Google Partners Masterclass – August 2015: Key Outtakes and Event Highlights

Earlier this month, Google put on their yearly Google Partners masterclass. And of course, Reef Digital, as a long standing Google Partner agency, was there for the day of digital marketing industry buzz and updates. There were a few “get your nerd on” moments, as well as the stunning view of Sydney harbour, networking drinks, amazing food, and meeting or catching up with our fellow colleagues in the industry.

The event was highly informative and engaging, from an in depth discussion on how we can effectively use data to drive business, pricing and negotiation tips for agencies, to in depth technical tips on how remedy ghost referral visits and Google Analytics spam (see Sayf Sharif’s article on Eliminating Ghost Referral Traffic in Google Analytics for more). David Booth from Cardinal Path, a prominent digital intelligence and marketing agency in North America, expertly delivered the 5 part lecture series of the day, and to a level of detail that is not possible to cover here. What I can say is don’t miss the next one.

And so I want to focus in this post on two themes explored on the day that stood out to me – these in particular stood out as something I wanted to explore further and adopt in my everyday practices as a digital marketer. The first concerns Google’s micro-moments and mobile marketing, and the second concerns how we as agencies talk to our customers – translating AdWords speak into business language, into KPIs we can measure.

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Google’s Micro-Moments

What are these and why do they matter? The day was started off by Google Australia & New Zealand’s Head of Business Marketing Richard Flanagan addressing “why our biggest opportunities are in the smallest moments”.

In a very short space of time, media and advertising as an industry, has moved from very concentrated media strategies into a time where media is absolutely abundant – we are tuning in more than ever. However, the important point to remember here, and as was emphasized by Mr. Flanagan, is that increased screen time does not necessarily mean more engagement, as it is consumers who decide when to tune in and when to tune out.

We now check our phones over 150x per day, but only ever for short moments of time, in Mr Flanagan’s words, “tuning a message out is just a swipe away”. What is pivotal then, is that we learn to capture those moments when people do decide to tune into a message – the key is in those moments when people do engage – the world is lived in moments – and it is these moments that Google has identified as micro-moments: the new battleground for businesses.

“Want-to-know moments. Want-to-go moments. Want-to-do moments. Want-to-buy moments. They’re all micro-moments, and they’re the new battleground for brands”.

These findings come from an ethnographic study commissioned by Google. Here it was found that there has been a 20% increase in mobile share of online sessions, that the expectation for immediately is higher than ever before, and importantly that there are more mobile sessions happening overall but they are getting shorter overall.

What this means is that it is now about making more informed decisions faster – spending less time in store, but buying more. At the same time, however, it is important to remember that we don’t want advertising to interrupt us. But it is exactly for this reason that some moments matter more than others, and here is where our job as digital marketers is about capturing those moments. We need to understand the intent of our customers and “Win every moment that matters”. Map out your micro-moments.

Translating Adwords Speak into Business Language

As digital marketers do we speak the same language as our customers? This is one of the many important questions raised by David Booth in his series of lectures at the Google Partners event.

Clients care about business goals – but there is a clear disconnect in terms of what we measure and the metrics that we as marketers deliver to our clients. The problem, as Mr. Booth emphasised, is that we need to stop talking in “Adword’s discourse” so that we can begin to breach the gap between digital marketing jargon and the language that our customers speak. This means revenue, costs, profit margins, customer satisfaction, and not cost per click, bounce rate, average position, and click through rate.

And so Mr. Booth got us thinking about what matters to a business. Firstly, it’s not good enough to simply attract new customers, you also need to engage them. Or more specifically, in relation to the customer lifecycle, you to need to attract, engage, convert, retain, and then have them become advocates for your brand.

So what does an increase in impressions actually mean? A decline in site visits? A video view? A better click through rate? In order to translate online metrics back into business language, we need to think about where each action online that we measure and report on pertains to a business goal: attract, engage, convert, retain, advocate.

When we receive impressions, site visits, clicks, video views, receive follows, likes, or generate app downloads, we are attracting new customers. When a video is watched, a search ad clicked on, content read, we are engaging our audience. When visitors return, create accounts, sign up, repeat conversions, retarget, we are retaining our customers. And finally, when we receive reviews, brand mentions, and social shares, we have an advocate for our brand.

To conclude, the essential learning I geared from this was that we need to track KPIs, and every KPI that we track should have a value attached to it that your customer can understand. While educating your customer also matters, it is important that we translate the value of every piece of data that we collate and analyse for our clients, as it is this that they can then apply to their business in a meaningful way. It makes the work that we do as digital markers legible to a greater audience – be it the board they present results to or the targets they have to meet.

Final words…

Don’t miss the next Google Partners masterclass.

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