Saturday, April 14, 2007

Google, Double Click, and West Michigan

The New York Times reports today that Google bought Double Click, a company that provides software to Web sites and to agencies to facilitate Web display (banner) ads.

As the media continually migrate to the Web either wholesale or in hybrid format, the business of advertising on the Web gets more sophisticated. Google is going from simple search and small ads, to the big enchilada of online ads. They will integrate search, creative, and the bane of print advertising: efficient and comprehensive measurement of ad response. This is what media economists call "a gale of creative destruction."

Double Click is in New York City, but I ponder the West Michigan connection. You all remember that Google has its AdSense operations in Ann Arbor. As Google integrates DoubleClick into its other operations and offerings, the Michigan location may become more prominent. And ad professionals in Michigan may be able to jump on this digital juggernaut.

As I've said before, I think innovation in advertising will emerge from shops that are small and nimble. I met a guy who used to work in a Grand Haven coffee shop I frequent who taught himself various Web related software while in junior high school. He now works for a small design firm doing Web branding for a variety of impressive clients. He's not through college yet. In fact, he plans to attend seminary in the fall. Who knows where other Web related talent will come from? Why not West Michigan.

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