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I am always looking for marketing lessons to help my small business clients get better results. This week I got an unsolicited telephone call from Google, of all companies, which started me thinking. Why is Google, who is unquestionably the king of online marketing, engaging in telemarketing? I’d be interested to hear what the people at Google have to say. But in the meantime, I did my own research and discovered that Google does not only count on online marketing to reach new customers, they employ other marketing methods as well.
Here are five marketing lessons small business owners can learn from Google. I’m sure there are more, leave your thoughts in the comments below! We always love to hear from you!
1. Be Really, Really Good at One Thing
Before Google took on the Earth or built the Android, it did one thing better than anyone else, Internet Search. As the foundation of all things Google, their search engine and search technology was innovative in the beginning and continues to be innovative today. By committing to being really, really good at this one thing and maintaining that commitment, Google built a reputation in the market as a trusted resource. This kind of relationship with the consumer is a fantastic marketing lesson.
2. Don’t Rest on Your Laurels
Once Google had secured their place as the top search engine, they didn’t stop there. Rather than reveling in the fact that they owned online search, they continued to refine and revise their search algorithms and functionality to make the customers’ experience better. They understand that the competition is feverishly at work trying to copy their success. To that end, Google works to stay one step ahead of their competition, improving their main product, inventing new ones. This step is critical and something many small businesses fail to do. Having a great product may put you on top but it won’t keep you there.
3. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Even though Google owns the Internet marketing space and continues to redefine the way other companies market online, they continue use a variety of other marketing methods that includes email marketing, direct mail marketing, and even telemarketing. By using a variety of marketing strategies, Google ensures they are reaching all of their potential customers, not just those who are already invested in and interested in Internet marketing. If Google isn’t relying only online search to market their business why should you?
4. Be Innovative
Even though Google continues to do their one thing really well, they also recognize the power of expansion and diversity. The company is committed to creating a culture that embraces and inspires innovation. This innovative attitude has created things like Google Earth, the Android Operating System, and Google Maps. Even though not all products are successful (Google Wave for example) the innovation required to create these new products becomes a stepping stone for creating new (and often successful) products in the future. You’re not always going to hit a home run in your marketing, but you always should be swinging.
5. Have Fun
Google also embraces the idea that business doesn’t have to be boring. I love this! What other company do you know is able to routinely modify their logo without compromising their brand? This is something Google does on a regular basis with Google Doodles, the alternative logo designs that grace the Google home page for special events and holidays. Not only does this create a lot of fun for Google Users, (and I’m sure Google employees as well) it also creates a lot of marketing buzz for Google. They’ve often been featured on television, radio and newspaper just because of their fun Google Doodle.
Another thing that Google does is hides little surprises (or jokes) in the search engine function. These surprises, called “Easter Eggs” are search terms that produce unexpected screen behaviors or interesting page results. For example, when you type in the words “do a barrel roll” into Google, your screen starts spinning around. Google’s antics not only create buzz for the company and increase customer engagement, and I’m sure, satisfaction as well. It’s a well-known fact that humor sells. Google uses humor as a part of its regular routine.
Google makes it clear that when it comes to marketing your business, you need to have a diversified strategy. What other marketing lessons can we learn from Google?
Want to get more inexpensive and practical small business marketing ideas, grab a free e-book called “Build Buzz for Your Biz, 23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed” at http://23kazoos.com.
Wendy Kenney the Founder of 23 Kazoos, a Marketing and Public Relations firm in Phoenix, Arizona, that is relentless about results. She is the bestselling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Business available on Amazon.com, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Newsday.