Google’s Latest Word On Local
This session is of particular interest since it involves word from Google’s Todd Rowe, Director of Global SMB Reseller Partnerships, and changes to Google’s reseller deals in the past year have affected many partners among the yellow pages and directories industry. Live blogging here at 8:30 AM, CST. Keep refreshing to see my updates and check me on Twitter if the wifi goes kaput.
Todd Rowe’s started just now:
- Why this Journey? It’s a “perfect storm” – reseller channel is fastest growing part of Google channels, so execs are paying attention. Few people know how to grow channels. I’m not new to channel biz, so I know how to grow in a scalable way.
- Why this Journey? Executive decisions. Decision from execs is to invest and grow significantly.
- Why this Journey? Positive ripple effect.
- Why this Journey? Local Opportunity. With this industry I see tectonic plate shift from print to online, so this industry is good for this channel.
- Value of Channel to Google: “Google cannot get to 40 billion without channel, so we need channel to succeed. SMB-Savvy & REACH + Local Expertise + Product Innovation –> Customer Experience. We think you know the space and you innovate around Google products effectively.
- So, what has changed in last 90 days? (Google Adwords Authorized Reseller badge on screen). (He says that local partners are effective and structured to work with this channel.) Google has created one Global Channels Organization. This will pull together resources to help you. We also now can grow into Asia and other countries. Visibility is higher to exec mgmnt. They have a channel oriented roadmap now. We’re set now to take your input on development of our channel product. This gives us a way to broaden channel types. If we make something that doesn’t make sense for you to work with, we can change it.
- We’re now announcing the launch of a Global Partner Council – we’re taking some top people from the local industry to form it. The council is fundamental of a world-class channels organization.
- HC, Programs Investment – our team for this has increased by 60% in the last 90 days. Effectively, we will double in size the N. America team. This gives more representatives to work with you. Quicker turnaround times. Ability to customize what you need for your business.
- Executive Management – given org changes, executives can now begin to meet with you – senior management has changed to be able to meet with you more frequently. If you haven’t met with an exec in a year, it’s too long.
- Invitation to You:
- Let us know what is working and what is not;
- Partner with us expanding what workd well, and fixing what’s broken; We so much in “build mode”, and we need to be able to respond to needs.
- Broaden our opportunities by broadening our partnerships.
(Now shifts to audience questions.)
Q: Changes to local are affecting selling of local ads…? A: The product roadmap should be able to let you know sooner.
Q: What you said is like it’s written exactly for what we need – but, we don’t trust you really. You’re not very transparent. A: On trust: Trust must be earned. Let us walk the talk and earn your trust. Talk is cheap, let’s show you what the team can do. Regarding transparency: the rationale for this was looking more from a customer perspective and working backwards. This is something uniform, not just to Reseller but to any company. Transparency is a struggle, but if a change affects biz we’d like to have a conversation with you – so, I’d like to have indiv discussions with you. History of this change is to turn focus to customer need. This is uniform to this space and how customers.
Q: Have you already picked partners for council? A: We’re just announcing that.
Q: Describe partner council more? A: Meet twice a year. We have 250 global partners. There are diff segments of partnerships – pureplay, SEM, YP/local side, it will be most imp ones as well as startups. Different phases of partnership.
Q: You said you’d show your product roadmap to people in room. Is this first time Google has done that? A: I don’t know.
Q: Give us insight on where mobile plays in your local strategy – you have lots in place with tags/Android. A: Growth opps in Mobile are big in our opinion. We’re creating some things in terms of training to help you expand in to mobile. We believe in next 2-3 mobile should be a mainstay part of our business. Re Tags – they’re been interesting – some partners want, some don’t. It’s a version 1.0 product – we’ll wait to see if it’s a good thing for you. We’re looking into providing for you for reseller. If you’re not doing these things its a lost opportunity.
Q: (From ATT&T) You’d had conferences with some select vendors like us, and we were given a partial roadmap – it was valuable to us, we like seeing that as a part of this. A: Thank you.
DMS ’10 Spotlight: Microsoft’s Local Love Connection
Randy Wootton, VP, Global Search and Online Marketplace, Microsoft Advertising
- SMB Customer Profile is exciting – US SMBs is a $15 Billion opportunity;
- 25% SMBs use partners
- 35% total spend is indirect.
- 8X spend increase when using channel partners.
