Friday, January 25, 2019

Off to the Google campus - Quinte News


A recent invitation to the Google campus in Silicon Valley has Dug Stevenson, Executive Director of the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board, excited about the direction their own marketing is taking back here in Canada. “We’re already using a lot of their primary tools like AdWords and Youtube well, but after this trip I’ve learned about how we can take them to the next level,” he noted. “We had multiple learning sessions with some of Google’s Global Product Experts on specific topics and a lot of it was related to how small businesses can boost their marketing without a big budget. So, we’ll be planning to synthesize this info into free workshops for small businesses in the Bay of Quinte region later in 2019.”

Stevenson was flown down to California from January 14-17 by one of Google’s Premiere Partners, WordStream, who specializes in digital marketing. The Regional Marketing Board placed in the top five in North America in Google AdWords growth during a WordStream contest in fall 2018, with a 25 percent improvement in click-through rate and an 11 percent uptick in quality scores. They were the only organization in Canada to place inside the top five.

Premiere Partners like WordStream are top-performing agencies that gain accreditation from Google as a result of numerous measures, which includes having trained specialists on staff who have passed Google exams, plus significant online spends and revenue growth. As a Premiere Partner, WordStream is given access to the Google staff and the campus for sessions like the one Stevenson attended.

“We got a full tour of the campus as well, where over 10,000 employees are working. It’s a lot like a university campus, really,” Stevenson pointed out. “I didn’t see slides and ping pong tables everywhere, but the buildings were definitely done in a way to create fun and interaction through common areas and they were just inspiring to be in and see. They do a lot to get you to stay on the campus to keep the work flowing, like bringing in mobile hair cutters, providing staff meals everywhere for free and even Google buses with wifi on them to take you home. As awesome as it was, I think I prefer my 10-minute commute here at home,” he jokes.

Stevenson said the Marketing Board was new to Google AdWords in 2018, so they worked with Big Clic Inc. out of Cobourg to create their strategy. He attributes their success to working with Jon Hill, who owns and operates Big Clic. “We’ve been doing our programmatic with Big Clic and getting terrific results, so working with Jon on AdWords was a no brainer. He’s really tuned in to the tourism sector, having worked with destinations across the province, so right away he had great ideas for the direction and tactics of the campaign.” Stevenson is also quick to point out that funding from Regional Tourism Organization 9, formerly The Great Waterway, also helped make this all possible. “They provided us with a baseline fund this year that was specific to digital marketing and we were able to use that to get our paid AdWords up and running. We operate on a very limited budget, so that funding way key.”

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