A Morning with Google: The Scoop

Scoop of Ice CreamIt’s not often that you get to see a real Google big wig in the flesh – much less, here in Portland, Maine. Earlier this month we had the pleasure of meeting and gaining a few pearls of wisdom (and hints of what’s to come) from Steve Arthur, Google’s Head of Industry: Retail at the Ad Club of Maine’s Google This! event. He had some interesting things to say so I thought I’d recap the main takeaways and a few things that may be on the horizon.

It’s Not Just About the Hard Sell

Gone are the days of the hard sell. People research everything now. And the evolution of online search, shopping apps and other technology has empowered consumers in a way that makes standing out from the crowd essential. Drawing people in and grabbing them with stories and experiences is becoming more and more important than ever. Arthur cited Fab.com, ModCloth.com and others as sites that are doing this well.

What Happens on the Internet Influences In-store Decisions

It’s no secret at all that consumers have become increasingly connected thanks to mobile devices and the roles they play in people’s daily lives. This means that we as marketers have the opportunity to reach our customers in more ways than ever before, throughout their daily routine, making the internet even more influential to offline sales, not just online sales. It’s important that retailers (and business owners alike) think of their site as a path to purchase, not just an online storefront.

Thinking beyond the basic conversion and looking at the bigger picture is essential. We need to remember to consider multiple customer interaction points as conversions and assign these conversions with different values. It’s not as simple as “they came, they browsed, they purchased” anymore. Arthur cited King Arthur Flour as a brand that is doing this well by integrating multiple onsite interaction points: video views, chatter, recipe page views, bakers hotline requests…the list goes on and on.

Attribution and Mobile Don’t Always Mix

Increased mobile adoption is great, but we could do without the attribution challenges it brings. Think about it: If you access a website from your work computer, mobile phone, tablet and your home desktop computer, you’ve got four sets of cookies floating around for one person. Arthur mentioned that they are hoping that Chrome log-ins can help them to create models that will eventually enable them to better understand user behavior and return on investment. It will be interesting to see how Google attempts to improve upon this.

Oh Yeah, And Self Driving Cars? Sooner Than You Think.

Less internet marketing-related, but a fun tidbit. Self-driving car technology could be here sooner than we imagine. Wonder how they’ll integrate that into their advertising platform…

Photo credit: TheCulinaryGeek