Second up in my series of crowdsourcing the CM Summit conversations (first up was Laura Desmond) is David Rosenblatt, former CEO of Doubleclick, now a VP at Google. David is something of a DoubleClick lifer, having joined the company in 1997 and rising from tech lead to CEO of a company valued at more than $3 billion when sold to Google in 2007.
Readers of Searchblog will recall the industry charlie horse that the DBLCK deal caused – Microsoft lobbied mightily against it, US and European governments took their time approving it, everyone else went on a drunken ad network buying spree, and one could argue that the deal set the painful decline of Yahoo in motion – here was Google, taking square aim at Yahoo’s one remaining stronghold – display advertising.
It’s been so long since the deal was announced – a year and a half – it’s easy to forget it didn’t really get final approval till March of this year. The integration, in other words, is still in its first six months, and Rosenblatt took a portion of this summer off before rolling up his sleeves and getting back to work.
I’ve spoken to David several times since the deal closed, and like Laura, find him both candid and real – he knows Google’s strengths, and he recognizes the company’s weaknesses when it comes to the brand side of marketing – where DoubleClick has done the lion’s share of its business. So I’ll be particularly interested in his take on where Google might take its fledgling efforts in non-algorithmic media.
(To register for the CM Summit – nearly 350 already have – please head here).
My questions for David include:
– With YouTube and DoubleClick, Google’s spent $5-6 billion to get into the branded display business. Yet 98% of its revenue is in AdWords/Sense. How will that bet pay off inside a corporate culture obsessed with scale and algorithms?
– Google made its brand on not owning and operating media sites. But with YouTube, Knol, Gmail, and now apps, that seems to be changing. What does that portend for branded media plays in the future?
– What is his view of Yahoo and other competitors – Microsoft, AOL?
– The Yahoo/Google deal – does it have a display element? Will it clear the antitrust hurdle?
– Many in the advertising/marketing community call Google “frenemy” (Sorrell). What do you make of this reputation?
– Display is now about a $1bb business inside Google – in other words, very small. Where will Google be in terms of share of display revenue in five years? How will it grow?
– How will DoubleClick as we know it now change and be integrated with other Google products – analytics, apps, AdWords….and how will you deal with the issues of data privacy and transparency?
– Are you seeing the effects of the economy yet?
These are the first questions from the top of my mind. What are yours?