Annually, Google hosts their Partner Summit where agencies across the world unite in NYC with a common purpose to ultimately grow their brand’s businesses. During this year’s summit, senior Google leaders shared new digital trends, consumer insights and product roadmaps, while industry experts also provided best practices to grow brands beyond advertising.
Google’s take on current trends:
1. Customers Are More Informed, Demanding and Impatient Than Ever
The smartphone is consumers’ primary device for accessing the Internet and, with knowledge at our fingertips, expectations have risen. Users rely on search to answer a question, research a topic, learn how to do something or discover something new. Easy access to information now puts us in the age of assistance and frictionless experiences as companies provide consumers seamless services. The takeaway? Brands are competing to provide consumers the most convenient digital experience as they are more likely to retain customers this way.
2. Not all Customers Are Equally Valuable
Not all consumers spend the same, so why should advertisers consider all customers equally valuable? The consideration set for a product varies by person, as some make one purchase, while others make multiple purchases, but only by responding to price promotions. Certain customers buy regularly over time, but others may make frequent returns (or complaints). While one person may buy low value products/services, another person may become your enthusiastic advocate. Advertisers should prioritize and invest in channels where they can reach brands’ most valued audiences as these consumers are more likely to drive higher ROI.
3. Slow Loading Mobile Sites Are More Likely to Get Abandoned
Did you know that a one second delay in loading a page affects conversion by 20 percent? As our customers become more impatient and brands are competing for the optimal digital experience, it’s imperative that brands’ mobile pages’ load speeds are as fast as possible — especially since 53 percent of mobile sites are abandoned if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Consider simplicity on mobile sites as 66 percent of pages load slowly because of imaging. Google also found that sessions where users converted had 38 percent fewer images compared to sessions where users didn’t convert. To prevent losing customers and sales, test your mobile speed with: https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/.
4. Consumers Are Engaging in Different Touch Points Before They Make a Purchase
About 90 percent of multiple device owners switch screens to complete tasks which means there are more touch points in the consumer journey. From scrolling through social media feeds on our phones to multitasking on our desktops, there are more opportunities for advertisers to reach their audiences across different channels. Google encourages advertisers to move away from optimizing towards last click as 48 percent of users switch between brand and generic paid search terms to learn more about a product. Using non-brand keyword targets and increasing CPC bids to gain more visibility for valuable keywords will help brands guide their consumers towards the path to purchase earlier in their journeys.
5. One of The Most Underused Tactics in B2B is Referral Marketing
Think about how you turn to your family, friends and colleagues for suggestions and appreciate the value that they provide. Then think about how some of your new business opportunities stem from a contact or a reference. Customer experiences from a B2B perspective also go a long way. Recommendations from colleagues and other industry contacts are great habits to incorporate into a brand’s B2B marketing strategy. Encourage B2B brands to actively use referral marketing by incorporating it in their home pages, emails, billing statements, as well as inside sales collateral. While referrals themselves may not sustain a business, satisfied customers may provide positive feedback that brands can place on websites/future marketing efforts.
Sandra Tichy is a global media operations specialist, Edelman New York.