From AdWeek.com: "Having succeeded in siphoning ad spending from consumer publications, Google is training its sights on trade publishers. The Mountain View, Calif., company undertook a study with Millward Brown to show how search advertising is more effective than ads in trade magazines and other traditional business-to-business media."
Speaking personally (reminder: nothing I guest blog here should be viewed as speaking on behalf of ABM), I regret it whenever research gets re-cast by writers feeling the need to set up a competition between two types of media. "Search vs. Print" may make for a good story angle, but it misses the point. Print PLUS Search is the way business-to-business marketers should be thinking.
Also, the notion of Google "siphoning off" ad revenues is, perhaps, conventional wisdom, but I have not seen the research proving that hypothesis. One can make an argument that Google has created a new revenue stream of local, small business advertising, that was not going into traditional advertising (other than, perhaps Yellow Pages), but can this be construed as "siphoning off"? (Besides, I just read the book Freakonomics, so I'm questioning all such market-based "conventional wisdom" )
Also, it must be noted, when it comes to B2B advertising online, the Google business model -- how it makes its money -- is the "advertising sales agent" business model. Their success in this arena is dependent on them generating revenues FOR online publishers, not in "siphoning off revenues" from them.
For those reasons, I believe Google's research is not actually directed at marketers, but to B2B publishers in support of thier efforts to serve as the online advertising agent for business-to-business media. Thus, another reason this is not a Google vs. traditional B2B media story. Again, it should be noted that a large percentage (perhaps a majority) of the revenues Google will generate in the B2B space, will flow into the coffers of B2B media companies, thus another reason to NOT view this news strictly in terms of a competition.
Note of transparency: My firm participates in the Google Adsense program and receives a check from them each month. It is revenue that I view as incremental, not threatening.
(posted by Rex Hammock)