I had talked of investment advice from Phil Fisher, who talked of a superior advertising capability within a company to be a good investment. Well, now the investment gurus would need to go a step further… the best companies are those who become household names without much advertising! Like Google has done!
While the Internet search leader has sold more than $30-billion in advertising since 2001, Google has become a household name without buying expensive ad campaigns on television or radio or in print.
“It’s almost as if they have this cultural allergy to advertising,” said Mark Hughes, author of “Buzzmarketing,” a book about unconventional ways to build a brand. “It has been an advantage because it has helped keep them cool. They have zigged while everyone else has been zagging.”
This advertising aversion has freed up money for engineers, computing hardware and other resources that fuel Google’s search engine while leaving plenty of profit to keep shareholders happy and lift the company’s stock ever higher.
Some marketing experts view Google as the archetype of an Internet-driven age that has made it possible for startups like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook to permeate pop culture with little or no advertising.
That’s a change from the dot-com boom era in 1999 and 2000 when Internet entrepreneurs went broke paying for Super Bowl ads and other theatrics in a mostly fruitless effort to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were among the first to break that free-spending mold, deciding that advertising didn’t make a lot of sense for a company that started out 1998 with just $100,000 before raising $25 million in venture capital a year later. But they have remained marketing misers even as Google accumulated a cash hoard that now stands at $12.5 billion.