Google is coming to your town and they want to meet with you in-person. I don’t have an “in” with Google and haven’t seen their marketing strategy, but I can make some assumptions about their goals and their plan based on what I have observed. The question to ask is why would Google invest in training and events, when they have ads and search at their fingertips?
At a recent Google My Business (GYOB) workshop in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, Google trainer, Erin Bemis, walked participants through the benefits and features of GYOB. (Erin, by the way is a master storyteller, wrapping business messages in personal stories that make the content she’s sharing entertaining and memorable!) I have worked with GYOB for years, but I went to the workshop curious to hear what Google has to say in-person. This is what I think they’re up to.
The people they want to reach aren’t looking for them
So often we have problems that we don’t know are problems. We think this is the status quo. A hair stylist in a tiny town near my home has a dwindling pool of clientele. She doesn’t have an online presence even though she knows that new people are looking for her on their phones. She is one of the people that Google wants to reach, but she is not aware that they have a solution to her problem, because she doesn’t feel that it is a problem - yet. By holding in-person events, I think Google is trying to uncover needs and push them up the priority list with business owners.
They have discovered that they need to provide more support
Wouldn’t it be awful if you lost a customer because they didn’t know how to use your product or service correctly? I wonder if that’s what Google discovered. Marketers know that we have to make Google happy to have any chance in search, but Google makes us crazy with constant change. In boiling down the steps that businesses need to take to utilize GYOB. Google just might be right on target with tactics to onboard new customers, and win back some who let their activity on the platform drop into neglect from frustration.
They are personalizing their brand
Everyone knows Google is big. Huge. Enormous. You can never talk to Google. When someone calls you and says they’re from Google, it probably isn’t really them. Right? (Ask Erin about her Sally from Google story.) How smart of them to put a lovely face and energetic presence like Erin’s with their brand. As a digital marketer, I have always said that even in our technology-driven world nothing beats a face to face. Nothing.
What’s the goal?
Let’s back up and imagine the marketing strategy meeting that launched Google’s initiative to grow awareness, provide more support in use of their product, and personalize their brand. What were their goals? I think their ultimate goal is to guide more businesses towards using Adwords, and the way that they have to do that is not so different from the way that you and I would do it. The investment they’re making in in-person events is building relationships, demonstrating that they want to be helpful, and they’re creating positive emotions around their brand.
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