Google is making its ads interactive with a “+1” button that will basically allow users to “like” ads and recommend them to their friends.
It's a somewhat belated effort to muscle in on the word of mouth marketing magic that has lately made Facebook and other social media sites a mint. Better late than never, though, and don't worry, regulatory folks—the button will not affect ad text. It will be made available to website owners through Google's Webmaster Central site.
“When you have lots of options in front of you, it's easy to find yourself wishing for a bit of advice,” chirps an explanatory video put out by Google.
Advertisers will soon be able to see how many +1s their ads are getting through the search company's AdWords program.
Fabio Gratton, chief innovation officer at Ignite Health, said the question for pharmas is whether anyone wants to interact with their brands in that way. “The implications for healthcare marketers are complex in that users will eventually be able to +1 branded pharmaceutical sites, thereby advocating the site to their peers and even make paid ads social,” said Gratton. “But all this begs the question of whether or not physicians, patients, or their caregivers want to self-identify with a branded drug or treatment option in this way. Only time will tell if +1 is a success and pharma can actually benefit from more finely targeted ads and integration within personal profiles—and if additional regulatory challenges eventually become evident with the personalization of branded content in this manner.”