Is Google Now Part of your Online Marketing Plans?

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Dr Dave Chaffey looks at the potential of Google Now for digital marketing...

I suspect that Google Now won't be high on your list of online marketing priorities. But it is high on Google's list of mobile engagement approaches through their app, so it may offer opportunities you aren't aware of.

I'm not sure why, but you rarely see it covered in discussions of online marketing. It could be because it started as an Android-only service, but it's now cross-platform which means it's time to have a look closer look. The UK Now Landing page doesn't show the full range of platforms that are available from the US Now Landing page, so that's the best place to learn where it's headed.

You can see that a wide range of platforms are supported, way beyond Android.

Platforms supported by Google Now, screenshot.

Google is now looking to surface more real-time information for users through Now Cards - earlier this year it announced that content from Google App cards will be pushed to users in real time:

Now cards in the Google app give you relevant information at the right time, without you having to ask for it.

How does this relate to search? Well, Google Now, has been described as "Built to answer the user's query without being asked!"

There are over 30 integrations with other apps in place which trigger Now cards on the users device when another app notifies them.

Many more brands would like to send these notifications, but for now they're only available to a limited number of partners.

Some of the current Google Now partners, screenshot. A few of the partners already integrating with Google Now.

However, there are options for notifications through email marketing. The integrations page above shows that there are many more companies using Now Email Marketing to trigger cards as described in this developer guide.

So, Google Now certainly offers new opportunities to reach your customers on their mobile and other devices. It remains to be seen how widely the service will be used by consumers - it does require enabling in the browser and I'm not sure that mobile users are looking for yet more notifications - perhaps this is why them seem to have excluded social network apps including Google+! However, with Google's control over Android and power to encourage brand App developers to adopt the system, I think it's significant - how do you see it?

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