Advertising: Google rushes to the bedside of European SMEs

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Posted on Jul 1, 2020 at 7:00 am

Round figures and a promise over time. Google has also released its post-Covid “stimulus plan”. The American giant pledged Tuesday evening to support 10 million businesses and individuals in Europe over the next 18 months. The aim is to help SMEs in the EU to find new outlets thanks to digital technology and to better digitalize. In short, to pass the course of the crisis. Google, in turn, hopes to support its advertising revenue, which slowed in the first quarter due to the coronavirus.

Google is ambitious. It took him five years to train 14 million people in Europe through his “Grow with Google” program. This initiative includes a series of online courses for individuals, start-ups, school teachers and NGOs. Participants can for example learn the basics of machine learning, become familiar with Google Ads advertising tools, etc.

1,000 more hours of training in France

This time, the American company will offer 100,000 people training on the Coursera online course platform to enter the IT professions. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, also plans to launch its job search tool in new European countries, such as Greece and Portugal. Other tools are updated, improved or translated into other European languages.

Regarding France, Google will add 1,000 hours of training by the end of the year for SMEs. Since 2012, via its “Digital Workshops”, Google has trained half a million businesses and people in France. But here too the Californian giant wants to go faster: the objective is to train 100,000 tri-color companies per year, half of which will be SMEs.

Advertising, the first adjustment variable

Google has every interest in keeping European SMEs afloat. The firm does not give a precise figure, but SMEs generate a significant share of the $ 135 billion in advertising revenue collected by Google in 2019.

Four of its tools are specifically dedicated to SMEs. With Google My Business, companies can create a free profile displaying basic information (address, telephone, etc.) on the search engine. With Smart Campaigns, SMEs can then create advertising campaigns, and only pay when the user clicks on said advertisement.

But in times of crisis, advertising is the first adjustment variable. The digital advertising market could drop by 10% in 2020, according to the latest barometer from Kantar, Irep and France Pub. ” Most of our advertisers are SMEs, confirms Matt Brittin, Google CEO in charge of the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) area. These are companies that had to pivot very quickly during the crisis ».

Under pressure

Google is therefore under pressure. In the first quarter, the turnover of the world number 1 in digital advertising increased by 13%, against 17% last year … and 26% in 2018. ” It’s like we had two quarters in one “, Had then summarized Sundar Pichai. Some analysts even fear that Google records the first decline in sales in its history in the second quarter. Its results will be published on July 23.

Google is not the only Gafa to want to support SMEs. In early June, Facebook, the other giant in digital advertising, launched an initiative called #SoutenonsNosTPEPME. This includes, in particular, 100 free training courses for French SMEs, as well as a diagnostic tool making it possible to assess its digital presence in 30 minutes.

Recently, Facebook users have also been able to offer gift cards to spend in local shops or even raise funds for SMEs in difficulty.

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