Trying to convince a brand to spend millions -- even thousands -- to build a campaign with an emerging technology isn't always an easy sell. Traditional marketers may not understand the benefits behind using virtual reality, or short-wave radio frequencies to serve up ads on a smartphone running the Android operating system (OS) Ice Cream Sandwich. At first glance, it might not be apparent why Apple would want to purchase a semiconductor manufacturer, or Google a smartphone maker.
So under construction at the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif. sits a 120,000-square-foot center dubbed the Google Experience Center, a private museum that demonstrates emerging technologies to Google's important clients. Think of it as the expansion of research and development business units. It follows moves by tech giants like Microsoft, IBM, Intel, AMD and others that built out facilities to show off their wares.
"Just as we continuously work to improve our products, it's important to iterate on our workspace to keep us productive," said a Google spokesperson. "That's why we are adding additional meeting and work space to our campus in Mountain View."
Showing always works better than telling -- especially when the story includes technology that clients really don't understand. Even ad agencies like IPG Media Lab began building facilities last year to showcase emerging technologies. Sometimes having the ability to experience the technology becomes necessary before it gains traction and acceptance. That could be the case as the online ad industry relies more strongly on technology.
While most marketers only care that emerging technology works, others want to know how and why it works before sinking money into the project. Here's a bit of trivia for those who want to know how Apple's iPhone eventually captured the attention of U.S. marketers. It turns out that Steve Jobs finally approved the project to build the iPhone after Apple engineers assured him the ARM11-powered processors could handle the convergence of voice, data, music and video, according to EE Times. To make it work, Apple acquired PA Semiconductor in 2008 during the early days of the iPhone and the conception of the iPad.
While Google makes the majority of its revenue from advertising, the company's model was built on an emerging technology -- the World Wide Web. First and foremost, Google produces innovative applications from emerging technologies. Even as students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page put emerging technologies first when building their "large-scale hypertextual Web search engine." The school paper explains the prototype.
Showcasing the possibilities, the Google Experience Center will become even more critical since the E.U. and U.S. Department of Justice have approved Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition. The company will rely on the model that brings in hardware devices supporting advertising based on content delivery and sales across mobile, desktop and TV.