- Channels help SMBs Navigate the Complex Landscape of Digital Advertising;
- Advertising Yesterday: SMBs only had to talk to a YP rep. Today: many overwhelming options. They used to have 3 reps – now they have 50.
- SMB Customer needs: Trust; Leads; Convenience — “TLC”;
- Local Marketing Mix: YP/TV/Flyers/Newspapers/Outdoor/Radio – Advertisers – Online YP / SEO & SEM / Website Design / Verticals / Direct Marketing / Mobile ; Advertisers need to think of Digital as part of the mix.
- How do we make this simple again? I get the irony that I’m from Microsoft and speaking to make things simple again! Packages, pricing, etc – need to be simpler. How do we help them save time?
- We’re on doorstep of Web 4.0. Search Evolution: Topical (content/html docs): Social (people & profiles); Geo-Spatial (Places & Maps); Bing (Search, Services & apps – coming together around the device).
- Local Partner Landscape: Direct Sales, Resellers, Ad Networks, Bing/MSN/Xbox, Syndication, Content… Consumer experiences across any device supporting queries with geographic intent.
- Partnership in Action – search alliance with Yahoo!/Microsoft. Start migrating your accounts from Yahoo to Bing system.
- Where are you going? User Vision – become “first stop” for local biz search; Advertisiner Vision – become “trusted advisor” delivering qualified leads to SMBs. Microsoft advertising can help complete your vision.
- CONNECTIONS WANTED: Huge opportunity – you get it – we get it. Integrated Platform is Foundational – Only two companies can do this. Most effective Channel is YOU – Can I have your number? We have all the pieces… more to come! In December I’ll come back and tell you about the roadmap.
- Thank you.
Engagement Drivers for Online Yellow Pages
Charles Laughlin is announcing the session. It’ll be on IYP Innovation – new products and features focusing on increased engagement.
1st up is Matthem Bottomley, Director of New Media Product Marketing, Yell Group:
- (He shows graph I’ve shown a few times of Google Trends showing searches for ”yellow pages” declining over time — he says he believes it shows the strength of the brands involved. He then shows growth of “Facebook” searches.)
- (He then shows how Yelp is also growing in comparison to the “yellow pages” growth chart.)
- (He shows in the UK how a couple of top “yellow pages” brands have curves up and then back down over time.)
- Shows ad video of new features – 3D city models, integrated with video embedded. Why see the world in 2D when you can see it in 3?
- Yell.com brand in the UK doesn’t get reported upon a lot. This kind of tech for me gets attention. You can remember 3D maps/views — easier to navigate.
- We have a version on the iPad. You can explore. It opens many possibilities.
- We also have augmented reality version for our iPhone app.
- The kind of things I worry about in driving consumer experience, one thing is page delivery time. Important on mobile. Search refinements – “this isn’t what you wanted – here’s what you want” — that isn’t a great experience.
Next up is Jim Schoonmaker, CEO of EveryScape:
- What is engagement? It’s like porn - I can’t describe it but I kjnow it when I see it! (Shows movie audience asleep, then shows movie audience jumping from their seats in delight.)
- Engagement characteristics: Like video game. High Bandwidth – picture is worth 1000 words and immersive experience is worth 100000. Self driven. Interactive.
- What can engagement do for delivering a marketing message? Shows ads embedded within a video game. Increases brand familiarity and purchase recall.
- How does engagement relate to local search? But, we’re in local search, not video games. An ideal search experience – it’s the right answer in the least amount of time. Why is this so hard for local? Local search is complex, and selection process is lengthy. Less about algos, more about questions.
- Typical local search questions: where is an appropriate place to take my boss to dinner? I need a good hair salon close to work. I wan tto find a place to board my dog that will care for them like I do. I am looking for a hardware store that knows a lot about chainsaws. Algos have hard time interpreting these types of things.
- (Now shows demo. Pans a street view panoramic with embedded coupons in city block. zooms to menu. Navigating through restaurant in 3d.)
- Websites are low bandwidth, self driven.
- Video is high bandwidth, but not self driven.
- Everyscape Eats is launched. 2000 restaurants in Boston. More to come.
Now panel goes to audience Q&A.
—————————————————————————— This marks the end of my coverage of the DMS 2010 conference. I may follow up with some posts commenting about various aspects on my personal blog in upcoming days.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.