Google vs. Microsoft: Is There a Battle Brewing?

By The Myers Report Archives
Cover image for  article: Google vs. Microsoft: Is There a Battle Brewing?

Google remains the digital media company advertiser and agency executives hate to love, but love them they do, as proven by the company's #1 overall ranking in the recent MyersBizNet TomorrowToday Survey of Advertising Executives on 36 Digital Media Companies

While Facebook and AOL are positioned to be the primary beneficiaries of a competitive shift to Google (see last week's TomorrowToday report), one senior media agency executive suggested a more likely inheritor would be Microsoft, which is better positioned to provide the enhanced backroom services and support Google currently provides to several agencies. If this assessment is even marginally realistic, what are the current marketplace perceptions of both companies, and can Microsoft position itself to capitalize on any fallout as agencies and marketers seek new partners during the $30 billion media agency review process?

There are two primary groups who factor in this consideration: clients themselves and digital media planning and buying executives at media agencies. Here's how they compare the services and support of the two companies, based on percentage of MyersBizNet Survey respondents rating each as market leaders or market achievers (4/5 on a five point scale) in six evaluation categories. Responses are limited to those among 360 survey respondents who have business relationships with each company. Ranking is among 36 surveyed companies.

 

MyersBizNet TomorrowToday 
Survey of 360 Advertiser/Agency Perceptions of 36 Digital Sales Organizations
     
Category% Top Two Box Rating 
 Digital-Only Buyer/PlannerAdvertiser Client
 % 4/5Rank*% 4/5Rank
QUALITY SALES TEAM & CUSTOMER SUPPORT    
GOOGLE/YOUTUBE73%374%3
MICROSOFT36%3254%8
     
QUALITY OF CONTENT JUSTIFIES PREMIUM PRICING    
GOOGLE/YOUTUBE60%1658%2
MICROSOFT42%2654%6
     
PROVIDES INOVATIVE AND CREATIVE OPPORTUNITIES    
GOOGLE/YOUTUBE63%657%4
MICROSOFT44%2354%6
     
ASSURES ADVERTISERS SAFE AND LOW FRAUD ENVIRONMENT    
GOOGLE/YOUTUBE56%1745%14
MICROSOFT60%1450%8(tie)
     
PROVIDES ADVANCED RESEARCH AND MARKET INSIGHTS    
GOOGLE/YOUTUBE74%176%1
MICROSOFT40%1629%23
     
SUPPORTS PROGRAMMATIC AND AUTOMATRED INVESTMENTS    
GOOGLE/YOUTUBE81%263%5
MICROSOFT46%1238%15
Source: MyersBizNet 2015 Survey of Advertising Executives    
*Rank among 36 organizations based on respondents who have a relationship with the organization    
 

There are two primary observations:

  1. Microsoft has focused its sales efforts directly on clients but appears to be either bypassing agency executives or doing a competitively weak job among them.

  2. Among clients, Microsoft's sales organization is competitive with Google, but in the back-room assets of research and programmatic, where the competitive opportunity would be most opportunistic, Google has overwhelming industry dominance.

A third insight is that the Google/YouTube combination is recognized as a market leader among client executives for quality of content justifying premium pricing, surpassed only by Hulu. But among digital agency executives, while Google/YouTube's top two-box ratings remain high, 15 competitors are more highly rated. Among buyers and planners with digital and TV responsibility, Google/YouTube ranks 13th and Microsoft 21st.

We have no insight into Microsoft's or Google's market strategies, but it's clear Google has achieved a dominant market position with both marketers and agencies. Whatever the outcome of the $30 billion in media agency reviews, Google's role remains dominant while Microsoft needs to address weaknesses in the agency community.

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