quick cash grab.

Definitely worth watch Google’s moves in this space over the next 6 months.


4 responses to “Can Google give mobile advertising the shot it needs in AU?

  1. Christian Cadeo

    Hey Ben,

    Long time since you were still at Maxus. In any case, thanks for surfacing this. I want to clarify that we have seen great uptake by clients locally on AdMob from brands such as Land Rover, J&J and IAG to name a few. This role will only help us escalate the trajectory even faster.
    If you know anyone solid do send it over to me and next time I am in town will grab you a beer.


  2. Hi Ben

    If it is a market, then it is subject to supply/demand.

    Google, I think, is doing its job in terms of supply. In fact there is a glut of impressions/clicks available on AdMob that could satisfy a country ten times our size. Also their mobile ad formats are very good.. not too far off the impossible-to-build Apple iAds.

    So – the real question is: where is the demand?

    Agencies? Nope.

    My guess is that a big part of Karim from Google’s new job as head of mobile will be creating that demand by kicking down the doors of big marketing teams and getting them to demand it from their agencies. They should.

  3. From what I see demand is certainly on the rise. Take a look at guys like TigerSpike. People want to do something with mobile they just aren’t sure what OR they’ve developed an iPhone app that didn’t meet their expectations.

    A lot of firms developed an iPhone app as their mobile strategy not realising an app, just like a website, needs advertising too. I.e. you can’t just build it and they will come.

    I think Google will help with awareness, but I don’t think it should just be left to Google!


  4. Hi Ben

    I just came across this article, and I can certainly relate to your insights. In my opinion there is a big gap in understanding within Media Agencies in Australia. I can say from personal experience that most local agencies will still recommend offline media ahead of mobile media to promote a mobile site or app. That’s right, a billboard or the side of a bus over a targeted ad on a mobile device, directly in front of the very user they are trying to target.

    It’s an education problem in my opinion. If major global players like Google & AdMob (and recent entrants Mojiva & inMobi) hope to make inroads locally, they will need to get very close to agencies, offering significant incentives and step by step hand-holding through initial campaigns. To be perfectly blunt, it will take a whole lotta gratis, ‘let us take care of everything’ activity – with proven results – before local agencies will jump on board with any kind of enthusiasm.

    For the record, Christian is still looking for that role 😉

    Emily from Mobilista

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