Who's who in the AdWords Zoo?

Posted by Jan on 12 Mar 2008

Last week, somebody from Google made a crucial mistake, which sparked a flurry of cross channel marketing attempts.

On Friday morning when I looked at my inbox, I found a mail from the Google Advertising Professional team which at first seemed like just another mail from them asking advertisers to participate in one of their online surveys. In this case, the survey was to help them gather information about a potential new proposal document for advertisers to use when pitching to clients.

After reading the mail I noticed that for some reason the sender left all the “to” addresses in the mail, visible to everyone. As you can imagine, this list could be quite valuable as it is a real list, with real advertisers and no fake or generated email addresses… Almost immediately one of the recipients replied with an attempt to advertise his own marketing company. Soon after that the original sender replied, apologising for the mistake and asking everybody to respect their fellow Adwords advertisers and not to use the list for their own marketing attempts. The apology did not help and quite a few emails rolled in after that, some of them even stating that this is an opportunity not to be missed. Most of the opportunists asked for referrals and offered rewards for them.

Personally I don’t think spamming the list is the right thing to do. I did however appreciate the opportunity to go and check out my competitors without much effort in finding them. It’s easy to find the company website by looking at the email addresses. Looking at their websites, you can quickly get a very good image of the companies and decide if you want to try and align yourself or partner with them or not.

My advice to the people who have the list is to use the list to find the companies you think would be good for you to partner with and then contact them via the appropriate channels and to stop spamming the list.

To summarise, I think it leaves a bad impression when you are supposed to be a credible search marketing company, but yet, make use of the first dodgy opportunity you get to market yourself… O yes, and of course it’s good to see that even somebody working for Google can make a mistake 🙂