The Googleplex is truly awesome. My first day there felt surreal (probably assisted by the jet lag!). We listened to some great speakers and had a great explore of the Googleplex.
The Googleplex was awesome…. It has a kind of university campus feel to it, dominated by computer geeks. The sheer scale of the place was incredible, with everything ‘on brand’.
There were loads of Google coloured bikes, which were free to just pick up and use, lots of Google Android figures, and high tech toys to play with (such as a huge search tool, which looks like a pinball machine, you do a search and it spits out about 10 visual results, you pick the one you want and just fling it along the bottom, until it reaches the end, at which point it appears on a huge screen).
The day started with registration and breakfast, there were agencies from around the world, including South America, America and the UK. Pure SEO were the only winners from New Zealand, so it was left to us ‘represent’ for the Kiwis.
The first talk of the day was by the Google Head of Exec Marketing, Performance Ads, there were loads of takeaways from the talk, including some very in interesting statistics like 19% of online shopping occurs between 8pm and midnight and that 95% of time on the web is not spent on Google (albeit Google drives finding the sites that people spend time on).
The next speaker was Andy Miller, Head of Mobile Search Sales & Strategy, he gave an excellent talk about the changing face of search and mobile amazingly he believes that in the future mobile will be the primary method of driving traffic to a website. He also told us about an excellent resource full of mobile related statics & insights, details available at http://www.google.com/think/collections/full-value-of-mobile.html.
The next speaker was my favourite of the day, Jonah Berger, Professor of Marketing at Wharton School of Business. There was so many takeaways from his talk which focussed on word of mouth marketing. We all understand the benefit of referrals, his talk however crystallised this.
Jonah said that referral customers were 13% more likely to become long term clients and that only 7% of word of mouth comes online. He reaffirmed the fact that we are more likely to listen to a friend’s suggestion as we generally value their opinion based on similar likes and dislikes. We all received a signed copy of his book – Contagious, why things catch on.