HomeBlog Cut Up Your Credit Cards: Here Comes Google

Cut Up Your Credit Cards: Here Comes Google

October 15, 2012|Alden Cushman

Well, we knew it was just a matter of time before Google issued its own credit card, right? Many companies issue branded credit cards, and now we have Google AdWords Business Credit Card (announced October 8), a formal evolution of its earlier pilot program of extending AdWords credit to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Well, we knew it was just a matter of time before Google issued its own credit card, right? Many companies issue branded credit cards, and now we have Google AdWords Business Credit Card (announced October 8), a formal evolution of its earlier pilot program of extending AdWords credit to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Organizations that apply and qualify for the new AdWords credit card will be able to borrow between $200 and $10,000 a month, with initial finance rates of 11.9 percent and 8.99 percent for organizations in the U.K. and U.S., respectively.

To date, anyone using AdWords can set up automatic payment by credit card, so why did Google see a need to wade into the credit card business and offer its customers a Google credit card? Perhaps the higher interest rates of most other cards was capping business spend on AdWords, the process of linking a credit card with the AdWords account was too difficult, or Google simply saw another way to make a profit?

Referencing AdWords users, Google Vice President and Treasurer Brent Callinicos was quoted in the Financial Times as saying, “They weren’t buying AdWords as much as they needed to.” So, listen up, marketing people, Google thinks you need to spend more money on AdWords. OK, the company has a right to sell its services just like every other organization does; but let’s understand what’s going on here. Most marketing organizations get hammered all the time – not just once a year – on the ROI of each marketing dollar spent. And while tools like Google Analytics can help track traffic to your Web site and the behavior of visitors, spending more on AdWords to drive more traffic to your Web site may not be the most productive thing you can do. In fact, spending less on AdWords but optimizing the content on your Web site and instituting processes and systems to track the qualification and progression of leads may result in much better results.

I’m not saying that spending more on AdWords is necessarily wrong. Just remember that more budget allocation in one area of marketing means less in other areas; it’s a zero-sum game. And if you take advantage of the new Google credit card, you will actually have less to spend on other activities and initiatives, as marketing will now be “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul” (or in this case borrowing from Google to pay Google).

 

Alden Cushman

Alden Cushman is Practice Director, Benchmarking and Analysis, at SiriusDecisions. He’s worked for more than 18 years as a market researcher, competitive intelligence manager, product marketing manager and analyst. Follow Alden on Twitter @AldenCushman.
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