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Gettin’ Google With It

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Posted by Guest Blogger: Liz Dodder, Nestlé USA’s Online Communications Manager

I admit it; I’m addicted to Google. I Google everything from prospective boyfriends, song lyrics and frittata recipes to Argentinean vacations and rush hour driving times (not to mention the best thing on Google Maps, Street View). So when I learned I was going to Nestlé’s Google Boot Camp II, a program designed to help Nestlé marketers and communicators better understand online strategies and tools, I was thrilled.

I couldn’t wait to see this Corporate America Nirvana (surely you’ve heard some of the benefits of working at Google: free food and foozball for all, massage and yoga, every employee being granted the luxury of free time and the ability to make a difference). It sounded good on the surface, but I wondered, what makes Google work? How do they stay on top as the technology leader in organizing the world’s information? And how can we apply it to improve our business? Here it is, straight from the inside (tip: don’t try to Google it).

Top 10 Ways to Get Googled

10. Inject your culture with cool. Google culture is really cool. They do have free meals and snacks in cafes all over campus with a focus on nutritious, local, high-quality food. Their dress code of “You gotta wear something” fosters creative expression and hip comfort for all. Music/movies/vegetable gardening on the lawn: all free. Not to mention free time each week (20% to work on your own projects). The happiness shows, and Google benefits.

9. Beef up on-site benefits. Google has a tech stop/help desk in each building. Seriously, you can take your laptop down anytime and they will fix it right there, no hold music required. Also, every building has fitness areas and casual areas with couches, games and massage chairs – and every one of them is full of employees engrossed in their laptops. Mobile, comfy work stations also = very cool.

8. Get your message out there, try something new. Even Google bathrooms give you data. Just as I can read ads in the stalls of my favorite restaurants and bars, here I can “Learn on the Loo,” improving my own Search results, finding out about company training and more – all while multitasking. This definitely gets my attention; I am captive, interested in the topic and I don’t even have to make time to get the message. I’m already looking forward to future bathroom visits.

7. Give to Search, and it will give back. At Google, Search is king. And there is much to learn about how Nestlé can optimize our online properties for Search. We learned that we don’t spend enough time or money in online search to get the optimal results for our brands. When you run a Search program (with the help of our agency, Moxie), you get to decide how much to spend, which search words make sense, and then test it out real-time. Looking at the click-through data gives you immediate feedback on which terms work best. Then, you can make changes to your program immediately. And studies show that being top-of-search increases top-of-mind.

6. Get on the Tube. YouTube channels are free! (Our agencies can’t compete with that.) Although you can lose many hours of your life browsing YouTube, you can also find real answers (it’s the second-most visited Search page on the internet, after Google). People are looking for video content more and more to get information on a variety of topics. YouTube can be your video library – a place to collect all brand videos from each of your websites, with free hosting, comments and user analytics (just make sure to check our rights over the content). You can even add links back to your website right in the video. Whether you go with professional videos or a more creative approach, it’s an easy way to reach a huge audience of consumers that might not make it to your site.

We also discovered that our brands are on YouTube whether we’ve posted the content ourselves or not – so it’s important to understand how our brands are being portrayed. We’ve all heard of the nightmare customer service video being posted by a disgruntled customer. These videos have taken over the brands’ top search spots, leaving the consumer without any messaging from the brand. More video content or free channels can help counter that.

5. Leverage other video/content. So you never aspired to be Martin Scorsese. You can still increase brand lift on YouTube without creating tons of video. You can buy sponsored links (like a Google Search program), pay for Pre-Roll advertising or partner with brand-sympathetic content that is already popular. Check out Burger King, who partnered with comic Seth McFarlane on his video content (

4. It’s all about content. These days, you’re not only advertising; you’re creating content. You’re asking consumers to engage with your brand – and that takes content, which is something consumers are looking for (50% of all sales are researched online prior to purchase). Google helps you push (with Search) and pull (with GCN ads) consumers to your content with Search programs, GCN Ads, YouTube channels, free blogs and more. We heard about digital strategies and lessons learned from brands like Safeway, Nature Valley and Lipton, where Google programs moved significant offline sales.

3. Keep your eye on the phone. Everyone wants to invent the next “iPhone” – the product that consumers can’t do without. Smart phones, those with integrated web browsers, are already beating computers in number per household – and mobile computing is growing fast. Our number one priority here is to create mobile-optimized websites, and we can look next to mobile promotions and iPhone apps.

2. Get to know Social Media. The Skinny Cow has more friends on Facebook than I do (well, I can be a Facebook Snob, and the Skinny Cow has never met a person she doesn’t like). Wonka Nation gives consumers virtual backstage passes with its video content on Facebook, the Nesquik Bunny spreads brand cheer on Twitter and the Skinny Cow has actual conversations with her consumers on Twitter. Your brand needs friends. A question for you: why would a consumer want to be your brand’s friend? What value can your brand add to a consumer’s life? For a successful social media plan, you have to answer these questions, and then create content and timing to support it.

1. Relearn Google math. At Google, 1+1=5 (don’t show this to the Finance folks). This equation seems a little off, but after realizing the online world is not just a selling transaction point, but a communication platform that influences consumers from all sides, it makes sense. The other boot campers and I have seen that online strategies such as Google Search, content networks and video/social media have an exponential impact on brand lift. And we all want that.