Google TV is a strategic force multiplier for marketers

Even before this week's 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas had begun, the crafty and loud e-voices of doomsayers who predicted the demise of Google TV deafened the voice of innovation.

Even before this week's 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas had begun, the crafty and loud e-voices of doomsayers who predicted the demise of Google TV deafened the voice of innovation. What appeared, at first, to be a true grassroots negative feedback driven by social media, Apple fans, and bad product reviews for Google TV, has proven to be Astroturf PR. Two weeks before CES 2011 opened, Apple TV fans that oppose any Android-based innovation trashed Google TV. Then, TV Cable and Broadcast TV Networks announced they are blocking access to free shows, offered otherwise freely via their websites, in hopes to get Google to pay for the ‘privilege' of streaming free ‘IPTV.' But alas, as CES 2011 Vegas opened, Yahoo, announced that unlike Google TV, Yahoo's new concept “Connected TV” will offer a TV-optimized version of the Web built around apps. Moreover, Yahoo announced that the very same TV networks that refused to work with Google, will likely work closely with it, to build a more ‘Network friendly' system.

So why should we care about whether it's Yahoo TV Networks or Google that bring us the Internet to our TV? Very simple: Unlike Google TV, which promises to bring the entire Internet to a user's TV screen unfiltered, uncensored, Yahoo's Connected TV will appear to focus on appeasing the TV Networks by offering “a TV-optimized version of the Web built around apps.” It's also note worthy that Apple TV and Microsoft have used CES to announce they will throw their hats into the ring to develop similar ‘Proprietary-Systems' style boxes.

The most exciting force-multiplier factors behind the Google TV platform are not based on restricting or channeling consumers. It's about creating an open society (until we completely dump our TV sets for tablets, that is).

Google TV will empower consumers, social network users, and communities of influence such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yammer users to launch their own individual channels on the web and eliminate the geographic and cost-prohibitive restrictions that traditional media offers. Imagine the ability to mobilize a grassroots movement via your PC or iPad, and then stream videos to HDTVs across America, without having to pay top-dollars for the privilege to buy a ‘national network media buy.'

Imagine the real-time ability to not only advertise a product on a TV or radio commercial and measure the number of calls plus a qualitative ‘feel good' focus group, but to literally measure the clicks, orders, rejected sales forms, chat transcripts with customer service, and most importantly- consumer behavior analytics as they accept, reject, or suggest on how to improve your promoted product. 

Google TV will create a boon for the public relations, branding, advertising industry as with more competition vying for the attention of consumers, the importance of fresh and creative ways to capture audiences' attention, will have to be meet the demand 24/7/365. No longer could websites remain static online marketing brochures. No longer will any news organization be able to afford having this morning's story as this afternoon's coverage. Marketers and public relations professionals will have to get creative real fast and that's a good thing.

Gal S. Borenstein, author of the book What Really Counts for CEOS, and Founder and CEO of The Borenstein Group

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