Dutch Uncle

I just found out that Google became public using Dutch Auction IPOs. There a number of advantages and disadvantages to this, most of which is too extensive to mention here. But a key point I related to marketing was the idea that Dutch auctions level the playing field. That is, it provides equal opportunity to small investors as well as institutional investors to get allocated shares.

As marketing… how smart is that?

This method matches Google’s business strategy; to support small advertisers. Indeed, Google’s Adsense and Adwords are particularly appropriate to small advertisers, just as Dutch Auctions don’t discriminate against small investors. The IPO method was a ‘fit’ with Google’s positioning.

Not only that, but a Dutch auction are like all other auctions in that it generates an important intangible asset: hype. Headlines. Buzz. Discussions. Publicity. Brand awareness. It’s a marketing campaign disguising as a equity raising event. It’s important to recall that at that point in time, Google was not yet a verb. Now, of course, they’re well on their way to world domination.

Up until now I wasn’t aware of that I had separated finance and marketing as independent business functions in my mind. Now I know better. Strategic Marketing is all-encompassing.


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