By Jaclyn Trop/ The Detroit News August 4, 2011Detroit — Google Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt spoke here Thursday with Michigan businesses to explain how they can use Google's marketing tools to level the playing field and make money from their entrepreneurial visions.
The Internet is vital to growing business in an age of increasingly specialized, global markets, Schmidt told the group, which included representatives from Belle Tire Inc., Okemos-based software company TechSmith Corp., Ann Arbor-based global transportation firm Con-way Inc. and Ideal Group Inc., which hosted the event at its Detroit headquarters.
While it's never been easier to create new businesses, he said, it's also never been harder to beat competitors.
"Your economic solution is solved by the fact that the Internet exists," said Schmidt, who served as Google's CEO for 10 years before stepping down this spring. "It's easy to criticize the Internet because it's not perfect, but you want to think about what life would be like without it."
Google's paid advertising program Google AdWords has helped local businesses get ahead in an increasingly competitive market "where a penny one way or the other puts you out of the game," said Louis Green, president of Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.
Free Internet tools are the "great equalizer," Green said. "A small firm looks just like a large firm."
Google's targeted advertising tools helped generate $1.3 billion in economic activity for more than 43,000 Michigan businesses and nonprofits last year, a 40 percent surge from 2009, Google said.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based media conglomerate is trying to make further inroads against traditional advertising by noting its search tools can help businesses reach new customers and thrive online for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.
From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110804/BIZ/108040481/Google-explains-marketing-tools-to-Mich.-businesses#ixzz1U7X4Y6kr