When we are searching for something that is an immediate need, we use Google’s search product. The association between instant informational satisfaction and the search engine is so strong that it has become a modernized verb, thus, “Let me Google that”. The search results provided and corresponding solution selected are often the most immediate available answer that satisfies the query submitted.

For businesses that offer a service that satisfies a specific, immediate need that the consumer is aware of and looking to fulfill, Google Search is a fantastic tool for marketers. However, not all products and services we market fit this description – enter Google Display Network.

There is a reason our website viewing tools are called browsers. In keeping with the idea of immediate satisfaction, we use our browsers to sometimes aimlessly explore subjects or information we are just getting a taste for. Guilty pleasures, trash TV, Wikipedia, StumbleUpon, BuzzFeed, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are all built on the idea that you don’t know what type of content is going to interest you until you see it. It is within these moments, when we are “browsing,” that the Google Display Network – the endless digital billboard of the internet – becomes an effective tool for marketers.

While converting this casual user into a patron may require more impressions per conversion, often display impressions and the resulting clicks can be less expensive than traditional search. For this type of consumer, you have the chance to position a product previously unknown to the consumer – and strike their interest while browsing.

A great example of this type of service and corresponding consumer is our client iCracked and their less awesome competitor, Gazelle. Gazelle was the first to market in smartphone buybacks. In some ways, Google Display Network is the new infomercial. Infomercials play during programming that is related to the product. While outdated, the example of Ginsu knives on the Food Network comes to mind. GDN lets you pitch your product to a user who was unaware they needed your service until the impression was served. Perfect for the old iPhone or iPad collecting dust in one of your drawers. The Google Display Network isn’t for every type of user or product, however it can be extremely effective with the right combination of creative, placement, call to action, prospective user, and product.

Advanced usage of the Google Display Network consists of targeting users who have already visited your site or watched a video on your YouTube channel via retargeting. This can take this tactic’s effectiveness to the next level.