Mark Piesanen, Director of Strategic Partner Development, Google
Excelling at getting every advertiser in on the act
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/27/2011 12:01:00 AMClick here to read more Next Wave of Leaders
Google’s Mark Piesanen, director of strategic partner development, thinks everyone should be on TV.
Piesanen, a veteran broadcast journalist who work for both the CBC and MSNBC, was brought to Google in 2007 to build and launch Google TV Ads, an online, auction-based ad sales system. Like Google AdSense, which performs a similar service for Web pages, the system’s goal is to make advertising available to everyone at efficient pricing.
Part of Google’s goal is to grow the TV advertising pie: “Half of our advertisers have never been on television before,” says Piesanen.
All a would-be advertiser needs to do to run a TV ad—and Google offers advertisers their choice of more than 100 cable networks, including ESPN, TNT and CNN—is sign on to an account at Google AdWords, determine a budget, select a target audience and daypart and upload an advertisement. Google will even set advertisers up with assistance via an online marketplace if they need help creating an ad.
All of this is aimed at democratizing advertising like never before.
“If you are a small advertiser who doesn’t have access to a media buying agency, you can come into our system with your credit card, create an account, make creative and start advertising on television,” says Piesanen, who has worked with operators such as DirecTV, Dish, Verizon and Via Media Networks to put the Google TV Ad network together.
Perhaps even more revolutionary is the data tracking system that Google has developed using set-top box technology.
“The data that comes off the set-top box looks like the clickstream data that we see when people click on ads online,” says Piesanen. “We thought that the ability to manage large data sets of how people were watching television ads was something that we could do well. It seemed like a Google-specific engineering challenge.”
Today, anyone who buys an ad on Google TV not only gets to see the ad on national television, but also gets a spate of metrics the next day, detailing exactly who saw the ad and for how long.
“We tell advertisers with second-by-second precision not only how many people watched their 30-second ad, but when people tuned out,” says Piesanen. “When you have volumes of data like we have, we can do some pretty fascinating analysis with commercial engagement. It’s a pretty cool little business we’ve built.”
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