Yoke was excited to attend the recent Google Partners Masterclass and dive into the fast-changing world of Google for a day. Even though it was a rainy day in the Melbourne Docklands, Google never disappoints.
The star of the day was actually not employed by Google; David Booth from the leading US digital agency Cardinal Path (self-proclaimed web analytics ninjas) took center stage to share his experiences on being a Google Partner.
Dave was great, as he shared many technical insights on Google AdWords and Analytics work from an agency’s point-of-view. It is unbelievable at what speed Google launches new features for their advertising and analytics products, and how it just keeps on getting better and better. The information on new and upcoming features also presented Yoke a great opportunity to understand how to develop our digital consulting and digital marketing services in the future.
The day with Google reminded everyone that agencies are, indeed, thought leaders in digital marketing and for the benefits of our clients, we need to stay on top of market trends. David spoke about the clients’ general lack of understanding and their misinformation on digital marketing and how they are too busy doing what they do best: running their businesses. This is the core reason why a business owner or a marketing manager keep approaching agencies to get expert help – they want to concentrate on working in their own business.
At these conferences, it is always interesting to learn of different focus areas for different agencies – while Yoke clearly differentiates with great graphic design services and a comprehensive digital consulting offering, others are focusing on advertising.
However, most agencies claim to have a deep understanding of all things related to digital marketing. One sarcastic slide from Dave that made me laugh stated: “We are a digital agency offering all digital products for everyone at every time everywhere because we believe in the future of our children.” Yoke’s branding experts might have a thing or two to say about what is wrong with that statement.
The variety of agency service offerings and the lack of focus was addressed by David in a talk about agency marketing. Following the idea “a chef should never eat baked beans at home”, he asked the audience how many agencies are proud of their own website or proud of the marketing campaigns they are running for themselves. Not too many agency representatives raised their hands.
We also had the chance to learn about a few other Melbourne-based agencies, their client offerings and knowledge. The market is big and leaves room for many agencies to find their niche. However, compared to more traditional industries, digital marketing is a relatively new industry. This means that many offerings are still being shaped on the go and knowledge is built and updated constantly. This is a challenge for every agency and requires constant work and investment. Not an easy task to do, but a great environment as it is the future point of differentiation.
All in all, Google Partners day gave me lots of food for thought!