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Social media has changed advertising, says Google

Enterprises must adapt to how social media is changing business and the new interactive forms of advertising it has created, according to Ari Kesisoglu, MD at Google MENA.

“I think times are changing. The typical advertising campaign 10 years ago involved you just telling something to somebody and hoping it will stick. Users now are much more accessible and things are much faster,” Kesisoglu said.

“With new technology, companies can reach users in different ways. The best practice is making sure the message is customised for them and making them feel like you’re not corporate, but you’re an entity that people can reach, interact with, give feedback to, and then you can act on this feedback,” he added.

Kesisoglu was speaking today at a lunch with UAE bloggers, who in his opinion were taking advantage of technology that could allow enterprises to reach new users and develop better relationships with them.

“While we still find traditional forms of advertising through TV, print and online ads, today, we also have customised messaging through targeting ad technologies,” Kesisoglu said.

“Now there is the interactional part that is just starting, but it’s going to be a must for every company. The communication going forward will not go just one way from the companies to the users, but it will go both ways and that can benefit enterprises massively,” he added.

Tomorrow Google will reveal the latest figures in the intake of their social media tool Google+. In the last quarter it quoted 40 million users, which was significantly behind rivals Facebook, but Kesisoglu indicated tomorrow’s announcement will be very positive news for Google.

He also emphasised the benefits of using Google+ in the workplace, with the hangouts feature enabling CEO’s to conduct line investor calls.

Last year the trend of people coming online in the Middle East grew at a rate of one million extra people every month. But with the overall Internet penetration still at only 25%, compared to 75-80% in mature countries, Kesisoglu said there are still 150 to 170 million people to come online in the next few years.

“This is a big region and we’re really serious about it. We want the Internet to represent the great diversity of the world. Google is in the business of information and is trying to organise the world’s information. This is really important for us because unless this region is live to the world on the web, our mission will not be complete,” he concluded.

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