Google Oct. 18 said it is expanding its Going Google advertising initiative for Google Apps, bringing its collaboration software message to train stations, airports, and print and online publications in the United States, as well as in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Google first launched Going Google Aug. 3 as a billboard marketing campaign on four major U.S. highways. The billboards tout the advantages of cloud computing via Google Apps-a suite of e-mail, word processing and other applications served via the Internet and hosted on Google’s servers-as an alternative to applications from Microsoft, IBM and others that are downloaded locally to workers’ PCs.
The ads and word-of-mouth from customers tweeting about the cloud computing applications on Twitter have boosted Google Apps adoption to 20 million users in 2 million businesses, Tom Oliveri, enterprise marketing director for Google, told eWEEK.
Initially relegated to highway billboards in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago, Oliveri said Google is bringing Going Google in the United States to airports in Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, as well as Toronto. See the demo video here.
Full-page Going Google ads will also appear in the New York Times, The Economist, Business Week, Forbes and Fortune. Online, Google will run ads in the Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Bloomberg and Fortune. Ads will feature accounts from companies that have opted to switch to Google from Microsoft, IBM, or some other productivity and collaboration software vendor.
“These are all places where business decision makers and IT decision makers spend time,” Oliveri explained. “We want to help them understand the benefits of the cloud.” Google is also inviting business leaders from companies that have chosen to use Google Apps to tell why they elected to do so. Executives will be encouraged to tell their stories via YouTube.
Google will also bring this advertising attack to London; Paris; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo; and Singapore. Specifically, commuters going home on the M4 highway leaving London will see a projection on a building advertising Google Apps. In France, commuters at the La D??Â«fense train station will see Going Google ads. Commuters in Tokyo at the underground Shinagawa Station will see a billboard featuring Going Google.
In the United States, key Google Apps customers include Motorola’s handset division, which has 20,000 users. And Konica Minolta has 7,000 workers who have gone Google. Today, Google said business services concern Rentokil Initial is migrating its 35,000 users to Google Apps. And packaging vendor MeadWestVaco has 17,000 users of Google Apps.
Google Apps is currently in 40 languages, though Oliveri declined to specify how many of the 2 million businesses using Google Apps come from countries outside North America. He did say pickup has been big in Japan. Pushing Google Apps overseas should, at the least, bring more awareness to the cloud computing zeitgeist Google is fostering.
Google has been ramping up its innovation cycle in Google Apps. The company Oct. 12 launched a refurbished Google Docs suite with shared folders and multi-file upload. Google Apps has gotten enough traction that Microsoft and IBM have followed Google into the cloud.
Google’s enterprise group, which includes Google Apps, Google enterprise search, Postini security software and Google Earth and Maps, currently boasts 1,000 employees. The enterprise team is currently looking to hire 50 more positions across sales and engineering.
Moreover, the expansion of Going Google comes days after Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he had green-lit the enterprise team for aggressive expansion into 2010, which could include some acquisitions of technology and talent in addition to the organic growth of the talent pool.